We will study the life of Galileo Galilei in the locations of his most significant contributions – from his academic postsat Pisa and Padua to the demonstrations of his telescopes in Florence for the Medici and other nobility. As the father of the modern scientific method, basic physics, and modern astronomy, the significance of his contributions cannot be overstated.
We will also discuss Galileo’s interactions with the catholic church and other politically powerful groups, including the Medici and the Jesuits.
The magnitude of Galileo’s achievements becomes even more impressive when we consider the circumstances under which he worked, spoke, and published. Scientists were under considerable scrutiny from the catholic church, the threat of death was still imminent. Bruno, for instance, had recently been burned at the stake for postulating – correctly – that the Sun is just one of many stars. The interplay between science, religion, and politics was fascinating in Galileo’s time, and it is no less impactful today. Those taking the class as an IN350 will explore these timeless and globally important topics in especially great detail.
For those taking the coursefor lab-science credit, we will meet in the evenings to learn how telescopes work and study the night sky.