Download Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography by Stillman Drake PDF

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By Stillman Drake

This attention-grabbing, scholarly research by way of one of many world's most appropriate gurus on Galileo bargains a vibrant portrait of 1 of history's maximum minds. exact bills, together with many excerpts from Galileo's personal writings, supply insights into his paintings on movement, mechanics, hydraulics, energy of fabrics, and projectiles. 36 black-and-white illustrations.

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The hom e of the Aristotelian school rem ained at Athens for some time thereafter, Theophras­ tus succeeding A ristotle as head of the Lyceum and being in turn followed by S trato of Lam psacus, who for a tim e had lived at Alexandria as tu to r to Ptolemv II. I consider it very dubious to look upon Ptolem y’s astronom y as P latonist in spirit (as many do) sim ply because it em phasized m athem atics. It was Aristotle, not Plato, whom Ptolemy explicitly cited, and Ptolemy was concerned above all w ith the fitting of m athem atical dem­ o n strations to actual appearances in the w orld of sense, a world which Plato considered essentially illusory.

Galileo's theory probably occurred to him while w atching this effect during a trip to Venice, by analogy betw een this w ater and th at of the sea beneath. If a sea-basin were moving irregularly, its w aters should be set in oscillation and tides would result. Assuming that the earth had the two Copernican m otions, one around its axis and the other around the sun, their speeds would be additive during half the day, while one would be sub­ tracted from the other during the other half. A sea large enough to have w ater near one coast moving appreciably faster than that near the oth er should then exhibit tidal oscillations whose period would depend on length and depth, east-west orientation, period of retu rn , and other factors in fluid m otion, every such sea eventually settling into its own characteristic cycle of ebb 36 37 Military Courses 1595-97 and flow.

15 In chapter 20, however, Kepler tried to relate the speeds of the planets to their distances from the sun. ) This had led in 1596 to a seemingly rem arkable agree­ m ent of observations w ith a specious rule relating planetary speeds and m ean solar distances. K epler’s original tabulation m ust have been very striking to Galileo, however little he was willing to accept K epler's rationalization of the figures he had obtained. The calculations I assign to 1602 are on f. 146,18 where there is but a single abbreviated w ord, mom[ent], which nevertheless identifies the n atu re of the calculations.

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