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Galileo Galilei 1564 - 1642

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei was a scientist, mathematician and astronomer and is generally known by his first name Galileo. His name was included in the band Queen's famous song Bohemian Rhapsody because the guitarist Brian May was interested in Astronomy and went on to complete a PhD in Astrophysics.


Galileo was born in 1564 in Pisa in Italy and was obviously curious about the world around him. Whereas most people agreed and accepted the work and theories around Science Galileo questioned them and set out to find out if the theories were true by testing them in experiments. This has become the scientific method we use today. We can think of a hypothesis or scientific question and then find out whether it is true or not by performing experiments and looking at the results.


One of Galileo's most famous experiments used the Tower of Pisa and there is a video describing this. There is also a video by a 1980's pop star who became a Professor of Particle Physics - Brian Cox - who tests Galileo's observation in a quite phenomenal way.


This work alone would be impressive but Galileo is probably even more famous for creating his own telescope and the discoveries he made about the planets and the moon. In fact his theory that Earth and the planets orbited the Sun led to him being imprisoned and then under house arrest.

Galileo Fact File

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