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The Cosmic Engine Syllabus Notes

1. Our Sun is just one star in the galaxy and ours is just one galaxy in the Universe
3.1 outline the historical development of models of the Universe from the time of Aristotle to the time of Newton GEOCENTRIC MODEL: A model of the universe where the earth is placed at the centre Aristotle (384 322 BC): Used a logical cause and effect approach to explain physical events Argued that the earth was round rather than flat and provided three different proofs. He also believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe Believed the sun, the moon and the visible planets as well as a celestial sphere (containing all the stars) revolved around the earth His model consisted of 55 transparent concentric spheres rotating around the earth to explain the observed motion of the stars and planets

Aristarchus (circa 240 BC): Proposed a heliocentric model that had the sun placed at the centre of the universe with the earth orbiting around it Also suggested that the Earth rotated on an axis once per day that gave the apparent motion of sun and stars His view was not accepted due to a lack of proof and technology

Ptolemy (140 AD): Developed and refined Aristotles geocentric model Contrived a notion of epicycles (circles within circles) which was successful in explaining the apparent Retrograde Motion of the planets

HELIOCENTRIC MODEL: A model of the universe where the sun is placed at the centre Nicholas Copernicus (1473 1542): In 1954, he proposed that the sun was stationary at the centre of the universe and that everything else revolved around it in CIRCLES. His work was branded heretical by the church and due to a lack of technology

Tycho Brahe (1546 1601): In the late 1500s he studied and plotted the night sky with meticulous care and accuracy in a regimen of regular and methodical nightly observations Designed and constructed his own astronomical measuring instruments He combined both a geocentric and heliocentric model he place the earth as being stationary with the sun revolving around the earth but everything else revolving around the sun.

Johannes Kepler (1571 1630): Was a clever mathematician (Brahes assistant) who published planetary orbits based on geometric shapes. Was a strong believer in the Copernican (heliocentric) model - he inherited Brahes data and was able to find a mathematical basis for the motion of the planets. He proposed 3 Laws

The Law of Ellipses: each planet moves around the sun in ellipses not circles. The Law of Areas: planets along their elliptical orbits sweep out equal areas in equal periods of time (the closer the planet to the sun, the faster they travel along their orbit) The Law of Periods: the period (T) of the orbit of a planet (the time it takes to complete on orbit) is related to the average radius.



Galileo Galilei (1564 1642): Believed in a heliocentric model and that there might be inhabited worlds in the universe other than our own Made his own telescope and was the first one to point it at the night sky discovered that Jupiter had 4 moons that orbited Jupiter NOT Earth This disproved the Ptolemy model and was favourable of the Copernican (heliocentric) model

Isaac Newton (1643 1727): Published theories about the motions of objects as well as a new type of mathematics (calculus) needed to analyse these motions.

The Law of Universal Gravitation: describes the force of gravity that exists between any two masses (but especially large ones such as planets)