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Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física

Print version ISSN 1806-1117


PORTO, C.M  and  PORTO, M.B.D.S.M. Galileo, descartes and the elaboration of the principle of inertia. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.4, pp.4601-4610. ISSN 1806-1117.

In this work we make a historical reconstitution of the development of the principle of inertia. We present the different contributions of notables from the history of science and thought, particularly Galileo and Descartes, to its complex elaboration process. We show how the concept of inertia emerged in close relation to the transformations brought up by the astronomical revolution, as well as how questions that emerged from copernican astronomy required the development of a new physics. We also show how this new science implied the replacement of Aristotle's world and philosophical systems by a mechanicist Universe, absolutely deprived from the ideas of order and finality.

Keywords : principle of inertia; mechanics; history of physics; scientific revolution.

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