Copernicus to the Big Bang -
Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) discovered his laws of planetary
motion and is widely acknowledged as the "Father of Modern
Physics" for his use of observational data (mostly Brahe's)
and the application of mathematical modeling to astronomical

Johannes Kepler: His Life, His Laws and Times

Episode 21: Kepler's Three Laws - The Mechanical Universe   28:30
Cosmos: "Harmony of the Worlds" Start at 24:30 (32min)

Harmonies of the World
by Johannes Kelper and Stephen Hawking
Running Press, January 2005
ISBN-10: 0762420189

  Book Five of Johannes Kepler's great masterpiece on
  planetary motion is presented with an introduction by the
  ultimate authority on this topic, noted physicist and
  bestselling author Stephen Hawking. Modifying Copernicus's
  sun-centered model of the universe, Kepler's 1619 work went
  on to establish laws of planetary motion, forming the basis
  for Newton's discoveries some 60 years later. As part of our
  On the Shoulders of Giants series, this translation of the
  original edition of Kepler's monumental essay includes an
  insightful biography and a highly accessible summary putting
  into context the significance of Harmony of the World.

Tycho & Kepler: The Unlikely Partnership That Forever 
Changed Our Understanding of the Heavens
by Kitty Ferguson
Walker Books, March 2002
ISBN-10: 0802713904

  For more than thirty years-- mostly in his native Denmark
  and then in Prague under the patronage of the Holy Roman
  Emperor, Rudolph II-- Tycho had meticulously observed the
  movements of the planets and the positions of the stars.
  From these observations he developed his Tychonic system of
  the universe-- a highly original, if incorrect, scheme that
  attempted to reconcile the ancient belief that the Earth
  stood still with Nicolaus Copernicus's revolutionary
  rearrangement of the solar system some fifty years earlier.
  Tycho knew that Kepler, the brilliant young mathematician he
  had engaged to interpret his findings, believed in
  Copernicus's arrangement, in which all the planets circled
  the Sun; and he was afraid his system-- the product of a
  lifetime of effort to explain how the universe worked--
  would be abandoned.

  In point of fact, it was. From his study of Tycho's
  observations came Kepler's stunning three Laws of Planetary
  Motion-- ever since the cornerstone of cosmology and our
  understanding of the heavens. Yet, as Kitty Ferguson
  reveals, neither of these giant figures would have his
  reputation today without the other. The story of how their
  lives and talents were fatefully intertwined is one of the
  more memorable sagas in the long history of science.

  Set in a singularly turbulent and colorful era in European
  history, at the turning point when medieval gave way to
  modern, Tycho & Kepler is both a highly original dual
  biography and a masterful recreation of how science
  advances. From Tycho's fabulous Uraniborg Observatory on an
  island off the Danish coast to the court of the Holy Roman
  Emperor, Rudolph II; from the religious conflict of the
  Thirty Years' War that rocked all of Europe to Kepler's
  extraordinary leaps of understanding, Ferguson recounts a
  fascinating interplay of science and religion, politics and
  personality. Her insights recolor the established characters
  of Tycho and Kepler, and her book opens a rich window onto
  our place in the universe.