After his trial and condemnation, Galileo was prohibited by the Inquisition from studying cosmological issues or publishing any of his writings. But his incessant curiosity would not let him abandon his studies, although now focussed on terrestrial, rather than celestial physics. In his Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze, [Discourse and demonstrations on two new sciences] published in Leiden, Holland, where the vetoes of the Inquisition were powerless, Galileo summarized all of the knowledge he had acquired in a lifetime. The two new sciences concerned the structure of matter and its resistance to breakage, and the phenomena of local motion. The text was enlivened by a host of digressions on a vast range of natural effects. Although the book described matter as made up of atoms and a void, and presented a strictly Copernican physics of motion, it failed to provoke any particular reactions of indignation or apprehension.
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