AP World History : Science and Technology 1450 to 1750

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Science And Technology

Caravels were invented by __________ in the __________.

Possible Answers:

Spain . . . seventeenth century

The Netherlands . . . seventeenth century

Italy . . . seventeenth century

Spain . . . .fifteenth century

Portugal . . . fifteenth century

Correct answer:

Portugal . . . fifteenth century

Explanation:

Caravels are sailing ships that were invented by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century. Caravels had the advantage of being able to sail both with and against the wind, were small and extremely maneuverable, and could make accurate voyages over vast distances. The invention of the caravel paved the way for the age of European exploration.

Example Question #11 : Science And Technology 1450 To 1750

The Heliocentric Model of the Universe is generally credited to __________.

Possible Answers:

Luther

Newton

Tesla

Galileo

Copernicus

Correct answer:

Copernicus

Explanation:

The Heliocentric Model of the Universe states that the sun, and not the earth as was previously thought, lies at the centre of the solar system. The Heliocentric Model of the Universe is generally credited to the astronomer Copernicus. Indeed, the adoption of the Heliocentric Model is often called the Copernican Revolution.

Example Question #13 : Science And Technology 1450 To 1750

Which of the following statements about the Scientific Revolution is FALSE?

Possible Answers:

The most popular and exciting discoveries made during the Scientific Revolution were those that took place in the field of astronomy

At the time, scientists were not actually called scientists at all; instead, they were known as “natural philosophers”

The Scientific Revolution is generally defined as having occurred, for the most part, over the course of the sixteenth and seventeen centuries in Western Europe

The Scientific Revolution (unlike the swiftness which its name implies) was in reality a very slow, gradual process

The Scientific Revolution rejected the ideas and teachings of antiquity and the Middle Ages in favor of entirely new concepts

Correct answer:

The Scientific Revolution rejected the ideas and teachings of antiquity and the Middle Ages in favor of entirely new concepts

Explanation:

The Scientific Revolution was a slow, gradual accumulation of new discoveries, different schools of thought, and changed approaches to the universe. Despite its name, it did not actually take place at a fast rate; instead, it transformed Western Europe slowly but steadily over the course of two centuries, from the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century. The individuals who took part in this Revolution were not actually called scientists; at the time, the word “scientist” hadn’t yet been invented. Instead, they were known as “natural philosophers,” or men who studied and thought about the universe, Nature, and everything in between. Contrary to popular belief, the Scientific Revolution didn’t reject the teachings of antiquity and the Middle Ages at all. In fact, the Revolution’s natural philosophers were inspired by the concepts created by those (such as Aristotle and Ptolemy) who had come before them. These new natural philosophers embraced the work done by their predecessors and worked to update, reform, or fix any errors in these ideas. They married old information with new knowledge and discoveries, combining and investigating them both to expand their understanding of the universe. The many new discoveries and changes made in the field of astronomy generated the most excitement and drama among the Revolution’s contemporary researchers and academics. But many other fields, including medicine, biology, chemistry, and natural history, produced fascinating achievements as well.

Example Question #51 : Science And Technology

Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, in his work On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, challenged which ancient scientific worldview?

Possible Answers:

Empiricism 

Geocentrism 

Heliocentrism 

The epicycle system 

Scientific induction 

Correct answer:

Geocentrism 

Explanation:

In 1543, Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus published his work On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, which today is regarded by most historians as the starting point for the Scientific Revolution. In this piece, Copernicus challenged the ancient scientific worldview of geocentrism, which had been established by Aristotle and Ptolemy centuries earlier. According to geocentrism, the Sun revolved around the Earth, because the Earth, with its superior weight, was the natural center of the universe. Copernicus, however, had discovered that the real truth was just the opposite – in fact, the Earth revolved around the Sun. Copernicus’s model, known as heliocentrism, was hugely important because he provided a perfect beginning for the deep exploration of astronomy and other natural sciences that occurred over the entire course of the Scientific Revolution. Yet Copernicus was not at all a radical scientist; while his heliocentrism did indeed disprove Aristotle and Ptolemy’s geocentrism, Copernicus did not reject any of the ancient thinkers’ other astronomical principles. In his mind, Copernicus was simply correctly a flawed ancient model by proposing an alternate understanding of that same model. It would not be until many years later that Copernicus would begin to be celebrated as a revolutionary, transformative intellectual, a view which modern historians now generally regard as overly generous.

Example Question #51 : Science And Technology

Select the scientist who is credited with laying the groundwork for the later discoveries made by Sir Isaac Newton.

Possible Answers:

Tycho Brahe 

Johannes Kepler 

Nicolaus Copernicus 

Aristotle 

Galileo Galilei 

Correct answer:

Johannes Kepler 

Explanation:

Crucial to the later success of the famed scientist Sir Isaac Newton was the work done years earlier by Johannes Kepler. A German astronomer, Kepler lived and worked during the Scientific Revolution’s beginning. At first, he was simply a research assistant to the more famed astronomer Tycho Brahe, who was an ardent proponent of geocentrism and conducted vast numbers of observations of the planets, all without any equipment. All the data Brahe gathered over the course of his hundreds of observations would later become an invaluable database used by nearly every astronomer who followed after him. But Brahe completely rejected Copernicus’s heliocentric model of the universe. However, Kepler believed that Copernicus was right, and after Brahe died in 1601, Kepler took over his boss’s work. He immediately set out to investigate heliocentrism more deeply, hoping to prove Copernicus right and his old mentor wrong. In the process, Kepler discovered a crucial, and previously missing, piece of information about the universe: he found that the planets moved in elliptical orbits, not the circular ones that Copernicus and Brahe had both claimed. Kepler’s discovery of accurate planetary motion laid the groundwork for the later studies done by Isaac Newton, who directly relied upon Kepler’s findings to inspire and inform his own research.

