This month’s Science title


Kepler and the universe : how one man revolutionized astronomy

by David Love

A contemporary of Galileo and a forerunner of Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a pioneering German scientist and a pivotal figure in the history of astronomy. This colorful biography brings the man and his scientific discoveries to life, showing how his contributions were every bit as important as those of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. It was Kepler who first advocated the completely new concept of a physical force emanating from the sun that controls the motion of the planets–today we call this gravity and take it for granted. He also established that the orbits of the planets were elliptical in shape and not circular. And his three laws of planetary motion are still used by contemporary astronomers and space scientists. The author focuses not just on these and other momentous breakthroughs but also on Kepler’s arduous life, punctuated by frequent tragedy and hardships, including being frequently caught up in the religious conflicts of the day. Intermingling historical and personal details of Kepler’s life with lucid explanations of his scientific research, this book presents a sympathetic portrait of the man and underscores the critical importance of Kepler’s discoveries in the history of astronomy.


Check availability in Library Catalog

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