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(1473-1543), a Polish astronomer who had studied in Italy, concluded that (a)the sun is the center of our solar system and (b)the earth is merely one of several planets revolving about the sun. Copernicus' conclusions, published at the time of his death, disproved the Ptolemaic theory, which claimed that the earth is the center of the universe.


1514-1564), a Flemish physician, undertook careful dissections of the human body. He founded the science of anatomy.

Francis Bacon

(1561-1626), an English philosopher, wrote the Advancement of Learning.
He popularized the new scientific method of observation and experimentation.


(1564-1642), who was born in Pisa and for many years lived in Florence, was an Italian astronomer and physicist. He demonstrated the law of falling bodies and greatly improved the telescope. His observations of the heavens confirmed the Copernican theory.


1571-1630), a German astronomer and mathematician, determined that the planets follow an elliptical, not a circular, orbit in revolving about the sun. Kepler's findings help explain the paths followed by human-made satellites today.


(1578-1657), an English physician, demonstrated that blood circulates through the body. His research furthered the study of medicine.


(1596-1650) was a French scientist, mathematician, and philosopher. He discovered laws of optics and is considered the founder of analytic geometry. His philosophy is summed up in his words "I think, therefore I am."


(1627-1691), an English chemist, discovered a law of gases that is fundamental to modern chemistry


(1632-1723), a Dutch naturalist, perfected the microscope. With this instrument, Leeuwenhoek studied a heretofore invisible world of bacteria, protozoa, and animal and plant cells.


(1642-1727) was an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. He invented a method of mathematical analysis called calculus, discovered laws of light and color, formulated the laws of motion, and calculated the law of gravitation. Newton's scientific ideas were set forth in his book Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

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