Galileo

Galileo

Watcher of the Skies

Book - 2010
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Galileo (1564--1642) is one of the most important and controversial figures in the history of science. A hero of modern science and key to its birth, he was also a deeply divided man: a scholar committed to the establishment of scientific truth yet forced to concede the importance of faith, and a brilliant analyst of the elegantly mathematical workings of nature yet bungling and insensitive with his own family.

Tackling Galileo as astronomer, engineer, and author, David Wootton places him at the center of Renaissance culture. He traces Galileo through his early rebellious years; the beginnings of his scientific career constructing a "new physics"; his move to Florence seeking money, status, and greater freedom to attack intellectual orthodoxies; his trial for heresy and narrow escape from torture; and his house arrest and physical (though not intellectual) decline. Wootton reveals much that is new--from Galileo's premature Copernicanism to a previously unrecognized illegitimate daughter--and, controversially, rejects the long-established orthodoxy which holds that Galileo was a good Catholic.

Absolutely central to Galileo's significance--and to science more broadly--is the telescope, the potential of which Galileo was the first to grasp. Wootton makes clear that it totally revolutionized and galvanized scientific endeavor to discover new and previously unimagined facts. Drawing extensively on Galileo's voluminous letters, many of which were self-censored and sly, this is an original, arresting, and highly readable biography of a difficult, remarkable Renaissance genius.

Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780300125368
0300125364
0978300125368
Characteristics: xii, 328 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm

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Feb 08, 2017

Originally from Florence, Italy - Galileo Galilei (born 15 February 1564) was an brilliant polymath: astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician, who played a major role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century.

He has been called the "father of observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of scientific method", and the "father of science".

His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.

In the Christian world prior to Galileo's conflict with the Church, the majority of educated people subscribed to the Aristotelian geocentric view that the Earth was the centre of the universe and that all heavenly bodies revolved around it. Galileo, of course, rightfully challenged the validity of this belief and, as a result, was brought before the Roman Inquisition.

On January 8, 1642 - Galileo (77 at the time) died from heart failure.

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