Ensnared in Circles: Galileo and the Law of Projectile Motion

  • David R. Topper


Circular Motion Binocular Rivalry Projectile Motion Scientific Biography Aristotelian Physic 
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  1. The law of projectile motion is presented in Galileo Galilei, Two New Sciences, trans. Still-man Drake (Toronto: Wall and Thompson, 1989), pp.147–148, 217–218, and 221–225. Stillman Drake and James MacLachlan, “Galileo’s Discovery of the Parabolic Trajectory,” Scientific American, 232 (March, 1975), pp. 102–110.Google Scholar
  2. Galileo Galilei, Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, trans. Stillman Drake (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), pp.164–167 (for a stone falling from a tower), 190–196 (for rotational motion at the equator), and 398–399 (for the ball in a bowl of water experiment).Google Scholar
  3. Galileo’s quotation on inertia is found in his “Letters on Sunspots, “reprinted in Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, trans. Stillman Drake (New York: Doubleday, 1957), p. 113. The letter of 1637 is quoted in Stillman Drake, Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), pp. 376–379.Google Scholar
  4. An alternative interpretation of circles and parabolas is by Ron Naylor, “Galileo, Coperni-canism and the Origins of the New Science of Motion,” British Journal for the History of Science, 36, No. 2 (June, 2003), pp. 151–181.Google Scholar
  5. On Galileo’s concept of inertia compare, Dudley Shapere, Galileo: A Philosophical Study (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974), Chapter 4 (“Galileo and the Principle of Inertia”) with Stillman Drake, Galileo Studies (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1970), pp. 240–278, and Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), pp. 376–377.Google Scholar
  6. The quotation about the Arsenal of Venice is by Ingrid Rowland, from her essay, “The Nervous Republic,” in The New York Review of Books (November 1, 2001), p. 12.Google Scholar
  7. The binocular rivalry experiment is mentioned in John R. Searle, “Consciousness: What We Still Don’t Know,” The New York Review of Books (January 13, 2005), pp. 36–39.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Topper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of WinnipegWinnipegCanada R3B2E9

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