Galileo and the Equations of Motion

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Springer, Aug 17, 2015 - Science - 175 pages
This book is intended as a historical and critical study on the origin of the equations of motion as established in Newton's Principia. The central question that it aims to answer is whether it is indeed correct to ascribe to Galileo the inertia principle and the law of falling bodies. In order to accomplish this task, the study begins by considering theories on the motion of bodies from classical antiquity, and especially those of Aristotle. The theories developed during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance are then reviewed, with careful analysis of the contributions of, for example, the Merton and Parisian Schools and Galileo’s immediate predecessors, Tartaglia and Benedetti. Finally, Galileo’s work is examined in detail, starting from the early writings. Excerpts from individual works are presented, to allow the texts to speak for themselves, and then commented upon. The book provides historical evidence both for Galileo's dependence on his forerunners and for the major breakthroughs that he achieved. It will satisfy the curiosity of all who wish to know when and why certain laws have been credited to Galileo.
 

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Contents

1 The Theories on the Motion of Bodies in the Classical Antiquity
3
2 The Theories of Motion in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance
25
Part II Galileo and the Motion
61
3 The Young Galileo and the de Motu
63
4 The Inertia Principle
92
5 The Motion of Heavy Bodies and the Trajectory of Projectiles
117
6 Galileo and the Principle of Relativity
163
Final Considerations
168
Name Index
173
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About the author (2015)

Dino Boccaletti was Professor of Celestial Mechanics at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” from 1987 until his retirement, and was previously Professor in the Institution of Mathematics at the university. In addition to his teaching and supervisory responsibilities, Prof. Boccaletti conducted research in the fields of Physics of Elementary Particles, Theoretical Astrophysics, Theory of Gravitational Waves, Stellar Dynamics, Celestial Mechanics, and Mathematical Physics. He has published a number of papers in leading journals, including Nature, Physical Review D, and Astronomy & Astrophysics, and has acted as reviewer for various scientific journals. He is co-author, with G. Pucacco, of the two-volume Springer book Theory of Orbits, which is used for advanced courses in Celestial Mechanics and Stellar Dynamics at universities across the world.

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