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The Galileo Thermometer Was Not Invented By Galileo

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the turns-out-apple-had-a-patent-all-along dept.

Technology 57

New submitter GregLaden writes "The object known as the Galileo Thermometer is a vertical glass tube filled with a liquid in which are suspended a number of weighted glass balls. As the temperature of the liquid changes, so does the density. Since each glass ball is set to float at equilibrium in a sightly different density of the liquid, as the temperature increases, each glass ball sinks to the bottom. It turns out that this thermometer was actually invented by a team of instrument inventors that formed a scientific society who had the impressive motto 'Probando e Reprobando,' which in English means 'testing and retesting.' The Accademia del Cimento operated under the leadership of the Grand Duke Ferdinand II from 1657-1667 in Florence, Italy. According to Peter Loyson, who has written a corrective article for the Journal of Chemical Education, Galileo did invent a temperature measuring device called a thermoscope."

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57 comments

IT WAS INTENTED BY ONE HORNY CHICK !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41265755)

Because those things look like dicks !!

You are doing it wrong (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#41267167)

Doing it right:

Subject: Binternet Rands sues God Almighty!!

Binternet Rands sues God Almighty [wikipedia.org] for copyright, design-patent, and trademark infringement. Rumored to be acting on behalf of a mysterious organization called Accademia del Cimento, Binternet Rands is suing God Almighty for infringing on the "distinctive design" of the device commonly known as the "Galilean Thermometer."

Through its attorney [wikipedia.org] , Binternet Rands claims that the external reproductive organ of the human male is not looks very similar in shape to the "Galilean Thermometer" but both devices are commonly used to measure temperatures.

Legal experts widely dismiss the copyright and design patent claims on a number of fronts, not the least of which is that it is widely assumed that male anatomy was invented first. Asked for comment, Binternet Rands's attorney mumbled something that sounded like "pics or it didn't happen." In addition, any copyrights or patents issued during that time period are almost certainly expired.

The trademark claim cannot be so easily dismissed.

Noted philosopher and writer H. Benderson [amazon.com] notes that while the "Galilean Thermometer" is commonly used to measure air temperatures and the male reproductive organ is commonly used to measure the temperatures of other things, notably parts of the female anatomy and the temperature of showers. As such, Binternet Rands's claims that confusion is very likely cannot be dismissed out of hand. In addition, the "Galilean Thermometer" is sometimes used in a manner similar to the male reproductive organ as a means of providing erotic pleasure, despite wide-spread recommendations not to use breakable glass for such purposes.

There, that's doing it right.

Evangelista Torricelli (4, Informative)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41265857)

My understanding was that Torricelli who was a pupil of Galileo actually built the "Galileo Thermometer". It would seem to be appropriately named as even today when a grad student makes a discovery or somebody dreams up some patentable something, the credit usually goes to the professor or company the person is working under.

Or maybe I'm wrong.

Re:Evangelista Torricelli (4, Informative)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41265965)

To further expand on this, Viviani who was a pupil of Torricelli and also one of the first members of The Accademia del Cimento is credited with having improved the Galileo Thermometer but he didn't actually invent it. I thought all of this was widely known though.

Re:Evangelista Torricelli (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#41266883)

And the newton cradle was not invented my newton.

Seriously, I never thought the that Galileo mad this. I have read ome stuff, and never came across this claim. I don't know if he made anything. My understanding is that he came up with some idea, had a very skilled craftsperson model it and over time created a product or apparatus. The military compass is one example, though in that case he may not have the first to create it.

Re:Evangelista Torricelli (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41270375)

"And the newton cradle was not invented my newton. "

Of course not - he was only a baby at the time.

That reminds me of something I heard the other day about the political conventions. "Every politician claims to have been born in the log cabin they built with their own hands."

Re:Evangelista Torricelli (2)

Guignol (159087) | about 2 years ago | (#41271875)

Indeed, it was, yes, that too, invented by Apple [newtonsales.com]
They really are unstoppable

Let's just say Galileo (4, Funny)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 2 years ago | (#41265893)

Don't these scientists understand that there's no way we can remember all of these historical inventors? If we can just say the majority of things in the world were invented by Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, and Nikola Tesla it would make all our lives so much easier. k thx bye

Re:Let's just say Galileo (3, Informative)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 2 years ago | (#41265937)

Don't forget Edison, whose 1,000+ patents were largely made by various employees and contributors, but he garnered the historical credit.

Let's just say Tesla (3, Funny)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41266553)

But, as we all know, Edison and his employees did not invent anything – they stole everything from Tesla – which has already been mentioned. For proof see:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/ea08/?srp=1 [thinkgeek.com]

And don’t forget the ancient Egyptians & Chinese. Sure, they got most of the tech from Atlantis, but still.

