In the history of science, the European scientific revolution was a period when advances in physics, astronomy, biology, human anatomy, chemistry and other sciences led to a rejection of doctrines that had prevailed in Medieval Europe, and laid the foundation of modern science.[1] According to traditional accounts, the European scientific revolution began towards the end of the Renaissance era and continued through the late 18th century, influencing the intellectual social movement known as the Enlightenment. While its dates are disputed, the publication in 1543 of Nicolaus Copernicus's De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) and Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human body) is often cited as marking the beginning of the scientific revolution. By the end of the 18th century, the scientific revolution had given way to the "Age of Reflection".

The concept of a scientific revolution taking place over an extended period emerged in the eighteenth century, before the French Revolution, in the work of Bailly, who saw a two-stage process of sweeping away the old and establishing the new.[2] Philosopher and historian Alexandre Koyré coined the term scientific revolution in 1939 to describe this epoch.[3]

Significance of the revolutionEdit

The science of the late Renaissance was significant in establishing a base for modern science. The scientist J. D. Bernal stated that "the renaissance enabled a scientific revolution which let scholars look at the world in a different light. Religion, superstition, and fear were replaced by reason and knowledge". Despite some challenges to Roman Catholic dogma, however, many notable figures of the scientific revolution—Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, and even Galileo—remained devout in their faith, and it can be argued that this revolution of science coincided with the religious revolution of the Protestant Reformation.

This period saw a fundamental transformation in scientific ideas across physics, astronomy, and biology, in institutions supporting scientific investigation, and in the more widely held picture of the universe. Brilliant minds started to question all manners of things and it was this questioning that led to the scientific revolution, which in turn formed the foundations of all modern sciences. The scientific revolution led to the establishment of several modern sciences.

Many contemporary writers and modern historians claim that there was a revolutionary change in world view. In 1611 the English poet, John Donne, wrote:

[The] new Philosophy calls all in doubt,

The Element of fire is quite put out;
The Sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit

Can well direct him where to look for it[4]

Mid-twentieth century historian Herbert Butterfield was less disconcerted, but nevertheless saw the change as fundamental:

Since that revolution turned the authority in English not only of the Middle Ages but of the ancient world—since it started not only in the eclipse of scholastic philosophy but in the destruction of Aristotelian physics—it outshines everything since the rise of Christianity and reduces the Renaissance and Reformation to the rank of mere episodes, mere internal displacements within the system of medieval Christendom.... [It] looms so large as the real origin both of the modern world and of the modern mentality that our customary periodization of European history has become an anachronism and an encumbrance.[5]

More recently, sociologist and historian of science Steven Shapin opened his book, The Scientific Revolution, with the paradoxical statement: "There was no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it."[6] Although historians of science continue to debate the exact meaning of the term, and even its validity, the scientific revolution still remains a useful concept to interpret the many changes in science.

New ideasEdit


The scientific revolution was not marked by any single change. The following new ideas contributed to what is called the scientific revolution:

  • The replacement of the Earth by the Sun as the center of the solar system.
  • The replacement of the Aristotelian theory that matter was continuous and made up of the elements Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Aether by rival ideas that matter was atomistic or corpuscular[7] or that its chemical composition was even more complex[8]
  • The replacement of the Aristotelian idea that heavy bodies, by their nature, moved straight down toward their natural places; that light bodies, by their nature, moved straight up toward their natural place; and that ethereal bodies, by their nature, moved in unchanging circular motions[9] with the idea that all bodies are heavy and move according to the same physical laws
  • The replacement of the Aristotelian concept that all motions require the continued action of a cause by the inertial concept that motion is a state that, once started, continues indefinitely without further cause[10]
  • The replacement of Galen's treatment of the venous and arterial systems as two separate systems with William Harvey's concept that blood circulated from the arteries to the veins "impelled in a circle, and is in a state of ceaseless motion"[11]

An innovative idea at the core of what is commonly called scientific method in modern physical sciences is stated by Galileo in his book Il Saggiatore in relation to the interpretation of experiments and empirical facts: "Philosophy [i.e., physics] is written in this grand book—I mean the universe—which stands continually open to our gaze, but it cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering around in a dark labyrinth."[12]

