Essay/Term paper: Galileo galilei
Essay, term paper, research paper: Humanities
See all college papers and term papers on Humanities
Need a different (custom) essay on Humanities? Buy a custom essay on Humanities
Need a custom research paper on Humanities? Click here to buy a custom term paper.
Galileo Galilei was born at Pisa on the 18th of February in 1564. His father,
Vincenzo Galilei, belonged to a noble family and had gained some distinction as a
musician and a mathematician. At an early age, Galileo manifested his ability to learn
both mathematical and mechanical types of things, but his parents, wishing to turn him
aside from studies which promised no substantial return, steered him toward some sort of
medical profession. But this had no effect on Galileo. During his youth he was allowed to
follow the path that he wished to.
Although in the popular mind Galileo is remembered chiefly as an astronomer,
however, the science of mechanics and dynamics pretty much owe their existence to his
findings. Before he was twenty, observation of the oscillations of a swinging lamp in the
cathedral of Pisa led him to the discovery of the isochronism of the pendulum, which
theory he utilized fifty years later in the construction of an astronomical clock. In 1588, an
essay on the center of gravity in solids obtained for him the title of the Archimedes of his
time, and secured him a teaching spot in the University of Pisa. During the years
immediately following, taking advantage of the celebrated leaning tower, he laid the
foundation experimentally of the theory of falling bodies and demonstrated the falsity of
the peripatetic maxim, which is that an objects rate of descent is proportional to its weight.
When he challenged this it made all of the followers of Aristotle extremely angry, they
would not except the fact that their leader could have been wrong. Galileo, in result of
this and other troubles, found it prudent to quit Pisa and move to Florence, the original
home of his family. In Florence he was nominated by the Venetian Senate in 1592 to the
chair of mathematics in the University of Padua, which he occupied for eighteen years,
with ever-increasing fame. After that he was appointed philosopher and mathematician to
the Grand Duke of Tuscany. During the whole of this period, and to the close of his life,
his investigation of Nature, in all her fields, was never stopped. Following up his
experiments at Pisa with others upon inclined planes, Galileo established the laws of falling
bodies as they are still formulated. He likewise demonstrated the laws of projectiles, and
largely anticipated the laws of motion as finally established by Newton. In statics, he gave
the first direct and satisfactory demonstration of the laws of equilibrium and the principle
of virtual velocities. In hydrostatics, he set forth the true principle of flotation. He invented
a thermometer, though a defective one, but he did not, as is sometimes claimed for him,
invent the microscope.
Though, as has been said, it is by his astronomical discoveries that he is most
widely remembered, it is not these that constitute his most substantial title to fame. In this
connection, his greatest achievement was undoubtedly his virtual invention of the
telescope. Hearing early in 1609 that a Dutch optician, named Lippershey, had produced
an instrument by which the apparent size of remote objects was magnified, Galileo at once
realized the principle by which such a result could alone be attained, and, after a single
night devoted to consideration of the laws of refraction, he succeeded in constructing a
telescope which magnified three times, its magnifying power being soon increased to
thirty-two. This instrument being provided and turned towards the heavens, the
discoveries, which have made Galileo famous, were bound at once to follow, though
undoubtedly he was quick to grasp their full significance. The moon was shown not to be,
as the old astronomy taught, a smooth and perfect sphere, of different nature to the earth,
but to possess hills and valleys and other features resembling those of our own globe.
The planet Jupiter was found to have satellites, thus displaying a solar system in miniature,
and supporting the doctrine of Copernicus. It had been argued against the said system
that, if it were true, the inferior planets, Venus and Mercury, between the earth and the
sun, should in the course of their revolution exhibit phases like those of the moon, and,
these being invisible to the naked eye, Copernicus had to change the false explanation that
these planets were transparent and the sun's rays passed through them. But with his
telescope Galileo found that Venus did actually exhibit the desired phases, and the
objection was thus turned into an argument for Copernicanism.
