Biography of Galileo Galilei

Biography of Galileo Galilei .( 1564- 1642)

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

GALILEO is regarded as one of the most ingenious and creative scientists ever born. Galileo holds a distinct place in science . He is renowned for his extraordinary contribution to astronomy, mathematics, and physiology. In brief, Galileo was a born scientist an inquisitive explorer of science.

At the age of only 19, he discovered the principle of isochronisms. He found that is oscillation of a pendulum takes the same time despite changes in amplitude. This principle of isochronisms firmly established his name as a budding science in Italy.
He latter developed the idea hydrostatic balance. He continued his experiments in all sorts of odd conditions and achieved a stellar position in the field of science.
Many times Galileo faced bitter opposition from his fellow scientists and government official. The clergies and government officials were never ready to accept anything, which went against the familiar established concepts.
Due to constant experiments of the gravity of falling bodies , Galileo discovered that bodies do not fall with velocities proportional to their

weights . This discovery put Galileo in the pool of controversy, because his law of falling bodies directly contradicted the teaching of Aristotle! He was ostracised for propagating his law of falling bodies, even though he was right. Galileo was asked to renounce his belief, but he reused to give is as he was convinced of the truth of his theory. As a scientist, Galileo was in a league of his own.

Galileo’s new experiments of stars and planets had revealed astonishing facts. Galileo found that earth is not the epicentre of the universe as had been believed before . He said that the sun does not move around the earth, but it is the earth that moves around the sun. This explanation of Galileo was against the religious convictions of that time. According to the prevailing belief the earth was the epicentre of the universe and all planets, including the sun, move around the earth.

Galileo was forcefully asked to renounce his principle outright . When Galileo refused to changes his stand, it was ordered that he be imprisoned

In his old days, Galileo became virtually blind, in spite of his blindness he did not give up his quest for science and truth. Dejected and lonely, Galileo was largely assisted by one of his dear students. Galileo and his scientific thoughts were far ahead of his time this was reason why he was largely misunderstood.

Galileo live a hard life . In spite of much hardship in his life and strenuous opposition and conflict from the clergy, he managed to write many outstanding books of great value. His last book was

Dialogue Concerning the Two chief World systems’ published in 1632. The book made an immense contribution in opening up new avenues in the field of science. In a nutshell, Galileo was the first scientist whose works truly brought revolution in the study of modern science.


GALILEO, the eldest son of Vincenzo Galilei, was born on February 15, 1564 in Pisa, a great city of Italy. He was born into a middle class family . His father was a respected musician and his earnings were modest. Galileo was cleaver , and a much loved child of his parents. His father desperately wanted to see his soon become a doctor . Mr. Galileo himself had wanted to be a doctor but his parents could not afford to send him to a medical college, so Mr. Galileo had had to give gave up the idea of becoming a doctor once and for all. So what if he could not become a doctor!Now Mr. Galileo wanted to fulfil his unfulfilled desire by making his son a doctor.

Galileo’s father began to instil the idea of becoming a doctor into impressionable the tiny brain of Galileo, when he was merely 3-year -old . His father was very delighted when young Galileo would nod his head in approval about becoming a doctor in the future. But as time flew by, the antithesis of his father’s ambition happened became Galileo began to take an interest in math and science and that annoyed his father very much.

Galileo’s early education began at the Monastery School, Vallombrosa, near Florence. After some years, he was sent to University of Pisa, where he matriculated in 1581 and began to study medicine. From the beginning Galileo was a brilliant student. His friends always admired Galileo for his depth knowledge of maths and science. Bur his father was very worried as his son was not showing much interest in the study of medicine.

Eventually, young Galileo decided to give up the study of medicine and took up science and mathematics as his major subjects in the university. Galileo’s decision not to study medicine was great disappointment to his father, and Vincenzo showed his resentment by stopping sending money to Galileo. Galileo did not argue, instead he endured the hardships silently. He knew he had offended his father by dropping the idea of studying medicine. But Galileo was prepared to endure anything, even the anger of his father, to follow his love of maths.

Galileo took a profound interest in math and science . His strong liking for maths and science made him an ambitious young man with a mission. He involved himself in intense study; most of his time would be spent in reading and analysing various scientific theories popular in those days. It was Galileo’s nature that he would never accept any theory or principle unless he himself tested their authenticity. Due to his utmost dedication to math and science, Galileo began to attract his teachers attention, but at the same time he was lagging behind in other subjects. About this time Galileo decided to leave the university without sitting for a degree. This decision of Galileo’s took everyone by surprise. Later Galileo said that he only took that decision because he wanted to give more time to physics,maths , and experiments. Galileo left the university in 1585 and kept himself busy in the study of maths, science and making some serious experiments.

Around this time , he took up Aristotelian philosophy and began a serious study . Galileo spent several years in Florence and Siena where he made several scientific experiments. During a series of experiments he designed a kind of hydrostatic balance for weighing small quantities. At this time he also wrote a small book ‘ La Bilancetta’ ( The little Balance).

