Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and physicist, c 1630.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Life-size terracotta statue by Andreus Boni of Milan, after the original by Eugenio Rados. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), one of the greatest scientists of all time, is pictured here holding a pendulum in his left hand. Galileo was one of the first people to recognise that the period of a pendulum was constant regardles of the arc of swing. He also discovered Jupiter's moons and the laws governing falling bodies.