Many of the important figures of the scientific revolution, however, shared in the Renaissance respect for ancient learning and cited ancient pedigrees for their innovations. Copernicus (1473–1543),[13] Kepler (1571–1630),[14] Newton (1643–1727)[15] and Galileo Galilei (1564–1642)[16][17][18][19] all traced different ancient and medieval ancestries for the heliocentric system. In the Axioms Scholium of his Principia Newton said its axiomatic three laws of motion were already accepted by mathematicians such as Huygens (1629–1695), Wallace, Wren and others, and also in memos in his draft preparations of the second edition of the Principia he attributed its first law of motion and its law of gravity to a range of historical figures.[20] According to Newton himself and other historians of science [21], his Principia's first law of motion was the same as Aristotle's counterfactual principle of interminable locomotion in a void stated in Physics 4.8.215a19—22 and was also endorsed by ancient Greek atomists and others. As Newton expressed himself:

All those ancients knew the first law [of motion] who attributed to atoms in an infinite vacuum a motion which was rectilinear, extremely swift and perpetual because of the lack of resistance... Aristotle was of the same mind, since he expresses his opinion thus...[in Physics 4.8.215a19-22], speaking of motion in the void [in which bodies have no gravity and] where there is no impediment he writes: 'Why a body once moved should come to rest anywhere no one can say. For why should it rest here rather than there ? Hence either it will not be moved, or it must be moved indefinitely, unless something stronger impedes it.'[22]

If correct, Newton's view that the Principia's first law of motion had been accepted at least since antiquity and by Aristotle refutes the traditional thesis of a scientific revolution in dynamics by Newton's because the law was denied by Aristotle. The ancestor to Newton's laws of inertia[23] and momentum[24][25] was the theory of impetus developed by the medieval scholars John Philoponus, Avicenna and Jean Buridan. The concepts of acceleration[26][27] and reaction[28][29] were also hypothesized by the medieval Arabic physicists, Hibat Allah Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi and Avempace.

The geocentric model remained a widely accepted model until around 1543 when Nicolaus Copernicus published his book entitled De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. At around the same time, the findings of Vesalius corrected the previous anatomical teachings of Galen, which were based upon the dissection of animals even though they were supposed to be a guide to the human body.

File:Antoni van Leeuwenhoek.png

Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) was an author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica.[30] French surgeon Ambroise Paré (c.1510–1590) is considered as one of the fathers of surgery. He was leader in surgical techniques and battlefield medicine, especially the treatment of wounds. Partly based on the works by the Italian surgeon and anatomist Matteo Realdo Colombo (c. 1516 - 1559) the Anatomist William Harvey (1578–1657) described the circulatory system.[31] Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738) is sometimes referred to as a "father of physiology" due to his exemplary teaching in Leiden and textbook 'Institutiones medicae' (1708).

It was between 1650 and 1800 that the science of modern dentistry developed. It is said that the 17th century French physician Pierre Fauchard (1678–1761) started dentistry science as we know it today, and he has been named "the father of modern dentistry".[32]

Wilhelm Schickard (1592–1635) built one of the first calculating machines in 1623.[33] Pierre Vernier (1580–1637) was inventor and eponym of the vernier scale used in measuring devices.[34] Evangelista Torricelli (1607–1647) was best known for his invention of the barometer. Although Franciscus Vieta(1540,1603) gave the first notation of modern algebra, John Napier (1550–1617) invented logarithms, and Edmund Gunter (1581–1626) created the logarithmic scales (lines, or rules) upon which slide rules are based, it was William Oughtred (1575–1660) who first used two such scales sliding by one another to perform direct multiplication and division; and thus is credited as the inventor of the slide rule in 1622.

Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat (1601–1665) on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science.[35] John Hadley (1682–1744) was mathematician inventor of the octant, the precursor to the sextant. Hadley also developed ways to make precision aspheric and parabolic objective mirrors for reflecting telescopes, building the first parabolic Newtonian telescope and a Gregorian telescope with accurately shaped mirrors[36][37].

