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Year 11 Preliminary Physics
Assessment Tasks
Year 11 Preliminary Physics
Assessment Tasks

Research Report – Models of the Universe
Research Report – Models of the Universe

Date Due: Friday 31st Agust
Weighting: 15%

Abstract
The Universe is where everything exists, matter and energy. There are two main models of the universe: the geocentric model and the heliocentric model. The geocentric model is where the Sun and other planets, moons and stars revolve around the Earth. The heliocentric model states that the Earth and other planets rotate around the Sun. Scientists such as Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton were vital in proving that heliocentrism is true. This includes Galileo studies of the moons of Jupiter, Kepler’s Law of Planetary Motion and Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation. Kepler’s 3 laws of planetary motion were the:

* Laws of Ellipses
* Laws of Areas
* Laws of Periods
The major fault in Kepler’s model of the universe and any astronomers during his time was that their model was too “brief” and is only a small part out of the whole universe. We now know that the universe extends beyond the Solar System and that it is expanding. Kepler however, did not know this due to the lack of technological advances such as advance telescopes, satellites and space probes that stopped them from investigating further. The Roman Church however, had adopted the geocentric model of the universe for thousands of years. They see people who supported the heliocentric model as a crime and must be punished. The church had lots of influences in the society as the geocentric model was widely accepted while the heliocentric model was still trying to be proven.

The Universe
The Universe was a term used throughout history that is meant to define everything that can exist or that we know exists. The Universe was huge and is now known that it is expanding. Throughout history, different models of the Universe were made by different scientist where each of them contributed ideas in today’s model of our Universe. During the lifetime of German astronomer Johannes Kepler there was a very limited amount of knowledge about the universe. The part of the universe that was known to the people during his lifetime was the Sun, the Earth, the known planets including Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn (NOTE: Uranus, Pluto and Neptune were not known during Kepler’s lifetime), the few known moons including the Earth’s Moon, Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa. Comets such as the Halley’s Comet were also known during his time and the comet was actually observed by him in 1607. The universe had two main models during the Kepler’s time, and that was the geocentric model and the heliocentric model which is talked about later on the essay. Historical Development of Models of the Universe

Date | Scientist who proposed the model/theory| What they proposed| Image of their proposed model/theory| 384 BC to 322 BC| Aristotle| Aristotle was widely considered as the earliest and one of the most influential thinkers of the universe. He was first to reason that the Earth was round instead of flat. However, he also believed that the Earth was at the centre of the universe and that the Sun, moons and visible planets revolve around the Earth. This model was known as the geocentric model of the universe. | | About 240 BC| Aristarchus| Aristarchus suggested that the Sun is much bigger than the Earth, the Sun is the centre of the universe and the Earth orbits it and that the Earth rotates on an axis once per day. This is known as the heliocentric model. However, he was not credited for the effort because it was not detailed enough to allow predictions. | | AD 140| Ptolemy| Ptolemy was the last ancient Greek astronomers. He designed an elaborate model of circles within circles that was really successful in predicting the observed motions of the universe. He also stated that stars rotate...
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