Galileo Galilei is often described as the "Father of Modern Science," "Father of Modern Physics" and "Father of Modern Astronomy." Born in Feb. 15, 1564, he entered the University of Pisa as a medical student in 1581, but his interest in mathematics prevailed and he left without a degree in 1585. From 1592 to 1610, he worked as a professor of mathematics in the University of Padua.
Major Contributions to Modern Science
Galileo developed a number of theories that eventually led to more complex discoveries and theories supported by other scientists. One of his most famous contributions in the field of science is the "The Basic Law of Falling Bodies" where he challenged Aristotelian physics that assumed that the speed of fall was directly proportional to weight. Using mathematical arguments, he devised experiments to verify his discovery, supporting his claim that "A body moving on a level surface will continue in the same direction at constant speed unless disturbed."
Major Contributions to Modern Astronomy
Galileo served as a major influence in the paradigm shift from believing that everything revolved around the Earth to the now-proven fact that the Earth and other planets actually revolve around the sun. Through his invention of the telescope, he also discovered the Milky Way and the craters and mountains on the moon, as well as observing and recording sun spots.
Dispute Between Science and Religion
Because of his conviction that the Earth and other planets revolve around the sun, he was excommunicated by the Catholic Church who supported the Aristotelian belief that the Earth serves as the centre of the universe. He was placed under house arrest until his death. His dispute with the Church has become a classic example of the tension between science and religion.
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