Galileo's Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment

Celebrated demonstration of gravity / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Between 1589 and 1592,[1] the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (then professor of mathematics at the University of Pisa) is said to have dropped two spheres of the same volume but different masses from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that their time of descent was independent of their mass, according to a biography by Galileo's pupil Vincenzo Viviani, composed in 1654 and published in 1717.[2][3]:19–21[4][5] The basic premise had already been demonstrated by Italian experimenters a few decades earlier.

Comparison of the antiquated view and the outcome of the experiment (size of the spheres represent their masses, not their volumes)

According to the story, Galileo discovered through this experiment that the objects fell with the same acceleration, proving his prediction true, while at the same time disproving Aristotle's theory of gravity (which states that objects fall at speed proportional to their mass). Most historians consider it to have been a thought experiment rather than a physical test.[6]