Galileo Galilei: bonfire or renunciation of the truth

Galileo's biography

He was born into the family of a musician. From an early age, the boy was attracted to art. The scientist was a good performer and drew a decent wave. Florentine artists - Chigoli, Bronzino, and others - even consulted with him on issues of perspective and composition.

Galileo, who became a victim of the church, in his youth thought to become a priest, but at the insistence of his father entered the University of Pisa to study medicine. It was then that Galileo got acquainted with mathematics and was fascinated by this science.


Already in his student years, Galileo earned a reputation among teachers as an indomitable debater. The young man believed that he had the right to express his own opinion on all scientific issues, regardless of traditional authorities.

Before Galileo, scientific methods differed little from theological ones, and answers to scientific questions were still sought in the books of ancient authorities. Galileo was the first who began to conduct experiments and theoretical research. This position, supported by Descartes, was established, and science received its own criterion of truth and a secular character.

Galileo: discoveries

Galileo studied inertia and free fall of bodies. In particular, he noticed that the acceleration of gravity does not depend on the weight of the body, thus refuting Aristotle's assertion that the speed of falling is proportional to the weight of the body.

The scientist formulated the first law of mechanics (the law of inertia): in the absence of external forces, the body either rests or moves uniformly.

Galileo is one of the founders of the principle of relativity in classical mechanics. He published a study of pendulum oscillations, on the basis of which Huygens will create a clock with a pendulum regulator. From that moment on, it became possible to make precise measurements in experimental physics.


For the first time in the history of science, Galileo raised the question of the strength of rods and beams in bending and thereby laid the foundation for a new science - the resistance of materials.

We can thank Galileo for inventing a hydrostatic balance for determining the specific gravity of solids; the first thermometer; compass and microscope.

With the help of a telescope he designed, Galileo discovered mountains on the moon; told that the Milky Way is composed of individual stars; discovered 4 moons of Jupiter; phases of Venus; spots on the sun. He also said that the sun rotates on its axis. Galileo also noted strange "appendages" of Saturn, but the opening of the ring was prevented by the weakness of the telescope and the rotation of the ring, which hid it from the terrestrial observer.

Heliocentrism: system validation

Galileo's discoveries contributed to the establishment of the heliocentric system of the world, which he actively promoted. The scholar's fame and authority were so impressive that he even traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Paul V in the hope of convincing the pontiff that Copernicanism is fully compatible with Catholicism.

The Church, on the other hand, has officially defined heliocentrism as a dangerous heresy. Copernicus' books on astronomy were banned. Despite this, the scientist continued his research. In the end, he was charged with heresy. This happened after the publication of the book "Dialogue on the two main systems of the world - Ptolemaic and Copernican", which the scientist had been preparing for almost 30 years.

Inquisition: Pursuit of Galileo

By the verdict of the court, Galileo, who agreed to renounce his convictions, was found guilty of distributing a book with a "false, heretical teaching contrary to Holy Scripture" about the movement of the Earth. He was not declared a heretic, but "strongly suspected of heresy." After the pronouncement of the verdict, Galileo on his knees pronounced the text of the abdication offered to him. The scientist spent the rest of his life under house arrest and constant supervision of the Inquisition.

In the early 1980s, the church rehabilitated Galileo by admitting that the Inquisition had made a mistake in 1633, forcing the scientist to renounce Copernicus' theory.


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