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Accueil > Séminaires > Archive des séminaires d’Utinam > Archive des séminaires d’astrophysique (jusqu’en 2011) > 2008

Galileo Galile

par Edith Burgey -

Mardi 23 septembre 2008

Ian S. Glass

South African Astronomical Observatory

Résumé :

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) is regarded as the founder of modern science. In particular, next year will see the 400th anniversary of his discoveries with the telescope, which brought him to fame and delivered a fatal blow to the Aristotelian viewpoint of medieval times.

In this talk I will describe Galileo’s character, his life and his work. He was a prickly individualist who hated fools and did not accept the conventional scientific wisdom of his day. In a lifetime spent in the conservative Duchy of Florence and the liberal Republic of Venice, with short visits to Rome, he championed the Copernican model of the heavens and demolished the Ptolemaic cosmos. His book, the Starry Messenger, established his reputation. His outspoken support of Copernicus led to attacks in 1614 by conservative clerics. These he successfully shook off, but his publication of the Ptolemaic-Copernican Dialogue in 1632 led to his conviction by the Inquisition on the charge of a "vehement suspicion of heresy" and sentencing to lifetime house arrest.

Nevertheless, he continued his scientific activities from home and in 1637, aged 73, discovered the libration of the Moon. He wrote up his early unpublished discoveries in the Discourses on Two New Sciences of 1638, surreptitiously published in Leiden. Though blind thereafter, he continued to receive pupils and visitors until his death.