Galileo Galilei, was an Italian inventor, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopher who lived between 1564 and 1642. His discoveries let to radical, as well as controversial, changes in his time. However, what discoveries did he make that were so important, and how have they influenced our lives?
1. Galileo's biggest role in influencing our lives was mostly with his role in the Scientific Revolution. In his day, the church was losing power as new technology and ways of investigating the world were brewing. He is often called the "father of modern science", because his methods for investigating the world around him (and beyond) were very close to those used in the Scientific Method as presented in his paper The Assayer.
2. Galileo's invention of the very first telescope is often regarded as one the most important inventions in astronomy. It was with the telescope that he was able to view the craters on the moon, long thought before to be sea beds. He was also able to view further out and see the phases of Venus, and the many moon of Jupiter.
3. It was the invention of the telescope that also led Galileo to discover something Nicholas Copernicus refused to publish himself out of fear from the Catholic church. Heliocentrism, or the idea that the sun is at the center of the universe, or at least the universe in their time, instead of the earth is what caused a great undoing of typical was of thinking. Before Galileo, the church had deemed earth to be the center of all things, and only after precise measurements and the viewing through his telescope was Galileo able to prove that the earth actually orbits the Sun, along with the other 9 (now 8) planets.
4. In his final years he dedicated his time to writing one of his most important works, titled: Two New Sciences. This book explored what he called kinematics and the strength of materials, and both Sir Issac Newton, and Albert Einstein considered it in high regard to modern physics.
These are only a few of the things that Galileo contributed to modern science and modern astronomy. It's a shame that in his later years, his discovery of heliocentrism would enivetably lead to living the rest of his days under house arrest in Arceti, Italy. Still, Galileo Galilei never gave up on discovering the truth of the makeup of the world, and thanks to him we are just now beginning our journey into the stars.