Dialogues concerning Two New Sciences

By Galileo Galilei; Henry Crew et al. | Go to book overview

THIRD DAY

[190]

CHANGE OF POSITION. [De Motu Locali]

MY purpose is to set forth a very new science dealing with a very ancient subject. There is, in nature, perhaps nothing older than motion, concerning which the books written by philosophers are neither few nor small; nevertheless I have discovered by experiment some properties of it which are worth knowing and which have not hitherto been either observed or demonstrated. Some superficial observations have been made, as, for instance, that the free motion [naturalem motum] of a heavy falling body is continuously accelerated;* but to just what extent this acceleration occurs has not yet been announced; for so far as I know, no one has yet pointed out that the distances traversed, during equal intervals of time, by a body falling from rest, stand to one another in the same ratio as the odd numbers beginning with unityt.

It has been observed that missiles and projectiles describe a curved path of some sort; however no one has pointed out the fact that this path is a parabola. But this and other facts, not few in number or less worth knowing, I have succeeded in proving; and what I consider more important, there have been opened up to this vast and most excellent science, of which my

____________________
*
"Natural motion" of the author has here been translated into "free motion" -- since this is the term used to-day to distinguish the "natural" from the "violent" motions of the Renaissance. [Trans.]
A theorem demonstrated on p. 175 below. [Trans.]

-153-

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Dialogues concerning Two New Sciences
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Translators' Preface v
  • Introduction ix
  • [43] - To the Most Illustrious Lord Count of Noailles xvii
  • The Publisher to the Reader xix
  • Table of Contents *
  • First Day 1
  • Second Day 109
  • Third Day 153
  • Fourth Day 244
  • Appendix 295
  • Index 297
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