Presentation on theme: "A History of Gravity: Aristotle through Cavendish."— Presentation transcript:
A History of Gravity: Aristotle through Cavendish
Ancient and Pre-Modern Theories Aristotle’s theory of four elements – Earth moves to earth, – heavier objects fall faster
Galileo and the Scientific Revolution: 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...
Isaac Newton: 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
Weighing the Earth: Henry Cavendish ( ) 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
A modern day version of the apparatus:
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…
Force of gravity between two objects of masses m 1 and m 2 separated by a distance r. universal gravitational constant
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 you’re on it.
Image References Galileo portrait by Giusto Sustermans Newton portrait by Godfrey Kneller En.wikipedia.org