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ERIC Number: EJ1024953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Mass, Speed, Direction: John Buridan's 14th-Century Concept of Momentum
Graney, Christopher M.
Physics Teacher, v51 n7 p411-414 Oct 2013
"Modern science began in the Middle Ages," a fact that has been forgotten thanks to the celebrated accomplishments of Copernicus and Galileo, who did not acknowledge their predecessors. So states James Hannam in a January 2010 article in "History Today." Among the scientists of the Middle Ages that Hannam mentions is John Buridan, a French thinker who was the first to develop modern concepts of inertia and momentum. Buridan's work has been known to historians of science for decades and remains a topic of discussion among them today. However, it is not well-known in physics circles, although there was an "American Journal of Physics" discussion of Buridan 35 years ago as part of a history of inertia. Readers of "The Physics Teacher" may find Buridan of interest both as a matter of history and because Buridan presents important physics ideas in a different sort of way, which may be of value in the physics classroom.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A