|Famous as||Astronomer, Mathematician, Philosopher, Rebel Scientist, Physicist|
|Born on||15 February 1564|
|Died on||08 January 1642|
|Works & Achievements||Founded Galilean Telescope, Stated the Heliocentric Cosmology, Discovered Jupiter's 4 moons|
Galileo Galilei Childhood and Early Life
Galileo Galilei was born on 15 February 1564, in Pisa (formerly a part of Duchy of Florence) in Italy. Galilei was the eldest in a family of 6 children. Galilei was born to Vincenzo Galilei (a famous musician, composer and musical theorist) and Giulia Ammannati. Galileo’s full name was Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei. When he turned 8 his family moved to Florence. He stayed with Jacopo Borghini for two years and studied in Camaldolese Monastery at Vallombrosa which was situated 35 kms away from Florence. Since childhood Galielo was very much interested to become a priest. In spite of this he enrolled himself in the University of Pisa for acquiring a medical degree. Galileo’s father wanted his son to pursue science. Galileo left studying his medical degree and never completed it. Instead, he took up mathematics.
Galielo had immense interest in fine art too. In 1588 He was chosen as the art instructor at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno situated in Florence. Galileo indulged himself in teaching various perspectives of art and a very different art form, chiaroscuro (a monochromatic picture made out of using different colour shades giving out a bold contrast in the whole composition). During his role as a teacher at Accademia, Galileo befriended Florentine painter Cigoli. This friendship continued for life. Cigoli had once used one of Galileo’s observations on moon in his painting. Galileo was driven by Renaissance art. He also got attached to the city art. All these influences led to an aesthetic mentality in Galileo.
In 1589 Galileo got appointed for a position in mathematics in Pisa. In 1591 Galileo’s father passed away.
In 1592 Galileo shifted his base to the University of Padua where he taught geometry, mechanics, and astronomy for many years till 1610.
From 1592 to 1610 Galileo carried out his notable discoveries on astronomy, kinetics in science, improvement of telescope and on motion and strength of materials. Galileo researched on fundamental, pure as well as practical applied science.
Theories and Controversies
Galileo was a great follower and an advocate of the theories of Nicolaus Copernicus. It was Copernicus’ heliocentric cosmology (sun in the centre of the universe around which planets and stars revolved) which Galileo affirmed and reaffirmed all his life. In 1615, the Copernican theory was negated by Cardinal Bellarmine as he said that the Copernican heliocentric cosmology could not be affirmed. Bellarmine had brought out a writing saying that only "a true physical demonstration that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun" could save the affirmed Copernican theory. Galileo thought of referring to his ‘theory of tides’ to affirm the Copernican theory. The inclusion of this theory was rejected by an inquisition.
In 1616 Galileo addressed and gave away his first account on tides. Galileo stated that tides were formed by the back and forth movement of the seas. This movement resulted in the speedy and slow movement of the Earth’s surface. His explanation of tides was a failure.
In 1619 Galileo got involved in a controversy over a dispute with Father Orazio Grassi (mathematics professor at the Jesuit college of Romano) on the nature of comets.
In 1623 Galileo published The Assayer (Il Saggiatore). This book rejected Grassi’s ideas. Galileo was wrong in his idea of comets and their light reflection. By the time Assayer was published, the basic argument spread far and wide. However, the greatest quality and contribution of Galileo’s Assayer is its rich scientific ideas and how science should be practically used and practiced. Assayer is regarded as a scientific manifesto even today.
Galileo had always believed in the heliocentric cosmology where sun was in the middle and that earth was immovable. According to Galileo he was adhering to the Bible and the religious scriptures which also affirmed to this theory.
It was 1616 when public attacks on the Copernican theories and ideas had risen very high and this very year Galileo went to Rome to persuade the Roman Catholic Church not to ban Copernicus’ ideas. However, Galileo’s quest went astray when an Inquisition ordered Cardinal Bellarmine to threaten Galileo with the order that Galileo should not by any means try to "hold or defend" the idea of the Earth moving and the sun being static at the centre. Galileo continued disobeying the church. He, however, did not meddle in too much controversy but did spread heliocentric cosmology.
With the election of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini as Pope Urban VIII in 1623, Galileo was encouraged to write a book on his heliocentric ideas.
In 1616 Barberini being a close friend and an admirer of Galileo stopped a condemnation of Galileo.
In 1632 Galileo published ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’. This was possible because Galileo had all the support and pope’s permission (possible because of his friend’s presence in the church). A formal authorization from the Inquisition made the publishing of this amazing yet revolutionary book possible.
In 1633 Galileo had lost out on support due to the book. He stood on trial in the same year. 1633 found Galileo a suspect of heresy. A formal imprisonment of Galileo followed. He remained on house arrest for the rest of his life and his Book, Dialogue was banned.
