Galileo Essay example

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"Galileo was that guy who invented the telescope." This is what most people say when they think about Galileo. However, Galileo did not even invent the telescope; he only made improvements to it so it could be used for astronomy. Galileo did use it to make many important discoveries about astronomy, though; many of these discoveries helped to prove that the sun was the center of the galaxy. Galileo also made many important contributions to Physics; he discovered that the path of a projectile was a parabola, that objects do not fall with speeds proportional to their weight, and much more. For these discoveries, Galileo is often referred to as the founder of modern experimental science. Galileo Galilei was born in
Pisa, Italy on
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Galileo also discovered that Aristotle's belief that objects fall at velocities proportional to their weight was wrong. He found that all objects fall at the same rate; it is only the density of the median they fall through that causes larger objects to fall slower. He believed that all objects would fall the same rate if they were in a vacuum. It is said Galileo showed his students at the University of Pisa his discovery by dropping a musket ball and a cannon ball at the same time from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Some scientists in an article in New Scientist claim that Galileo was wrong in saying that all objects fall at the same rate. They base their calculations on the quantum theory. Particles in the objects are constantly absorbing and releasing photons; this absorbing and releasing changes the total energy that the particles carry, which depends on temperature. This then changes the inertial mass of the object. From this the scientists concluded that heavier and cooler objects will fall faster than those objects that are lighter and hotter. Although this disproves what Galileo found, Galileo was still fairly correct in his findings; the effect these scientists found is very small. It is almost impossible to measure the difference in the time it takes two objects of different weights to reach the ground. ("Galileo Got it Wrong", p. 36.) Galileo also made many discoveries while he was teaching at the

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