Galileo Galilei

They wanted Galileo to become a medical doctor. While pursuing his university studies, Galileo realized he had a passion for mathematics and instead became a professor of mathematics at the Universities of Padua and Pisa. The Pendulum In 1581, Galileo began studying at the University of Pisa, where his father hoped he would study medicine. While at the University of Pisa, Galileo began his study of the pendulum. According to legend, he watched a suspended lamp swing back and forth in the cathedral of Pisa.

It was not until 1602 that Galileo made his most notable discovery about the pendulum the period, which the time in which a pendulum wings back and forth, does not depend on the arc of the swing, the isochronism. Eventually, this discovery would lead to Galileo’s further study of time intervals and the development of his idea for a pendulum clock. Tower of Pisa As a professor, Galileo argued against traditional views of astronomy.

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At that point in history, Aristotle’s theories were thought to be the fundamental laws in physics.

Aristotle’s belief that objects with a greater density fall faster than those that was lighter in weight. In 1589, he was disproved by Galileo when he stood at the top of he Leaning Tower of Pisa and discovered that the reason for one object falling faster than the other had to do with the friction each encounters while moving through the air- two objects of different weight actually fall at the same rate. Mechanical Devices In 1 592, Galileo was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Padua.

While teaching there, he frequently visited a place called the Arsenal, where Venetian ships were docked and loaded. Galileo had always been interested in mechanical devices. During his visits to the Arsenal, he became fascinated by nautical technologies, such as the sector and shipbuilding. In 1593, he was presented with the problem involving the placement of oars in galleys. He treated the oar as a lever and correctly made the water the fulcrum. A year later, he patented a model for a pump.

His pump was a device that raised water by using only one horse. Telescope Galileo invented many mechanical devices other than the pump, such as the hydrostatic balance. But perhaps his most famous invention was the telescope. In 1609, after word came from Holland of the invention of the telescope by Hans Lippershey, Galileo built his own version of the instrument. He created a telescope ater that same year that could magnify objects twenty times as opposed to other telescopes that can only magnify objects three times.

With this telescope, he was able to make profound astronomical discoveries such as the moon, the four moons of Jupiter (Lo, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto), observe a supernova, verify the phases which the earth and other planets revolve around the sun. Prior to the Copernican system, it was believed that the universe was geocentric, meaning the sun revolved around the earth. The Inquisition Galileo’s belief in the Copernican system eventually got him into trouble with the Catholic Church.

The Inquisition was a permanent institution in the Catholic Church charged with the eradication of heresies. A committee of consultants declared to the Inquisition that the Copernican proposition that the Sun is the center of the universe was a heresy. Because Galileo supported the Copernican system, he was warned by Cardinal Bellarmine, under order of Pope Paul V, that he should not discuss or defend Copernican theories. In 1624, Galileo was assured by Pope Urban VIII that he could write about Copernican theory as long as he treated it as a mathematical proposition.

However, with the printing of Galileo’s book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was called to Rome in 1633 to face the Inquisition again. Galileo was found guilty of heresy for his Dialogue. In 1638, because of his old age and poor health, the Inquisition allowed Galileo to move to his home in Florence for the remainder of his life. By that time he had become blind and immobile. In 1642, Galileo died at his home outside Florence. Galileo’s inventions and discoveries were a scientific marvel in his time; and have been incredibly important to cosmic and astronomical study.

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