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U.S. History Topics » Famous People » Inventors

Galileo's Battle for the Heavens

explains why Galileo is the father of modern science, why Galileo's refractor and Newton's reflector remain the two standard types of optical telescopes today, and Galileo's big mistake. See demonstrations of his experiments, an illustrated chronology of his life, an online pendulum, and an interactive inclined plane. (WGBH, National Science Foundation)

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Interesting Fact:

The drama of Galileo's trial by the Inquisition in 1633 has cast him as a renegade astronomer who drew fire from a Church blind to reason, but the real Galileo, never tortured or excommunicated, remained a loyal Catholic throughout his life. He pursued all his bold investigations convinced that Nature followed a Divine order.
Galileo appears before the Inquisition, circa 1632, in a 19th-century painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury.

Before the Inquisition

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U.S. History Topics »  Famous People »  Scientists

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