Biography Of Galileo Galilei Essay

2130 words - 9 pages

Galileo Galilei was an Italian brilliant mind who revolutionized the scientific world. At the age of seventeen he enrolled in the University of Pisa, where he studied medicine and took interest in mathematics. Due to lack of interest in medicine as well as financial issues, Galileo didn’t complete his degree, but years later he managed to get a position as a professor of the University. A few years later he began working at the University of Padua and remained there until 1610 (Andrade, 1964). It was during this period that he made most of his scientific discoveries. During this time, life in Italy for discoveries was difficult because of the church holding power over the scientists; however Galileo decided to go against the church’s will, and open the eyes of society on the true aspects of astronomy and natural science (Leveillee, 2011). Because of his passion for mathematics, Galileo was able to view the world in a quantitative, rather than a qualitative way. Even though there were struggles, Galileo still brought light over the issues in his field, and motivated others to continue with his study. He is remembered as the father of astronomy and remains one of the most competent scientists in the field (Andrade, 1964). This essay will explore Galileo’s observation of the contradiction in Aristotle’s reasoning through mathematics, his struggle between church and science, as well as his contribution to astronomy with the invention of the telescope.

Galileo came up with a very different approach in viewing the motion of falling objects. Unlike Aristotle, who viewed motion in terms of nature, Galileo focused strictly on the mathematical aspects (Finocchiaro, 1975). Galileo once said, “The universe cannot be read until we have learnt the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word.”(Hodgkin, 2005). During his time at the University of Padua Galileo was introduced to and learned the physics of Aristotle. Aristotle stated that it is the weight of the object that influences the motion of its fall. For example if two objects are dropped from the same height, the heavier one will fall to the ground faster. His observations were solely qualitative, and Galileo began to question his conclusion. With his concrete knowledge of mathematics, Galileo made his own observations on how objects move on Earth. He set up many different experiments to view the effect of different circumstances on the movement of objects. Galileo was the first to observe a flaw in Aristotle’s conclusions. Galileo’s observations completely contradicted with those of Aristotle. He noticed that objects accelerate as they fall to the ground and that independently of mass, they will fall with the same acceleration, in an environment without air resistance (Finocchiaro, 1975). One...

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