Beeckman, Isaac

Beeckman, Isaac

(bāk`mən), 1588–1637, Dutch physicist. An early proponent of mathematical reasoning and experimental verification in natural philosophy, he contributed to the modern conception of inertiainertia
, in physics, the resistance of a body to any alteration in its state of motion, i.e., the resistance of a body at rest to being set in motion or of a body in motion to any change of speed or change in direction of motion. Inertia is a property common to all matter.
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 and free fallfree fall,
in physics, the state of a body moving solely under the influence of gravitational forces (see gravitation). A body falling freely toward the surface of the earth undergoes an acceleration due to gravity of 32 ft/sec2 (9.
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 and discovered an important hydrodynamic law concerning the rate of flow of water from a vessel. Although his recorded scientific work is largely confined to his Journael (diary) and notes, he influenced scientific development through his personal acquaintance with such famous contemporaries as René DescartesDescartes, René
, Lat. Renatus Cartesius, 1596–1650, French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist, b. La Haye. Descartes' methodology was a major influence in the transition from medieval science and philosophy to the modern era.
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, Pierre GassendiGassendi, Pierre
, 1592–1655, French philosopher and scientist. A teacher and priest, Gassendi taught at Digne, Aix, and the Royal College at Paris and held several church offices. He ranked with the leading mathematicians of his day.
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, and Marin Mersenne, and through his rectorship of the Latin school at Dordrecht.
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