Galileo left us was a model of what it means to be a scientist, someone who not only discovers but also teaches and encourages others to repeat the same path. His works were broadly effective in spurring debate and started a process that, 450 years after his birth, is the core of our way of understanding the Universe. Through his experimental studies and vivid writings, Galileo modeled how to investigate Nature and how to see the physical connections between its fundamental principles and everyday experience. This book traces Galileo’s development as a scientist and expositor through his works. It presents him as a transitional figure who sought to extend the base of knowledge as widely as possible through popularization, writing for audiences yet undistinguished as readers. The reader will see that instead than speaking from ``on high’’ Galileo provided an intellectual toolbox with which to reason out physical problems.
Steven Shore (1953; PhD, Toronto 1978) is a professor in the Physics Department of the Universiy of Pisa. He joined the department in 2003, arriving from Indiana University South Bend where he was chair in the Physics and Astronomy department. His research focuses on astrophysics, atmospheric physics, and history and philosophy of science. His books include “The Tapestry of Modern Astrophysics” (2003), “Astrophysical Hydrodynamics: An Introduction (2007), “Forces in Physics: An Historical Perspective” (2008). He is a scientific editor of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics (2003 to present), and previously held that position for the Astrophysical Journal (1996-2003).