What Was The Scientific Revolution?
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The scientific revolution was a movement that took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe. During this time scientists began to apply what is known as the scientific method, whereby they used observation, experimentation, and special tools to discover the laws of nature. These newly invented tools included the microscope, thermometer, sextant (an instrument used by navigators to find the position of a ship), and slide rule (an instrument used to make rapid calculations). Among the most famous scientific thinkers were English mathematician Isaac Newton (1642–1727), English chemist Joseph Priestley (1733–1804), and French mathematician René Descartes (1596–1650). Scientists made revolutionary discoveries in astronomy (the study of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars), mathematics, and physics (the study of matter and energy), which became part of science courses taught at universities and secondary schools. The scientific revolution also gave rise to practical applications, such as new technologies (for example, farm machinery, weaving looms, steam locomotives) that led to the Industrial Revolution (mid-1700s–mid-1800s), a period of technological development that took place in Great Britain.
Further Information: Halsall, Paul, ed. "Scientifice Revolution." Internet Modern History Sourcebook. [Online] Available http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook09.html, October 20, 2000; Henderson, Harry, and Lisa Yount. The Scientific Revolution. San Diego: Lucent, 1996; Knox, E. L. Skip. Scientific Revolution. [Online] Available http://history.idbsu.edu/westciv/science/, October 20, 2000.
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