Galileo Galilei: a Biography

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Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei, born Febuary 15th 1564 and died January 8th 1642, was a major contrubitor to science during the Scientific Revolution. As a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, his contributions include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for heliocentrism. He also conducted experiments with pendulums, establishing the relationships between length and period. He also applied these principles to gravity, determining that objects fall at the same speed regardless of their comparative masses. His persistence in investigating and testing natural laws laid the foundation for the modern experimental method, which is based on conducting tests and observing results. He is now known as the “Father of Modern Science”.

One of his most famous inventions is the hydrostatic balance. Using this device, he could accurately weigh objects both in water and the air. Galileo got the idea from the "Eureka" story about Archimedes and the King of Syracuse's crown in which Archimedes had to prove if the king's crown was made of real gold or not. By submerging an item in the water of the device, he was able to precisely measure its volume by determining the volume of water displaced. Another invention of his was the thermoscope, a precursor to the thermometer. Although it showed changes in the weather, it did not measure it in quantities. Adding a scale to a thermoscope creates a thermometer, which was done in 1701 by Ole Christensen Romer with his Romer scale.

 Galileo also expanded upon the basic telescope, an instrument for viewing distant objects, to make it into a highly functional tool by creating the refracting telescope. He was the first to use the telescope to study the skies, enabling him to make several important discoveries. For instance, in 1610 he found that the Moon shines with light that is reflected from the Sun and that the Moon's surface is mountainous. He also discovered sunspots...
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