Biography of Galileo Galilei

Born on February 15, 1564, Galileo Galilei is often regarded as “father of modern science”. Pisa, a city of Italy takes proud in being the birthplace of this great astronomer, physician, philosopher and mathematician. His father was a trader of wool and a musician. However, he wanted his oldest son, to pursue a career in medicine. While Galileo was in his teenage, he was seriously considering becoming a monk. The reaction from his father was quite predictable; he did not allow Galileo to do the same and made sure that he joins University of Pisa to study medicine. Galileo was 17 at that time. However, he could adhere to his fathers’ wishes for long and quit medicine. He soon started studying mathematics.

It was at the age of 20, when Galileo practically started doing want he is known for. While sitting in a church he closely observed a lamp, which was hanging over his head. A wild thought that came into his was to find out the time that this lamp took to swing in both directions. After some cautious analysis, he discovered something, which opened a new chapter in the history of since. He came up with the “law of pendulum” which stated that these movements of the pendulum required the same time. Unfortunately, this genius had no interest in University of Pisa and he left the university without any degree. However, in the meanwhile, he taught mathematics to students in order to earn a living. One of most interesting events of Galileo life was his presence at the academy of Florence where the experts were debating over a 100-year-old question. The question was regarding the shape, dimensions and location of Dante’s Inferno. Surprisingly, Galileo answered the question in no time and satisfied all of the experts. He impressed them so much that he was offered a faculty position at University of Pisa, the same university from which he was dropout.

Galileo was the first person in the history of science to challenge Aristotle words. Aristotle believed that “the heavier the objectives the after they fall” and people took Aristotle words as the words of bible for centuries. However, during a public demonstration, Galileo had the courage to climb up the Tower of Pisa and throw balls of various weights. Unexpectedly for the crowd, all these balls reached the ground at the same time thus proving Aristotle thoughts as practically incorrect. It was in the year 1609, when Galileo was on vacations in Venice that he heard of a Dutch scientist inventing a telescope. There was a lot of buzz in the market about that invention. When Galileo heard of it, he immediately decided build his own one. It took him just 24 hours to build it, without even knowing the exact structure of the original telescope about which he heard. In fact, he was able to come up with a 10-power telescope, later converted into a 30-power telescope. He was acclaimed and rewarded for his excellent work. With his telescope, he showed that he world that moon is not a perfect, clear and smooth heavenly body as previously believed. His telescope was also able to reach until Jupiter and Saturn. After months of observation of the sky, Galileo decided to support the Copernican idea of the universe. Since it contradicted with Bible, he was punished and tortured. Since he was religious man, he kept on insisting that his intentions are not to oppose the Bible but there is a possibility that the interpretation is not correct. He died at the age of 64 on January 8, 1642. He left the world his legacy of modern science and his works still form the basis of many modern inventions.

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