File:Denis Papin.jpg

Denis Papin (1647–1712) was best known for his pioneering invention of the steam digester, the forerunner of the steam engine.[38] Abraham Darby I (1678–1717) was the first, and most famous, of three generations with that name in an Abraham Darby family that played an important role in the Industrial Revolution. He developed a method of producing high-grade iron in a blast furnace fuelled by coke rather than charcoal. This was a major step forward in the production of iron as a raw material for the Industrial Revolution. Thomas Newcomen (1664–1729) perfected a practical steam engine for pumping water, the Newcomen steam engine. Consequently, he can be regarded as a forefather of the Industrial Revolution.[39]

In 1672, Otto von Guericke (1602–1686), was the first human to knowingly generate electricity using a machine, and in 1729, Stephen Gray (1666-1736) demonstrated that electricity could be "transmitted" through metal filaments. The first electrical storage device was invented in 1745, the so-called "Leyden jar," and in 1749, Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) demonstrated that lightning was electricity. In 1698 Thomas Savery (c.1650-1715) patented an early steam engine.[40]

German scientist Georg Agricola (1494–1555), known as "the father of mineralogy", published his great work De re metallica.[41] Robert Boyle (1627–1691) was credited with the discovery of Boyle's Law. He is also credited for his landmark publication The Sceptical Chymist, where he attempts to develop an atomic theory of matter. The person celebrated as the "father of modern chemistry" is Antoine Lavoisier (1743–1794) who developed his law of Conservation of mass in 1789, also called Lavoisier's Law.[42] Antoine Lavoisier proved that burning was caused by oxidation, that is, the mixing of a substance with oxygen. He also proved that diamonds were made of carbon and argued that all living processes were at their heart chemical reactions. In 1766, Henry Cavendish (1731-1810) discovered hydrogen. In 1774, Joseph Priestley (1733–1804) discovered oxygen.

File:Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz.jpg

German physician Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566) was one of the three founding fathers of botany, along with Otto Brunfels (1489- 1534) and Hieronymus Bock (1498-1554) (also called Hieronymus Tragus).[43] Valerius Cordus (1515–1554) authored one of the greatest pharmacopoeias and one of the most celebrated herbals in history, Dispensatorium (1546).[44]

In his Systema Naturae, published in 1767, Carl von Linné (1707–1778) catalogued all the living creatures into a single system that defined their morphological relations to one another: the Linnean classification system. He is often called the "Father of Taxonomy".[45] Georges Buffon (1707-1788), was perhaps the most important of Charles Darwin’s predecessors. From 1744 to 1788, he wrote his monumental Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, which included everything known about the natural world up until that date.[46]

Along with the inventor and microscopist Robert Hooke (1635–1703), Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1723) and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)[47], English scientist and astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742) was trying to develop a mechanical explanation for planetary motion. Halley's star catalogue of 1678 was the first to contain telescopically determined locations of southern stars.[48]

Many historians of science have seen other ancient and medieval antecedents of these ideas.[49] It is widely accepted that Copernicus's De revolutionibus followed the outline and method set by Ptolemy in his Almagest[50] and adapted the geocentric model of the Maragheh school in a heliocentric context,[51] and that Galileo's mathematical treatment of acceleration and his concept of impetus[16] grew out of earlier medieval analyses of motion,[17] especially those of Avicenna,[18] Avempace,[19] Jean Buridan,[18] and the Oxford Calculators (see Theory of impetus). The first experimental refutations of Galen's theory of four humours and Aristotle's theory of four classical elements also dates back to Rhazes,[52] while human blood circulation and pulmonary circulation were first described by Ibn al-Nafis several centuries before the scientific revolution.[53]

The standard theory of the history of the scientific revolution claims the 17th century was a period of revolutionary scientific changes. It is claimed that not only were there revolutionary theoretical and experimental developments, but that even more importantly, the way in which scientists worked was radically changed. An alternative anti-revolutionist view is that science as exemplified by Newton's Principia was anti-mechanist and highly Aristotelian, being specifically directed at the refutation of anti-Aristotelian Cartesian mechanism, as evidenced in the Principia quotations below, and not more empirical than it already was at the beginning of the century or earlier in the works of scientists such as Ibn al-Haytham,[54] Benedetti, Galileo Galilei, or Johannes Kepler.

