Galileo Galilei's workshop

Galileo Galilei's workshop

Galileo Galilei's scientific achievements contributed greatly to the advancement of physics and astronomy.



Galileo Galilei, workshop, invention, inventions, telescope, compass, microscope, Earth globe, thermometer, physicist, physics, astronomy, astronomer, mathematics, mathematician, Italy, polymath, Padua, Jupiter, moons of Jupiter, lens, modern history, Pisa, history

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Galileo’s microscope was made of wood, cardboard and leather, and it was mounted on an iron tripod. The outside of the occhialino ('little eyeglass'), as Galileo called it, was covered by green vellum with gold decorations. The name 'microscope' (microscopio) was given by Johannes Faber.

The microscope contained three lenses: an objective, a field lens and an eyepiece. The objective was 3.5 mm (0.14 in) thick and 11 mm (0.43 in) in diameter, while the field lens was somewhat larger, 4.7 mm (0.19 in) thick and 30 mm (1.18 in) in diameter.

Even though Galileo was for a long time believed to have invented the microscope, it is now attributed rather to Giuseppe Campani.

Galileo built numerous sectors (military and geometric compasses) after 1597. The sector shown in this animation was probably made for Cosimo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This instrument, which was designed for geometric, astronomic and military purposes, allowed to perform precise geometric and arithmetic calculations.

The instrument consisted of four parts. There were two rulers, that is, arms with various scales engraved in them. In addition, a clamp was attached to one of the arms which served keep the sector in a vertical position and allowed that arm to be extended. The ends of the arms were fixed to a disk-shaped pivot with a plumb line attached to it. This plumb line always showed the vertical direction, thus, together with the quadrant with scales, also located between the arms, it was used to measure angles.

Galileo designed and made a number of telescopes. The one shown in the animation is a wooden telescope covered in red leather with gold decoration.

The eyepiece and the objective lens were housed in separate wooden tubes that were attached at the ends of the telescope. The objective lens was plano-convex (one surface flat and the other convex), 37 mm (1.46 in) in diameter and 2 mm (0.08 in) thick at its center. The telescope had an aperture of 15 mm (0.59 in) and a focal length of 980 mm (38.58 in). The original eyepiece got lost and was replaced by a biconcave lens in the 19th century.

Galileo also designed some useful accessories for his telescopes with the help of which he could observe sunspots and measure the distance between Jupiter and its biggest moons (today called Galilean moons).

The modern name of this instrument was coined from the Greek words tele ('far') and skopein ('to look') either by Giovanni Demisiani, a Greek mathematician, or Federico Angelo Cesi, an Italian scientist, both members of the Accademia dei Lincei (together with Galileo).

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