# The Evolution of Gravity Theories: From Aristotle to Galileo

This article traces the history of gravity theories from Aristotle's belief that heavier objects fall faster to Galileo's discovery that bodies of any mass accelerate at the same rate. Learn about the scientific revolution and Galileo's famous leaning tower experiment that challenged traditional beliefs about gravity.

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## About The Evolution of Gravity Theories: From Aristotle to Galileo

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## Presentation Transcript

1. A History of Gravity: Aristotle through Cavendish

2. Ancient and Pre-Modern Theories Aristotles theory of four elements Earth moves to earth, heavier objects fall faster

3. Galileo and the Scientific Revolution: 1564-1642 Ramp experiments: showed bodies of any mass have the same acceleration Found period of pendulum independent of mass Leaning Tower of Pisa Story is a Story. . .

4. Isaac Newton: 1643-1727 Puts it all together Worked from astronomers data (like who?) Asked what made moon orbit the earth Apple on head story: The same force acts on objects and planets! F g = (Gm 1 m 2 )/R 2 Big idea, though he remained religious

5. Weighing the Earth: Henry Cavendish (1731-1810) Set up sensitive apparatus designed by a friend Wanted to weigh the earth Measured Mass, Force, distance Could figure out G Got within 1% of modern accepted value Force was 1x10 -7 N

6. A modern day version of the apparatus:

7. Gravity Three variables affect the force of gravity Mass of each object Distance between objects How do these affect the force of gravity? As the masses of the objects increase As the distance between them increases

8. Force of gravity between two objects of masses m 1 and m 2 separated by a distance r. universal gravitational constant

9. Force of gravity between two objects of masses m 1 and m 2 separated by a distance r. Universal gravitational constant Gravitational field strength due to some mass m. (Usually something big, like a planet.) The r is the distance to the center of the planet if youre on it.

10. Image References Galileo portrait by Giusto Sustermans Newton portrait by Godfrey Kneller En.wikipedia.org