Galileo Galilei

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by uchigi
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Scientific Biographies

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Galileo Galilei

Scientific Revolution

Galileo was the first person to study the sky with a telescope. He saw craters and mountains on the moon and discovered that moons orbit Jupiter and observed the rings of Saturn, the phases of Venus, sunspots and the rugged lunar surface. He was interested in how falling objects behave and today, we use the term mechanics for the study of objects and motion.Galileo helped disprove much of the medieval thinking in science.He discovered the law of the pendulum by watching a chandelier swing in the cathedral at Pisa. He thus gave society the first reliable means of keeping time.

Galileo Galilei was born in 1564 and died in 1642. He believed scientific study would change the way people understood themselves and their world. He felt that science would lead to higher standards of living and would weaken social and economic barriers between people. However, since his findings challenged traditional church beliefs, church leaders kept him from writing about his ideas.




Galileo’s biggest contribution to science was the way he learned about mechanics. Instead of just observing things in nature, he set up experiments. In fact, Galileo was the first scientist to routinely use experiments to test his theories.Galileo’s contributions to mechanics include the law of falling bodies, the fact that the path of a projectile is a parabola, the demonstration of the laws of equilibrium, and the principle of flotation.


He devised a simple thermometer and inspired a pupil, Evangelista Torricelli, to invent the barometer.


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