Galileo Galilei

1636 portrait '''Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), commonly referred to as Galileo Galilei ( , , ) or simply Galileo''', was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. He was born in the city of Pisa, then part of the Duchy of Florence. Galileo has been called the father of observational astronomy, modern-era classical physics, the scientific method, and modern science.

Galileo studied speed and velocity, gravity and free fall, the principle of relativity, inertia, projectile motion and also worked in applied science and technology, describing the properties of the pendulum and "hydrostatic balances". He was one of the earliest Renaissance developers of the thermoscope and the inventor of various military compasses, and used the telescope for scientific observations of celestial objects. With an improved telescope he built, he observed the stars of the Milky Way, the phases of Venus, the four largest satellites of Jupiter, Saturn's rings, lunar craters and sunspots. He also built an early microscope.

Galileo's championing of Copernican heliocentrism was met with opposition from within the Catholic Church and from some astronomers. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was foolish, absurd, and heretical since it contradicted the Ptolemaic system.

Galileo later defended his views in ''Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems'' (1632), which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated both the Pope and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. During this time, he wrote ''Two New Sciences'' (1638), primarily concerning kinematics and the strength of materials, summarizing work he had done around forty years earlier.

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