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Galileo presents to Cesi, founder of the Lincean Academy, a "little eyeglass" a microscope.

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The invention will enable the Linceans to study natural objects with unprecedented precision. They will start with bees, then move on to flies and dust mites. Aurochs go extinct. The book established the circulation of the blood and was a landmark in the history of physiology. Just as important as its substance was its method. Harvey combined observations, experiments, measurements, and hypotheses in extraordinary fashion to arrive at his doctrine.

His work is a model of its kind.

Timeline Science: The Ice Age

It had an immediate and far-reaching influence on Harvey's contemporaries. In the book, Harvey investigated the effect of ligatures on blood flow. The book also argued that blood was pumped around the body in a "double circulation", where after being returned to the heart, it is recirculated in a closed system to the lungs and back to the heart, where it is returned to the main circulation. Galileo Galilei first describes the Principle of Relativity, the idea that the fundamental laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames and that, purely by observing the outcome of mechanical experiments, one cannot distinguish a state of rest from a state of constant velocity.

Under compulsion, Galileo rejects the Copernican system. Francesco Stelluti publishes a summary of research on fossil wood conducted by himself and fellow Lincean Academy member Federico Cesi. Though resulting from meticulous research, the work reaches the wrong conclusion, describing the origin of fossil wood as inorganic.

Pierre de Fermat formulates his so-called Last Theorem , unsolved until This theorem was first conjectured by Pierre de Fermat in in the margin of a copy of Arithmetica where he claimed he had a proof that was too large to fit in the margin. Galileo Galilei demonstrates that unequal weights would fall with the same finite speed in a vacuum, and that their time of descent is independent of their mass.

Thus, freely falling bodies, heavy or light, have the same constant acceleration, due to the force of gravity. Jeremiah Horrox observes the first transit of Venus. Horrox or Horrocks was an English astronomer.


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He was the first person to demonstrate that the Moon moved around the Earth in an elliptical orbit; and he was the only person to predict the transit of Venus of , an event which he and his friend William Crabtree were the only two people to observe and record. Permission is denied, but he will publish Men Before Adam anonymously 14 years later, inciting both outrage and mild amusement among religious leaders.

Dutch anatomist Nicolaas Tulp produces the first formal description of an ape a chimp, bonobo or orangutan.

The History of Physics and Its Applications

The mezzotint printmaking method was invented by the German amateur artist Ludwig von Siegen. Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple. Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening the plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth, called a "rocker. A high level of quality and richness in the print can be achieved.

Workers dig up a skeleton in Flanders. A court physician to the Danish king observes the excavation, measures the skeleton in "Brabantian cubits," and attributes the skeleton to a giant. It will later be identified as a fossil proboscidian. Evangelista Torricelli invents the barometer.


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Christiaan Huygens invents the pendulum and applies its workings to create highly accurate pendulum clocks. Franciscus Hackius publishes a lavish book on the natural history and medicines available from Brazil, Historia Naturalis Brasileae. Irish archbishop James Ussher calculates the date of creation, based on the ages of biblical prophets. Using his calculations, theologians will identify the date of creation as on October 26, BC. William Harvey publishes Exercitationes de generatione animalium On Animal Generation explaining that all animal life begins as eggs, whether in birds, amphibians or mammals.

According to Joseph Needham, in this work Harvey: 1 presented a doctrine of omne vivum ex ovo all life comes from the egg , the first definite statement against the idea of spontaneous generation; 2 denied the possibility of generation from excrement and from mud, and pointed out that even worms have eggs; 3 identified the citricula as the point in the yolk from which the embryo develops and the blastoderm surrounding the embryo; 4 destroyed once and for all the Aristotelian semen-blood and Epicurean semen-semen theories of early embryogeny; and 5 settled the long controversy about which parts of the egg were nutritive and which was formative, by demonstrating the unreality of the distinction.

Otto von Guericke invents a vacuum pump consisting of a piston and an air gun cylinder with two-way flaps designed to pull air out of whatever vessel it was connected to, and used it to investigate the properties of the vacuum in many experiments. Guericke demonstrated the force of air pressure with dramatic experiments.

