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Galileo and Aristotle on falling bodies - Essay Example

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Galileo and Aristotle on falling bodies

Aristotle explained how objects fall, he stated that every object has a natural place and if the object is moved it will move back to the natural place. Aristotle was among the first early scientists to quantitatively think about speed of a moving body he came up with to assertions on natural motion of free fall 1. Speed of a falling body is proportional to its weight i.e. heavier bodies fall faster than light ones. 2. Speed of a free falling body is inversely proportional to the density of the medium it is falling through Aristotle did not put into consideration a vacuum because it would be incompatible with his thinking. The inference deduced from his theories shows that objects experience less resistance with increase in speed therefore, in a vacuum an object would move infinitely fast. A study of moving objects led Aristotle to the conclusion that velocity, for a given force was inversely proportional to the density of the medium. In modern science this is v=k/d where v, speed is a function of density d and k is a function of proportionality. He explained acceleration as an objects response to its natural place. He states that since the object ’knows‘it’s final destination it keeps going faster until it gets there. To Aristotle two objects of different kinds in a similar medium would not have similar acceleration as the heavier object overcomes resistance of the medium and would thus fall faster than the lighter object. Aristotle obtained his results from pure observation he did not subject any of his theories to any experimental or mathematical scrutiny he also did not have any methods at the time to create a vacuum or reduce friction in order for him to notice dependency on density. Frictionless uniform motion was not analyzed by Aristotle, he considered motion under constant force acted upon by friction, and he concluded that a constant force must be applied on a body to overcome effects of friction force. Galileo - He was the first person to publicly and experimentally observe and prove discrepancies with Aristotle’s predictions one of his first experiments was on motion of bodies on free fall it was a challenge to Aristotle’s motion theories, Galileo’s approach to science was different from Aristotle’s he can be referred to as the father of modern science, he concentrated on describing a problem mathematically first, before coming up with a conclusion , he assembled relevant information and created a coherent pattern to disapprove Aristotle’s assertions. He carried out quantitative results rather than describing observations qualitatively, he speculated that in addition to gravitational force acting on a free falling object there was a counter upward force exerted on a falling object by the medium it is falling through. Galileo came up with experiments to show this phenomenon. He used water as the medium to make motion of object through it relatively slow in order for him to record time taken by each object. With this experiment he discovered 1. Heavy objects that are streamlined reached the bottom of experimenting tank at approximately the same time only a little bit longer than time taken to cover a similar height in air 2. Lighter and less streamlined objects took more time to reach ...Show more
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Galileo and Aristotle on falling bodies
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