Biography of Galileo Galilei

(1564/02/15 - 1642/01/08)

Galileo Galilei
Italian astronomer and physicist

With regard to science, the authority of a thousand is not more than the humble reasoning of a man.
Galileo Galilei
He was born on February 15, 1564, near Pisa (then part of the Duchy of Florence), Italy.
It was the first of six children of Vincenzo Galilei, a famous lutenist, composer and music theorist, and Giulia Ammannati. Like his father, he was a consummate interpreter of lute. Three of the five Galileo brothers survived infancy. When he was eight years old, his family moved to Florence, but he was in charge of Jacopo Borghini for two years.
He then studied at the monastery of Camaldolese at Vallombrosa, 35 km southeast of Florence. He seriously considered the priesthood, but urged by his father entered in the University of Pisa in 1581, where intended to study medicine. Shortly after he left medicine in philosophy and the mathematics, leaving College in 1585 without getting the title.
Galileo played an important role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance. He began to teach private lessons and wrote about the hydrostatic movement and natural, without posting anything. In 1589, in Pisa, he worked as Professor of mathematics, where he showed the mistake Aristotle had made stating that the speed of falling bodies was proportional to its weight, dropping two objects of different weights from the leaning tower of this city. In 1591, his father died, and was entrusted with the care of his younger brother Michelagnolo. In 1592, he moved to the University of Padua to be admitted to the Chair of mathematics, and where he taught geometry, mechanics, and astronomy until 1610. There he invented a 'compass' calculation to solve practical problems of mathematics.
Speculative physics became devoted to the accurate measurements, discovering the laws of falling bodies and the parabolic projectile trajectory, is dedicated to studying the motion of the pendulum , and investigated the mechanics and strength of materials. Left sided astronomy, although starting from 1595 leaned by the theory of Copernicus, who claimed that the earth revolved around the Sun.
In 1609 he presented to the Duke of Venice a power similar to the binoculars binocular telescope . With your telescope of twenty increases discovered mountains and craters on the Moon, got to see that the Milky way was made up of stars and discovered four satellites of Jupiter. A few months later he published the Messenger of the stars, book that talked about these discoveries.
His fame helped him to get the position of mathematician in the Court of Florence, where was his academic responsibilities and was able to devote himself to research and write. In December 1610, he saw the phases of Venus, which went completely against to the Astronomy of Ptolemy and confirmed its acceptance of the theories of Copernicus. It was criticized by teachers of philosophy, since Aristotle had claimed that in heaven only bodies could not be perfectly spherical and that it was not possible to appear nothing new. In 1612 he published a book about bodies floating. Quickly appeared four publications that rejected his physics.
A year later wrote a treatise on the sunspots and anticipated the supremacy of theory of Copernicus. In 1614, a Florentine priest denounces him and his followers. Galileo wrote an extensive menu open on the irrelevance of the biblical passages in the scientific reasoning, holding that the interpretation of the Bible should be to adapt itself to the new knowledge and that no scientific position should become article of faith of the Catholic Church.
In early 1616, Copernicus books were banned and the Jesuit Cardinal Robert Bellarmine orders him to not defend the concept that the Earth moved. Galileo not dealed for some years devoted to investigate a method for determining the latitude and length at sea based on their predictions about the positions of the satellites of Jupiter, as well as summarizing his early work on the fall of bodies and to expose their points of view on the scientific reasoning in a play about comets , The assayer (1623).
In 1624 he writes a book which intended to draw dialogue on the tides, where he dealt with the hypothesis of Ptolemy and Copernicus concerning this phenomenon. Six years later it got the license of the censors of the Catholic Church in Rome, and they put him entitled dialogue on maximum systems, published in Florence in 1632. Despite all the Inquisition called him to Rome intending to try him for "suspected of heresy". In 1633 he was forced to recant and it was sentenced to life imprisonment (sentence which was commuted her house arrest). Copies of the dialogue were burned. His last work was mathematics on two new sciences demonstrations and considerations, published in Leiden in 1638.
Even being a practicing Roman Catholic, was father of three with Marina Gamba out of wedlock. They had two daughters, Virginia in 1600 (especially dedicated to his father. It is buried with him in his tomb in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence), and Livia in 1601, and a son, Vincenzo, in 1606. Due to his illegitimate birth, Galileo saw that the only decent alternative for them was the religious life. Both girls were accepted by the convent of San Matteo in Arcetri and remained there for the rest of their lives. Virginia took the name of María Celeste upon entering the convent. Livia took the name of sister Arcángela and was ill for most of her life. Vincenzo was legitimated as a legal heir of Galileo and married Sestilia Bocchineri.
Galileo died on January 8, 1642, at the age of 77, in Florence. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, Fernando II, wanted to they bury it in the main body of the Basilica of Santa Croce, next to the tombs of his father and other ancestors, and erect a mausoleum of marble in his honor. These plans were cancelled by Pope Urban VIII and his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Barberini, protesting because Galileo had been accused by the Catholic Church of "heresy". He was buried in a small room next to the chapel of the novices at the end of a corridor from the southern transept of the basilica to the sacristy. His remains were buried in the main body of the basilica in 1737 in a monument erected in his honor.
Galileo Galilei died in Florence on January 8, 1642.

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