Example Question #51 : Science And Technology

Select the first person to ever scientifically utilize a telescope to study the sky, planets, and stars.

Possible Answers:

Francis Bacon

Rene Descartes

Galileo Galilei

Isaac Newton

Ptolemy

Correct answer:

Galileo Galilei

Explanation:

Among his many other claims to fame, the Italian mathematician, inventor, and astronomer Galileo Galilei was the very first person to examine the skies, planets, and stars up close and personal by using a telescope. The telescope was a brand new invention, one created by Dutch eye-doctor and inventor Hans Lippershey in 1603. With his telescope, Galileo made numerous discoveries – new stars, moons, and never-before-seen features such as mountains on planets all were revealed before Galileo’s tireless eyes.

Example Question #52 : Science And Technology

Which of the following theories/ideas did Galileo NOT support?

Possible Answers:

A system of patronage between political and scientific figures

Widespread acceptance of Copernicanism

Rational mathematical laws

Heliocentrism 

Atheism

Correct answer:

Atheism

Explanation:

Galileo Galilei, in addition to being a truly innovative mathematician and scientist, was also just as outspoken and ambitious as he was brilliant. He wanted to share his new discoveries and theories with as many people as possible, especially the political and social elites of his day. His many writings, including his Starry Messenger and Letter on Sunspots, were written in such a way that his ideas, while obviously complex, were nonetheless more accessible and available to the average person than were the works written by nearly all of his other fellow scientists. His prose brought him to the attention of the infamous Medici family, who agreed to become his patrons and employed him as an astronomer, mathematician, and natural philosopher for many years. Over the course of his time with the Medicis, Galileo gained significant political skills and connections, with he used to further popularize his ideas. Galileo was an especially fervent proponent of the deceased astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and his heliocentric model. Eventually, it was this eye-catching combination of high level political associations, dramatic new theories, and unashamed bluntness that drew Galileo into conflict with the Catholic Church. He was not, however, an atheist, merely a Christian whose views were not directly in line with those of the church.

Example Question #13 : Science And Technology 1450 To 1750

Select the scientist who discovered and popularized the principle of gravity.

Possible Answers:

Rene Descartes

Blaise Pascal

Isaac Newton

Galileo Galilei

Francis Bacon

Correct answer:

Isaac Newton

Explanation:

When most people think about the Scientific Revolution, Isaac Newton and his famed affinity for apples springs immediately to mind. This is definitely warranted – Newton was one of the most prolific and successful scientists of his day. Newton lived towards the end of the Scientific Revolution; so naturally, he was very much immersed in the past findings of the many scientists who had lived and worked before him. In particular, he was inspired by the work of Johannes Kepler and his theory of elliptical planetary motion. Over the course of his career, Newton made numerous new discoveries in the field of astronomy while also pioneering the beginnings of physics. He is best known for his discovery of gravity, which he uncovered during his investigation into Kepler’s past planetary research. As Newton realized, every single object in the entire universe, including the planets, were all affected by gravity, a powerful force which pulled and pushed things together in mathematically perfect order.

Example Question #14 : Science And Technology 1450 To 1750

Select the scientist and philosopher who is known as the “father of empiricism.”

Possible Answers:

Isaac Newton

Rene Descartes

Francis Bacon

Tycho Brahe

John Locke

Correct answer:

Francis Bacon

Explanation:

Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, author, and lawyer, was a key part of the Scientific Revolution. Bacon was nearly frenetic in his interests; he was involved in almost every possible field, from politics to literature to scientific investigation. Today, he is best known because of his status as the so-called “father of empiricism.” Empiricism is the belief that observation and experimentation are crucial to human understanding; without personal observation, Bacon argued, any explanations or theories were fatally flawed and unacceptable. According to this theory, any scientist who wished to investigate the natural world should first spend a very long time observing the topic of his research, using the powers of his own five senses. Only through detailed personal study, Bacon believed, could any sort of scientific truth be discovered. (For this reason, he was a vigorous champion of Isaac Newton.) In keeping with this attitude, he ridiculed any scientist who hadn’t personally observed or studied natural phenomena.

Example Question #52 : Science And Technology

Which of the following options correctly defines the scientific principle of deduction?

Possible Answers:

Nature operates along a mechanistic, automatic route as dictated by genetic code

The belief that humans possess the God-given mental capacity to fully comprehend the mysteries of the universe

A detailed step-by-step methodology for conducting scientific research and investigations

True scientific understanding of the universe can only be achieved through personal observation of nature

Intellectual reasoning that begins at a basic idea and progresses towards specifics

Correct answer:

Intellectual reasoning that begins at a basic idea and progresses towards specifics

Explanation:

The scientific principle of deduction was devised by Rene Descartes, one of the Scientific Revolution’s most lauded men. Although he is today most famous for his invention of analytic geometry, in his own time Descartes was best known for his principle of deduction. Deduction is the belief that all intellectual reasoning (whether scientific or humanistic in nature) must first begin with a basic, central idea, which would then guide the thinker, in logical succession, to ever more specific and certain facts. Along with the theory of deduction, Descartes developed the scientific method (a methodology for conducting scientific research) whose emphasis on the importance of a hypothesis perfectly supports deductive reasoning. He was especially in favor of quiet, introspective examination, which he believed would reveal answers about the universe to the sufficiently deductive and internalized mind. While quite popular at the time, Descartes’s deductive reasoning gradually fell out of favor and was eclipsed by Francis Bacon’s principle of empiricism.

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