Modern Physics

Galileo Galilei and free fall

Galileo Galilei and his studies of free fall have become one of the most important experiments in the world of physics.

Galileo performed not one but several experiments to demonstrate that two free-falling bodies, regardless of weight, would travel a distance at the same time.

Although theories of free fall were mentioned earlier in Aristotle’s studies, Galileo Galilei resumed work with several experiments.

Finally, he was able to reject the theory that heavier bodies would fall faster than lighter ones.

Galileo Galilee

Galileo Galilei was an Italian physicist, astronomer, mathematician and engineer born on February 15, 1564 in Tuscany.

He is known worldwide as the father of astronomy and modern physics, thanks to the studies and experiments carried out throughout his life. He died on January 8, 1642 in Tuscany.

Discoveries: The telescope and free fall

Thanks to his unique intelligence and curiosity, in 1609 Galileo Galilei introduced an instrument known today as the first telescope.

It was a kind of high-magnification binocular, with which he was able to discover mountains, lunar craters and even discovered that the Milky Way was surrounded by stars.

On the other hand, Galileo was one of the pioneers in physical testing in the world. Thanks to the experiment he conducted from the Tower of Pisa, he found that free-falling bodies travel a distance at the same time, regardless of their weight.

Free fall

Free fall is the movement of a body where there is no resistance or gravitational force

In this type of movement, several factors intervene, such as the shape of the body or the means by which it moves.

Aristotle’s Theory

Aristotle’s theory of free fall indicated that heavier bodies would fall faster than lighter bodies.

The problem with this theory is that it did not take into account the resistant factors that may exist in the middle of the displacement, such as air, and therefore it was not necessary.

Galileo Galilei Theory

Galileo Galilei’s theory rejected Aristotle, as he expressed that, in the absence of resistance factors such as air, all bodies weighed the same and therefore would travel the distance of the fall at the same time.

Galileo was able to demonstrate this theory despite not having the necessary instruments to create a vacuum by subtracting air. This instrument was created several years after his death, around 1650.

One of the best-known experiments on this theory was that of two spheres on an inclined plane.

In this experiment, Galileo used two spheres of different weight and observed that on inclined planes, their behavior did not differ much.

Thanks to the use of these planes, he was able to calculate more accurately during the experiment.

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