Galileo Galilei was born at Pisa on the 18th of February in 1564. His father, Vincenzo Galilei, belonged to a noble family and had gained some distinction as a musician and a mathematician. At an early age, Galileo manifested his ability to learn both mathematical and mechanical types of things, but his parents, wishing to turn him aside from studies which promised no substantial return, steered him toward some sort of medical profession. But this had no effect on Galileo. During his youth he was allowed to follow the path that he wished to.
Although in the popular mind Galileo is remembered chiefly as an astronomer, however, the science of mechanics and dynamics pretty much owe their existence to his findings. Before he was twenty, observation of the oscillations of a swinging lamp in the cathedral of Pisa led him to the discovery of the isochronism of the pendulum, which theory he utilized fifty years later in the construction of an ast...