In 1634 Galileo was allowed to return to his home in Florence. During his house arrest Galileo spent all his time in bringing out the fabulous book of science – ‘Two New Sciences’. Published in 1638, this was the greatest book of science. All his researches and findings carried out throughout his life found place in this book.
Albert Scientist heaved great praise for this book. The two integral sections of science – kinetics and strength of materials have been discussed by Galileo in this book.
In the 1638 Galileo became completely blind.
Scientific and Technological Contributions
Galileo was a great scientist and was surely a genius. He was the first person on earth to have ever told that the laws of nature were purely based on mathematics.
Galileo’s father, being a music composer, instilled love for music in the scientist and Galileo found that mathematics formed a great bond between music and physics.
In 1609 Galileo discovered a telescope with 3x magnification. Galileo’s find was based on the invention of first practical telescope by Hans Lippershey (done in 1608). Galileo’s telescope was more commonly known as a spyglass or a terrestrial telescope because of its magnified, perfect imaging abilities on earth.
On 25 August 1609 Galileo presented the demonstration of his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.
In March 1610 Galileo published his recorded researches and observations on his initial telescopic astronomy. This published astronomical work was known as ‘Sidereus Nuncius’ (Starry Messenger).
7th January 1610 was a milestone in Galileo’s astronomical career. He found and described "three fixed stars, totally invisible by their smallness" near to planet Jupiter and arranged in a straight line.
On 10 January, 1610, Galileo discovered 3 moons of Jupiter. On 13 January 1610 Galileo discovered the fourth moon orbiting around Jupiter.
Galileo started his quest on planet Venus from September 1610. He recorded his observations on the phases of Venus that was similar to that of moon.
In the middle of 1611 Galileo recorded his observations of satellites. After researching for more than a year, Galileo gave his accurate estimates on the phases and periods of the satellites. This was brought out for the very first time by any scientist. Only Kepler had tried to achieve this feat but had failed. Galileo made this possible. In the period between1595–1598, Galileo presented his Geometric and Military Compass. This device was developed for use in surveyors and by artillery servicemen.
In 1609 Galileo, along with several other scientists, used a refracting telescope to observe stars, planets or moons. In 1624 Galileo found a compound microscope.
Final Years and Death
In 1638 Galileo turned completely blind. Due to his heavy work on his last and finest work, ‘Two New Sciences’ Galileo bore lot of pain. He was in complete house arrest since 1634 till he died. He suffered from a very painful hernia and insomnia. He was shifted to Florence for medical consultation.
Even in 1642 Galileo had guests and visitors. He suffered from fever and heart palpitations, which resulted in Galileo’s death on January 8, 1642. He was 77 years old at the time of his death.
1564 – Galileo was born on 15 February.
1588 – He became the art instructor at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence.
1589 – Became the chair member of mathematics in Pisa.
1591 – Galileo’s father died.
1592 – He went to Padua to where he taught geometry, mechanics, and astronomy for many years till 1610.
1592-1610 - Galileo carried out his notable discoveries on astronomy, kinetics in science, improvement of telescope and on motion and strength of materials.
1595–1598 – Galileo presented his Geometric and Military Compass.
1609 - Galileo discovered a telescope with 3x magnification.
1609 - Galileo along with several other scientists used a refracting telescope to observe stars, planets or moons.
1609 - On 25 August Galileo presented the demonstrations of his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.
1610 – 7 January Galileo saw 3 stars fixed and very small around Jupiter.
1610 - On 10 January Galileo discovered 3 moons of Jupiter.
1610 - On 13 January Galileo discovered the fourth moon orbiting around Jupiter.
1610 - In March Galileo published his recorded researches and observations on his initial telescopic astronomy.
1610 - From September Galileo started his quest on planet Venus. He recorded his observation on the phases of Venus that was similar to that of moon.
1611 - In the middle of this year Galileo gave his accurate estimates on the phases and periods of the satellites.
1615 – Galileo affirmed his theory of tides as a proof to affirm the Copernican theory heliocentric cosmology. But Galileo failed in his quest.
1616 - Galileo addressed and gave away his first account on tides.
1616 – Galileo went to Rome to persuade the Roman Catholic Church not to ban or Copernicus’ ideas.
1623 - Galileo published The Assayer (Il Saggiatore).
1624 - Galileo found the compound microscope.
1632 - Galileo published ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’.
1633 – Galileo went under trial. He was found Galileo a suspect of heresy.
1634 - Galileo was allowed to return to his home in Florence.
1634 – Galileo was in complete house arrest till his last days of life.
1638 - Galileo went completely blind.
1642 - On January 8 Galileo breathed his last.