Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

[If the earth rotated,] buildings and the earth itself would fly off with such rapid motion that men would have to be provided with claws like cats to enable them to hold fast to the earth’s surface.

Libertus Fromondus

Certain men … have concluded that the earth moves. It is a want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publicly …


Despite the fact that in embracing heliocentrism (the idea that the earth rotates and revolves around the sun) he was only following a theory published nearly a century earlier, Galileo Galilei was tried by the Inquisition, forced to recant his beliefs, and placed under house arrest. For life.

Despite that setback, he continued to write and research, leaving behind a body of work—including contributions to our understanding of astronomy, gravity, physics, and engineering—that has survived long enough to outlast the scandal.