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Octobeb 29, 1920]
GALILEO'S EXPERIMENTS FROM THE TOWER
Mr. Partridge's declaration (Science, Sept.
17, 1920) that " we do not know exactly what
experiment Galileo performed " from the lean-
ing tower of Pisa appears to me too sweep-
ing. In the first place, Vincenzio Viviani,
in his life of Galileo, speaks of "repeated
experiments" not of one "experiment." A
series of trials is what one would ex-
pect. It is highly improbable that Galileo
would perform an experiment before a uni-
versity assembly which he had not previously
tried out. The historic data are as follows:
(1) Viviani tells us that Galileo at the lean-
ing tower of Pisa used "different weights";
(2) Galileo in his "De Motu" (probably
written before he left Pisa) speaks of drop-
ping wood and lead from a high tower; (3)
In his "Dialogues concerning two new Sci-
ences," 1 Galileo lets Sagredo say:
But I, Simplicio, who have made the test can as-
sure you that a camion ball weighing one or two
hundred pounds, or even more, will not reach the
ground by as much as a span ahead of a musket
ball weighing only half a pound, provided both are
dropped from a height of 200 cubits.
Later Salviati says that "the. larger (iron
ball) outstrips the smaller by two finger-
breadths." On the remark of Simplicio that
perhaps the result would be different if the
fall took place "from some thousands of
cubits," Salviati replies:
If this were what Aristotle meant you would
burden him with another error . . . since there is
no such sheer height available on earth.
It is true that in the above "Dialogue"
Galileo does not give the place of experi-
mentation and does not mention the leaning
tower. But what other locality in Pisa
would have been as favorable? Prom the
above data it follows that Galileo dropped
different weights of a variety of materials
and noticed which of them fell faster.
i Translation by H. Crew and A. De Salvio, New
York, 1914, pp. 62, 65, "First Day."
That Viviani was in a position to speak
with authority follows from the fact that
soon after Galileo had published his "Dia-
logue concerning two New Sciences," 1638,
Viviani became his pupil and was in close
contact with him for three years, receiving
instruction which began with the theory of
moving bodies. Favaro 2 advances evidence
which shows that Galileo and Viviani became
quite intimate, Viviani admiring the old sage
and Galileo treating the young man as if a
University of California
JONATHAN EDWARDS ON MULTIDIMENSIONAL
SPACE AND THE MECHANISTIC CON-
CEPTION OF LIFE
If the Einstein conception of space is multi-
dimensional and inclusive of the essential con-
ceptions of time and place, then Jonathan Ed-
wards, whom John Fiske characterized as the
greatest mind of the Western World, may
prove to be the spiritual father of this geom-
etry. Thus wrote Jonathan Edwards: 1
Supposing that there are two Particles or Atoms
of Matter perfectly equal and alike, which God
has placed in different Parts of the Creation. . . .
If they are perfectly equal and alike in themselves,
then they can be distinguished or be distinct only
in those Things which are called Circumstances; as
Place, Time, Best, Motion, or some other present
or past Circumstances or Belations. ... If God
makes two bodies m themselves every Way equal
and alike, and agreeing perfectly in all other Cir-
cumstances and Belations but only their Place.
then in this only is there any Distinction and Du-
plicity. The Figure is the same, the Measure is
the same, the Solidity and Besistance are the same,
and every Thing the same, but only the Place. . . .
The Difference of Place, in this (the former) Case,
2 Antonio Favaro, "Amiei e Corrispondenti di
Galileo Galilei. XXIX. Vincenzio Viviani." Vene-
zia, pp. 8-19.
i " A Careful and Strict Enquiry into the
modern prevailing Notions of that Freedom of the
Will which is supposed to be essential to Moral
Agency, Vertue and Vice, Beward and Punish-
ment, Praise and Blame," 1754, p. 243; "Of
God's Placing differently Similar Particles."