"As fresh and invigorating a work in the field of science biography as was its hero in his day." — Science "A clear exposition of his discoveries, methods, and experiments…Recommended." — Library Journal An absorbing account of the origins of modern science as well as a biography of the revolutionary thinker, this inspiring book was co-written by a former director of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics and a historian of science (who was also the wife of physicist Enrico Fermi). It begins in Galileo's youth, with his return to his native city of Pisa to train as a physician. Instead, the student became captivated by the power of mathematical reasoning — an interest that led him to apply mathematical logic to natural events and, ultimately, to invent the concept of experimentation. Galileo's progress from student to teacher to scientific innovator is traced, with particular emphasis on his experiments with building and refining telescopes and his unprecedented observations of the moon and planets. The dramatic results of his findings, including his refutation of Aristotelian theory and his support of Copernican doctrine, are related in full, along with his clash with the papal inquisition and his tragic demise under house arrest. Written with a warm appreciation for the wonders of Galileo's achievements and with impeccable scholarship, this book concludes with a survey of the scientist's remarkable legacy. 12 figures. Appendix. Bibliography. Index.