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In , he machined two inch diameter hemispheres and pumped all the air out of them, locking them together with a vacuum seal. The air pressure outside held the halves together so tightly that sixteen horses, eight harnessed to each side of the globe, could not pull the halves apart. It would have required more than 4, pounds of force to separate them. Danish scholar Ole Worm publishes Musei Wormiani Historia , a successful book about his cabinet of natural curiosities. Jesuit missionary Martino Martini publishes a manuscript explaining that documented Chinese history predates the time generally understood to mark Noah's flood 2, BC.

John Tradescant deeds his family treasures to fellow collector Elias Ashmole. Ashmole will later donate the collection to Oxford University, stipulating that a separate building is to be constructed for it. Foundation of the Royal Society, London, for the promotion of mathematical and physical science. Robert Boyle publishes The Sceptical Chymist helping to transform alchemy into chemistry.

Though an alchemist himself with his own cache of secret notebooks, Boyle begins writing up experiments for use by others. German physician Otto von Guericke pieces together bones from different species to make a fossil "unicorn. In his private museum in Rome, Virgilio Romano exhibits a Hippopotamus major canine tooth found in Pleistocene gravels along the Via Nomentana. Isaac Newton discovers that white light is composed of different colors. Robert Hooke observes cork under a microscope and uses the word cells to describe the tiny chambers that he sees. He publishes drawings of these cells, of fleas, and of other small creatures, in his book Micrographia.

Samuel Morland builds a mechanical calculator that will add and subtract. Niels Stensen Steno describes his dissection of the head of a giant white shark and correctly identifies shark teeth, still generally thought despite arguments to the contrary from Rondelet and Colonna in the preceding century to be serpent tongues. Natural historian John Somner finds woolly rhino teeth near Canterbury in Kent, and figures they might be the remains of a sea monster. John Somner. Francesco Redi publishes Esperienze Intorno alla Generazione degli Insetti Experiments on the Generation of Insects , which is regarded as his masterpiece and a milestone in the history of modern science.

At the time, prevailing wisdom was that maggots arose spontaneously from rotting meat. Redi took six jars and divided them into two groups of three: In one experiment, in the first jar of each group, he put an unknown object; in the second, a dead fish; in the last, a raw chunk of veal.

JWST Science Planning Timeline | ESA/Hubble

Redi covered the tops of the first group of jars with fine gauze so that only air could get into it. He left the other group open. After several days, he saw maggots appear on the objects in the open jars, on which flies had been able to land, but not in the gauze-covered jars.

In the second experiment, meat was kept in three jars. One of the jars was uncovered, and two of the jars were covered, one with cork and the other one with gauze. Flies could only enter the uncovered jar, and in this, maggots appeared. In the jar that was covered with gauze, maggots appeared on the gauze but did not survive. Knowing full well the terrible fates of out-spoken thinkers such as Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei, Redi was careful to express his new views in a manner that would not contradict theological tradition of the Church; hence, his interpretations were always based on biblical passages, such as his famous adage: omne vivum ex vivo "All life comes from life".

Jan Swammerdam dissects a caterpillar for Cosimo de Medici, demonstrating that the butterfly wings already exist inside the caterpillar's body. A year later, he will publish Historia Insectorum Generalis. Robert Hooke presents a lecture to the Royal Society claiming that earthquakes, not the biblical flood, have caused fossils to be found on mountaintops and buried in stone.

Niels Stensen Steno publishes Forerunner, showing diagrammatic sections of the Tuscany area geology, making the important point that sediments are deposited in horizontal layers.

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Agostino Scilla publishes Vain Speculation Undeceived by Sense arguing for the organic origin of fossils. The Greenwich Observatory is built. The book describes Newton's analytic methods, which would now be called calculus. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz invents the Staffelwalze stepped drum, or stepped reckoner , the first mechanical calculator that could perform all four mathematical operations.

History of Science

Its intricate precision gearwork, however, was somewhat beyond the fabrication technology of the time; mechanical problems, in addition to a design flaw in the carry mechanism, prevented the machines from working reliably. Despite the mechanical flaws, it suggested possibilities to future calculator builders. The operating mechanism, invented by Leibniz, called the stepped cylinder or Leibniz wheel, was used in many calculating machines for years, and into the s with the Curta hand calculator.