Physics in Perspective

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 387–400 | Cite as

Contra Galileo: Riccioli’s “Coriolis-Force” Argument on the Earth’s Diurnal Rotation

  • Christopher M. GraneyEmail author


In 1651 the Italian astronomer and physicist Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598–1671) published his encyclopedic book, Almagestum novum, in which he presented seventy-seven arguments against the Copernican theory of the movement of the Earth, one of which foresaw an effect that physicists today attribute to the Coriolis force. Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), Isaac Newton (1642–1727), and Robert Hooke (1635–1703) investigated this argument, which raises significant questions about the nature of the opposition to the Copernican theory in the seventeenth century.


Galileo Galilei Giovanni Battista Riccioli Isaac Newton Robert Hooke Johann F. Benzenberg Giovanni Battista Guglielmini Edwin H. Hall Philips Lansbergen Simon Marius Ferdinand Reich Copernican theory Tychonic theory diurnal rotation of the earth Coriolis force history of astronomy 



I thank Roger H. Stuewer for his helpful and thoughtful editorial work on my paper, and Christina Graney for her vital assistance in translating Riccioli’s work from Latin.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jefferson Community & Technical CollegeLouisvilleUSA

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