The Physics of Aristotle versus

The Physics of Aristotle versus -...

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The Physics of Aristotle versus The Physics of Galileo Aristotle taught that the substances making up the Earth were different from the substance making up the heavens. He also taught that dynamics (the branch of physics that deals with motion) was primarily determined by the nature of the substance that was moving. The Dynamics of Aristotle For example, stripped to its essentials, Aristotle believed that a stone fell to the ground because the stone and the ground were similar in substance (in terms of the 4 basic elements, they were mostly "earth"). Likewise, smoke rose away from the Earth because in terms of the 4 basic elements it was primarily air (and some fire), and therefore the smoke wished to be closer to air and further away from earth and water. By the same token, Aristotle held that the more perfect
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Unformatted text preview: substance (the "quintessence") that made up the heavens had as its nature to execute perfect (that is, uniform circular) motion. He also believed that objects only moved as long as they were pushed. Thus, objects on the Earth stopped moving once applied forces were removed, and the heavenly spheres only moved because of the action of the Prime Mover, who continually applied the force to the outer spheres that turned the entire heavens. (A notorious problem for the Aristotelian view was why arrows shot from a bow continued to fly through the air after they had left the bow and the string was no longer applying force to them. Elaborate explanations were hatched; for example, it was proposed that the arrow creating a vacuum behind it into which air rushed and applied a force to the back of the arrow!)...
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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.

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