Galileo Galilei
1564-1642

Father of Modern Science

Galileo was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and one of the pioneers of the scientific method.

He had a lively appearance, was of average stature, squarely built, bearded, and balding.

He was a talented speaker and teacher, prudent, stubborn, curious, and intelligent.

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He was born in Pisa, Italy on February 15th, 1564.

His father was a well known musician. He was named after one of his ancestors, Galileo Bonaiuti, a famous physician, teacher and politician in Florence.

He went to school at a monastery before attending the University of Pisa. It was there that he began to question Aristotle's teachings and starting forming his own hypotheses.

He was rumored to have conducted an experiment off the Leaning Tower of Pisa where he publicly challenged Aristotle's belief that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. Later he disproved Aristotle's belief on how objects float and the nature of the heavens.

Through the use of his telescope he became convinced that Nicolas Copernicus had the right idea: the sun was the center of the universe.

Galileo's most famous invention is the telescope. Although he wasn't the first to make one, he made his own much more powerful than previously existing ones. With his telescope, Galileo discoverd Saturn's rings, Jupiter's moons, and the craters on the moon's surface.

This was in conflict with the beliefs of the Church which sternly warned him of the nature of his studies. He continued to promote the heliocentric model in his studies and eventually elicited the attention of the Inquisition.

He was found guilty of heresy and was sentenced to house arrest until his death in 1642.

Galileo also is credited with inventing a compass, thermometer, and pendulum clock.

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