The Scientific Revolution marks the development of modern science out of superstition. While it began during the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, marked by advances in astronomy, mathematics, biology, and chemistry, can be said to have lasted through the 18th century. Most scholars date the beginning of the Scientific Revolution to the publication, in 1543, of Nicholas Copernicus’ On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, which detailed how the Earth revolved around the sun, and not the opposite as was commonly believed.
The Scientific Revolution was characterized by a number of important discoveries. Galileo (1564-1642), who created his own telescope after hearing about its recent invention, discovered the moons of Jupiter, which supported Copernicus’ theories. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is frequently considered to be the leading figure of the Scientific Revolution. His Principa, first published in 1687, contains both his three laws of motion as well as the law of universal gravitation, all of which were seminal breakthroughs in scientific knowledge.
Vital to the Scientific Revolution was the development of the scientific method, the standard form of investigation that persists to this day. Systematic experimentation based on inductive reasoning, often formed by empirical observation, characterizes how scientists continue to explore the universe and the natural world.