Why do we call ‘Galileo’ the father of modern science?

Science is a complex subject that deals with the things around us. Whether it may be an existing thing or new. There are no limits to it. It will discuss from an atom to outer space, the origin of living to the human brain. Simply we can say that it deals with everything. Many scientists sacrifice their lives in the process of exploring creation. ‘Galileo’ is one of them. For his contribution to the scientific world, he was honored as a ‘father of modern science’.

Galileo is a mathematician, astronomer, engineer and also a physicist. He is not the one who simply follows someone’s theory blindly. So, he observes things and understands how they work? Because of this unique quality, Galileo was able to discover many things.

Galileo with his telescope. Pic credit: By Justus Sustermans – http://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuExplore/PaintingDetail.cfm?ID=BHC2700, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=230543

Born & Education:

Galileo was born on 15th February 1564, Pisa, Italy. He was the firstborn to his parents Vincenzo Galilei and Giulia. At the time there is no proper school facility. So, he was educated by his father. For higher education, he was joined as a medical student at the University of Pisa. But he was not very much interested in that field. So, he learned mathematics and worked as a professor at the same University in 1589.

He was very curious to explore the things around him. This leads him to conduct an experiment about Aristotle proposed theory. Aristotle is a famous philosopher in the 4th century. He proposed many theories without any practical conclusion. He thought that human belief is enough to make a conclusion for anything without any practical experiment. But many scholars opposed his theories. Galileo is one of them.

According to Aristotle, “when we throw the two same objects having different masses to the ground, the object having the higher mass touches the ground first”. But this statement was not proven. So Galileo conducted an experiment to prove against this statement. So, he was taken two objects. One is weighted as 100 pounds object and the other is 1 pound only. He dropped both the objects at a time from 180 feet height to ground. Both objects reach the ground at the same time. So he concluded that weight is independent of gravitational pull.

What did Galileo discover?

In the 16th century, there was less facility or equipment to know the facts about outer space. So everyone believes that the earth is at the center and the sun is rotating around us. But, a famous mathematician and astronomer proposed that “Sun is located at the center of the universe and the earth is rotating around it. So, we have day and nights and various seasons.” But people didn’t believe his words at that time.

Undoubtedly, we can say that Galileo’s telescope is one of the best inventions which was used to change the human belief in outer space. By this invention, Galileo discovered many facts related to space, this makes him be honored as the father of modern science.

The father of modern science:

Hans Lippershey was the first person who tried to get the patient of a telescope in 1608. But Galileo made the 3x magnification capable telescope by the following year. Later the telescope capacity was improved by Galileo with 30x magnification capacity. With the use of the telescope, he found planets, stars, space, etc, with clear vision.

Galileo showing his telescope to Doge of Venice. Pic credit: By Giuseppe Bertini – Embedding web page: http://www.gabrielevanin.it/S.%20Marco%201609.htmImage: http://www.gabrielevanin.it/Bertini.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9500742

`In the picture, Galileo showing his telescope to Doge of Venice. And Galileo proved ‘Copernican heliocentrism’ with the help of his telescope. Not only that he was also discovered…

  • Galileo found that the moon has hills
  • He found the moons of the Jupiter and now they were called ‘Galilean satellites’ in honor.
  • First-person who believes that our milky way is made of stars.
  • He discovered sunspots, the dark areas of the sun.
  • Observes the phases of the moon. This helps to conclude that the sun is at the center of the universe.

People believe what they see. So Galileo wants to see people through his telescope and believe what he says. But people in that century were not able to think and believe independently. Religious leaders oppose Galileo’s words and set limits to him.

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How did he die?

In 1622, Galileo’s friend appointed as a religious leader. He permitted Galileo to wrote books but not to express anything about his experiments to anyone. Galileo defended his views through the book ‘DIALOGO’ concerning the two chief world systems published in 1632. Later he was arrested as a suspect of heresy. He was blind in 1637, while he was in prison.

Galileo took his last breathe on January 8th at the age of 77 in 1642. Ferdinando II wished to bury him in the Basilica of Santa Croce, next to his father and other ancestors. However, with some objections, he was buried in a small room next to the novices’ chapel at the end of the corridor from the southern transept of the basilica to the sacristy. He was reburied in the main body of the basilica in 1737 after a monument had been erected there in his honor, during this move three fingers and a tooth were removed from his remains. One of these is Galileo’s right-hand middle finger and now it is on exhibition at Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy.

Galileo’s right-hand middle finger. Pic credit: By Sailko – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31258181

According to Stephen Hawking, “Galileo bears more responsibility for the birth of modern science than anybody else”. And Dr. Einstein honored Galileo as “the father of modern science”.

Author: Aswarth

Former Blogger, Passionate & Informative about Science & Technology.