Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

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Galileo was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who played a unique role in the scientific revolution. Born on February 15, 1564 in the city of Pisa, Italy. His most cited work and one of the most revolutionary for the time in which he lived is the proposition of the Heliocentric theory, which describes a model of the universe where the sun is the still center, not the earth as was believed at the time.

He was also responsible for developing the first consistent studies of uniformly accelerated motion and pendulum motion. He enunciated the law of bodies and the principle of inertia and the concept of inertial referential, precursor ideas of Newtonian mechanics.

Galileo built a refracting telescope significantly improved over those already in existence at the time, making it possible to observe sunspots (which cost him his eyesight), craters on the moon, Venus phases, Jupiter's moons, Saturn's rings and countless Milky Way stars.

Famous for developing its own research equipment, it is attributed to Galileo the creation of instruments such as the hydrostatic balance, a type of geometric compass that allowed measuring angles and areas, the Galileo thermometer and the grandfather clock precursor. In 1614, he studied methods for determining air weight, finding that it weighs little, but not zero as previously thought.

In 1616, the Inquisition (Tribunal of the Holy Office) ruled on the Heliocentric Theory, stating that the claim that the sun is the immovable center of the universe was heretical and that the earth moves was "theologically" wrong. He was summoned to Rome to present his new arguments. He thus had the opportunity to defend his ideas before the Holy Office, which ruled that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the earth was moving, which prompted Galileo to abandon his defense of the heliocentric theory. Having Galileo persisted in going further with his ideas, he was then forbidden to spread them or teach them.

Galileo's condemnation was an attempt to save the key geocentrism of scholasticism, the grand synthesis between Aristotle's philosophy (4th century BC) and the Christian doctrine that dominated European thought during the Lower Middle Ages (11th to 14th centuries). Its lawsuit has remained on file for long 350 years. Only in 1983 did Pope John Paul II admit the errors of the Church and acquit him.

He died on January 8, 1642. In the city of Florence, Italy.