By Stillman Drake
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Extra info for Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography
Ments, ap art from the elim ination of speeds in favor of mom ents. It began this tim e w ith a rem ark about the erro r of Pappus in presum ing that some arb itrary force is needed to move any body along the horizontal plane “ It will be better," Galileo said, “given the force that would move the object vertically upw ard (which will equal the weight of the object), to seek the force that will move it on the horizontal plane. " Galileo then noted th at it is only at the beginning of m otion—the point of tangency w ith the vertical circle in his diagram taken from De motu — that the tendency to move dow nw ard is the same along the inclined plane and along the arc of the circle.
Galileo then noted th at it is only at the beginning of m otion—the point of tangency w ith the vertical circle in his diagram taken from De motu — that the tendency to move dow nw ard is the same along the inclined plane and along the arc of the circle. motions beginning along an inclined plane, along the arc of a circle supporting the body, or along the sam e arc when supported from the center of the circle as in the case of the pendulum . This opened a new field for investigations th a t w ere soon to follow.
W riting to an o th er friend a few m onths later, Kepler m entioned Galileo's letter and expressed his own view that no explanation of the tides could be correct which did not involve the moon, adding that anything caused by m otion of the earth in the seas w ould be a forced m otion, w hereas the tides m ust be the result of natural m otion. These events are of interest in showing how very, different were K epler’s and Galileo's con ceptions of scientific explanation. They also provide an oppor tunity here to clarify some com mon m isunderstandings of Galileo's tidal theory bv bringing in some fu rth er events of later years.