Born: February 15, 1564 in Pisa (now Italy)
Died: January 8, 1642 in Arcetri (near Florence), (now Italy) was seventy-nine years old and his hair and beard were as white as the foam. His eyes, which looked at the sky through telescopes and found more than any human being from the beginning of time, were off by age. His reputation as one of the most brilliant scientists of his time was the reason that kings, queens play their services. Now he was kneeling before the dreaded tribunal of the Inquisition, forced to publicly confess a mistake that was not error: “I Galileo Galilei … … abandon the false opinion that the Sun is the center (of the Universe) and is still …. I abjure, curse and detest the said errors. ” Some say that when the old man stood murmured to himself: “E pur si muove” And yet (the Earth) moves (around the sun).
Galileo was born into a family of seven children with a father who was a talented musician and a man of considerable culture. At an early age, Galileo promised much both mentally and manually. He was seventeen when he entered the University of Pisa, where he specialized in medicine and also studied mathematics and physical sciences.
Once, when still a student at Pisa, he observed the regularity with which swung a lamp in the cathedral. She could hardly wait until he returned home to experiment with lead balls attached to strings of different lengths. Found that, whatever the magnitude of the oscillation or the weight of lead, the ball the same time needed to complete a round trip. Change only affects the length of the oscillation time (period of vibration). This observation led to the invention of the pendulum, used in watches and other instruments to accurately measure time. He read the works of Archimedes and used math to try some of the latter’s experiments with liquids and alloys. As a student, had an inquisitive mind and a reputation for debater.
At twenty he was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Pisa. As Professor Galileo continued his search for truth, analyzing the scientific theories of Aristotle through the application of mathematics and experimental observations.
Created the concept of acceleration that is used in modern physics (acceleration is the increase in speed per unit time) and the modern concept of friction and inertia with respect to moving objects. Examined the components of force, showing, for example, that the forces affecting the trajectory of a bullet are down and forward, so that can be measured systematically. These experiments were started before 1590, were refined and published in 1638 in his Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences (mechanical motion).
The work of Galileo, who started the understanding of these areas, led to the formulation of Newton’s laws of motion, more accurate, and further that these laws were later other scientists.
Galileo was a rebel in other ways. Thus, for example, refused to wear the clothes they wore their academic colleagues, alleging that their movements unnecessarily hindered. Not to use them, you are forced to pay fines, until he was dismissed from the faculty of Pisa.
Galileo was a very generous man with his family. Assumed responsibility for a substantial dowry to the marriage of his sister. A young brother asked him money to live always in style. The fact that Galileo had to leave the University of Pisa was lucky, scoring a better paying job at the University of Pasuda. His life was happy and productive for many years.
Established a workshop to manufacture instruments such as compasses, thermometers, and telescopes. It also became an expert in the construction of military fortifications. In the early seventeenth century heard that a Dutch optician was able to unite a concave lens and a convex lens, so that toward that distant objects appear closer. Using this idea built a telescope, extending the objects thirty times, and in 1609 gave a public demonstration of its use.
When Galileo turned his telescope to the sky at night, opened new fields of knowledge which he described in his book Messenger of the stars. As he says: “I thank God that was good enough to make me the first to observe the hidden wonders of centuries past. I have ascertained that the moon is a body similar to Earth … I’ve seen a multitude of fixed stars never before seen …. But the greatest wonder of all is the discovery of four new planets (four satellites of Jupiter) … I noticed that they move around the Sun. ”
Discovered that the Milky Way consisted of a myriad stars, that the universe was not fixed and immutable, as his contemporaries believed, they appeared before their eyes new stars that then disappeared, the planets Venus and Mercury also moved around the sun that the sun itself revolved on its axis.
In 1632 he published another book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, a brilliant satire that showed through dialogue the geocentric Ptolemaic system failures compared to the Copernican heliocentric system. His latest book, Dialogue on Two New Sciences, which summed up all his research on motion and mechanics, surreptitiously sent him to Holland, where it was published in 1638.
Unfortunately, Galileo did not see it ever printed it in 1638 at the age of seventy-four, became blind. When he died in 1642, revered by citizens and many leading men of the Church and the secular, the Inquisition refused to allow the creation of a public funeral.