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Giovanni Battista Benedetti

Benedetti, Giovanni Battista (jōvänˈnē bät-tēsˈtä bānādĕtˈtē) [key], 1530–90, Italian mathematician and physicist. An important forerunner of Galileo, Benedetti had diverse interests, including mechanics, music, hydrostatics, astronomy, astrology, and gnomonics (the science of sundials). His work on falling bodies, first outlined in 1552, helped lay the basis for the overthrow of Aristotelian physics in the 17th cent. Like Galileo, he held that bodies of the same material fall through a given medium at the same speed, regardless of their weight. His most important scientific work is the Diversarum speculationum (1585).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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