"La Dynamique est la science des forces accélératrices or retardatrices, et des mouvemens variés qu'elles doivent produire. Cette science est due entièrement aux modernes, et Galilée est celui qui en a jeté les premiers fondemens." Lagrange Mec. Anal. I. 221.
For more than a century English speaking students have been placed in the anomalous position of hearing Galileo constantly referred to as the founder of modern physical science, without having any chance to read, in their own language, what Galileo himself has to say. Archimedes has been made available by Heath; Huygens' Light has been turned into English by Thompson, while Motte has put the Principia of Newton back into the language in which it was conceived. To render the Physics of Galileo also accessible to English and American students is the purpose of the following translation.
The last of the great creators of the Renaissance was not a prophet without honor in his own time; for it was only one group of his country-men that failed to appreciate him. Even during his life time, his Mechanics had been rendered into French by one of the leading physicists of the world, Mersenne.
Withinin twenty-five years after the death of Galileo, his Dialogues on Astronomy, and those on Two New Sciences, had been done into English by Thomas Salusbury and were worthily printed in two handsome quarto volumes. The Two New Sciences, which contains practically all that Galileo has to say on the subject of physics, issued from the English press in 1665.