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Galileo: His Place in Science

  • Teacher Resource
  • Posted 01.29.04
  • NOVA

This media-rich essay dispels some myths surrounding Galileo and highlights the significance of his observations, experiments, and analyses. It focuses in particular on his measurements of motion.

NOVA Galileo: His Place in Science
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  • Media Type: Document
  • Size: 122.4 KB
  • Level: Grades 6-12

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Source: NOVA: "Galileo's Battle for the Heavens"

Background

Dava Sobel, the author of Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, contributed this essay, which uses video and text to recount Galileo's contributions to science and to explain how he reconciled his religious beliefs with his sometimes-contradictory experimental results. The essay also includes insights into the combativeness that existed between natural philosophers in the Aristotelian tradition and mathematically-oriented physicists like Galileo. Putting Galileo's life in perspective -- his inventiveness served him well in an age of technological infancy -- it's easy to understand why Albert Einstein, in honoring both his contributions to astronomy and physics and his role as pioneer and visionary, called Galileo the "father" of modern science.

Questions for Discussion

  • How did describing the "how" rather than the "why" of motion move scientific understanding forward?
  • Why do you think Einstein called Galileo the "father" of modern science?

Resource Produced by:


					WGBH Educational Foundation

Collection Developed by:


						WGBH Educational Foundation

Collection Credits

Collection Funded by:


						National Science Foundation



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