Johannes Kepler 1571 1630 is now chiefly remembered for discovering the three laws of planetary motion that bear his name. He also did important work in optics, discovered two new regular polyhedra, gave the first mathematical treatment of close packing of equal spheres (leading to an explanation of the shape of the cells of a honeycomb, gave the first proof of how logarithms worked, and devised a method of finding the volumes of solids of revolution that (with hindsight!) can be seen as contributing to the development of calculus.

Kepler's laws of Planetary motion

1. Planets move in ellipses with the Sun at one of the foci.

2. Planets sweep out equal area in equal time.

3. The time required for a planet to move around the Sun squared is proportional to the average distance from the Sun cubed.

Predicted the Transit of Venus for 1631. He got it slightly wrong for 1639, but Jeremiah Horrocks corrected his calculations.


Kepler had to hire several lawyers to defend his seventy-year-old mother incarcerated on a charge of witchcraft.
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