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CEFISES Seminar: Maarten van Dyck: “The coordination of time in Galileo’s experiments.”
February 10@14:00-16:00 CET
Speaker: Maarten van Dyck (UGent)
Commentator : Kévin Chalas (UCLouvain)
Talk: “The coordination of time in Galileo’s experiments.”
When Poincaré introduced his conventionalist ideas, the measurement of time was one of his prime examples. In my talk I will use the puzzles that he raised to have a fresh look at the historical development of Galileo’s research that led to the establishment of the law of fall – a law that crucially involves time as a mathematical parameter. Galileo’s attempts at mathematically modeling phenomena of motions required him to find informative ways to coordinate physical events with a postulated uniform flow of time, and this in the absence of any well-developed theory. I will show how this coordination was the result of a temporally extended process that involved the construction of multiple relations between different phenomena: the descend of balls along inclined planes, the swinging motion of pendulums, the shape of projectiles, the flow of water, and finally some basic astronomical phenomena.