SPECIAL SESSION 9: Marking the 400th Anniversary of Kepler's "Astronomia nova"

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 11-14 August 2009


There is general agreement among historians of science that Johannes Kepler (1571-1630),
through the discovery of his three laws of planetary motion, is the father of modern
astronomy and a highly significant figure in the development of modern science. Kepler's
freeing of astronomy from the mindset of uniform circular motion and Galileo's
contributions to the understanding of terrestrial physics combined to help to break down
the notion that celestial physics was to be distinguished from terrestrial and opened the
way for Newton's formulation of mechanics and the universal theory of gravitation. At
this Special Session we shall additionally take the opportunity to recall the immense
contributions that Kepler made to  optics and the techniques of numerical calculation.

With its many descriptions of unsuccessful models and final successes, what Kepler has in
fact given posterity in his Astronomia nova is an account of the workings of one of the
greatest ever scientific minds. Kepler is also the founding father of modern optics. He
was the first to give a correct description of the optics of the human eye and the
pinhole camera, and he gave the first correct explanation of how the refracting telescope

At this Special Session, historians and Kepler specialists of note will explain and
discuss these new findings. Talks and posters on any aspect of Kepler's life and work,
and on the Keplerian scientific heritage are encouraged.
Invited speakers:

A. E. L. Davis (UK)
Sven Dupré (Belgium)
J. V. Field (UK)
Owen Gingerich (USA)
Giora Hon (Israel)
A. J. Mosley (UK)
Jay M. Pasachoff (USA)
Sheila Rabin (USA)
Bruce Stephenson (USA)
Jaroslaw Wlodarczyk (Poland)

Scientific Organizing Committee:

Stanislaw Bajtlik (Poland), Juan Antonio Belmonte Avilés (Spain), Allan Chapman (UK), A.
E. L. Davis (UK), J. V. Field (UK), Michael Geffert (Germany), Owen Gingerich (USA), Petr
Hadrava (Czech Republic), David G. Koch (USA), T. J. Mahoney (Spain - Chair), Rhonda
Martens (Canada), Jay M. Pasachoff (USA), Thomas Posch (Austria), Sheila Rabin (USA),
Bruce Stephenson (USA), Jill C. Tarter (USA), Jan Vondrák (Czech Republic), Jaroslaw
Wlodarczyk (Poland)

Further information at:

Conference email:

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 March 2009.

T. J. Mahoney
SOC Chair