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PHYSICISTS and MATHEMATICIANS of EUROPE’S SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was the first person to turn a telescope on the moon, the planets, and the stars. His marriage of observation to mathematics and theory earned him the title “the father of modern science.”

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a mathematician and astronomer, best known for discovering three mathematical rules that describe the orbits of planets. The second law states that a line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time.

René Descartes (1596-1650) was a broad thinker who developed (among many other things) Cartesian (or analytic) geometry. If you’ve ever graphed equations on a plane with an x and y axis, you can thank Descartes.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a polymath who advanced geometry and probability theory, built the first calculating machines, and invented roulette. His experiments with fluids in open and sealed tubes proved that a vacuum was possible – an idea the scientific establishment had always dismissed.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is one of the most famous scientists who ever lived. He invented calculus (see Leibniz), formulated the laws of motion, and proposed the new idea of universal gravitation – he said it occurred to him when watching an apple fall from a tree.

Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) invented calculus, though Isaac Newton independently developed calculus and is more widely credited as the field’s founder. They were contemporaries, and feuded over the matter. Leibniz’s last laugh: it’s his notation we use today.

THE SCIENTIFIC TYPOGRAPHIES OF Dr. Prateek Lala: artistic representations of more than 50 influential physicists, cosmologists, and mathematicians – from Anaximander up to Stephen Hawking.

Images and descriptions reprinted from: Perimeter Institute 

UP NEXT:  Bernoulli, Euler, Fourier, Young, Gauss, and Hamilton 

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