Galileo’s Free Fall Motion: Experiment and Theory
Organização:  CFCUL & CIUHCT
Ciências ULisboa
23 / 06 / 2022

Galileo’s creation of a new perspective on mechanics is seen as a fundamental step in scientific knowledge. Replacing the Aristotelian views with new conceptions of science, Galileo instituted the modern approach to the study of mechanical phenomena.
An illustrative example of the emergence of a new mechanics in Galileo’s work is the treatise “On local motion” inserted in Two New Sciences , “the book in which Galileo presented the mathematical theory of freely falling bodies which he had worked out some thirty years earlier” .
Galileo’s study of the free fall problem allows us to highlight his mathematical theory but also his insight into the scientific experiments he performed using strategies that have endured in experimental scientific research.
Although there has been widespread recognition of Galileo’s work over the last five centuries, historians and philosophers of science are still today divided in their interpretation of its significance, both mathematically and experimentally . This is also the case for the work on the free fall problem.
In this communication, we intend to present what we believe to be the mathematical and experimental achievements of Galileo in the study of free fall, highlighting its importance in scientific development. We will also discuss some of the controversies that arise from different views and interpretations of this Galileo’s study which we will try to place within the framework of the philosophy of science.

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