Galileo Galilei's Life and Accomplishments

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In 1583, Galileo went into the University of Pisa to study medicine, with very high intelligence and knowledge, he became very fascinated with an extraordinary amount of subjects, mainly mathematics and physics, he told his father he did not want to be a doctor. He was exposed to the Aristotelian view of the world and was intent to be a university professor. Unfortunately, due to financial reasons he declined from the college. A year later Galileo enrolled into the University of Padua for the degree he pursued in the University of Pisa. He graduated from Padua and became a professor teaching geometry, mathematics and astronomy until 1610. Most of his students told him he was more brilliant and more intelligent than he was thought to be, being a college teacher. In 1581, when he was studying medicine, he noticed a chandelier swinging, which air currents shifted. It seemed, with his heartbeat, that the chandelier took the same amount of time to swing back and forth. When he returned home, he set up two pendulums and swung one with a large sweep and the other with a small sweep and found that they kept time together. To this point, he had been kept away from mathematics, but upon accidentally attending a lecture on geometry, he talked his father into letting him study mathematics and natural philosophy instead. He created a thermoscope which is somewhat like the thermometer and in 1586 published a small book on the design of a hydrostatic balance he had invented. Galileo also studied disegno, which is like fine art, and in 1588 he was instructor in the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence, teaching perspective and chiaroscuro. With that Galileo acquired an aesthetic mentality.

Some of Galileo's inventio...

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...ious geo-heliocentric planetary models, such as the Tychonic, Capellan and Extended Capellan models. These all had the virtue of explaining the phases of Venus. Heliocentrism's prediction of stellar parallax.

Prior to Galileo's telescope, Thomas Harriot, an mathematician and explorer from England, had already used what he dubbed a "perspective tube" to observe space. Reporting his observations, Harriot noted only "strange spottednesse" in the waning of the crescent, but was ignorant to the cause. Galileo, due in part to his artistic training and the knowledge of chiaroscuro, had understood the patterns of light and shadow. While not being the only one to observe the moon through a telescope, Galileo was the first to figure out the cause of the uneven waning. In his study he also made some charts, estimating the heights of the mountains.

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