Galileo was tried by the Inquisition for his writings discussing the Ptolemaic and
Copernican systems. In June 1633, Galileo was condemned to life imprisonment for
heresy. His writings about these subjects were banned, and printers were forbidden to
publish anything further by him or even to reprint his previous works. Outside Italy,
however, his writings were translated into Latin and were read by scholars throughout
Galileo remained under imprisonment until his death in 1642. However he never
was a real prisoner for he never spent any time in a prison cell or being treated like a
criminal. Instead he spent his time in fancy apartments. The rest of the time he was
allowed to use houses of friends as his places of confinement the, always comfortable and
I. Early Life
A. Born in 1564 at Pisa
B. Parents want him to be a doctor
C. Eventually allowed to follow his own path
II. Accomplishments other than in the field of astronomy
A. Isochronism of the pendulum
1. later led to astronomical clock
B. Center of Gravity in Solids
C. Teacher at University of Pisa
D. Theory of Falling Bodies
E. Nominated to the chair of mathematics in the University of Padua
F. Laws of Projectiles
G. Laws of Equilibrium / Principle of Virtual Velocities
III. Astronomical Discoveries
A. Designed highest powered telescopes of the time.
B. The moon
1. Not a perfect and smooth sphere
1. Four moons of Jupiter
D. Venus and Mercury
1. Not transparent
2. Had phases
IV. Later Life
A. Tried by the Inquisition
1. For writings
2. Charged with Heresy
B. Sentenced to house arrest
1. lived in luxury
2. never in a prison cell
C. Writings Prohibited
D. Died in 1642
1. Drake, S. ,Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography. Greensborough Press, 1995.
2. Finnochiara, Maurice A. ,The Galileo Affair. The University of California Press, 1989.
3. Redondi, P. ,Galileo Heretic. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987.
4. Reston, J. Jr. ,Galileo: A Life. HarperCollins Publishing, 1994.
5. Segre, M. ,In the Wake of Galileo. New Brunswick Co., 1992.
6. Sharratt, M. ,Galileo: Decisive Innovator., Sanford Publishing 1994
Other sample model essays:
Humanities / Gandhi
"Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not mean a meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means pitting one"s whole soul against the will of ...
Humanities / General James Longstreet
Longstreet was born in Edgefeild District in South Carolina on January eighth, eighteen twenty one. He graduated from West Point in eighteen forty two and went straight to service. There he served u...
Humanities / Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan"s original name was Temujin. He was born in 1167 near lake Baikal in Russia, born the son of Yesukai. His father was a tribal chief. At the age of 13 he succeeded his father as t...
World War / Gen George Patton
General George Patton was one of the most colorful Gen.s of the Second World War which inturn gave him the nickname "old blood and guts" (Patton history channel).In this paper I will show you...
Humanities / George Frederick Handel
German-English composer, George Frederick Handel, is one of the greatest composers of the Baroque period if not of all time. His work, Messiah, is one of the most famous and beloved works of music in...
Humanities / George III
King George III (known as the king who lost America), was born in 1738. King George III's father, the Prince of Wales died when he was young. When George III was 22, in 176...
Humanities / George III, Our Last King
In his writing, "George III, Our Last King", professor J. H. Plumb analyzes the life of George III, Americas last king. In doing so the reader learns a lot about the life of George III...
Humanities / George Meade
Do you know who was the general for the Second Battle of Bull Run? Everyone knows what the Second Battle of Bull Run is but who was the general? Some people even know that the North won that b...
American History / George Washington Could Not Afford To End Slavery
In his writings, George Washington felt very strongly that slavery was an institution that needed to be eliminated from American society. However, there were several circumstances that arose fo...
Humanities / Germany
Germany is the fourth largest country in area in Europe, with a total area of 356,970 square kilometers (137,827 square miles). The country has a varied terrain that ranges from low-lying coa...
ISLS – Chabot College – Autumn 2005 – Scott Hildreth
Essay Questions for Galileo
Drafts are due Monday, 12/5, to your tutor. Remember that submitting a draft on time is considered in your overall class assessment.Final drafts are due a week later, Monday, 12/12. Papers must include citations from Galileo’s work, as well as from at least TWO other outside scholarly books, journals, or articles, properly referenced. As this is the final full-length paper for ISLS 1B, you must demonstrate mastery of:
- formulating a clear thesis;
- organizing your paper effectively to support your thesis;
- researching what other scholars have said or thought about the thesis topic;
- documenting that research through quotations, citations, and correctly formatted bibliographies.
