5 Brilliant Scientists And Their Biggest Blunders

By Steve West 2014-01-14 14:05:03
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ĒAristotleĒ
Aristotle's Claim That Heavier Objects Fall Faster
Aristotle is the most famous of the ancient scientists/philosophers on this list, and probably needs no introduction. He gave us the concept of empirical observation as a basis for scientific study, and while they have been superseded by Newtonian physics and relativistic physics, Aristotelian physics were used as the standard for over a millenia. To the casual observer, even to this day many of the ideas hold up.

This is especially true for the claim that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. If you hold a baseball in one hand, and a ping pong ball in the other, and drop them youíll find that they hit the ground at roughly the same time. But the baseball hits just a little before. Hereís the thing, although simple observation appears to uphold Aristotleís claim, the truth is that the two objects fall at the same rate. The difference is that a heavier object has a larger gravitational force, and therefore accelerates faster. There isnít enough space for each item to reach terminal velocity, so the heavier object accelerates faster and hits the ground first. A lot more is involved, and itís a fascinatingly study in physics.
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