Galileo Galilei was born on 15 February 1564, in Pisa, Italy. He was a mathematician, astronomer, physicist, writer, and philosopher. He had a great contribution in the scientific revolution. His parents were a famous musician, Vincenzo Galilei, and Giulia Ammannati. He also became a good lutenist as like his father. In 1583, he got admitted to the famous University of Pisa. But with his talent, soon he became interested in mathematics and physics. After supporting the Aristotelian theory he got a good position in the most powerful scientific authority powered by the Roman Catholic Church. But for financial problems, he left the university in 1585.
Then he continued to study mathematics. And after that, he wrote a book named “The Little Balance” describing his two-decade study on objects in motion. For this book, he became a bit famous and he got a teaching post at the University of Pisa in 1589. Then Galileo began to write his study of falling objects which was different from Aristotelian theory. For that reason, he lost the job at the University of Pisa in 1952. In 1609 he modified a telescope to observe the sky. Then he wrote a book named “The Starry Messenger” describing the round shape of the moon with small mountains.
Soon he began to support the Copernican theory that the sun is the center and the earth is circling the sun. Which was completely offensive to Aristotelian and Roman Catholic Church theories. Then he published the “Discourse on Bodies in Water” describing how the objects float on water, which was also different from Aristotelian theory. In 1613 he wrote a letter to his student describing the similarity between Bible and Copernican theory. The church captured the letter and made it public. Then the church announced the Copernican theory illegal. Galileo was ordered not to teach of publishing the Copernican theory about the earth. Galileo stayed silent for 7 years. In 1623 Cardinal Maffeo Barberini was selected as the Pope Urban VIII. He was a good friend of Galileo. He encouraged Galileo to continue his study. But he also told him not to write anything supporting the Copernican theory.
With his support, Galileo published “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”. This book was actually a discussion between Copernican and Aristotelian theory. Though he said the book was neutral, but the supporter of Aristotelian theory stood against him.The church captured and tortured him. Then the church punished him for spending his remaining years under house arrest. Though he was not allowed to write or publish any of his work during house arrest. He manages to publish some of his works like “Dialogue” and “Two New Sciences”. This great scientist died on 8 January 1642. And in 1992, 350 years after his death the Pope John Paul II finally expressed his regrets about the Galileo affair.
Important Works of Galileo Galilei
- Theories of tides
- Theories of objects in motion (The Little Balance)
- The Starry Messenger
- Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
- Two New Sciences
Born: 15 February 1564
Died: 8 January 1642 (aged 77)
Birth Place: Pisa, Italy
Education: University of Pisa
Fields: Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy
Father: Vincenzo Galilei
Mother: Giulia Ammannati