# Galileo, Engineer

#### Galileo's World at a Glance | Gallery at the Exhibit Website

#### Location: Bizzell Memorial Library, 5th floor Exhibit Hall.

Introductory video: Letter from Galileo's Daughter

What is it like to be an engineer in an era of mathematical discovery?

In the Republic of Venice, Galileo’s day-to-day work as a Professor of Mathematics was that of a scientist-engineer. City officials and notable individuals called upon his expertise to solve civic, military and nautical problems in engineering. He addressed practical problems in light of their general significance for physics. His work as a scientist-engineer resulted in new mathematical and scientific instruments, including the military compass, thermoscope and telescope.

**BEGIN READING EXHIBIT GUIDE**

INDEX

### Section 1: Scientist-Engineers

Scientist-engineers were mathematicians who grasped the principles of mechanics, the use of mathematical instruments, and the operation of complex machines well enough to apply them to the complex tasks of city life. Their expertise applied to optics, architecture, metallurgy, pneumatics, hydraulics, transport, surveying, ship-building, fortification and the arts of war.

1. Vannoccio **Biringuccio**, *De la Pirotechnia* (Venice, 1540), "On the Art of Fire"

2. Georg **Agricola**, *De re metallica* (Basel, 1556), "On the Nature of Metals"

3. Giambattista **della Porta**, *De Spiritali* (Naples, 1606), "On Pneumatics"

4. Agostino **Ramelli**, *Le Diverse et Artificiose Machine* (Perugia, 1588), "Various and Ingenious Machines"

5. Buonaiuto **Lorini**, *Delle Fortificationi* (Venice, 1597), "On Fortifications"

6. Vittorio **Zonca**, *Novo Teatro di Machine* (Padua, 1621), "New Theater of Machines"

7. Niccolo **Tartaglia**, *Nova scientia* (Venice, 1558), "New Science"

8. Latino **Orsini**, *Trattato del Radio Latino* (Rome, 1583), ed. Ignazio Danti, "Treatise on the Measuring Stick"

9. Carlo Antonio **Manzini**, *L’Occhiale all’Occhio, Dioptrica Practica* (Bologna, 1660), "The Spectacle according to the Eye: Practical Optics"

### Section 2: Calculation and Measurement

Scientists and engineers thrive upon mathematical innovations in calculation and measurement, as shown in several vignettes from the abacus to the slide rule to the analytical computer.

10. Pietro **Borgi**, *Libro de Abacho* (Venice, 1517), "Book on Calculation" (Abacus model)

11. William **Schickard**, *Astroscopium* (Stuttgart, 1698), "Star Viewer"

12. Gaspar **Schott**, *Organum mathematicum* (Würzburg, 1668), "On Mathematics"

13. John **Napier**, *Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio* (Edinburgh, 1614), "A Description of the Marvelous Rule of Logarithms"

14. Seth **Partridge**, *Description and Use of an Instrument, Called the Double Scale of Proportion* (London, 1692)

15. Frederick Post Company, Demonstration Slide Rule (Chicago)

16. Ada **Lovelace**, “Notes” to a “Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles **Babbage**, by L.F. **Menabrea**,” in *Scientific Memoirs* (London, 1843), vol. 3

17. Apple Computer, Macintosh (1984)

### Section 3: Galileo's Instruments

Galileo’s engineering compass, thermoscope, microscope and telescope reflect his work as a mathematician, astronomer and scientist-engineer.

18. **Galileo**, *Le Operazioni del Compasso Geometrico e Militare* (Padua, 1606), "The Operations of the Geometrical and Military Compass"

19. Galileo Compass replica (Museo Galileo)

20. Baldessar **Capra**, *Tyrocinia Astronomica* (Padua, 1606), "School of the Stars"

21. **Galileo**, *Difesa Contro alle Calunnie & Imposture di Baldessar Capra* (Venice, 1607), "Defense Against the Calumnies and Impostures of Baldessar Capra!"

22. **Galileo**, *Tractatus de proportionum instrumento* (Strassburg, 1635), 2d ed., "The Operations of the Geometrical and Military Compass"

23. Galileo Thermoscope replica (Museo Galileo)

###### Further reading:

- Matteo Valeriani,
*Galileo Engineer*(Springer, 2010; Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, no. 269) - Paolo Galluzzi,
*Renaissance Engineers: From Brunelleschi to Leonardo da Vinci*(Giunti Editore, 1997). - Ross King,
*Brunelleschi's Dome*(Penguin, 2002).