Johannes Kepler

29 Dec, 2016 520 Astronomy

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571 - 1630). Although he is overshadowed today by Isaac Newton and Galileo, he is considered by many to be one of the greatest scientists in history. The three laws of planetary motion Kepler developed transformed people’s understanding of the Solar System and laid the foundations for the revolutionary ideas Isaac Newton produced later. Kepler is also thought to have written one of the first works of science fiction. However, he faced a number of challenges. He had to defend his mother from charges of witchcraft, he had few financial resources and his career suffered as a result of his Lutheran faith.

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  • David Wootton 16 episodes
    Professor of History at the University of York
  • Ulinka Rublack 3 episodes
    Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College
  • Adam Mosley 3 episodes
    Associate Professor in the Department of History at Swansea University

Reading list

  • Kepler
    Max Caspar (trans. C. Doris Hellman) (Dover Publications, 2003) Google Books →
  • Tycho and Kepler: The Unlikely Partnership That Forever Changed Our Understanding of the Heavens
    Kitty Ferguson (Walker & Company, 2002) Google Books →
  • The Six-Cornered Snowflake
    Johannes Kepler (trans. C. Hardie) (Oxford University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology
    John North (University of Chicago Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Astronomer & the Witch: Johannes Kepler's Fight for His Mother
    Ulinka Rublack (Oxford University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy
    James R. Voelkel (Oxford University Press, 1999) Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler is widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time.