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The Physics of Galileo

Uploaded by srheric on Apr 23, 2007

The Physics of Galileo

Galileo a great Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist. By his persistent investigation of natural laws he laid foundations for modern experimental science, and by the construction of astronomical telescopes he greatly enlarged humanity's vision and conception of the universe. He gave a mathematical formulation to many physical laws. His mission was to study the chemical composition and physical state of the largest planet in the solar system, its atmosphere, and four of its moons, for almost two years. The spacecraft encountered the asteroid 951 Gaspra on Oct. 29, 1991, and took the first close-up photographs ever of an asteroid in space. On Aug. 28, 1993, it passed by asteroid 243 Ida and took close-up photographs, which revealed that Ida has a tiny moon. Upon arrival at Jupiter, Galileo released a probe into the planet's atmosphere that descended for 57 minutes before it was destroyed by the planet's extreme temperature and pressure. In 1996, Galileo visited and photographed Jupiter's large moons Io, Callisto, and Europa and made flybys of Io, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto in 1997. Galileo was named for the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who discovered the four great moons of Jupiter that were the major targets of this mission.

Galileo initially worked with and established his expertise in the study of terrestrial dynamics. Galileo's beginning experiments with the pendulum, and it's movement, were what later spurred on the very important mid 17th century development of the pendulum clock timepiece by Hautefeuille. If Galileo had only chosen to stick with his primary field of scientific endeavor, then he would have most likely gotten lost among a larger field of astronomers and inventors of his time and age. Galileo ended up fathering a brand new branch of astronomy, laying the building blocks of modern astronomy, and changing his own life and destiny forever. Galileo has often been credited with the invention of the telescope. However, this is not exactly correct. In 1609 Galileo heard of a Dutch spectacle-maker, Hans Lipperhey, who had combined a pair of lenses to magnify distant objects. Galileo then took this idea and created his own telescope for purposes of gazing at the heavens and stars.

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Uploaded by:   srheric

Date:   04/23/2007

Category:   Physics

Length:   3 pages (620 words)

Views:   3305

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