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Giovanni Benedetti ( 1530 - 1590 )  Category ( Mathematicians ) [suggest a correction]

Giovanni Battista Benedetti, thanks to his Italian family's weath and ancestry, was economically independent during his entire life. He received his education from his father, and the focus was on philosophy, music and mathematics. But, since Benedetti never attended university, he was unable to teach. However, he became a court mathematician for Duke Ottavio Farnese in Parma in 1558, and he held lectures in Rome on Aristotle's natural science one year later. In 1567 he was invited by the Duke of Savoy, Emanule Filiberto, to the court in Turin, where until his death he remained an important adviser to Emanuele Filiberto, who made great efforts to renew and support the sciences in his country.

Benedetti had diverse interests, including mechanics, music, hydrostatics, astronomy, astrology, and gnomonics (the science of sundials). For instance, he is considered as an important forerunner of Galileo, as his work on falling bodies, first outlined in 1552, helped to provide the foundation for the overthrow of Aristotelian physics during the seventeenth century. Like Galileo, he held that bodies of the same material fall through a given medium at the same speed, regardless of their weight. Additionally, Benedetti's work, "Resolutio omnium Euclidis problematum," published in Venice in 1553, deals with the general solution of all problems in Euclid's Elements, utilizing a compass with fixed radius.

In two letters of the year 1563 to Cipriano da Rore, choirmaster at the Parma court, Benedetti attributes for the first time the musical consonance and dissonance of two tones to the ratio of the frequency of oscillations of the airwaves generated by the resounding strings or instruments. By claiming and presuming that the frequency of two strings of equal tension must have an inverse ratio to the lengths of the strings, he was able to describe mathematically the degree of consonance or dissonance of two tones. These letters so important for the science of acoustics and musical theory were not published until 1585.

Benedetti constructed a variety of fountains and also directed other public construction such as military fortifications. With his scientific writings Benedetti contributed much to surmounting Aristotelian physics as taught and imparted by academia and paved the way for the later development of physics. His most important scientific work is the "Diversarum speculationum mathematicorum et physicarum liber," (1585), and probably is the most important contribution to physics in Italy until Galileo.

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Title :Benedetti summary
Description : Giovanni Benedetti (1530-1590)
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