Unformatted text preview: alled. Watching a lam p os cillate in
the cathedral of Pis a, dropping bodies from the leaning tower of Pis a, rolling balls down inclined planes ,
noticing the m agnifying effect of water in a s pherical glas s vas e, s uch was the nature of Galileo's experim ents
and obs ervations . As can be s een, they m ight jus t as well have been perform ed by the Greeks . At any rate, it
was thanks to s uch experim ents that Galileo dis covered the fundam ental law of dynam ics , according to which
the acceleration im parted to a body is proportional to the force acting upon it.
The next advance was due to Newton, the greates t s cientis t of all tim e, if account be taken of his joint
contributions to m athem atics and phys ics . As a phys icis t, he was of cours e an ardent adherent of the em pirical
m ethod, but his greates t title to fam e lies in another direction. Prior to Newton, m athem atics , chiefly in the form
of geom etry, had been s tudied as a fine art without any view to its phys ical applications other than very trivial
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This document was uploaded on 03/23/2014.
- Summer '14