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Galilio's falling bodies

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Introduction

Galileo’s falling bodies

It is said that Galileo Galilee investigated the laws of motion by dropping cannon balls from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa. In 1604 he deducted that, without friction, all falling objects, light or heavy, would fall with the same acceleration. Galileo’s ideas were not entirely accepted. Our present-day ideas about forces and motion mainly come from Isaac Newton’s laws of motion, which were put forward by him some 80-odd years after Galileo’s observation.

Aim

I am carrying out an investigation to see whether Galileo was right with his observation.

Preliminary experiment

For my preliminary experiment I set up the equipment and measured the distance from the floor to the ground. This was the distance the weights would fall which was 2.6m. One person then dropped a 500g weight from the ceiling and used a stopwatch to time how long it took to hit the floor. In then did this experiment again for a 1kg weight and then repeated each of the weights five times each in total.

1kg

500g

1

0.59

0.69

0.5

0.65

0.65

0.75

0.49

0.69

0.5

Average

1kg

500g

0.756

0.546

image02.pngimage00.pngimage01.png

image03.png

image04.png

image05.png

1kg velocity= 3.44 mps

500g velocity= 4.76 mps

This seems wrong because you would expect the heavier weight to have the quickest speed and highest acceleration. Air resistance, in accurate timing and friction may be factors that affected the speed of the weights. In my proper experiment I will have to try and cut down these inaccuracies to get fairer more reliable results.

Prediction

...read more.

Middle

Distance of last 2 dots (cm)

Total number of dots

(50=1 second)

0

0

0

0

100

92.5

8

35

200

137

8

32

300

125

10

24

400

140

8.5

27

500

140

11

21

Repeat 1

Weight

(g)

Length of

Ticker tape

(Cm)

Distance of last 2 dots (cm)

Total number of dots

0

0

0

0

100

115

9.8

34

200

130

7

33

300

125

7.5

29

400

135

9

26

500

140

10

25

Repeat 2

Weight

(g)

Length of ticker tape

(Cm)

Distance of last 2

dots (cm)

Total number of dots

0

0

0

100

120

5

33

200

115

6

28

300

130

7.5

22

400

135

8

26

500

145

9.5

21

Average results table

Weight

(g)

...read more.

Conclusion

I repeated my experiment three times and most of the results are mostly similar, generally the lengths and times where no different by a cm or two and 0.1 of a second. This still could have greatly affected my results. To make my results even more accurate I would have to do more repeats of each mass I investigated and then I could calculate a much more accurate average. Also if I did this I should ignore any anomalous results.

 To further investigation and find out for sure whether Galileo’s findings where correct I would have to use a bigger range of mass’s and make sure all my calculations and readings are completely accurate. Overall my results support my prediction and disagree with Galileo, although this investigation is not proof that, that is the case and I would have to greatly further develop my investigation and investigate more thoroughly the accurateness of results and the mass’s used to find out for sure if Galion was correct or not.

...read more.

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