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Mathematical Treasure: Galileo's Two New Sciences

Author(s): 
Cynthia J. Huffman (Pittsburg State University)

The following image is the title page of Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Concerning Two New Sciences; or Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche intorno à due nuoue Scienze by Galileo Galilei. This work was published in 1638 and was Galileo’s final published work.

Title page of Galileo's 1638 Two New Sciences.

The two “new sciences” discussed in the book are strength of materials and kinematics.  The book consists of four dialogues among Salviati, Sagredo and Simplicio.  The images below show some dialogue from early in the bookThe image on the left is from the original Italian version while the one on the right is from a 1730 English translation.

 Page 6 of Galileo's 1638 Two New Sciences. Page 8 from 1730 English translation of Galileo's Two New Sciences.

Here is the title page of the 1730 English translation.

Title page of 1730 English translation of Galileo's Two New Sciences.

If one visits the Linda Hall Library in person, it is possible to compare these two versions side-by-side.  The images below show how Galileo presented the science of the strength of materials as related to the law of the lever.

Page 114 from Dialogue 2 of Galileo's Two New Sciences. Portion of Dialogue 2 from English translation of Galileo's Two New Sciences.

Here is another image from Dialogue II.

Portion of Dialogue 2 from English translation of Galileo's Two New Sciences.

Below is a page about the center of gravity of a parabolic conoid.

Page 458 of English translation of Galileo's Two New Sciences.

Images and information about another copy of Galileo’s Two New Sciences are also available in Convergence.

A complete digital scan of the Italian 1638 edition of Galileo’s Two New Sciences is available in the Linda Hall Library Digital Collections. The call number is QA33 .G2 1638. A scan of the 1730 English translation is also available in the Linda Hall Library Digital Collections. The call number is QA33 .G22 1730.

Images in this article are courtesy of the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology and used with permission. The images may be downloaded and used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study, provided the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology is credited as the source. For other uses, check out the LHL Image Rights and Reproductions policy.

Reference

Drake, Stillman. “Galilei, Galileo.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by C. C. Gillespie, v:237–249. New York: Scribner, 1972.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Cynthia J. Huffman (Pittsburg State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Galileo's Two New Sciences," Convergence (July 2017)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED

Mathematical Treasures: The Linda Hall Library