Johannes Kepler - Студенческий научный форум

XI Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2019

Johannes Kepler

Мосин И.А. 1
1Владимирский государственный университет имени Александра Григорьевича и Николая Григорьевича Столетовых
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Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer.

Kepler is a key figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution. He is best known for his laws of planetary motion, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.


Youth and education

Kepler was born on December 27, the feast day of St John the Evangelist, 1571, in the Free Imperial City of Weil der Stadt. His grandfather, Sebald Kepler, had been Lord Mayor of the city. By the time Johannes was born, he had two brothers and one sister and the Kepler family fortune was in decline. His father, Heinrich Kepler, earned a precarious living as a mercenary, and he left the family when Johannes was five years old. He was believed to have died in the Eighty Years' War in the Netherlands. His mother, Katharina Guldenmann, an innkeeper's daughter, was a healer and herbalist.

He was introduced to astronomy at an early age, and developed a love for it that would span his entire life. At age six, he observed the Great Comet of 1577, writing that he "was taken by his mother to a high place to look at it." In 1580, at age nine, he observed another astronomical event, a lunar eclipse, recording that he remembered being "called outdoors" to see it and that the moon "appeared quite red". However, childhood smallpox left him with weak vision and crippled hands, limiting his ability in the observational aspects of astronomy.

In 1589, after moving through grammar school, Latin school, and seminary at Maulbronn, Kepler attended Tübinger Stift at the University of Tübingen. He proved himself to be a superb mathematician and earned a reputation as a skilful astrologer, casting horoscopes for fellow students. Under the instruction of Michael Maestlin, Tübingen's professor of mathematics from 1583 to 1631, he learned both the Ptolemaic system and the Copernican system of planetary motion. He became a Copernican at that time. In a student disputation, he defended heliocentrism from both a theoretical and theological perspective, maintaining that the Sun was the principal source of motive power in the universe.

Graz (1594–1600)

Kepler's first major astronomical work, Mysterium Cosmographicum (The Cosmographic Mystery 1596), was the first published defense of the Copernican system. Kepler claimed to have had an epiphany on July 19, 1595, while teaching in Graz, demonstrating the periodic conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the zodiac: he realized that regular polygons bound one inscribed and one circumscribed circle at definite ratios, which, he reasoned, might be the geometrical basis of the universe. As he indicated in the title, Kepler thought he had revealed God's geometrical plan for the universe.


Marriage to Barbara Müller

In December 1595, Kepler was introduced to Barbara Müller, a 23-year-old widow (twice over) with a young daughter, Regina Lorenz, and he began courting her. Barbara and Johannes were married on April 27, 1597. In 1602, they had a daughter (Susanna); in 1604, a son (Friedrich); and in 1607, another son (Ludwig).

Other research

Following the publication of Mysterium and with the blessing of the Graz school inspectors, Kepler began an ambitious program to extend and elaborate his work. He planned four additional books: one on the stationary aspects of the universe (the Sun and the fixed stars); one on the planets and their motions; one on the physical nature of planets and the formation of geographical features (focused especially on Earth); and one on the effects of the heavens on the Earth, to include atmospheric optics, meteorology, and astrology.

Astronomia nova

The extended line of research that culminated in Astronomia nova (A New Astronomy)—including the first two laws of planetary motion—began with the analysis, under Tycho's direction, of Mars' orbit. Kepler calculated and recalculated various approximations of Mars' orbit using an equant (the mathematical tool that Copernicus had eliminated with his system), eventually creating a model that generally agreed with Tycho's observations to within two arcminutes. By the end of the year, he completed the manuscript for Astronomia nova, though it would not be published until 1609 due to legal disputes over the use of Tycho's observations, the property of his heirs.

Personal and political troubles

In 1611, Barbara Kepler contracted Hungarian spotted fever, then began having seizures. As Barbara was recovering, Kepler's three children all fell sick with smallpox; Friedrich, 6, died. Following his son's death, Kepler sent letters to potential patrons in Württemberg and Padua.

Kepler postponed the move to Linz and remained in Prague until Rudolph's death in early 1612, though between political upheaval, religious tension, and family tragedy Kepler could do no research.

On October 30, 1613, Kepler married the 24-year-old Susanna Reuttinger.


Last years

In his final years, Kepler spent much of his time traveling, from the imperial court in Prague to Linz and Ulm to a temporary home in Sagan, and finally to Regensburg. Soon after arriving in Regensburg, Kepler fell ill. He died on November 15, 1630, and was buried there; his burial site was lost after the Swedish army destroyed the churchyard.


Mysterium Cosmographicum (The Sacred Mystery of the Cosmos) (1596)

De Fundamentis Astrologiae Certioribus (On Firmer Fundaments of Astrology; 1601)

Astronomiae Pars Optica (The Optical Part of Astronomy) (1604)

De Stella nova in pede Serpentarii (On the New Star in Ophiuchus's Foot) (1606)

Astronomia nova (New Astronomy) (1609)

Tertius Interveniens (Third-party Interventions) (1610)

Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo (Conversation with the Starry Messenger) (1610)

Dioptrice (1611)

De vero Anno, quo aeternus Dei Filius humanam naturam in Utero benedictae Virginis Mariae assumpsit (1614)

Eclogae Chronicae (1615, published with Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo)

Nova stereometria doliorum vinariorum (New Stereometry of Wine Barrels) (1615)

Ephemerides nouae motuum coelestium (1617-30)

Epitome astronomiae Copernicanae (Epitome of Copernican Astronomy) (published in three parts from 1618 to 1621)

Harmonices Mundi (Harmony of the Worlds) (1619)

Mysterium cosmographicum (The Sacred Mystery of the Cosmos), 2nd edition (1621)

Tabulae Rudolphinae (Rudolphine Tables) (1627)

Somnium (The Dream) (1634)

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