His name a game of ‘letter jumble- Glie’ – Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642) invented many hypotheses. His father wanted him to study medicine but he was keen to pursue mathematics.
1. A medicine-science oriented thought : At the age of 17
while reading psalm-book, he happened to observe that the chandelier in the Church was swinging to and fro and the time taken for each swing was the same as synchronized with his own pulse-beat, which served as a watch (there were no watches at that time).
2. (a) Experiment underneath a tree: He hung an iron sphere
first and a light wooden block next, to the tree by a string (to simulate a chandelier as in 1. above) and made the string swing like a pendulum. The time taken for one swing was the same in both, independent of the weight.
This observation provided the nucleus of thought for the pendulum of a clock.
2. (b) When the length of the string was increased, the time also increased, and vice versa. Thus the swing of the pendulum varied in direct proportion to the length of the string.
3. Experiment on falling bodies
As per the prevailing Aristotle’s theory, heavy bodies fall faster than lighter ones. Galileo struck out this idea as wrong, even at the grass-root level. At the age of 23, he undertook this experiment.
A live demonstration in front of thousands of spectators: He threw two metal balls, one weighing 100 lb and the other ball weighing 1 lb from the seventh floor of the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’, from about a height of 180 feet.
To the surprise of all, both balls took the same time to fall to the ground.
However, disproving a tradition evokes criticism as a way of the world. Galileo was looked down upon by the followers of Aristotle; even the Church authorities despised his experiments as the influence of Satan!.
4. An experiment
A half-metre long cylindrical glass tube with a side tube was taken; the main tube was closed at both ends with cork. A feather and a guinea (British gold coin) were placed at the bottom.
Air was evacuated with a vacuum pump at the side tube and thus a vacuum was created in the main tube and the side tube was closed. When the main tube was tilted upside down, both the feather and coin touched the bottom at the same time.
5. Invention of telescope
Galileo assembled the first telescope in the world. Heavenly objects like the satellites of Jupiter, galaxy of stars in the Milky Way, etc., were visualized through this instrument. Far objects appeared nearer.
6. In the year 1616 he made known to the world that the earth revolved round the sun. This view was the same as that of Copernicus.
The 70 year old Galileo was put in prison by the Church authorities for ventilating the above views in his book. In 1637, he became blind; in 1642 he died.
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