Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

Easton Press Galileo Galilei books

Galileo Galilei - Library of Great Lives - Ludovico Geymonat - 1990
Dialougues Concerning Two New Sciences - 1999

Franklin Library Galileo Galilei books

Works of Galileo Galilei, William Gilbert and William Harvey - Great Books of the Western World - 1984


Galileo Galilei biography

Galileo Galilei, born on February 15, 1564, in Pisa, Italy, was a polymath whose contributions to astronomy, physics, mathematics, and the scientific method laid the foundation for the Scientific Revolution. He was the son of Vincenzo Galilei, a musician, and scholar. Galileo's early education was at the Camaldolese monastery at Vallombrosa and later at the University of Pisa, where he initially studied medicine but eventually shifted his focus to mathematics and natural philosophy. His inclination toward scientific inquiry became evident as he began to question Aristotelian principles and embrace the ideas of the heliocentric model proposed by Nicolaus Copernicus. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of science", and "the father of modern science".

In the early 1600s, Galileo made significant advancements in the development of the telescope, a crucial instrument for astronomical observations. He turned his improved telescope to the night sky, making groundbreaking observations that challenged the geocentric model of the universe. Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter, observed the phases of Venus, and identified sunspots, all of which provided empirical evidence for the heliocentric model. Galileo's astronomical findings were detailed in his seminal work Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger), published in 1610, which garnered him widespread acclaim but also aroused opposition from those vested in the prevailing Ptolemaic worldview.

As Galileo continued to support the Copernican model, he faced increasing scrutiny from the Catholic Church. His 1632 work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, presented a comparison between the geocentric and heliocentric models, earning him condemnation from the Roman Catholic Inquisition. In 1633, Galileo was tried and found "vehemently suspect of heresy" for his support of the heliocentric model. He was forced to recant his views and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Despite his personal challenges, Galileo continued to contribute to physics and mechanics. In 1638, he published "Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences," where he laid the groundwork for the science of dynamics and the law of falling bodies. His work became a cornerstone of the scientific method, emphasizing empirical observation, mathematical analysis, and experimentation. Galileo Galilei's impact on science and the scientific method was profound, influencing subsequent generations of scientists and laying the groundwork for the Scientific Revolution. His ideas challenged entrenched beliefs, paving the way for a more empirical and evidence-based approach to understanding the natural world. Galileo died on January 8, 1642, but his legacy endures as a symbol of scientific inquiry and the pursuit of truth.

Galileo's astronomical discoveries changed the way we look at the world, and our place in the universe. Threatened by the Inquisition for daring to contradict the literal truth of the Bible, Galileo ignited a scientific revolution when he asserted that the Earth moves.

Dialougues Concerning Two New Sciences

Galileo Galilei was a great scientist, and therefore not afraid of causing controversy, even if he had to pay a great price. His public advocacy of the Copernican over the Aristotelian system of the universe flew directly in the face of biblical authority and ecclesiastical tradition. Condemned and placed under house arrest by the Inquisition, Galileo nonetheless devoted his last years to the completion of his Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, which deals with motion and the resistance of solids. The Two New Sciences, which Galileo called his most important work, may be regarded as the summary statement of a life devoted to scientific experimentation and free inquiry untrammeled by tradition and authority.
Despite the fact that the book encompasses 30 years of highly original experimentation and theorizing on the part of this singular man, it is eminently readable. Written as a discussion between a master and two students, it sets forth its hundreds of experiments and summarizes the conclusions Galileo drew from those experiments in a brisk, direct style. Using helpful geometric demonstrations, Galileo discusses aspects of fracture of solid bodies, cohesion, leverage, the speed of light, sound, pendulums, falling bodies, projectiles, uniform motion, accelerated motion, and the strength of wires, rods and beams under different loadings and placements. 

Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences Galileo Galilei The Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences (Italian: Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche Intorno a Due Nuove Scienze, published in 1638 was Galileo's final book and a scientific testament covering much of his work in physics over the preceding thirty years. FOR more than a century English speaking students have been placed in the anomalous position of hearing Galileo constantly referred to as the founder of modern physical science, without having any chance to read, in their own language, what Galileo himself has to say. Archimedes has been made available by Heath; Huygens' Light has been turned into English by Thompson, while Motte has put the Principia of Newton back into the language in which it was conceived. To render the Physics of Galileo also accessible to English and American students is the purpose of the following translation. The last of the great creators of the Renaissance was not a prophet without honor in his own time; for it was only one group of his country-men that failed to appreciate him. Even during his life time, his Mechanics had been rendered into French by one of the leading physicists of the world, Mersenne. Within twenty-five years after the death of Galileo, his Dialogues on Astronomy, and those on Two New Sciences, had been done into English by Thomas Salusbury and were worthily printed in two handsome quarto volumes. The Two New Sciences, which contains practically all that Galileo has to say on the subject of physics, issued from the English press in 1665. It is supposed that most of the copies were destroyed in the great London fire which occurred in the year following. We are not aware of any copy in America: even that belonging to the British Museum is an imperfect one. Again in 1730 the Two New Sciences was done into English by Thomas Weston; but this book, now nearly two centuries old, is scarce and expensive. Moreover, the literalness with which this translation was made renders many passages either ambiguous or unintelligible to the modern reader. Other than these two, no English version has been made.

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