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Laws of Motion


In the sixteenth century, Copernicus suggested that Earth and other planets orbited the Sun, but his model contained no physics. It did not say why the planets should orbit the Sun. Galileo was censured by the Catholic Church and forced to recant his belief in the Copernican model. He then realized that to ultimately win the Copernican model needed a physical basis. Galileo therefore started to quietly develop the new physics needed to explain planetary motions. Isaac Newton, who was born the year Galileo died, built on the foundation laid by Galileo. The resulting edifice, Newton's laws, was a grand synthesis that for the first time explained motions both on Earth and in the heavens with a unified set of laws.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Laser - Background And History to Linear equationLaws of Motion - History, Newton's Three Laws