Johannes Kepler Essay

991 Words 4 Pages
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler is now remembered for discovering the three laws of planetary motion, and writing about them in books that were published in 1609 and 1619. He also did important work in optics, discovered two new regular polyhedra, gave the first mathematical treatment of close packing of equal spheres, gave the first proof of how logarithms worked, and devised a method of finding the volumes of solids of revolution. This can be seen as contributing to the development of calculus. Not only did he help the development of calculus, but he calculated the most exact astronomical tables known today. This accuracy did much to establish the truth of heliocentric astronomy, which states that
…show more content…
The curriculum included geocentric astronomy. This is the study of how all seven planets at the time - Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - moved around the Earth. Their positions to the stars were being calculated by combining circular motions. This system was what worked with the current physics of the time, although there were certain difficulties. However, these astronomers, who also saw themselves as mathematicians, were content to carry on calculating positions of planets. They figured they would leave it to natural philosophers to worry about whether the mathematical figures added up to the physical ones. Kepler, however, did not take like this attitude. His earliest published work in 1956 says that people should consider the actual paths of the planets, and not just the circles used to construct them.
At Tubingen, Kepler studied Greek and Hebrew as well as mathematics. Ironically, at the end of his first year Kepler got A's in every subject except mathematics. It is supposed that Maestlin was trying to tell him he could do better, because Kepler was one of the select pupils that Maestlin chose to teach more advanced astronomy to. He was teaching them the new, heliocentric cosmological system that was formed by Copernicus. Kepler almost instantly accepted that the Copernican system was physically true.
It seems that even in Kepler's student days there were signs that his religious beliefs were not