Unit 2: The Ordered Universe Assignment
1. Why was the Ptolemaic system accepted as an explanation of celestial motion for over a thousand years? What did it explain? What system challenged the idea that Earth was the center of the universe? The Ptolemaic system says that the Earth is the center of the universe. Everything else surrounded the Earth. The Copernican system challenged the belief that Earth was the center of the universe. The major difference between the Ptolemaic and Copernican universes is that the Copernican universe puts the Sun at the center rather than the Earth. Both systems both assumed that all orbits are circular though. 2. What were Tycho Brahe’s principal contributions to science? How did he try to resolve the question of the structure of the universe? Brahe’s scientific career fell upon his hands when he discovered a new star in the sky. His discovery gained him the access to funds and equipment which aided in his contributions we see today. He developed an aiming scope, a quadrant, allowing him to see exactly where planets were and the rotating spheres the planets moved in. His brilliant use of tools allowed him to cease all speculation about the structure of the universe. 3. What was Kepler’s role in interpreting Tycho Brahe’s data? The work of Brahe and Kepler, his assistant who succeeded him, proved that the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems are both inadmissible. Kepler took Brahe’s data and created three mathematical statements about the solar system. Brahe’s work led Kepler to unreveal that Earth is not at the center of the universe and that planetary orbits are not circular, which is called Kepler’s Law. 4. How did Galileo apply the scientific method to his study of falling objects? Galileo developed the problem/question: Do heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects. This inquiry was based on Aristotle’s research which says yes to that question. Galileo’s hypothesis became that objects of different weights fall at...
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