Ancient and medieval backgroundEdit

The scientific revolution was built upon the foundation of ancient Greek and Hellenistic learning, as it had been elaborated and further developed by Roman/Byzantine science followed by medieval Islamic science and the schools and universities of medieval Europe.[55] Though it had evolved considerably over the centuries, this "Aristotelian tradition" was still the dominant intellectual framework in 16th and 17th century Europe.


Key ideas from this period, which would be transformed fundamentally during the scientific revolution, include:

  • Aristotle's cosmology which placed the Earth at the center of a spherical cosmos, with a hierarchical order to the Universe. The terrestrial and celestial regions were made up of different elements which had different kinds of natural movement.
    • The terrestrial region, according to Aristotle, consisted of concentric spheres of the four elementsearth, water, air, and fire. All bodies naturally moved in straight lines until they reached the sphere appropriate to their elemental composition—their natural place. All other terrestrial motions were non-natural, or violent.[56]
    • The celestial region was made up of the fifth element, Aether, which was unchanging and moved naturally with circular motion.[57] In the Aristotelian tradition, astronomical theories sought to explain the observed irregular motion of celestial objects through the combined effects of multiple uniform circular motions.[58]
  • The Ptolemaic model of planetary motion: Ptolemy's Almagest demonstrated that geometrical calculations could compute the exact positions of the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets in the future and in the past, and showed how these computational models were derived from astronomical observations. As such they formed the model for later astronomical developments. The physical basis for Ptolemaic models invoked layers of spherical shells, though the most complex models were inconsistent with this physical explanation.[59]

New approaches to natureEdit

Historians of the scientific revolution traditionally maintain that its most important changes were in the way in which scientific investigation was conducted, as well as the philosophy underlying scientific developments. Among the main changes are the mechanical philosophy, the chemical philosophy, empiricism, and the increasing role of mathematics.[60]

The mechanical philosophyEdit

Aristotle recognized four kinds of causes, of which the most important was what he called the "final cause". The final cause was the aim, goal, or purpose of something. For example, the final cause of rain was to let plants grow. Until the scientific revolution, it was very natural to see such goals in nature. The world was inhabited by angels and demons, spirits and souls, occult powers and mystical principles. Scientists spoke about the "soul of a magnet" as easily as they spoke about its velocity.

The rise of the so-called mechanical philosophy put a stop to this.[citation needed] The mechanists, of whom the most important one was René Descartes, rejected all goals, emotion and intelligence in nature.[citation needed] In this view the world consisted of particles of matter—which lacked all active powers and were fundamentally inert—with motion being caused by direct physical contact. Where nature had previously been imagined to be like an active entity, the mechanical philosophers viewed nature as following natural, physical laws.[61] But so did the anti-mechanist scientists such as Newton, and Descartes held the teleological principle that God conserved the amount of motion in the universe. Thomas Kuhn observed:

Gravity, interpreted as an innate attraction between every pair of particles of matter, was an occult quality in the same sense as the scholastics' "tendency to fall" had been.... By the mid eighteenth century that interpretation had been almost universally accepted, and the result was a genuine reversion (which is not the same as a retrogression) to a scholastic standard. Innate attractions and repulsions joined size, shape, position and motion as physically irreducible primary properties of matter.[62]

Newton had also specifically attributed the inherent power of inertia to matter, against the mechanist thesis that matter has no inherent powers. But whereas Newton vehemently denied gravity was an inherent power of matter, his collaborator Roger Cotes made gravity also an inherent power of matter, as set out in his famous preface to the Principia's 1713 second edition which he edited, and contra Newton himself. And it was Cotes's interpretation of gravity rather than Newton's that came to be accepted. Thus on this analysis mechanism was roundly overthrown by the Newtonian restoration of scholastic and Aristotelian metaphysics.

