Opinionated History of Mathematics
By Intellectual Mathematics
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Cracking tales of historical mathematics and its interplay with science, philosophy, and culture. Revisionist history galore. Contrarian takes on received wisdom. Implications for teaching. Informed by current scholarship. By Dr Viktor Blåsjö.
||CleanHeliocentrism in antiquity||Two thousand years before Galileo, Greek astronomers argued that the heavenly bodies revolve around the sun. Their reasoning involved sophisticated mathematics and sound physical considerations. Transcript Is the earth the center of the universe?||2/10/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGalileo’s theory of tides||Galileo dismissed the notion that the moon influences the tides as “childish” and “occult.” Instead he argued that tides are a kind of sloshing due to the motion of the earth. This very poor theory is inconsistent with several of his own scienti||1/17/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy Galileo is like Nostradamus||Galileo committed scores of errors in his physics. These are bad in themselves and also undermine Galileo’s claim to credit for the things he did get right. Transcript Nostradamus published a famous book of prophesies in 1555.||12/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGalileo’s errors on projectile motion and inertia||Galileo gets credit he does not deserve for the parabolic nature of projectile motion, the law of inertia, and the “Galilean” principle of relativity. In reality, his treatments of all of these matters were riddled with errors and fundamental misund||12/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe case against Galileo on the law of fall||Galileo is praised for his work on falling bodies, but his arguments were dishonest and his trifling discoveries were not new. Transcript In 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts conducted a famous experiment on the moon.||11/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGalilean science in antiquity?||Ancient Greek scientists studied the dynamics of falling bodies. Were “Galileo’s” discoveries anticipated in these treatises that have since been lost? This question leads to a bigger one regarding relativism versus universalism in the history of||11/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMathematics versus philosophy, then and now||Divergent interpretations of Galileo’s alleged greatness cut across disciplinary divides: mathematics versus philosophy, science versus humanities. Understanding Galileo means dealing with these fundamental tensions. Transcript Those who can’t do,||11/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGalileo bad, Archimedes good||Galileo's bumbling attempts at determining the area of the cycloid suggests a radical new interpretation of his scientific opus. Archimedes's work on floating bodies is an example of excellent Greek science that has not been sufficiently appreciated.||11/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|