Essay on Galileo Galilei

This essay has a total of 885 words and 4 pages.

Galileo Galilei



Galileo Galilei


Galileo Galilei was born at 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 manifested his ability to learn both mathematical
and mechanical types of things, but his parents, wishing to turn him aside from studies
which promised no substantial 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 oscillations of a swinging lamp in the cathedral of Pisa
led him to the discovery of the isochronism of the pendulum, which theory he utilized
fifty years later in the construction of an astronomical clock. In 1588, an essay on the
center of gravity in solids obtained 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 falsity of the
peripatetic maxim, which is that an objects 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 except the fact that their leader could have been wrong. Galileo, in result of
this and other troubles, found it prudent to quit Pisa and move to Florence, the original
home of his family. In Florence he was nominated by the Venetian Senate in 1592 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 her 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 statics, he gave the first direct and satisfactory demonstration of the laws of
equilibrium and the principle of virtual velocities. In 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
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