Galileo got into a serious study of ‘ motion’ and conducted several experiments for over two decades. Although Galileo’s first attempt to get the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna was harshly turned down, his reputation as a serious mathematician of high standard was continuously rising .

Due to a special recommendation from a renowned academy Galileo was invited by the Florentine Academy (FA) to present two lectures. The Florentine Academy was famous at that time in Italy for its literary and scientific activities. By delivering powerful and convincing lecture,Galileo left a profound impression on the mild of many scientists and scholars. As a result, Florentine academy received many accolades from all quarter.

Galileo carried out a series of experiments and finally developed some brilliant theorems about the study of the Centre of Gravity (CoG). This was then judged to be the ground-breaking work of Galileo. He was lavishly praised by the large community of scientists and mathematicians around the world. Due to the rising popularity of Galileo, he was offered the chair of mathematics at the University of Pisa in 1589. After joining Pisa University he demonstrated the very controversial experiments of falling objects. He carried two objects of different weight on the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and dropped them at the same time and proved that the gravitational force does not work in proportion to weight. He proved hat heavy objects do not fall faster than the lighter objects. This explanation was contradictory to the previously accepted idea that heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects.

Galileo’s new discovery of the law of falling bodies came under heated discussion and, as a result, he had to leave the University of Pisa in 1592. But soon Galileo was able to find a post at the University of Padua, where he taught from 1592 until 1610.

Most of Galileo’s discoveries and inventions instantly caused direct controversy. On several occasions Galileo had to defend his discoveries and principles with the help of scientific and philosophical explanations, but Galileo found himself at a dead end when even the scientists and top scholars of his country could not grasp his explanations. To the credits of Galileo he always endured bitter challenges and criticism patiently, but never ceased his experiments no matter how much he had been opposed.

After joining Padua University, he took keen interest in the study of the stars and their movement. Until that time it was strongly believed that earth is the epicentre of the universe, and the moon, stars, sun, etc. Moved around he earth. But in the absence of powerful lenses, no observation of the stars was possible. Galileo wanted to observe the movement of stars, the sun, and the earth but he was unable to make his study possible without magnifying lenses.

One early morning when Galileo was having his breakfast, one of his senior students informed him that someone had made magnifying lenses in Holland, which could make the object many times larger than its original size. This was extremely good news for Galileo. He decided at once to get down to making some powerful lenses so he could use them to meet his purpose. After months of strenuous experiments, Galileo succeeded in developing powerful lenses. He placed those lenses at different distances and experimented a number of times, after several attempt he learnt to adjust the lenses to magnify the objects. Galileo then placed the lenses in a proper order and made the first telescope in the world.

But Galileo’s first telescope was not powerful enough to have a clear view of the stars and planets. Galileo continued his experiments until he developed a highly sophisticated model of a telescope. The new telescope was better equipped and more powerful than previous one. It could magnify objects by twenty times larger than their original size. The latest discovery of the telescope made Galileo immensely popular all over the world. Now he could have a clear picture of the moon and several other stars in the sky. It had never been possible before the telescope to have clear view of the stars and planets. Thanks to Galileo, his invention of the telescope made the seemingly impossible thing possible. Galileo invited several scientists and high-ranking officials to have a look at the stars and the moon and their movements. The invention of the telescope made Galileo one of the most reputable scientists in the world.

With the help of the telescope Galileo began to observe every small movement of the of the stars and planets. While observing the movement of Jupiter Galileo found that Jupiter was surrounded by four tiny points of light. He also found that each day every light moved to a different position, but those lights were always around Jupiter. This opened up new ideas in the study of the planets and the stars.

Early scientists had observed some black spots on the sun. Different scientists had different opinions about these black spots, but none of them were sure about them. The majority of scientists believed that they could be some small planets travelling between the earth and the sun. Now Galileo was curious to observe these black spots on the sun. One fine morning Galileo aimed his telescope pointing upward and looked at sun with his naked eyes. Alas, the strong rays of sunlight struck Galileo’s eyes severely and damaged them badly, so bad was its effect that Galileo had lost his eyesight by the time he reached old age.

This accident made Galileo find new way to study the sun by projecting its image on to a white piece of paper, now Galileo able to keep a record of these black spots on the sun. After many days of constant observation, Galileo found out that those black spots on the sun were moving each day. On the basis of this observation Galileo summarised that the sun actually spins on an axis ! He further noted that the sun turns a full circle once every 27 days !

The religious group in Italy called the Inquisition summoned Galileo and forced him to renounce his discovery that professed earth is not the epicentre of the universe and that it moves around the sun.

Now we know how correct Galileo was even 400 years ago ! It would not be an exaggeration to we say that Galileo was hundred of years ahead of the people of is time. With the help of black spots on the sun he discovered the movement of the sun on its axis.

It was in Galileo’s nature never to believe in anything without testing the facts. Because of this habit he proved several laws and principles were merely based on hypothetical grounds.

Galileo passed away at the age of 78 in 1642 and left behind a scientific legacy which still enriches the world of science.

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