The chemical philosophyEdit

File:Sir Isaac Newton by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg

Chemistry, and its antecedent alchemy, became an increasingly important aspect of scientific thought in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The importance of chemistry is indicated by the range of important scholars who actively engaged in chemical research. Among them were the astronomer Tycho Brahe,[63] the chemical physician Paracelsus, and the English philosophers Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton.

Unlike the mechanical philosophy, the chemical philosophy stressed the active powers of matter, which alchemists frequently expressed in terms of vital or active principles—of spirits operating in nature.[64]


The Aristotelian scientific tradition's primary mode of interacting with the world was through observation and searching for "natural" circumstances through reasoning. It viewed experiments to be contrivances that at best revealed only contingent and non-universal facts about nature in an artificial state. Coupled with this approach was the belief that rare events which seemed to contradict theoretical models were "monsters", telling nothing about nature as it "naturally" was. During the scientific revolution, changing perceptions about the role of the scientist in respect to nature, the value of evidence, experimental or observed, led towards a scientific methodology in which empiricism played a large, but not absolute, role.

Under the influence of scientists and philosophers like Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen)[54] and Francis Bacon, an empirical tradition was developed by the 16th century. The Aristotelian belief of natural and artificial circumstances was abandoned, and a research tradition of systematic experimentation was slowly accepted throughout the scientific community. Bacon's philosophy of using an inductive approach to nature—to abandon assumption and to attempt to simply observe with an open mind—was in strict contrast with the earlier, Aristotelian approach of deduction, by which analysis of known facts produced further understanding. In practice, of course, many scientists (and philosophers) believed that a healthy mix of both was needed—the willingness to question assumptions, yet also to interpret observations assumed to have some degree of validity.

At the end of the scientific revolution the organic, qualitative world of book-reading philosophers had been changed into a mechanical, mathematical world to be known through experimental research. Though it is certainly not true that Newtonian science was like modern science in all respects, it conceptually resembled ours in many ways—much more so than the Aristotelian science of a century earlier. Many of the hallmarks of modern science, especially in respect to the institution and profession of science, would not become standard until the mid-19th century.


Scientific knowledge, according to the Aristotelians, was concerned with establishing true and necessary causes of things.[65] To the extent that medieval natural philosophers used mathematical problems, they limited social studies to theoretical analyses of local speed and other aspects of life.[66] The actual measurement of a physical quantity, and the comparison of that measurement to a value computed on the basis of theory, was largely limited to the mathematical disciplines of astronomy and optics in Europe.[67][68]

In the 16th and 17th centuries, European scientists began increasingly applying quantitative measurements to the measurement of physical phenomena on the Earth. Galileo maintained strongly that mathematics provided a kind of necessary certainty that could be compared to God's: "With regard to those few mathematical propositions which the human intellect does understand, I believe its knowledge equals the Divine in objective certainty."[69]

Scientific developmentsEdit

Key ideas and people that emerged from the 16th and 17th centuries:

Theoretical developmentsEdit

In 1543 Copernicus' work on the heliocentric model of the solar system was published, in which he tried to prove that the sun was the center of the universe. This was at the request of the Roman Catholic Church, as part of the Catholic Reformation's efforts to create a more accurate calendar to govern its activities. For almost two millennia, the geocentric model had been accepted by all but a few astronomers. The idea that the earth moved around the sun, as advocated by Copernicus, was to most of his contemporaries preposterous. It contradicted not only the virtually unquestioned Aristotelian philosophy, but also common sense.

