Physics and Astronomy in the Renaissance

In addition to the magnificent flowering of the arts in the Renaissance, the Renaissance period was also one of extraordinary advance in science, in particular in astronomy and physics. The course will examine this advance, emanating from the scientific developments in the European and Italian centers of learning during the Renaissance and at the start of the Age of Enlightenment, in the light of prior wisdom. To set the scene, it will start with a discussion of the true or mistaken views of the ancient Greeks and their transmission by Islamic centers of learning. However, the topics will center on the 'Copernican Revolution' of Nicolas Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei that was the beginning of observational science and astronomy. Also included will be the truly universal scientist,engineer and artist Leonardo da Vinci, the world's first cosmologist Giordano Bruno, and Sir Isaac Newton who culminated all this development with his Laws of Mechanics and Law of Universal Gravitation.

Course Information



4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Spring 2018

Peter Nemethy
MW: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM MEYR 122