Johannes Kepler came to Prague as mathematician influenced by Copernicus’ theory and participated in Tycho Brahe’s group in the treatment of Brahe’s very precise measurements of Mars orbit. The tolerant social environment in Rudolfine Prague enabled him to carry out intensely his scientific activities in ideologically broken Europe at the beginning of the 17th century. In the years 1600 – 1609, Kepler worked in Prague on his magnum opus – Astronomia Nova. At the end of 1608, The Emperor provided his last financial support and in the spring of 1609 the Kepler’s tract was published and prepared for distribution at the Frankfurt spring book fair. The work comprised derivation and formulation of the first two laws of planetary motion in the Solar System. Kepler’s work Harmonices Mundi, comprising his third law, was published in Linz ten years later.
Kepler’s results completed the Copernicus‘ revolution in astronomy, they made fundamentals of astronomy more precise and became starting point of a new development phase of human knowledge concerning whole range of disciplines, as well as the philosophical view of the world.
Formulation of Kepler’s laws meant a final breakthrough into the scholastic Aristotelian physics and philosophy. They form not only sources of modern astronomy but also impulses of development of mechanics and its mathematical apparatus. Analytic geometry, differential and integral calculi found here their stimuli, leading eventually to theoretical solution of various technical problems. It was the time of Kepler’s contemporaries – Galileo, Bruno, Brahe, Hagecius – but also of those who were inspired by Kepler’s results – Descartes, Fermat, Desargues, Pascal, Torricelli, Harvey, Newton, Bernoullis, Huygens, Bacon, and many others.
More: Kepler musem in Prague