Johannes Kepler and Galileo gave the theory credibility. Kepler was an astronomer who, using the accurate observations of Tycho Brahe, proposed that the planets move around the sun not in circular orbits, but in elliptical ones. Together with his other laws of planetary motion, this allowed him to create a model of the solar system that was an improvement over Copernicus' original system. Galileo's main contributions to the acceptance of the heliocentric system were his mechanics, the observations he made with his telescope, as well as his detailed presentation of the case for the system. Using an early theory of inertia, Galileo could explain why rocks dropped from a tower fall straight down even if the earth rotates. His observations of the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, the spots on the sun, and mountains on the moon all helped to discredit the Aristotelian philosophy and the Ptolemaic theory of the solar system. Through their combined discoveries, the heliocentric system gained support, and at the end of the 17th century it was generally accepted by astronomers.

Kepler's laws of planetary motion and Galileo's mechanics culminated in the work of Isaac Newton. His laws of motion were to be the solid foundation of mechanics; his law of universal gravitation combined terrestrial and celestial mechanics into one great system that seemed to be able to describe the whole world in mathematical formulae.

Not only astronomy and mechanics were greatly changed. Optics, for instance, was revolutionized by people like Robert Hooke, Christiaan Huygens, René Descartes and, once again, Isaac Newton, who developed mathematical theories of light as either waves (Huygens) or particles (Newton). Similar developments could be seen in chemistry, biology and other sciences, although their full development into modern science was delayed for a century or more.

Contrary viewsEdit

See also: Historical revisionism

Not all historians of science are agreed that there was any revolution in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. The continuity thesis is the hypothesis that there was no radical discontinuity between the intellectual development of the Middle Ages and the developments in the Renaissance and early modern period. Thus the idea of an intellectual or scientific revolution following the Renaissance is—according to the continuity thesis—a myth. Some continuity theorists point to earlier intellectual revolutions occurring in the Middle Ages, usually referring to either a European "Renaissance of the 12th century"[70] or a medieval "Muslim scientific revolution",[71][72][73] as a sign of continuity.

Another contrary view has been recently proposed by Arun Bala in his dialogical history of the birth of modern science. Bala argues that the changes involved in the Scientific Revolution—the mathematical realist turn, the mechanical philosophy, the atomism, the central role assigned to the Sun in Copernican heliocentrism—have to be seen as rooted in multicultural influences on Europe. Islamic science gave the first exemplar of a mathematical realist theory with Alhazen's Book of Optics in which physical light rays traveled along mathematical straight lines. The swift transfer of Chinese mechanical technologies in the medieval era shifted European sensibilities to perceive the world in the image of a machine. The Hindu-Arabic numeral system, which developed in close association with atomism in India, carried implicitly a new mode of mathematical atomic thinking. And the heliocentric theory, which assigned central status to the Sun, as well as Newton's concept of force acting at a distance, were rooted in ancient Egyptian religious ideas associated with Hermeticism. Bala argues that by ignoring such multicultural impacts we have been led to a Eurocentric conception of the scientific revolution.[74]

A third approach takes the term "renaissance" quite literally. A closer study of ancient philosophy, ancient mathematics and medieval science demonstrates that nearly all of the so-called revolutionary results of the so-called scientific revolution were in actuality restatements of ideas that had been stated centuries earlier. For example, atomism was thought of by Indian, Greek and Islamic philosophers, and they explicitly argued against the idea of heliocentrism. The scientific method was also already well known to Islamic scientists such as Ibn al-Haytham. This view of the scientific revolution reduces it to a period of relearning earlier ideas, specifically relearning ideas that originated with somebody other than Aristotle. This view of the scientific revolution does not deny that a change occurred but argues that it was a reassertion of previous knowledge (a renaissance) and not the creation of new knowledge.[74][75]

