Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Mark Peterson is professor of physics and mathematics at Mount Holyoke College. His Ph.D. is in physics from Stanford University, where his lifelong fascination with Galileo began by way of a chance purchase at the university bookstore, a book by Galileo. It was the very book that had led to the famous trial, he belatedly realized, but so charming, inviting, and good humored! That introduction to Galileo has led Mark, over time, to read most of what is extant that Galileo ever wrote. He has written and lectured extensively on Galileo, including a book in 2011, Galileo's Muse, exploring the connections between Galileo, mathematics, and the arts. A new book in preparation explores unexpected connections between Galileo and contemporary Aristotelian philosophy.