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Natural Science - Year I

Unit 33: The Scientific Revolution

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Homework Assignment for Unit 33

This Unit's Homework Page History Lecture Science Lecture Lab Parents' Notes

Unit 33: The Medieval Era and the Scientific Revolution

Reading due before our discussion:

History Web Lecture: World Views

Science Web Lecture: Science Basics


Chat Preparation Essay

Post your essay answer to the questions below to the Moodle Unit 33 Forum before chat. Log into the Moodle (if you are challenged, use your own Scholars Online userid and password), click on the Natural Science course link, and then on the forum link for this unit. Read any other forum postings.

  • Select two of the people on the biography list below, and write a short biography for each one.
  • Select a scientific concept from the list below and write a definition for it. Post your definition to the Natural Science Glossary for this unit.

By way of review for the final, be sure that you know who the following people are:

  1. Clement of Alexandria
  2. Augustine of Hippo
  3. Boethius
  4. Isidore of Seville
  5. Al-Khwarizmi
  6. Jabir ibn Hayyan
  7. Avicenna
  8. Alhazen
  9. ibn Rushd (Averroes)
  10. Dionysis the Areopagite
  11. Gerard of Cremona
  12. Gerbert
  13. Dante Alighieri
  14. Johannus Sacrobosco (John of Holywood)
  15. Thomas Aquinas
  16. Leonardo da Vinci
  17. Andreas Vesalius
  18. William Harvey
  19. Maricello Malpighi
  20. Robert Hooke
  21. Antoine van Leeuwenhoek
  22. Zacharias Jansen
  23. Nicholai Copernicus
  24. Tycho Brahe
  25. Johannes Kepler
  26. Galileo Galilei
  27. Isaac Newton
  28. William Gilbert

By way of review for the final, be sure that you can say something about the following terms and concepts

Using any web or encyclopedia sources you need, create a timeline and properly locate on it (you may have to estimate some of these):

Think about how any two people in the biography list interacted: did one influence the other, over days or centuries? Did any two of the work together?

Prepare to answer the following essays on the final, one from each section.


  1. How does the concept of matter change from Aristotle to Newton? Compare the differences in the properties of motion of matter.
  2. Several of the scientists we studied this semester encountered resistance when their theories were first proposed. Chose one scientist and outline the arguments opposing his theory. What kinds of supporting arguments convinced those who accepted the theory? Be sure to use a specific scientist and specific examples of support or controversy!
  3. Chose one of the Arab philosophers we studied and explain how his theories affected a specific European scientist before or during the Renaissance.
  4. Revisit some of the books and their illustrations. How does scientific illustration change from the late middle ages through the Renaissance? How do we "illustrate" scientific principles now? How does the representation of a scientific concept affect its transmission or acceptance?


  5. Explain how distance (displacement), speed (velocity), and acceleration are related, using words and formulae. Explain the difference between instantaneous and average velocity, and between constant and varying acceleration. Show how velocity is a rate.
  6. A key concept in science is the concept of reductionism, or breaking down a large, complex object into components in order to understand it. An example would be taking a computer and showing how it is made of a keyboard, screen, motherboard, memory, and storage drive, then breaking each of those down to show how they are made of cases, circuits, and connectors, then breaking those objects down into metal plates, resistors, capacitors,transformers, and wires (I could keep going but you get the idea). How would you break down the human body into its constituent parts, from whole organism to cell?
  7. Explain how a rainbow works. Be sure to discuss the lens-like action of the raindrop on the light.
  8. Using concepts that we studied this semester, give examples of an hypothesis, theory, and physical law, and explain how the "physical law" gained its status.

Lab: No lab!

Quiz: No Quiz!