Galileo Galilei Many individuals in history have been accredited for numerous accomplishments like Galileo Galilei, the first known physicist. Although he was not considered a physicist in his time, he provided procedures and results that lie at the heart of what is known today as physics. In Galileo Galilei, James MacLachlan explores the personality, thought processes, scientific discoveries, and life of an important figure who helped to shape our understanding of the natural world.

As a youth, Galileo was engaged into mathematics even though his father, Vincenzio, intended for him to become a doctor to support his family off his fortunes. Regardless of his father's opinion, Galileo had no inspiration in the medical field, but was motivated in the field of mathematics where he thought he could improve on the theorems of levers proposed by the Greek mathematician Archimedes. Growing up with curiosity and determination integrated in his mind, Galileo was unsatisfied with the boring views of philosophers like Aristotle.

MacLachlan gives an example.

Natural philosophers taught a set of precepts about the causes of all earthly actions and the nature of the whole universe. They did no measuring, performed no experiments, and made few calculations. Galileo found their explanations of motion unconvincing. He was particularly dissatisfied because Aristotle had concentrated on why objects move. Galileo wanted to know how they move (9).

As one could see then, how keen this savant individual could work his mind to evaluate and explore anything that appeals to him. His work in physics helped remarkably to make experimental measurements and mathematical calculations more significant in all the sciences today. Although he was censored and imprisoned for his radical ideas about the motion of the earth, he continued in his pursuit of scientific truths to offer upon future generations the inspiration to...