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Galileo Essay, Research Paper

In this project I will be explaining about Galileo?s life & what he contributed to our world. If you never actually knew exactly who was Galileo, then you should really read this project. In brief he was a great person who lived during the renaissance, and was a great follower of Copernicus. He was mostly an astronomer. Have you ever wondered when looking from a telescope, knowing that it was invented during the renaissance, who invented such a great thing at that time, think about it, what a great invention, I mean in that time to be able to see the stars which are so far away was something extremely amazing, today you think ?wow, big deal? but at that time it really was a ?big deal?!!!

I hope that I will learn a lot from this project.

Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa on the 18th of February in 1564. His father, Vincenzo Galilei, belonged to a noble family and had gained some distinction as a musician and a mathematician. At an early age, Galileo wanted to learn both mathematical and mechanical types of things, but his parents, wishing to turn him aside from studies, which promised no important return, steered him toward some sort of medical profession. But this had no effect on Galileo. During his youth he was allowed to follow the path that he wished to.

Although in the popular mind Galileo is remembered chiefly as an astronomer, however, the science of mechanics and dynamics pretty much owe their existence to his findings. Before he was twenty, observation of the swinging lamp in the cathedral of Pisa led him to the discovery of the isochronism of the pendulum, which theory he took advantage of fifty years later in the construction of an astronomical clock. In 1588, an essay on the center of gravity in solids achieved for him the title of the ?Archimedes? of his time, and secured him a teaching spot in the University of Pisa. During the years immediately following, taking advantage of the celebrated leaning tower, he laid the foundation experimentally of the theory of falling bodies and demonstrated the fakeness of the peripatetic maxim, which is that an object?s rate of descent is proportional to its weight. When he challenged this, it made all of the followers of Aristotle extremely angry, they would not accept the fact that their leader could have been wrong. Galileo, in result of this and other troubles, found it cautious to quit Pisa and moved to Florence, the original home of his family. In Florence the Venetian Senate nominated him in 1592 (he was then only 28) to the chair of mathematics in the University of Padua, which he occupied for eighteen years, with ever-increasing fame. After that he was appointed philosopher and mathematician to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. During the whole of this period, and to the close of his life, his investigation of Nature, in all his fields, was never stopped. Following up his experiments at Pisa with others upon inclined planes, Galileo established the laws of falling bodies as they are still formulated. He likewise demonstrated the laws of projectiles, and largely anticipated the laws of motion as finally established by Newton.

In static, he gave the first direct and satisfactory demonstration of the laws of balance and the principle of virtual velocities. In the theory of static liquids (hydrostatics), he set forth the true principle of flotation. He invented a thermometer, though a defective one, but he did not, as is sometimes claimed for him, invent the microscope.

Though, as has been said, it is by his astronomical discoveries that he is most widely remembered it is not these that constitute his most substantial title to fame. In this connection, his greatest achievement was undoubtedly his virtual invention of the telescope. Hearing early in 1609 that a Dutch optician, named Lippershey, had produced an instrument by which the apparent size of remote objects was magnified, Galileo at once realized the principle by which such a result could alone be achieved, and, after a single night devoted to consideration of the laws of refraction, he succeeded in constructing a telescope which magnified three times, its magnifying power being soon increased to thirty-two.

This instrument being provided and turned towards the heavens, the discoveries, which have made Galileo famous, were bound at once to follow, though undoubtedly he was quick to understand their full significance. The moon was shown not to be, as the old astronomy taught, a smooth and perfect sphere, of different nature to the earth, but to possess hills and valleys and other features similar to those of our own globe. The planet Jupiter was found to have satellites, thus displaying a solar system in miniature, and supporting the doctrine of Copernicus. It had been argued against the said system that, if it were true, the inferior planets, Venus and Mercury, between the earth and the sun, should in the course of their revolution exhibit phases like those of the moon, and, these being invisible to the eye, Copernicus had to change the false explanation that these planets were transparent and the sun’s rays passed through them. But with his telescope Galileo found that Venus did actually exhibit the desired phases, and the objection was thus turned into an argument for Copernicanism.

The Inquisition for his writings discussing the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems tried Galileo.

In June 1633, Galileo was condemned to life imprisonment for heresy. His writings about these subjects were banned, and printers were forbidden to publish anything further by him or even to reprint his previous works. Outside Italy, however, his writings were translated into Latin and were read by scholars throughout Europe.

Galileo remained under imprisonment until his death in 1642 (he was then, 78). However he never was a real prisoner for he never spent any time in a prison cell or being treated like a criminal. Instead he spent his time in fancy apartments. The rest of the time he was allowed to use houses of friends as his places of confinement the, always comfortable and usually luxurious.

I sure did learn a lot from this project, and I am so glad I wrote because it gives me much more understanding about Galileo himself, what a genius he was, and about the time then.

I really can?t think of what the world would be if Galileo would have never existed!

Now I can really understand how hard it was to build something like that, back them.

Well, I sure do hope you enjoyed this essay as much as I did!!!

BibliographyBarnes, Arthur, The Great Inventions Brought by Galileo, penguin (1994), N.Y

Harley, James, Galileo Galilei, arrow books (1979) London

Andersson, Scott, The astronomer, warner books (1992) Sydney

Britannica encyclopedia CD

http://www.Encarta.com


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