Essay Preview: Galileo Galilei
Report this essay
Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564 to Vincenzo Galilei and Giulia degli Ammannati in Pisa, Italy. His father, Vincenzo, was a musician. Galileo was the first of six children (though some people believe seven). His family was not rich but they were of nobility. His family moved to Florence in the early 1570s.
Galileo never married but he did have a brief relationship with Marina Gamba. He met her on one of his trips to Venice. She lived with Galileo and bore three children to him. His two daughters, Virginia and Livia were sent to convents. In 1610 Galileo moved to Florence where he took a position at The Court of the Medici family. He left his son, Vincenzio with Marina. In 1613 Marina married Giovanni Bartoluzzi. Vincenzio joined his father in Florence.
In 1581 Galileo went to study at the University of Pisa. His father hoped he would study medicine there. Galileo did not study medicine there but he did study the pendulum. According to legend Galileo watched a suspended lamp swing back and forth in the cathedral of Pisa. Galileo did not make his most notable discovery about the pendulum until 1602. He discovered that the time in which a pendulum swings back and forth did not depend on the arc or isochronism of the swing.
At the University of Piza Galileo studied physics. He mainly studied and eventually disproved Aristotle approch on physics. Aristotlians believed that heavier objects fell through a medium faster than lighter objects. Galileo disproved the idea by asserting that all objects (no matter the density) fell at the same rate in a vacuum. To be sure of this Galileo performed many experiments. In most he dropped objects from a certain height. In an early experiment Galileo rolled two balls down a slightly sloped hill and then he would determine their positions after equal time intervals. He then wrote a book about his discoveries called De Muto which means “On Motion”.
In 1592 Galileo was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Padua. While there he often visited a place called the Arsenal where Venetian ships were docked. Galileo was always interested in mechanicle devices and this was the perfect place to study them. While at the Arsenal Galileo became interested in nautical devices especially the sector and ship building. In 1593 Galileo was faced with the problem involving the placement of oars in the galleys. By treating the oar as a lever