World's Famous Scientist

# Galileo Galilei

NAME : Galileo Galilei

BORN : February 15, 1564

DIED : January 8, 1642

PLACE OF BIRTH : Pisa, Italy

LIFE SPAN : 77 Years


           Galileo Galilei was an outstanding Italian astronomer and mathematician . He provided a number of scientific insights that laid the foundation for future scientists. He was also a great engineer and philosopher. Galileo for his achievements has been called the "father of observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", and the "father of science. He was first of six children of Vincenzo Galilei and Giulia Ammannati. His father was a famous lutenist, composer, and music theorists.

          Galileo was educated in the Camaldolese Monastery at Vallombrosa, 35 km southeast of Florence. Galileo made a number of contributions to what is now known as engineering, as distinct from pure physics. Between 1595 and 1598, Galileo devised and improved a Geometric and Military Compass suitable for use by gunners and surveyors. In about 1593 Galileo constructed a thermometer, using the expansion and contraction of air in a bulb to move water in an attached tube.

           In 1609, Galileo was, along with Englishman Thomas Harriot and others, among the first to use a refracting telescope as an instrument to observe stars, planets or moons. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, and the observation and analysis of sunspots. It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he wrote one of his finest works, Two New Sciences. Galileo’s basic principal of relativity provided the basic framework for newton’s laws of motion. Galileo continued to receive visitors until 1642, when, after suffering fever and heart palpitations, he died in 1642, aged 77. Galileo was one of the first modern thinkers to clearly state that the laws of nature are mathematical. In The Assayer he wrote "Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe ... It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures.

  • The Assayer
  • Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
  • The Little Balance
  • On Motion
  • Mechanics
  • The Starry Messenger
  • Letters on Sunspots
  • Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina
  • Discourse on the Tides
  • Discourse on the Comets
  • Discourse on Floating Bodies
  • Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences

  • Astronomy :
    • The craters on the moon
    • The discovery of sunspots
    • The phases of Venus
    • The discovery of the Milky Way
    • Moons of Jupiter : Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, Lo

  • Galileo’s telescope :
               A Galilean telescope is defined as having one convex lens and one concave lens. The concave lens serves as the ocular lens, or the eyepiece, while the convex lens serves as the objective.

  • The thermoscope:
               The thermoscope was a device built from a small vase filled with water, attached to a thin vertically rising pipe, with a large empty glass ball at the top. Changes in temperature of the upper ball would exert vacuum pressure on the water below, causing it to rise or lower in the thin column.

  • "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."

  • "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself."

  • "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

  • "In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual."

  • "Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so."

  • "I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."

  • "It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved."

  • "The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go."

  • "By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox."

-------- X --------