Below you will find topic areas, specific thesis questions, and some suggested resources.You are free to pose and address a different thesis question within one of these topic areas, or from another topic, as long as you discuss it in advance with your tutor.
The Process of Science, and Galileo and Darwin as Scientists:
- Compare the style of scientific arguments made by Galileo to that of Darwin. Which was more effective, considering their intended audience?For example, Galileo does not admit to the possibility that his interpretations of his observations might be incorrect. Discuss whether this approach is appropriate given the nature of the proof he collected, and given the intended audience of his book and letters.
- Using either The Starry Messenger and/or The Letters on Sunspots, illustrate and discuss the key pieces of the scientificmethod as practiced by Galileo.
Some Resources to Consider:
Donelly, M. “The Vatican Sides with Darwin.” Science and Theology News. 2005. Available at: http://www.stnews.org/commentary-2087.htm
“Darwin and Galileo Against the Church.” Western Civilization Weblog. George Mason University. 2005. Available at: http://chnm.gmu.edu/history/faculty/kelly/blogs/h100mtf05/archives/inheriting_the_wind/ [ Note that this is a collection of student thoughts from a current history course at GMU.While not considered scholarly in the sense of representing opinion by published authors or experts, the weblog is nonetheless an interesting place to consider opinions of fellow students.]
Gould, S. “The Gift of New Questions” Natural History, 00280712, Aug93, Vol. 102, Issue 8. Ebsco Host Academic Search Elite. Chabot College Lib., Hayward, CA. 25 Dec. 2005.http://proxy.clpccd.cc.ca.us:2048/login?
The Trial of Galileo
- Some scholars look upon Galileo's battle with the Catholic Church as thesingle most important event leading to an irreparable schism between science and religion. From your examination of his writings, in particular The Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (but not neglecting The Starry Messenger and the Letters on Sunspots), discuss Galileo’s views of religion and science.
Some Resources to Consider:
Linder, D. “The Trial of Galileo.” University of Missouri Kansas City. 2002. Available at: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/galileo/galileo.html
Rowland, W. “Galileo Galilei.” 2003. Available at: http://www.waderowland.com/articles/galileo-essay.html
Science, Science Writing, and the Search for Truth
- Discuss Galileo's use of language throughout the book and within his letters, as it relates to science's need for effective communication to advance towards an accepted view of truth.
- Evaluate Galileo's Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, in terms of its success in defending his beliefs, and in terms of the phrasing and arguments used given the nature and position of its intended recipient, the Grand Duchess.
Some Resources to Consider:
“Session 1: Precursors and Rivals”, from “The Scientific Article: From Galileo’s New Science to the Human Genome.” University of Chicago. 2002. Available at: http://www.fathom.com/course/21701730/session1.html
Wilson, F. “Science and Human Values: The Search for Truth.” Rochester Institute for Technology. 1999. Available at: http://www.rit.edu/~flwstv/scitruth.html
The Economist. “The Outward Urge”, 12/31/99 Vol. 353, Issue 8151. Ebsco Host Academic Search Elite. Chabot College Library, Hayward, CA. 25 Dec. 2005. http://proxy.clpccd.cc.ca.us:2048/login?
- Some scholars suggest that Galileo’s problems with the Catholic church arose out of the problems he had with Jesuit scholars.Do you agree?In your essay, research the Jesuits of Galileo’s era, and in particular, how their order approached science and religion.
Some Resources to Consider:
Fowler, Michael. “The Life of Galileo.”University of Virginia. 1996. Available at: http://galileoandeinstein.physics.virginia.edu/lectures/gal_life.htm
Appeldoorn, John. “The Myth of Galileo.” Planetarian, Vol 19 #4, pages 15-17 & 19, December 1990. Available at: http://www.griffithobs.org/IPS%20Planetarian/mythofgalileo.html
MacDonnell, Joseph, S.J. “Christopher Scheiner.” Fairfield University. 2005. Available at: http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/jmac/sj/scientists/scheiner.htm
Works Cited Page Examples:
Chabot Library Citation Guides. 2005.Available at:http://www.chabotcollege.edu/Library/onlineref/citation.html
Writing Research Paper Guides:
Hacker, Diana. Research and Documentation Online.Bedford St. Martin Press. 2005.Available from: http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/