Re:Let's just say Tesla (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about 2 years ago | (#41275435)

Everyone knows the Egyptians traveled to the future and got their stuff from Tesla. All the talk about Atlantis is just what they _want_ you to believe. DUH!

Re:Let's just say Galileo (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41268549)

Given the he organized and paid for the research that lead to the patents, I have no problems with him getting the credit.

Re:Let's just say Galileo (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 2 years ago | (#41289153)

I don't have a problem with him getting co-credit, on many of those patents, but I think he should have shared the credit with the inventors who actually made the breakthroughs where Edison had little more involvement than financing it. They did the actual imaginative and intellectual work, his funding and shop helped make it possible. Of course, the inventions he personally worked on or led should be his.

Re:Let's just say Galileo (2)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | about 2 years ago | (#41266189)

Don't these scientists understand that there's no way we can remember

That's also why I am with the creationists: six days, done

Re:Let's just say Galileo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266407)

And has been slacking ever since. Not my idea of a good role model.

Re:Let's just say Galileo (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41267367)

Don't forget Apple and Steve Jobs!

Re:Let's just say Galileo (1)

Hellmark (777625) | about 2 years ago | (#41287985)

Really what benefit does that provide? Is it really all that important to remember each and every inventor? It is more work to remember the incorrect inventor, than to just simply not remember at all. Anyone who really does need to know, is better off knowing the real people

I throw my telescope in the air sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41265907)

One less reason to sing that "Ayyy-oh, Galileo" song.

Re:I throw my telescope in the air sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41268133)

Figaro, magnifico!

Re:I throw my telescope in the air sometimes... (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41268617)

The Galileo thermometer would be useless on top of the devil that Beelzebub has for a sideboard, its too hot down there.

Ancient Greeks invented thermometers (2, Informative)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#41265919)

As with a great many things, you can find prior art in ancient Greece:

http://www.eoht.info/page/Thermometer [eoht.info]

Reading comprehension, you fail it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266501)

Ancient Greeks invented thermometers

So? The Chinese invented gunpowder, too, but both facts are completely irrelevant to this article.

Nobody claimed Galileo invented the thermometer. He was incorrectly credited for the invention of the Galileo Thermometer.

Re:Reading comprehension, you fail it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266705)

So? The Chinese invented gunpowder, too, but both facts are completely irrelevant to this article.

Your narrowness and lack of anecdotal curiosity are absolutely epic.

[anal]Plus, it is technically incorrect that the chinese invented gunpowder. The Europeans did. The Chinese merely invented (firework) powder.[/anal]

Re:Reading comprehension, you fail it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41269209)

[anal]Please shove this portion of my comment, Right Up Your ASS![/anal]

Re:Ancient Greeks invented thermometers (2)

snikulin (889460) | about 2 years ago | (#41266873)

It does not count: they had not patented it.

Anyone but Galileo (3, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | about 2 years ago | (#41265935)

I couldn't have told who invented the Galileo Thermometer, but I could have told you it wasn't Galileo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigler's_law_of_eponymy [wikipedia.org]

Um, don't you mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267345)

Don't you mean Merton's law of, oh wait, nevermind.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266075)

I know this sounds calloused, but people will read this article and think to themselves, "Neato." They will then proceed to continue to call it the Galileo Thermometer.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267507)

Because that is what it is called? There are plenty of things that are named after people later found or rediscovered to not be the original inventors. In the end, language is more about communicating via a common set of symbols than historical accuracy. Short of someone with a lot of visibility making a new name clear to everyone, trying to use a new name will run into problem, while using the older name will be understood.

Kind of half-assed. (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 years ago | (#41266085)

It did not explain how the device came to be known as a Galileo Thermometer.

Re:Kind of half-assed. (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41266291)

Nor did it say the name of the person who actually did create it, instead just mentions some scientific society.

I bet if we knew who did invent it, that would tell us why it is know as it is.

Re:Kind of half-assed. (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41266461)

Well, the Accademia del Cimento's records have mostly been lost. Most of what we know about them is pieced together from various letters. But most of their big players were either students of Galileo, or students of students of Galileo. As a poster above noted, it was basically like a bunch of grad students today, performing detailed tests of many of the phenomena that Galileo (the professor) had postulated.

Re:Kind of half-assed. (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 years ago | (#41267147)

So, it's possible that the design was Galileo's, but he didn't actually build the thing. In which case, the moniker is not entirely wrong.

Re:Kind of half-assed. (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about 2 years ago | (#41266621)

It did not explain how the device came to be known as a Galileo Thermometer.

I'm sure that he was going to call it the "Probando e Reprobando Thermometer" but was prevented from doing so by a DCMA takedown from The Accademia del Cimento.

