Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler (yōhä´nəs kĕp´lər), 1571–1630, German astronomer. From his student days at the Univ. of Tübingen, he was influenced by the Copernican teachings. From 1593 to 1598 he was professor of mathematics at Graz and while there wrote his Mysterium cosmographicum (1596). This work opened the way to friendly intercourse with Galileo and Tycho Brahe, and in 1600 Kepler became Tycho's assistant in his observatory near Prague. On Tycho's death (1601) Kepler succeeded him as court mathematician to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. In 1609 he published the results of Tycho's calculations of the orbit of Mars. In this celebrated work were stated the first two of what became known as Kepler's laws. In 1612, becoming mathematician to the states of Upper Austria, he moved to Linz. He wrote an epitome of the astronomy of Copernicus in 1618, and in 1619 De cometis and Harmonice mundi (in which was announced the third of Kepler's laws). In 1626, Kepler moved to Ulm. After his death his manuscript writings, bought by Catherine II of Russia, were placed in the observatory of Pulkovo.

See biographies by M. Caspar (tr. 1959, repr. 1962) and A. Armitage (1966); A. Beer, ed., Kepler: Four Hundred Years (1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Johannes Kepler: Selected full-text books and articles

Kepler's Philosophy and the New Astronomy By Rhonda Martens Princeton University Press, 2000
Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 17th Century By Michael Windelspecht Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian's tip: "Kepler's Theory of Planetary Motion" begins on p. 115
Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures By Martin Quigley Jr Georgetown University Press, 1948
Librarian's tip: Chap. V "Kepler and the Stars"
The Sleep Walkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe By Arthur Koestler Macmillan, 1959
Librarian's tip: "The Young Kepler" begins on p. 225, "Tycho and Kepler" begins on p. 301, and "Kepler Depressed" begins on p. 344
From Myth to Modern Mind: A Study of the Origins and Growth of Scientific Thought By Richard H. Schlagel Peter Lang, vol.2, 1996
Librarian's tip: "Johannes Kepler" begins on p. 74
Measuring the Universe: Our Historic Quest to Chart the Horizons of Space and Time By Kitty Ferguson Walker and Company, 1999
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Johannes Kepler begins on p. 69
Astronomy through the Ages: The Story of the Human Attempt to Understand the Universe By Robert Wilson Taylor & Francis, 1997
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Johannes Kepler begins on p. 62
Absolutism and the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1720: A Biographical Dictionary By Christopher Baker Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian's tip: "Kepler, Johannes (1571-1630)" begins on p. 203
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.