Inventions of Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei was an Italian physicist, mathematician,
astronomer and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution.
His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical
observations and support for Copernicanism.
Biography of Galileo Galilei gives you detail
information. He has been called the ‘father of modern observational astronomy’.
The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and
introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics.
His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation
of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter,
(named as ‘The Galilean Moons’ in his honour) and the observation and analysis of
sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, improving compass
Galileo was born in Pisa, Tuscany, on February 15, 1564. He was the oldest son of
Vincenzo Galilee, a musician who made important contributions to the theory and
practice of music. Galileo was taught by monks at Vallombrosa and then entered the
University of Pisa in 1581 to study medicine. He soon turned to philosophy and mathematics,
leaving the university without a degree in 1585. For some time he tutored privately
and wrote on hydrostatics and natural motions, but he did not publish his work.
In 1589, he became professor of mathematics at Pisa, where he is reported to have
shown his students the error of Aristotle's belief that speed of fall is proportional
to weight, by dropping two objects of different weight simultaneously from the Leaning
Tower. His contract was not renewed in 1592, probably because he contradicted Aristotelian
professors. The same year, he was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University
of Padua, where he remained until 1610.
At Padua, calculating ‘compass’ was one of the inventions
of Galileo Galilei which was invented for the practical solution of mathematical
problems. He turned from speculative physics to careful measurements, discovered
the law of falling bodies and of the parabolic path of projectiles, studied the
motions of pendulums and investigated mechanics and the strength of materials. He
showed little interest in astronomy, although beginning 1595 he preferred the Copernican
theory-that the earth revolves around the sun-to the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic
assumption that planets circle a fixed earth. Only the Copernican model supported
Galileo's tide theory, which was based on motions of the earth.
By December 1609, Galileo Galilei had built a
telescope of 30 times magnification, with which he discovered mountains and craters
on the moon. He also saw that the Milky Way was composed of stars and he discovered
the four largest satellites of Jupiter. He published these findings in March 1610
in The Starry Messenger (translated in 1880). His new fame gained him appointment
as court mathematician at Florence; he was thereby freed from teaching duties and
had time for research and writing. By December 1610 he had observed the phases of
Venus, which contradicted Ptolemaic astronomy and confirmed his preference for the
Galileo's most valuable scientific contribution was his founding of physics on precise
measurements rather than on metaphysical principles and formal logic. His findings,
especially his new model for the solar system with the sun at the center upset the
church. He was convicted of heresy and was sentenced to house arrest where he died
on January 8, 1642.