Chapter

GALILEO: SEEING AND BELIEVING

I.S. GLASS

in Revolutionaries of the Cosmos

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199550258
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191718700 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550258.003.0002
GALILEO: SEEING AND BELIEVING

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This chapter discusses Galileo Galilei's biography and private life. It notes that Galileo first became interested in the connection between mathematics and the measurement of quantities such as mass and dimensions of bodies. It states some of Galileo's greatest achievements. It explains that one of his most important innovations was to clearly distinguish between constant speed and acceleration, or rate of change of speed. It adds that Galileo was also known to have been interested in Copernican astronomy. This chapter also examines the invention of the telescope, as well as his study of the moon and sunspots. It then tells of the clerical oppositions experienced by Galileo particularly the trial that he faced regarding a vehement suspicion of heresy. It examines Galileo's last work: strength of materials and mechanics. Lastly, it talks about Galileo's last years and the hardships that he faced during these last fulfilling years.

Keywords: Galileo Galilei; mathematics; constant speed; acceleration; Copernican astronomy; sunspots; moon; telescope

Chapter.  14670 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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