Galileo made the first effective use of the refracting telescope to
discover important new facts about astronomy. His observations led
him to support Copernicus's claim that Earth and the other planets
circled the sun. This conflicted with the teachings of the Catholic
Church, and brought Galileo before the judges of the Inquisition.
He spent his final years under house arrest.
Galileo's genius lay in the way he approached scientific problems.
He reduced problems to simple terms on the basis of experience and
common-sense logic. Then he analyzed and resolved the problems
according to simple mathematical descriptions, thus opening the way
for the development of modern mathematical physics.
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