Re:Kind of half-assed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41281129)

It was marketed by a guy called Galileo Thermometer, who named it after himself.

Just as a side note... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266133)

Galileo also didn't invent the telescope and he wasn't beat on by The Man(tm) for his heliocentric belief either.
 
Oh, and Einstein was a world class plagiarist.

Wow. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41266341)

If that doesn't dispel the global warming myth, nothing will!

Re:Wow. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267321)

Go thump another bible, neckbeard. No one wants to hear your shit here.

Nope. Invented in AMERICA in late 1500's. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266363)

The people who would go on to become Americans invented the thermometer in the late 1500's and the technology was sent back to old europe where galileo stole the idea and took credit for it.

Re:Nope. Invented in AMERICA in late 1500's. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266669)

Judging from the filthy stinking Europeans I know, this is quite plausible.

In other news... (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41266377)

Other "corrective articles" by Peter Loyson include:

"You didn't write that!" - Who really writes the State of the Union?

Abe Lincoln Didn't Win the Civil War, a Bunch of Soldiers Did

Did You Know That Comedians Actually Use Scripts?

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41271493)

You Wouldn't Have Learned That Without a Book or a Teacher

Hitler Was A Pretty Decent Painter, You Know

captcha: liberals

Patent Violation (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 2 years ago | (#41266547)

The patent on this item, "Galileo Thermometer, " is in fact owned by me on patent 2354.1245.567. All references to the device, as well as drawings, schematics, or other illustrations are done in violation of my patent, as well as the DMCA.

Re:Patent Violation (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41267935)

Yes. But I own the patent on the Internet-enabled Galileo thermometer.

Re:Patent Violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41268773)

All well and good, but I came up with and was awarded a patent on the mobile Internet-enabled Galileo Thermometer some time ago.

Re:Patent Violation (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41269523)

But then there's the multi-touch, pinch to zoom Galileo Thermometer (rectangular with rounded corners).

Wouldn't want my name associated either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41266751)

At the Corning corporate campus they have a gift shop that sells these. When last I was there they had a dozen of them on the same shelf all reading different temperatures over a range of 10 degrees.

Right. (1)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about 2 years ago | (#41267007)

And next you're going to tell me that Kepler didn't invent the space telescope.

Re:Right. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 2 years ago | (#41267435)

At least we have good documented evidence that Lou Gehrig discovered Lou Gehrig's disease. Who can forget his speech announcing his discovery to everyone at Yankee Stadium?

Re:Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267857)

Lou Gehrig didn't have Lou Gehrig's disease.

Re:Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41268253)

Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig (June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941), baseball player for the New York Yankees, died from Lou Gehrig's disease.
Now, you may find one Lou Gehrig who didn't, but the Lou Gehrig did.

Re:Right. (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41270345)

But when Stephen Hawking dies it will be renamed

satellite navigation system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267371)

He did invent the Galileo satellite navigation system though right? It was supposed to be launched in 1613, but there were delays.

Was it scaled in celcius (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 2 years ago | (#41267605)

Was it ruled in the Celsius scale, or what we now cann the Celsius scale?

The difference, is the original had freezing at 100, and boiling at 0. Someone else decided to reverse the numbering.

Thomas and Ben (1)

Kojow777 (929199) | about 2 years ago | (#41267933)

I suppose next you are going to tell us that Edison never invented the light bulb and Franklin never discovered electricity.

So what? (1)

mt1955 (698912) | about 2 years ago | (#41269071)

These eponymous connections almost never pan out.

Doctor Joseph-Ignace Guillotin was not beheaded with one of his own devices.

Dr. Richard J. Gatling was not shot by his own invention, nor was John Garand or John T. Thompson.

In fact if it wasn't for Mr Blunt Object the whole idea never would have got started in the first place.

Wrong translation!!! (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about 2 years ago | (#41272511)

> who had the impressive motto 'Probando e Reprobando,' which in English means 'testing and retesting.'

Absoultely not...the motto of Accademia del Cimento was 'provando e riprovando', and it is a quote from Dante's [milano.it] Divine Comedy [divinecomedy.org] . You can find it at the beginning of the third Canto of the Paradiso:

Quel sol che pria d'amor mi scaldò 'l petto,
di bella verità m'avea scoverto,
provando e riprovando, il dolce aspetto;


Whoever is familiar with ancient italian will correctly translate it as 'testing and rejecting', and not as 'testing and retesting'.

This verse became the motto of Accademia del Cimento for an obvious reason: a scientist makes an experiment, and after the result he rejects all theories who are in conflict with the experimental result. For sure he will not go on repeating indefinitely the experiment...
The motto can be found nowadays as a motto in the arms of the Italian Society of Physics [www.sif.it]
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