Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) – Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, and the “father of science”
His achievements include
- improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism.
- study of motion of uniformly accelerated objects – the subject of kinematics.
- discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, named the Galilean moons
- observation and analysis of sunspots.
- worked in applied science and technology, improving compass design.
Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), often known just as Galileo, played a major role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance. Galileo was one of the first modern thinkers to clearly state that the laws of nature are mathematical. His work marked another step towards the eventual separation of science from both philosophy and religion; a major development in human thought. He was often willing to change his views in accordance with observation.
Engineering or useful knowledge (as distinct from pure physics)
- devised and improved a Geometric and Military Compass – for gunners, a new and safer way of elevating cannons accurately, and a way of quickly computing the charge of gunpowder for cannonballs of different sizes and materials.
- a thermometer, using the expansion and contraction of air in a bulb to move water in an attached tube.
- used a telescope at close range, that evolved into a compound microscope, to magnify the parts of insects
- among the first to use a refracting telescope as an instrument to observe stars, planets or moons
What’s the problem?
In order to perform his experiments, Galileo had to set up standards of length and time, so that measurements made on different days and in different laboratories could be compared in a reproducible fashion. This provided a reliable foundation on which to confirm mathematical laws using inductive reasoning.