Hey there, recently I had to do a school project on Galileo Galilei, so I thought – why not share what I know with everyone?
The first thing I asked myself when I started thinking about Galileo was – who was he? What did he do? So I researched some more on him and took down a few jot points while doing so. Here they are:-
Birth: 15th Feb 1564 (Pisa, Italy)
Young life and things to keep in mind (jobs, family)
- His father (Vincenzo Galilei) was a music teacher and a renowned musician
- He grew and studied in the town of Florence
- He started studying at the University of Pisa in 1581
- In 1585, Galileo left the university and got a job as a teacher.
After jotting down some notes I went into his key experiments –
key experiments –
- The swinging pendulum observation: he observed that no matter how far a lamp swung it took the same amount of time to swing back and forth
- He began to do experiments which challenged many common beliefs of classical philosophers like Aristotle. This laid the foundation of the scientific method
- Tower of Pisa experiment: One of the traditional beliefs was that if you dropped two items of different weights, but the same size and shape, the heavier item would land first. Galileo tested this idea by going to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He dropped two balls of the same size, but different weights. They landed at the same time!
- He supported Copernicus’ view that the sun was the centre of the universe. These views made people angry because they challenged traditional beliefs
- He is also the inventor of the modern day telescope which waa\s originally an invention from a dutch stargazer from Holland in 1609
- Galileo made many discoveries using his telescope including the four large moons around Jupiter and the phases of the planet Venus. He also discovered sunspots and learned that the Moon was not smooth, but was covered with craters.
- He even invented an advanced measuring device called the hydrostatic balance.
Later life: In 1632, he wrote a book called the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. In this book, he described why he thought the Earth orbited the Sun.
- However, the powerful Catholic Church considered Galileo’s ideas as heresy.
- At first, they sentenced him to life in prison but later allowed him to live at his home in Tuscany under house arrest.
- Galileo continued to write while under house arrest. In his later years, he became blind.
- He died on January 8, 1642.