Galileo Galilei: Curriculum Vitae
Villa il Gioiello, Arcetri, Tuscany
STATEMENT OF NOTABIL ITY
As a mathematician in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, I have many accomplishments.
My early work with pendulums prompted many later scientists to improve timekeeping
techniques. In addition, I have pioneered work in dynamics problems and materials science,
disproving the notion that objects of different masses fall at different speeds. But I am most
famous for my theories and inventions of astronomy, chiefly the heliocentric model of the
universe, which challenged accepted religious doctrine. This was the basis of a fiery feud
between myself and the Roman Catholic Church. I will be remembered for using the
scientific method and reason to challenge dogmatic beliefs.
University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 1585
Private mathematical studies with Ostillio Ricci
Private tutor – gave lessons in math and science, 1585-1589
Guest lecturer – Florentine Academy, Florence, Italy: – lectures on the topic of balance,
Mathematician – University of Pisa, 1589-1592
Chair of Mathematics – University of Padua, 1592-1610
Mathematician and philosopher – the employment of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, 1610-
My inventions and discoveries have helped me understand the world. These include the
laws of the pendulum, the telescope, and the proportional compass.
Summoned before the Inquisition, 1633. This experience challenged my loyalties, as I was
accused of heresy for my work. My loyalty lies with science, but I knew that the only way to
continue science was to agree to the Pope's demands. I was forced to take back my theories,
but I knew it didn't matter because people would continue getting hold of them.
Put under house arrest, 1633-death. This affected me profoundly, as I could no longer be
an involved part of the scientific world. Nevertheless, I continued writing and published my
last book while under house arrest.s
PUBLICATIONS AND WOR KS
The Little Balance, 1586
an investigation of careful weighing techniques
De Motu ,1590
to discover and demonstrate the laws of free fall
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 1632
to compare two models of the universe
Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences, 1638
a summary of new mathematical and physical concepts
I am very direct and headstrong. I defend my ideas passionately. Some may call this
stubbornness, but I consider it to be simply a devotion to science. I believe in looking for
concrete evidence in order to state something. But once I have found that evidence, I am
hardly swayed by others. I am respectful and not argumentative when I don't have any proof
for my theory. This is a sign of humility, but my confidence soars if I find something in the
natural world that agrees with my beliefs. Above all, I believe in the power of science. But I
don't like to needlessly anger the authorities. I'd rather be left alone until ready to present my
Johannes Kepler, Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo. A letter in support of my improvements of
the telescope, 1610.
Tycho Brahe, support of my theories of the changeable universe. Discoveries of celestial
bodies in in 1572 and 1577 agreed with my model.
Antonio Foscarini, in defense of the Copernican theory.
“Galileo Galilei” http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC
“The Galileo Project” http://galileo.rice.edu/index.html
“Galilei, Galileo” History of Science Collection.