Galileo Galilei was born February 15, 1564 and died on January 8, 1642 at the age of seventy-seven. He was born in Pisa Italy. He was the first of six children of Vincenzo Galilei, who was a famous lutenist. Galileo seriously considered priesthood as a young man. His father urged him to study at the University of Pisa to become a doctor. Instead, Galileo decided to study to become a mathematician.
Until 1609 Galileo taught math and made several discoveries in the area of physics. Galileo mathematically described physics and friction as it relates to motion. Galileo also became interested in optics and astronomy. In 1609, Galileo built his first telescope and about a year later. He discovered the Moon, Jupiter’s four largest moons and many new stars. Three of Galileo’s most important works where Letters on Sunspots, The Assayer and Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Galileo’s Letter’s on Sunspots showed of solar imperfections and described axial rotations. Galileo’s The Assayer showed the nature of scientific investigation through observation and mathematics. One of Galileo’s last works will be described below.
Galileo learned that the Sun rotates and that planets move around the Sun by discovering sunspots on the Sun. Galileo forever put to rest Aristotle’s belief that the earth was “perfect and unchanging”. Galileo’s discovery of sunspots confirmed Copernicus’s theory of a heliocentric Solar System. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church, which was almost similar to a modern day totalitarian government, sided with Aristotle’s teachings and believed that Galileo’s findings would endanger the Church’s teachings. Galileo was allowed to carry on his observations as long as he did not talk literally in his works to the public.
In 1623, Galileo got some hopeful news. Pope Paul V died and Cardinal Maffeo...