1564 in Pisa (now in Italy) to 1642 in Arcetri (near Florence)
Lesson Plans and Math Activities for This Topic
Suggest a Site for this Page
MacTutor Biography of Galileo http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Galileo.html
Illustrated chronology of Galileo's Life at PBS site, Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
Also bio at http://muse.tau.ac.il/museum/galileo/galileo.html
PBS Site, Galileo's Battle for the Heavens - many activities, teaching notes, demonstrations, links, really the best site for younger learners.
Galileo's Daughter Website http://www.galileosdaughter.com/home.shtml (Portions of the book by Dava Soble are online)
The Galileo Project http://galileo.rice.edu/ - like the PBS site, lots there to browse, but written for higher level audience.
Galileo's Inclined Plane Experiment: While the Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment gets more attention, this one is as important (maybe more so) and can be duplicated. This site details how an experiment group replicated the experiment, down to proving that the water clock that some earlier scientists claimed could not have been as precise as Galileo's notes claim can in fact measure time to approximately one tenth of a second.
This site has excellent diagrams that help one explain the significance of this simple experiment and the conclusions of Galileo.
How did Galileo discover the mathematical properties of the path of a projectile? Another very good site with diagrams and pictures of Galileo's sketches.
History of Telescopes: http://sunra.lbl.gov/%7Evhoette/Explorations/OpticalPowers/1-telescopes-s.html
The Falling Tower of Pisa Galileo Games - nice site for younger kids: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/pisa/galileo.html
Galileo's Experiments: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/galileo/experiments.html
Interesting article linking Galileo's work to Renaissance Art http://www.mcm.edu/academic/galileo/ars/arshtml/conclusion2.html
Galileo's attitude was contemptuous, however, at times he was downright insulting, and you are right, that got him in trouble. But it seems it wasn't so much Copernicus' general view that was a problem as much as the "perfection" of heavenly bodies that the telescope now provided challenging views.
"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell." -- St. Augustine