Abstract / Synopsis
At the beginning of his last major work, Galileo tackles an old paradox, Aristotle's Wheel, in order to produce a model of the continuum that explains (at least to him) how line segments of different length could be put into a one-to-one correspondence. His argument seems like a playful digression. However, it is precisely this type of a one-to-one correspondence that he needs to support his work on free fall. In this article, we investigate how Galileo's model for the wheel paradox informs his work on free fall. We also examine some of the reasons his results on free fall---results that were grounded in his notion of the continuum---were not readily accepted in his time.
© Olympia Nicodemi
Nicodemi, O. "Galileo and Aristotle's Wheel," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 4 Issue 1 (January 2014), pages 2-15. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.201401.03 . Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol4/iss1/3
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.