The aim of Galileo's tidal theory was to show that the tides were produced entirely by the earth's motion and thereby to demonstrate the physical truth of Copernicanism. However, in the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems</em> Galileo did not explain some of the most significant aspects of the theory completely. As a consequence, the way the theory works has long been disputed. Though there exist a number of interpretations in the literature, the most widely accepted are based on ideas that are not explicitly articulated by Galileo in the Dialogue</em>. This essay attempts to understand the way the theory functions in terms of Galilean physics. It is an interpretation of the theory based solely on Galileo's arguments - and one that reveals it to have had some unrecognized consequences. This interpretation indicates that Galileo's theory would not have worked in the manner he described in the Dialogue</em>.
Isis. Journal of the History of Science Society
- Pub Date:
- March 2007
- History of Science;