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Galileo Galilei was an Italian physicist and astronomer who made significant discoveries in astronomy invented the telescope one of the most substantial inventions in science and astronomy and laid the foundation for modern physics One of his greatest struggles was with the Roman Catholic Church who persecuted and eventually detained Galileo for his theories Galileos life is one of great importance He is a symbol of the battle against authority for the freedom of inquiry at the time and is arguably the greatest contributor to the scientific revolution His life will be discussed in depth focusing on his contributions to science and his conflicts with the Church Galileo was born near Pisa on February 15 1564 His father Vincenzo Galilei played an important role in the musical revolution of the time Vincenzo saw that the inflexible musical theory of the time prevented new forms in music just like Galileo would come to see that Aristotelian physical theology was limiting scientific inquiry In Vallombrosa Galileo was taught by monks and studied medicine in the University of Pisa in 1581 He soon found interest in philosophy and mathematics and left the university in 1585 without obtaining a degree For a period of time he tutored privately and wrote about hydrostatics the branch of physics that deals with the pressure and equilibrium of water and other liquids and natural motions though he did not publish these writings In 1589 he became a mathematics professor in Pisa Here he showed his students the error of Aristotles belief that the speed of falling objects is proportional to weight illustrating this point by dropping two objects of different weight simultaneously from the Leaning Tower of Pisa His teaching contract was not renewed in 1592 most likely because he contradicted professors with Aristotelian beliefs However that same year he was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University of Padua where he remained until 1610 In
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