Galileo for mathematics and decided to make it

Galileo Galilei, the father of modern science, left an impact on the world we live in today. Through his lifetime, he made many discoveries relating to the field of both physics and astronomy. From his findings of what was unseen in the heavens, to his experiment of the Falling Bodies, there was no man quite like Galileo. He completely changed the way that scientists performed research, by putting emphasis on experimentation and mathematics, as well as the importance of variables. He used his knowledge to help pave the way for future research. 


            Galileo Galilei, born in Pisa, Italy on February 15, 1564, was a man of many talents. He was an astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. He made countless contributions to astronomy, the science of motions, and in developing the scientific method. Galileo was born in Pisa, Tuscany, and moved to Florence in 1570s. As a teenager, he attended the monastery school at Vallombrosa, then later in 1581, he enrolled at the University of Pisa. Initially he went there to study medicine, but Galileo developed a passion for mathematics and decided to make it his profession, along with philosophy. He taught himself mathematics and Aristotelian philosophy. Galileo left the university in 1585, without receiving a degree, and went on to deliver private lessons on mathematics. At the same time, he designed a new form of hydrostatic balance, and wrote La bilancetta. For the next two decades, Galileo pursued his studies on motion. In 1588, he applied at the University of Bologna, as the chair of mathematics, but was unsuccessful. At this time, his reputation did not increase until later that year, and was contributed to his findings on a few ingenious theorems on centers of gravity. This also lead to his position as the chair of mathematics in 1589, at the University of Pisa. At the University of Pisa, Galileo did demonstrations on how a heavy object’s speed of fall, is not proportional to its weight, by dropping different bodies of weight from the top of the Leaning Tower. Eventually, his contract was not renewed due to his opposing opinions on Aristotle with his colleagues. From 1592 to 1610, Galileo was the chair of mathematics at the University of Padua. By 1609, he concluded that the bodies fall on the surface of the earth at a constant acceleration until it reaches the ground, this is known as the Law of Falling Bodies.

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Galileo was one of the most important astronomers to have ever existed. Though he did not invent the telescope, he created his own that was far more powerful. Before his, the previous telescopes could only magnify objects by about three times. His however, was able to magnify objects by thirty times. His telescope was so powerful because of the lenses that he created for it. It allowed him to see stars that were not possible with just the human eye or any other telescope. With his creation, he was able to be the first person to ever see the moon’s surface in further detail. He witnessed how it had craters and was uneven. Not just this, but when he pointed his telescope at Jupiter, he saw that it had four moons. These four moons are referred to as Galilean moons. When he pointed the telescope towards the sun, he was able to make the discovery of sunspots, which are the dark spots on the sun’s surface. When pointed towards Venus, Galileo was the first to see its phases. He was also able to discover the rings of Saturn with his telescope. Perhaps one of the most important functions of the telescope was that it supposed the idea that the planets revolve around the sun. Before this belief, it was still believed that the sun revolved around the earth. This was due to the fact that people thought that the universe was geocentric.

            Galileo was able to change the way scientists actually performed scientific research. Rather than just demonstrating that something happened and relate it back to real life, he put more focus on experimenting and using mathematics in order to prove how the action occurred. Galileo pushed scientists towards using math in order to come up with a hypothesis, and to experiment to prove their prediction. Not just this, but he also knew how variables were able to affect the results of an experiment and therefore tried to remove as many as he could.


Galileo contributed to the study of physics. His most notable experiment in this field was conducted in 1950 and was known as “Falling Bodies”. In this experiment, he released iron balls from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The objects all had different weights and were dropped from the same height. To his discovery, he found that the mass of an object does not impact the acceleration at which the object reaches the floor. This proved that Aristotle’s theory was incorrect, as he believed that an object’s weight did in face affect their speed when dropped. 


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