The father of modern optics
450 years ago, in December 1571, Johannes Kepler was born. He is familiar to most through the planetary laws named after him. What is less well known is that he practically perfected the geometric optics. Both achievements are closely related.
Kepler's three laws are rightly considered revolutionary. As Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) assumed physical causes for the movements of the planets, which originated in the sun, he provided decisive arguments for the world view of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). The planetary laws, in turn, were a prerequisite for a quantitative description of nature, on which Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was able to found classical physics. Since then there has been no difference between heavenly and earthly rules.
Kepler was also earth-shattering in another area, namely geometric optics. He brought it to a conclusion that is still valid today (apart from the later quantitative formulation of the law of refraction). Both areas are more closely linked than one might initially think.
The decisive factor was the solution of the so-called sun dollar problem, where astronomy and optics meet…