Galileo and the Concept of Inertia

Galileo and the Concept of Inertia - Galileo and the...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Galileo and the Concept of Inertia Perhaps Galileo's greatest contribution to physics was his formulation of the concept of inertia : an object in a state of motion possesses an ``inertia'' that causes it to remain in that state of motion unless an external force acts on it. In order to arrive at this conclusion, which will form the cornerstone of Newton's laws of motion (indeed, it will become Newton's First Law of Motion), Galileo had to abstract from what he, and everyone else, saw. Most objects in a state of motion do NOT remain in that state of motion. For example, a block of wood pushed at constant speed across a table quickly comes to rest when we stop pushing. Thus, Aristotle held that objects at rest remained at rest unless a force acted on them, but that objects in motion did not remain in motion unless a force acted constantly on them. Galileo, by virtue of a series of experiments (many with objects sliding down inclined planes), realized that the analysis of Aristotle was incorrect because it failed to account properly for a
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online