Galileo Galilei, born in Italy in 1564 made contributions to Physics and Astronomy and has been called the father of science. He is well known for developing the approach to scientific theories.

His method of careful experimentation and observation contributed to the scientific revolution as most beliefs at the time were based on philosophy or religion. He used experimental evidence to prove that something was true. He relied on accurate readings from instruments and did not make up or imagine the data in order to prove a theory.

This approach is what we know today as the Scientific Method. These are the steps involved.

  1. First you make an observation of some physical phenomena
  2. Then you ask the question “Why?”. You try to come up with a possible reason or an explanation for your observation. This is called the hypothesis.
  3. The next step is to test your hypothesis by performing experiments
  4. If the conclusion from the experiments proves the hypothesis, then you have proven the theory. If it doesn’t you must now come up with a new hypothesis
  5. Repeat the steps 2 – 4 until you can prove your hypothesis.

Among other things Galileo

  • improved the telescope
  • put forward the theory that an object moves with uniform velocity if no other forces oppose it. (This theory was further developed by Newton)
  • proposed that the planets revolve around the sun
  • discovered that Jupiter had moons