The Renaissance takes its name from a change in the way of thinking. In an effort to learn, people wanted to understand the world around them. This study of the world and how it works resulted in a new age of science.
Science and Art
Science and art were very closely related. Artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, would study anatomy to better understand the body so they could create better paintings and sculptures. Architects such as Filippo Brunelleschi made advances in math in order to design buildings.
The Scientific Revolution
Near the end of the Renaissance, the scientific revolution began. This was a time of great discoveries in science and mathematics. Scientists like Francis Bacon, Galileo, Rene Descartes, and Isaac Newtonmade discoveries that would change the world. Isaac Newton described universal gravitation as well as the three laws of movement.
The most important invention of the Renaissance, and perhaps in the history of the world, was the printing press. It was invented by German Johannes Gutenberg around 1440. By 1500 there were printing presses throughout Europe. The printing press allowed for information to be distributed to a wide audience. This helped to spread new scientific discoveries as well as to share their works.
The Scientific Method was further developed during the Renaissance. Galileo used controlled experiments and analyzed data to prove, or disprove, his theories. The process was later refined by scientists such as Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton. Everything was based on experimentation.
Many of the great scientific discoveries made during the Renaissance were in the area of astronomy.
- Copernicus said that the Sun was the center of the universe and that the Earth and the planets orbited the Sun. However very few people believed him.
- Galileo was one of the greatest scientists in history. Galileo was already interested in studying the planets so he improved the telescope and constructed new models.
- Kepler was a German astronomer who developed the three laws of planetary motion and supported Copernicus’ view of the planets orbiting the Sun. He also charted the orbit and position of many of the planets.
There were also inventions that advanced warfare. This included cannons and muskets which fired metal balls using gunpowder.
There were great improvements in medicine:
- Andreas Vesalius was important for his cadaver´s dissections and also because he laid the foundations of modern physiology.
- William Harvey discovered the principle of the circulation of the blood through the body.