Galileo Galilei is an Italian astronomer, physicist, philosopher, and mathematician. He ranks with Archimedes, Newton, and Einstein as one of the greatestscientists of all time. His discoveries, made with the crudest of equipment, were brilliant examples of scientific deduction. Galileo’s studies of natural laws laid the groundwork for the experimentalscientists who followed him. Galileo was born at Pisa, the son of a musician who planned a medical career for him. He began studying medicine at the University of Pisa.
According to legend, Galileo madehis first major discovery at this time. He is said to have used his pulse to time the swinging of a suspended lamp in a cathedral; he found that, no matter how far the lamp swung, the timing hasalways the same (Drake, 2002). In later life Galileo established the fact that a free-swinging object, or pendulum, moves in uniform time intervals. Pendulum clocks are a common application of thisprinciple.
Thesis Statement: This paper scrutinizes the life and contributions of Galileo Galilei.
Galileo constructed the first telescope used for astronomical observations; theobservations he made supported Copernicus’ theory that the sun is the center of the solar system. In physics, Galileo discovered the principles of motion followed by swinging pendulums, falling bodies, andflying projectiles. Galileo used his heartbeat to time the period of a pendulum. He realized that a pendulum could be used as a standard of time for a clock (Rose 2004). Pendulum clocks are still soldtoday, more than three hundred years after their invention.
Moreover, changing from the study of medicine to that mathematics and natural science, Galileo conducted experiments on gravity thatbrought him to public attention. In 1589, he became a lecturer on mathematics at the University of Pisa, and began his studies of falling bodies. According to legend, as mentioned earlier, he dropped...