You are here: History > LET'S EXPLORE Famous people > Who was Galileo Galilei?

Who was Galileo Galilei?

A portrait of GalileoGalileo Galilei (1564–1642) was an Italian scientist. He made important advances in the understanding of gravity and motion. He was also an astronomer. Using a recent invention, the telescope—which he perfected for his needs—Galileo was able to observe the stars and planets more closely than was ever possible before. Galileo based his scientific ideas on observation and the results of experiments. He also made detailed records of his work. For this reason he is known as the Father of Modern Science.

 


At school, Galileo, an exceptionally curious boy, exhausted his teachers by asking many questions—sometimes too many.

Early life

Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, central Italy, on 15th February 1564. He was the son of a professional musician, Vincenzo Galilei. Galileo planned to study medicine but later switched to mathematics and physics.
After taking posts at the University of Pisa, and then the University of Padua, in 1610 Galileo became mathematician and philosopher to Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Galileo found that, by looking at an object close-up through a telescope the "wrong" way, he could see an enlarged image. This led him to invent the first compound microscope—a microscope with more than one lens.

Q-files now has new sections specially written for younger readers. They are: Living world, Earth, Science, Human body, Prehistoric life, Space, History, Geography and Technology.


Find the answer