AP Euro Science Timeline (1450-1800)

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Ptolemy and Geocentric thoery

85 AD - 165 AD

Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer that proposed in his Geocentric theory that Earth was the center of the universe, and "Heavenly spheres" revolved around Earth. His system was not questioned during the Middle Ages until Copernicus proposed heliocentricism


Approx. 1400 - Approx. 1500

Hermeticism is a Pantheistic philosophy that claims reality is divine. Things are figured out with magic or experimentation.

Printing Press


Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, which helped people make books, especially Bibles faster. This resulted in a more literate public.
During the Protestant Reformation, spread of the vernacular Bibles in languages like German and English contributed to the spread of Protestant ideals.

Nicolas Copernicus

1473 - 1543

-Polish mathematician
-Wrote Concerning the Revolution of the Celestial Sphere (1543) / On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres
-Dedicated it Pope Paul III but said that it was just a hypothesis, so he wouldn’t get mad because it was CRAZY to think that earth revolved around the sun
-Copernican theory / HELIOCENTRISM : Earth revolves around the sun
-Still kept kept some of Aristotle and Ptolemy’s ideas like epicycles, but geocentric theory didn’t take planetary movement into account
-Catholics say Heliocentrism is heresy


1493 - 1541

-rejected the ideas of Aristotle and Galen
-Foundation of medicine
-believed that "Like cured like"
-also believed that the body was a microcosm of the world (the body's systems need balance, just like nature)

Andreas Versalius

1514 - 1564

-Wrote On the Fabric of the Human Body
carried out careful anatomical dissections
-emphasized practical research

Scientific Revolution

Approx. 1543 - Approx. 1789

Transition from Medieval science to newer research about the world
Many started to question Aristotle and Ptolemy's Geocentric Theory (Earth was the center of the universe)
Also, Galen's medicine and theory of the 4 humors were questioned and disproved.
The Scientific Revolution started with Copernicus's publication of On the Revolution of the Celestial Sphere (1543) that proposed Heliocentrism.

Starts off with Copernicus' On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres (1543) where he proposed

Tycho Brahe

1546 - 1601

-Danish astronomer
-Recorded new evidence
-Saw that the universe is changing
-Built the best observatory and gets great data
-Lost part of his nose in a duel, makes a silver/gold alloy nose
-***(v. important) Has a dwarf named Jeb and a drunk moose

Galileo Galilei

1564 - 1642

-Designed his own telescope that allowed him to see distant objects
-The Starry Messenger (1610)
Found that the moon had mountains, like Earth (meaning that they were made of similar material)
Stars were farther away than planets
Sunspots and Rings on Saturn
Fund 4 moons of Jupiter
-Basically, Earth was not any better than other planets and and moon
-Also found that heavy weights fall at the same rate as lighter objects
-Under ideal conditions, objects in motion stay in motion (which Proves that Earth is in perpetual motion)
-Dialogues on the Two Chief Systems of the World (1632)
Compares Copernican system and the Ptolemaic system
Criticized some of the language in the Bible
-After this, the Catholic church condemned Galileo’s work
-Pope Urban VIII was offended by the portrayal of the old system
-Ideals still spread after being put under house arrest

Johannes Kepler

1571 - 1630

-Brahe’s student
-Used Brahe’s data to support Copernicus
-Made 3 laws of planetary motion
-Proposed elliptical planetary motion, instead of Copernicus’s circular theory
-Newton would later explain why elliptical motion was possible

William Harvey

1578 - 1657

wrote On the Motion of the Heart and Blood (1628)
-found that the blood flows through the entire body, pumped by the heart

Sir Isaac Newton

1642 - 1727

-Wanted to solve the problem of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo : how the planets move around the sun
-wrote Principia (1687)
Influenced by Galileo’s work on motion (intellectual link between northern and southern scientists
All planets and objects are under gravity
Explains planet’s orbit around sun
-Was still a very religious person and was interested in theology and silly alchemy stuff
-head of the British Royal Society - worked to spread spirit of experimentation

Baron Haussmann

1809 - 1891

Sought to beautify France (under Napoleon III) and install a better sewer system, urban modernization

Charles Darwin

1809 - 1882

wrote On the Origin of Species
evolution- life slowly changes and evolves over time, people not made in the image of God
natural selection- struggle of survival, ones who are most suited for the environment survive, humans have brains to survive, survival of the fittest
Ideas applied to society as Social Darwinism

Louis Pasteur

1822 - 1895

creates pasteurization ( heat then cool to kill bacteria), fermentation, theory that maybe tiny organisms can kill us