chapter  5
24 Pages

Thomas Harriot as an English Galileo: The Force of Shared Knowledge in Early Modern Mechanics

It has from time to time been pointed out that Thomas Harriot’s work displays striking similarities to Galileo Galilei’s. Harriot constructed telescopes independently of and even prior to Galileo, for example, and used them to observe the moon, sun spots and later – after having read Galileo’s Sidereus nuncius – also Jupiter’s satellites. His scientific agenda was similar to Galileo’s and included work in mechanics, optics, hydrodynamics and magnetism. Historians of mathematics also consider Harriot as one of the early modern pioneers of algebra.2