Galileo'S Experiment - Masses In Free Fall

Purpose

To show that the acceleration of bodies in free fall is independent of mass.

Equipment

Light and heavy balls, springscale with ball holder, ladder and sound board.

Setup Time

5 min.

Images

c4-34

Description

Light and heavy balls are weighed using the spring scale. When they are dropped simultaneously from a height of about ten feet, they accelerate downward at the same rate (the acceleration of gravity) and reach the floor at the same time. A wooden board acts as a sound board to amplify the sound when they reach the floor.

References

V. V. Raman, Where credit is due- The Leaning Tower of Pisa Experiment, TPT 10, 196-197, (1972). Marcello Z. Maialle and Oscar Hipolito, Acceleration of gravity for the earth model as an ellipsoidal mass with nonuniform density, AJP 64, 434-436 (1996).