By A. Wolf, F. Dannemann, A. Armitage, Douglas McKie
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Additional info for A History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the 16th and 17th Centuries
42 HISTORY OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND PHILOSOPHY Water contained in a larger vessel was allowed to flow through a small opening at the bottom into a smaller vessel during the time of the fall under observation. The water collected in the smaller vessel was then carefully weighed, and the relative weights of water obtained during the different experiments yielded the relative times taken by the falling body for the various distances or angles of inclina tion. If the level of the water in the large vessel was maintained constant, then the resulting measure of time would be accurate.
Galilei’s Dialogue is one of the three greatest masterpieces of modern astronomical literature, the other two being the Revolutions o f Copernicus, and the Principia of Newton. And it has the advantage of being the most readable of the three. G a l il e i and th e C h urch of R ome At a comparatively early age Galilei, as has already been pointed °l*t, had become a convinced Copernican. The work of Copern*eus was on the Index of Prohibited Books, and Galilei had to be cautious. But in course of time his enthusiasm for the heliocentric ran away with him, and his dislike of Scholastic prejudice aj°d intoleran t must have betrayed him sometimes into utterances 36 HISTORY OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND PHILOSOPHY that were indiscreet in his time.
A smooth ball, made of polished brass, was then allowed to roll down the whole length of the groove, and the time taken to cover the whole distance was noted. The same ball was next allowed to run down a quarter of the whole distance, and the time taken was similarly noted. It was found that the time taken to cover a quarter o f the distance was half o f that taken for the whole distance, and the general result o f numerous repetitions o f the experiment was that the distances were proportional, for any given value of the inclina tion, to the squares o f the times required to traverse them.
A History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the 16th and 17th Centuries by A. Wolf, F. Dannemann, A. Armitage, Douglas McKie