Greatest Scientist of the 16th Century


The 16th century was the beginning of the modern era of extraordinary literature, great exploration, and especially science. It was in the 16th century where the advancements were made in the theories of cosmography, geography, natural history, and mathematics. This century witnessed great inventions in the fields of engineering, navigation, military arts, and mining. But these theories, inventions, and innovations would not be possible without these intelligent people.

1. Galileo Galilei

Popularly known as the Father of Modern Astronomy, Galileo Galilei was one of the most renowned mathematicians, physicist, and astronomers in history. Galileo developed several modern concepts which became the foundation of numerous research that is conducted in the present times. But he contributed a lot to the astronomical observatory, he improved the telescope which helped him discover the four largest moons of Jupiter, analyzed and observed the sunspots, and confirmed the phases of Venus. He also invented an upgraded the military compass and other instruments in science and technology.

2. Nicolaus Copernicus

Copernicus is known for the heliocentric theory in his book “About Revolutions” which discuss the theory that the Earth and the other planets revolved around the sun. At that time, his theory contradicted the geocentric theory that had been popular in the time of Ptolemy which states that the Earth and mankind were at the center of the universe. Nicolas Copernicus led a quiet life and he devoted his time to his scholastic quests. He spent most of his time studying law, medicine, and math.

3. Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer and mathematician and he was the one who discovered the ovoid movements of the planets around the sun. He was also the first astronomer who stated the fundamental laws of planetary motion. And Kepler’s most significant achievement was his discovery of the Kepler’s Star, Kepler Conjecture, and Astronomia Nova. He was a very prominent person in the field of astronomy that’s why a lot of astral elements were named after him like Kepler’s crater on Mars and The Kepler Moon crater. Aside from astronomy, Kepler also focused on mathematics. He was the one who came up with the Kepler Problem and Kepler Triangle which studied different aspects of geometrical progression.

4. Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes was one of the well-known mathematician, writer, and philosopher. He was always dubbed as the Father of Modern Philosophy. He was the first to point out the importance of reason for the growth of natural sciences. He also became popular because of his philosophical statement “I think, therefore I am” which he mentioned in his book “Discourse on the Method”.

5. William Gilbert

William Gilbert is known from his research about magnetism. He is also known as the father of electrical engineering, magnetism, and electricity. And apart of being a scientist, he was also an astronomer. Gilbert studied the moon’s surface without the use of a telescope and he concluded that the craters of the moon were in fact land and the patches on the moon’s surface were water bodies.

6. John Napier

John Napier

Napier was a Scottish physicist and mathematician who is famous for inventing logarithms. He is also the one who made use of the decimal point in mathematics and arithmetic common.

7. Willebord Snell

Willebord Snell or also referred to as WillebrodusSnellius was a Dutch mathematician and astronomer. He was responsible for discovering one of the greatest findings in the world of science, the law of refraction. He also developed a new method in calculating the mathematical function of Pi which led to development in mathematics.

8. Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe was a renowned Danish astronomer. He was famous for his work in developing astronomical instruments and his near-accurate positioning of the stars without the use of a telescope. He also worked on improving paper manufacturing technique while he continued to observe the sky. On November 1572, Brahe discovered a new star.

9. Johann Bayer

Bayer was a cartographer and lawyer. He was known for his work in on determining the positions of objects on the celestial sphere. He is also famous for his star atlas that was first published in 1603.

10. Gabriele Falloppio

Falloppio was one of the well-known physicians and anatomist in the sixteenth century. He was famous for his work and studies about the anatomy of the head. Falloppio was also the first one to point out the connection between the middle ear and the mastoid cells.

11. Thomas Harriot

Harriot was a mathematician, translator, astronomer, and ethnographer. He was famous for his contributions in astronomy and mathematics. He is known for creating the symbols for “is less than” and “is greater than”.

12. Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno was an Italian poet, philosopher, mathematician, and cosmological theorist. He was known for his cosmological theories. He is also known for his theory that the stars were distant suns which are surrounded by their own planets. He also believes that the planets might have the possibility to foster a life of their own.

13. Pierre Gassendi

Gassendi was a well-known French mathematician, astronomer, priest, and philosopher. He is famous for his philosophical works in which he found a way between dogmatism and skepticism.

14. Simon Stevin

Stevin was a Dutch-Flemish physicist and military engineer. He pioneered the development and practical application of science like physics and mathematics in hydraulic engineering and surveying.

15. Conrad Gessner

Conrad Gessner was a Swiss philologist, bibliographer, naturalist, and physician. He was often described as the father of modern zoology and botany. He was also known for assembling a universal library of information by putting together a database centuries before computers exist.

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