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Galileo Galilei: (1564 – 1643)
Galileo Galilei or most commonly referred to as Galileo, made large contributions to the world of science, especially with advanced machinery of his time. During his time he developed some machinery that we still have in modern day, and tested against some laws of science. This made him very famous in both the world of science and in Pisa, Italy, where the disturbed public spoke against his theories due to their own beliefs.
Born on February 15th, 1564, Galileo’s family was very musical however he did not accomplish as much as them. When he was older he often .During Galileo’s early school years he developed a keen interest in mathematics, and when he left school he enrolled in the University of Pisa for to study medicine at his father’s request. Galileo showed no interest in his studies at the university so he left to pursue his studies in math. Along with his interest in the mathematics, Galileo studied about physics and astronomy. And because of his skill in math he later became a math teacher at the University of Pisa.
It is said that he made his first scientific observation while he was looking outside of the Pisa Cathedral in 1586. Outside there were lamps swinging along with the wind and he measured his pulse against them. He discovered that the chandeliers always took the same time to complete a swinging rotation. The scientific discovery was known as the law of the pendulum which made Galileo instantly famous.
An almost two-thousand-year-old theory of Aristotle was challenged by the new math professor at the University of Pisa, Galileo. The theory of Aristotle says that if two objects have a different mass then they both fall at different paces, depending on their weight. Galileo tested against this theory by dropping two different weighted objects off the roof of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Both objects fell to the ground at the same time, though their weight varied by a large amount. This test proved that gravity doesn’t affect heavier objects against lighter weight objects when falling. Followers of Aristotle’s theory from the crowd that gathered to watch soon became angry with Galileo and forced him out of Pisa where he would relocate at the University of Florence.
Galileo’s study in astronomy led to the first person to use a telescope. This design was based off of Holland of Hans Lipershey’s design which allowed humans to see from very far distances. While observing Jupiter Galileo noticed that one of the moons was orbiting around the planet Jupiter. His studies soon led him to fame and riches.
One of Galileo’s studies threatened the Roman Catholic Church and the current pope of the church Paul V. Because of this the church put Galileo under house arrest for nine years until his death in 1643. During his house arrest he wrote a book called “Two Sciences” that shows his studies over a few recent years.
Galileo got the idea of the telescope from a Dutch inventor who created the spyglass; however he was the first to use the telescope.
There is no evidence of Galileo actually dropping two balls of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but in theory it did take place.
During his lifetime Galileo helped advance the world in science, even though people of his time couldn’t fully see it. One of his greatest inventions is the beginning of the age of astronomy.
Fisher, Leonard Everett. “Galileo.” Atheneum – Simon & Shuster. 1992.
The Grolier Library of Science Biographies
. Ed. John Daintith. Vol. 4. Danbury: Grolier, 1997. Print.
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