This Wednesday Joebar's special guest was Galileo - the Italian mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, often considered the first scientist of the Scientific Revolution.
Most historians consider Galileo (usually known by his first name only) as the first scientist of the Scientific Revolution. His influence comes not only through his persuasive and popular books about the solar system, kinematics, and materials, but also as a result of his inventions (the astronomical telescope and the thermometer), his correspondence, and his students and assistants.
He shared with the audience that he was born on February 15, 1564, in Pisa, Italy. He was the first of six children of Vincenzo Galilei, a famous lutenist, composer, and music theorist, and Giulia Ammannati. At the age of 8, his family moved to Florence, but he was left with Jacopo Borghini for two years. He then was educated in the Camaldolese Monastery at Vallombrosa. Although he seriously considered the priesthood as a young man, he enrolled for a medical degree at the University of Pisa at his father's urging. He did not complete this degree, but instead studied mathematics.
His invention of the hydrostatic balance made him famous. In 1589 he published a treatise on the center of gravity in solids, which won him the post of mathematics lecturer at the University of Pisa. There he disproved the Aristotelian contention that bodies of different weights fall at different speeds; he also proposed the law of uniform acceleration for falling bodies and showed that the path of a thrown object is a parabola. The first to use a telescope to study the skies, he discovered that the surface of the Moon is irregular, that the Milky Way is composed of stars, and that Jupiter has moons.
His findings led to his appointment as philosopher and mathematician to the grand duke of Tuscany. During a visit to Rome, he spoke persuasively for the Copernican system. Because he believed that the planets revolved around the sun, and not the Earth, he was denounced as a heretic by the church in Rome. He faced the Inquisition and was forced to renounce those beliefs publicly, though later research, of course, proved his theories correct. he spent the rest of his life under house arrest, continuing to write and conduct research even after going blind in sixteen thirty seven.
Next week we have invited Mark Twain, so save the date and be there!