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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - Galileo (continued), Astronomy in 17th and 18th Century England.doc

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Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

Lecture 10 – Galileo (continued), Astronomy in 17 and 18 Century England Thursday February 06, 2014 1. Galileo 2. 17 and 18 Century England 1. Galileo 8) Galileo’s vocal support of Copernicanism invoked opposition from the Catholic Church, which held to the geocentric statements in Scripture 9) Galileo retaliated by publishing a letter which argued that Bible stories are parables and not meant to teach astronomy 10) This led to the banning of Copernicus’ book and Galileo’s papal ban (in 1616) not to “hold or defend” heliocentrism 11) When his friend became Pope, Galileo published “Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems” (1632, a fictional debate between an Aristotelian, a Copernican, and a referee 12) The Aristotelian (“Simplicio”) was portrayed as a fool who spoke the Pope’s words, while the Copernican was wise and witty 13) The book included Galileo’s (incorrect) argument that Earth’s ocean tides are proof of Earth’s motion, a theory that the Pope had previously rejected 14) The Inquisition sentenced Galileo to house arrest for life and to publicly recant heliocentrism as heresy. His books were banned 15) Despite this, his telescope observations were widely circulated, and heliocentrism gradually became accepted after his death th th 2. 17 and 18 Century England 1) The power of the Roman Catholic Church over scientific discovery did not extend to England, where the Church of England encouraged scientific innovation Rene Descartes (1596-1650) th 1. His theories were taught in 17 century universities in place of Aristotle’s 2. He taught: (a) Empty space does not exist. Therefore, the space between celestial bodies is filled with an invisible fluid (ether) (b) The spinning celestial bodies have turned the fluid into a system of whirling vortices carry the bodies in their orbits (e.g. the planets whirl eternally around the Sun’s vortex) Robert Hooke (1635-1703) 1. As Curator of Experiments for the Royal Society, he tested theories in many branches of science 2. He argued, contrary to Descartes, that planetary motion is due to an invisible attractive force that acts across empty space (“gravitational attraction”) 3. Hooke’s suppositions on gravity: i. Gravitational attraction is universal, it’s the cause of motion both on Earth and in span. E.g. Earth’s gravity not only holds Earth together and and causes free- fall, but also holds the Moon in orbit ii. Gravitational attraction increases with proximity to its source. E.g. the closer a body is to Earth, the stronger Earth’s pull on it Isaac Newton (
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