Galileo’s Free Fall
You may already know that there is a mystical force called gravity that pulls everything on Earth downward. This is really cool since if we didn’t have gravity we’d all be floating around in space. Do you think that this mysterious force pulls heavy objects faster than a light object? Reeko thinks the answer may surprise you.
- Place newspapers on the floor around the chair.
- Stand on the chair while your partner lays on the floor peering at the newspaper.
- Hold the 2 oranges in each hand. Extend your arms straight out away from your body (and over the newspapers) so that each orange is the same height from the floor. Let go of both oranges at the same time. Did they hit the newspaper at roughly the same time?
- Now stand in the same position but this time hold a orange in one hand and a grape (or some other small object) in the other hand. Let go of both of these objects at the same time.
Notice how the orange and the grape still hit the floor at the same time. Most people would have guessed that the orange would hit the floor first but we now know that gravity pulls all objects downward at the same speed, regardless of their weight. Of course air resistance influences this somewhat so for more accurate results you’ll need to do this experiment in a vacuum (outer space). Yeah, we know – just take Reeko’s word for it…