Show simple item record Bryan Roberts John Norton
dc.contributor.other Ed Grant
dc.creator and 2021-01-29T16:20:16Z 2021-01-29T16:20:16Z 2010
dc.description.abstract Galileo's refutation of the speed-distance law of fall in his Two New Sciences is routinely dismissed as a moment of confused argumentation. We urge that Galileo's argument correctly identified why the speed-distance law is untenable, failing only in its very last step. Using an ingenious combination of scaling and self-similarity arguments, Galileo found correctly that bodies, falling from rest according to this law, fall all distances in equal times. What he failed to recognize in the last step is that this time is infinite, the result of an exponential dependence of distance on time. Instead, Galileo conflated it with the other motion that satisfies this ‘equal time’ property, instantaneous motion.
dc.format talk
dc.relation.ispartofseries 2; Open: 3
dc.relation.isversionof Preprint,
dc.relation.isversionof Downstream publication: Roberts, Bryan & Norton, John. (2012) "Galileo's Refutation of the Speed-Distance Law of Fall Rehabilitated." Centaurus, 54(2), 148-164.
dc.subject renaissance and early modern
dc.subject physics, mechanics
dc.subject Galileo, intellectual history
dc.title Galileo's Refutation of the Speed-Distance Law of Fall Rehabilitated

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  • &HPS2 [29]
    12–15 March, 2009 – John J. Reilly Center, University of Notre Dame, USA

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