See alsoEdit

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  4. John Donne, An Anatomy of the World, quoted in Thomas S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought, (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1957), p. 194.
  5. Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science, 1300–1800, p. viii.
  6. Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution, (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1996), p. 1.
  7. Richard S. Westfall, The Construction of Modern Science, (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1971), pp. 34-35, 41.
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  11. William Harvey, De motu cordis, cited in Allen G. Debus, Man and Nature in the Renaissance, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1978), p. 69.
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  13. Thomas Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution, (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1957), p. 142.
  14. Bruce S. Eastwood, "Kepler as Historian of Science: Precursors of Copernican Heliocentrism according to De revolutionibus, I, 10," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 126(1982): 367-394; reprinted in B. S. Eastwood, Astronomy and Optics from Pliny to Descartes, (London: Variorum Reprints, 1989).
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    "Thus he considered impetus as proportional to weight times velocity. In other words, his conception of impetus comes very close to the concept of momentum of Newtonian mechanics."
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  34. Vernier biography
  35. Pascal biography
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  38. Denis Papin
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  40. Jenkins, Rhys (1936). Links in the History of Engineering and Technology from Tudor Times. Ayer Publishing. pp. 66. ISBN 0836921674. 
  41. AGRICOLA, GEORG (1494 – 1555)
  42. Lavoisier, Antoine (1743-1794) -- from Eric Weisstein's World of Scientific Biography, ScienceWorld
  43. Early herbals – The German fathers of botany
  44. Valerius Cordus | Science and Its Times: 1450-1699 Summary
  45. Carl Linnaeus
  46. Buffon and the Histoire naturelle :All Nature is so full, King's College London
  47. Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727), BBC - History
  48. Halley biography
  49. A survey of the debate over the significance of these antecedents is in D. C. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450, (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1992), pp. 355-68.
  50. Otto Neugebauer, "On the Planetary Theory of Copernicus," Vistas in Astronomy, 10(1968):89-103; reprinted in Otto Neugebauer, Astronomy and History: Selected Essays (New York: Springer, 1983), pp. 491-505.
  51. George Saliba (1999). Whose Science is Arabic Science in Renaissance Europe? Columbia University. The relationship between Copernicus and the Maragheh school is detailed in Toby Huff, The Rise of Early Modern Science, Cambridge University Press.
  52. G. Stolyarov II (2002), "Rhazes: The Thinking Western Physician", The Rational Argumentator, Issue VI.
  53. S. A. Al-Dabbagh (1978). "Ibn Al-Nafis and the pulmonary circulation", The Lancet 1, p. 1148.
  54. 54.0 54.1 Bradley Steffens (2006). Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist, Morgan Reynolds Publishing, ISBN 1-59935-024-6.
  55. E. Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1996), pp. 29-30, 42-7.
  56. E. Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1996), pp. 55-63, 87-104; Olaf Pederson, Early Physics and Astronomy: A Historical Introduction, 2nd. ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1993), pp. 106-110.
  57. E. Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1996), pp. 63-8, 104-16.
  58. Olaf Pederson, Early Physics and Astronomy: A Historical Introduction, 2nd. ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1993), p. 25
  59. Olaf Pedersen, Early Physics and Astronomy: A Historical Introduction, 2nd. ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1993), pp. 86-89.
  60. An introduction to the influence of the mechanical and chemical philosophies and of mathematization appears in Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1980), pp. 1-39.
  61. Richard S. Westfall, The Construction of Modern Science, (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1971), pp. 30-33.
  62. Kuhn (1970), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, pp. 105–06.
  63. Owen Hannaway, "Laboratory Design and the Aim of Science: Andreas Libavius versus Tycho Brahe," Isis 77(1986): 585-610
  64. Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest, pp. 18-23.
  65. Peter Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences, pp. 65–67, 134–38.
  66. Edward Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages, pp. 101–03, 148-50.
  67. Olaf Pedersen, Early Physics and Astronomy: A Historical Introduction, 2nd. rev. ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1993), p. 231.
  68. Stephen C. McCluskey, Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1998), pp. 180–84, 198-202.
  69. Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, trans. Stillman Drake, 2nd. ed. (Berkeley: Univ. of California Pr., 1967), p. 103.
  70. Edward Grant (1996), The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  71. Ahmad Y Hassan and Donald Routledge Hill (1986), Islamic Technology: An Illustrated History, p. 282, Cambridge University Press.
  72. Abdus Salam, H. R. Dalafi, Mohamed Hassan (1994). Renaissance of Sciences in Islamic Countries, p. 162. World Scientific, ISBN 9971-5-0713-7.
  73. Robert Briffault, The Making of Humanity p. 188.
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