Cool Facts About Galileo Galilei
Galileo originally began studying medicine, but switched to mathematics.
Galileo’s dad, Vincenzo, was a famous musician and composer.
Galileo played the lute to a very high standard – his dad taught him!
There is a very famous play called ‘Life of Galileo’ by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht.
Galileo was the first person to officially study the night sky with a telescope.
Galileo was sent to prison for his scientific belief that the sun was at the centre of the solar system.
It wasn’t until 1992 that the Catholic Church officially cleared Galileo of wrong-doing for his scientific opinions.
Galileo was the first person to spot the four moons of Jupiter – they are known as the Galilean moons.
Galileo’s first job was as an art teacher.
Galileo discovered that our moon has mountains and craters.
While studying medicine Galileo decided to become a monk, but soon left the monastery he had joined in order to study mathematics. He became interested in mathematics after accidentally attending a lecture on geometry.
Galileo thought that the tides on the Earth were caused by the rotation of the Earth rather than anything to do with the moon (as had been suggested by Kepler). This particular theory of Galileo’s was in fact wrong.
Although Galileo never married he did have three children with a woman called Marina Gambia – two daughters and a son. His two daughters became nuns and Galileo used to fix things at the convent where they lived.
Galileo’s approach to science was unusual at the time – scientists didn’t generally carry out experiments to test out their theories. Effectively Galileo developed what we now know as ‘the scientific method’ of experimentation.
As a young man, Galileo was fascinated by the pendulum movement of a chandelier he was watching. This ultimately led him to his work on a pendulum clock.
“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him.”
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.”
“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”