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John Kepler

1571-1630. One of the founders of modern astronomy. Born near Stuttgart, he became a theological student, teacher of astronomy and mathematics, assistant to Tycho Brahe, imperial mathematical aide to Rudolph II, and astrologer to Wallenstein. His principal scientific discoveries were the three laws of motion which bear his name, the principle of continuity in geometry, and the Keplerian telescope. He worked also on the theory of optics and on the calculus and coined a number of scientific terms such as “satellite” and “camera obscura.” He was led to his discovery of the three laws of planetary motion by his belief in Neoplatonic mysticism. Although he accepted the Bible and the Christian religion, his understanding of nature was pantheistic. He thought the universe was an expression of the being of God Himself, and that the sun was the image of the Father.