Biography Of Johannes Kepler

Biography Of Johannes Kepler


Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer who discovered laws for planetary motion, was an important figure in the  of 17th Century. Kepler was an important figure in the Scientific Revolution 17th Century. He confirmed the theories of Copernicus and laid the foundation for Issac Newton’s discovery of the laws of gravity. Kepler also contributed to optics by inventing a better version of the refracting telescope. Kepler wanted to prove that scientific reason could be used in conjunction with faith and belief in an intelligent God. He called his astronomy “celestial Physics.”

“I feel possessed and carried away by an unutterable rapture of the divine spectacles of heavenly harmony… I write books for the present or posterity. It’s all the same in my mind. It might wait for its readers for a hundred years, but God has waited six thousand years for the onlooker.”

– Kepler, Harmonices Mundi (1618)

Kepler was born in Weil der Stadt (near Stuttgart), Germany, on 27th December 1571. He was a gifted mathematician and loved astronomy from an early age. He attended the University of Tubingen where he studied philosophy, theology, astrology, and astronomy. He was introduced to the geocentric Ptolemaic and Copernicus systems of planetary motion. Kepler defended Copernicus’ Heliocentric view from both a religious and scientific perspective.

He accepted an appointment in Graz as a mathematics teacher in 1894 at the age of 23. He published his first major work Mysterium Cosmographicum in Graz. Although he later rejected the main thesis, his brilliant mathematics and clear reasoning made him a household name.

He married Barbara Muller in 1597. They had five children. Two of them died young. The marriage was sometimes difficult.


Biography Of Johannes Kepler


Biography Of Johannes Kepler

Kepler met Tycho Brhe in 1600. He was an influential scientist who served as the imperial mathematicsematician to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II. Tycho Brahe was impressed by Kepler’s mathematical abilities and gave him access to his detailed records of astrological data. This was a crucial step for Kepler’s future work. He was also appointed as the successor to Tycho the Imperial Mathematician on Tycho’s recommendation and the favorable impressions he made at the Royal Court. Kepler was appointed to this position for the rest of his life after Tycho passed away. Kepler brought his family to Prague. This was convenient timing as his family had been expelled from Graz because they refused to convert to Catholicism. The only official religion at the imperial court in Prague was Catholicism. However, Kepler’s imperial position allowed his family to continue their Lutheran beliefs even though they were not permitted to.

Tycho’s astronomical observations were used by Kepler to help him test the theories of Plotomy and Copernicus. Kepler concluded that all three theories were incorrect after a series of meticulous calculations. Kepler believed that his calculations proved that the planets rotated around the sun, but in an elliptical fashion. The speed of planetary motion is dependent on how close they are to the sun.

“I was nearly driven mad by the thought of calculating this matter. I couldn’t understand why the planet would prefer an elliptical orbit. It’s ridiculous! There is no other figure than an ellipse for the orbit of the planet.

– Kepler, Astronomia nova (1609)

His Astronomia Nova was published in 1609. These were his first two laws for planetary motion. He was eventually able to publish the third law of planetary motion, which stated that the farther the planets were from the sun, they orbited slower. Kepler was able to prove and explain the essence of planetary movement using both empirical data and mathematical proofs. This is something Galileo and Copernicus had failed to do.

Biography Of Johannes Kepler


Although Kepler’s ideas were not immediately recognized and accepted, they gradually became the correct view of planetary motion. Isaac Newton’s laws of gravity were influenced by Kepler’s work. Kepler’s observations, data, and calculations were used by Newton to create his theory of gravity. All of Kepler’s planet laws point to the laws governing gravity. Kepler referred to a force emanating from the sun that enabled planetary orbits.

“Gravity refers to mutual affection between cognate body towards union or conjunction (similar to the magnetic virtue), so the earth attracts a rock more than the stone seeks it.

Astronomia nova (1609)

Newton said later that “If I have ever seen farther than any other man, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants.” The Kepler work is an excellent example of this.

Kepler was also an advisor to Rudolph II, the Holy Roman Emperor. Rudolph continued to be interested in the work of his court scientists, particularly astronomy. Rudolph also requested Kepler to draw astrological charts. He also sought Kepler’s advice on matters of state. There was a lot of interest at the time in the stars and astrology, which bridged the gap between science and religion. A bright star was added to the night sky in 1604. The night-sky changes were thought to have great significance. This was combined with the 800-year cycle for great conjugations, which occurred at the births of Christ 0AD, 800AD (rule over Charlemagne), and 1600.

He published Astronomiae pars Optica in 1604. This book is widely regarded as the foundation of modern optics. It contains an awareness that images are inverted onto the retina by the eye’s lenses.

After Galileo observes satellites orbiting Jupiter using his telescope, Kepler began a correspondence with Galileo in 1610. Kepler enthusiastically responded, appreciating Galileo’s work and pointing out the importance of astronomy. Galileo’s invention of telescopes and optics was also used by Kepler to create an improved telescope that became the Keplerian or astronomical telescope.

Kepler was more than a brilliant scientist. He also had a good imagination and intellectual freedom. He published Somnium in 1611 (Dream), which described an imagined trip to the Moon. It contained autobiographical, allegory, and an explanation of astronomical laws.

Biography Of Johannes Kepler


King Rudolph, who was around 1611, abdicated to Matthias. Matthias was less enthusiastic about Kepler’s employment and, in 1612 Kepler moved to Linz.

His mother was charged with witchcraft and sentenced to prison in Linz Her mother was accused of making a woman sick with an evil brew. Kepler’s brother was involved in a financial dispute. Kepler’s work as an astrologist and the family’s unorthodox Lutheran views may have also been motivating the witchcraft trial. Witchcraft trials were quite common in those days, and anyone found guilty could be sentenced to death. Kepler, however, was able to defend his mother by getting the best legal advice. This proved that there were only rumors and not hard evidence. He released his Somnium manuscript with numerous footnotes explaining his allegorical ideas after her release.

After the death of his first wife in 1613, he married Susanna Reuttinger a second time. Although he retained Emperor Matthias’s employment, Kepler began to have financial difficulties due to the religious wars putting a strain on the Empire. He published Epitomeastronomiae Copernicanae in 1615. This was a summary of his elliptical views of heliocentrism. It was a key textbook in science and astronomy.

Kepler’s intellectual curiosity about harmony in nature continued into his final year.

“The variety of phenomena in nature is so vast and the treasures in the heavens so abundant precisely to ensure that the human mind will never be devoid of new enrichment.”

As per Cosmos (1980).

This includes musical harmony, as well as the evidence of harmony within meteorology and astrology. This was due to Kepler’s belief that scientific reason could be used to support and prove his religious views of the world.

“All laws of nature are within reach of the human mind. God created us in his image so we could recognize them and share his thoughts.”

He published his Rudolphine Tables in 1626. This was another important work. It was an extensive index of stars and planet tables.

On 15 November 1630, he died in Regensburg. His poetic epitaph was

I measured the sky, now I measure the shadows. Skybound was my mind, earthbound the body rests

Kepler’s time-consuming work was a huge influence and was often cited as a turning point for scientific reasoning and empirical data. Kepler’s semi-spiritual view of the invisible forces in the world and belief that God’s harmony are both a part of modern science, but later scholars consider Kepler to be an important figure in the transition between classical and modern scientific methods.


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