(Studies in the Scientific Revolution)

Assignment 5: Due Thursday, 10/4/07

Exam Review Materials:

TelescopeGalileoReview72.pdf [2.5 MB] [726 KB] – this is a movie of Mercury passing in front of the sun. 

It gives you an ideas of scale.


Here is an animation of the sunspot drawings of Galileo: [4.1 MB]


Look over and refer to the Wiki-entry on Galileo.  It is as good of an overview as anything else I have seen.


Read this short part of Stillman Drake’s short book on Galileo: Drake_ShortIntroGalileoExcerpt.pdf. [2.4 MB]


Read the indicated excerpts and follow the math in this excerpt from Galileo’s Dialogue concerning Two New Sciences.


This means read with a pencil in your hand. You many need to consult a physics text to refresh your memories on freefall and pendula and uniform acceleration.  Read the beginning (160-173).  Read (185.5-end of excerpt).  I marked the numbers in red so that you would not be confused.


Read Drake_IntroToAssayer.pdf [1.7 MB] and then read this example from Galileo’s Assayer… This is fun reading.  It’s Galileo at his best/worst.

Galileo_ASSAYERShadedex.doc [170 KB] (warning, this is a .doc and will download differently…)

Skip the grayed out text.  Just read the fully black text.  (Feel free to read the shaded parts too if you want.)  I should point out that Stillman Drake, the scholar who basically owns Galileo, has conveniently edited out those arguments of Galileo that are not so convincing or are simply dead wrong by modern standards.  In my opinion Drake has really screwed up Galileo by all of his sly editing.  But Drake is the gateway through which we all must pass in order to read Galileo in English. 


Homework Suggestions:

-Analyze his experiments as described in Dialogue concerning Two New Sciences.  You could draw better diagrams and explain the experiments, or you could do the experiments and take pictures and explain the experiments. Be imaginative.  Consider how convincing these are.  Compare with Harvey, or Kepler, or Copernicus… etc.  I find it better and more interesting to look at a detail really well rather than try to cover the whole reading. 


-Write an essay about Assayer: How is Galileo trying to convince us that he is right?  Is Galileo a victim or is he promoting this idea for rhetorical purposes?  Look into various people that he drops into his arguments.  Who are they?  Draw up one or two of his arguments and discuss how convincing it is.  Do you like Galileo? 


Cite all sources.  Make it look good.  Production quality matters.

Extra Credit for the first person who emails me with both parts of this task.

      1) Identify the image at the top of this page.  (Inverted versions of this image decorate the syllabus page, This part has been claimed. SciRev Syllabus.)

      2) Giving the correct Italian quotation that naturally goes with this image. [Hint: It is only 3 words.] Claimed.





Drake, Stillman. Galileo. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.


Galilei, Galileo. "The Assayer." In Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, pp. 228-280. New York: Anchor Books, 1957 (1623).


Galilei, Galileo. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. Translated by and with an Introduction and Notes by Stillman Drake. 1st ed. New York: Anchor Books, 1957.


Galilei, Galileo. Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences. Translated by Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio. New York: Macmillan, 1914.

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