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(io9)   Remember Galileo dropping two different-sized cannonballs off the leaning tower of Pisa to prove objects of different mass fall at the same rate? Yeah, about that   (io9.com) divider line 98
    More: Interesting, Pisa, mass fall, interest rates  
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10713 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Feb 2013 at 6:25 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-03 05:07:41 PM  
Without reading article, no Galileo never did that. He slowed down the fall by rolling both cannonballs off an incline so he can actually observe it.
 
2013-02-03 05:34:53 PM  
Galileo Figaro!
 
2013-02-03 05:48:51 PM  
At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So some guy had an idea, but there's no evidence it's correct. In fact, it seems to be wrong. This is truly game changing.
 
2013-02-03 06:13:22 PM  

St_Francis_P: At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So some guy had an idea, but there's no evidence it's correct. In fact, it seems to be wrong. This is truly game changing.


That is how science works.
 
2013-02-03 06:16:44 PM  

Kome: St_Francis_P: At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So some guy had an idea, but there's no evidence it's correct. In fact, it seems to be wrong. This is truly game changing.

That is how science works.


It is, but usually it doesn't become a featured article afterward.
 
2013-02-03 06:38:46 PM  
Remember Galileo dropping two different-sized cannonballs off the leaning tower of Pisa

Yes. I remember.  I am very old.
 
2013-02-03 06:46:26 PM  
The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So an unproved theory, wake me up when you have actual data that supports the theory.
 
2013-02-03 06:46:34 PM  

St_Francis_P: Kome: St_Francis_P: At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So some guy had an idea, but there's no evidence it's correct. In fact, it seems to be wrong. This is truly game changing.

That is how science works.

It is, but usually it doesn't become a featured article afterward.


Actually science journalism is almost dead in America.

Even Perez Hilton posting famous women on his shiatty blog and calling them whores is more insightful and educational these days.

NASA only releases rocks and CGI generated deep field "photographs" and the same speculations we've had since the 70's.

Quantum is so misunderstood you can just skip any article about it and save what little you might know from driving you insane.

New products using centuries old conepts with an LED attached are masquraded as "progress"

And, if you wait around, once every day some jackass asks "Whar flying car, whar?" and sells it to a newspaper as an editorial.
 
2013-02-03 06:46:46 PM  
My whole science education has be a LIE! a LIE!
 
2013-02-03 06:53:39 PM  

doglover: Actually science journalism is almost dead in America.

Even Perez Hilton posting famous women on his shiatty blog and calling them whores is more insightful and educational these days.

NASA only releases rocks and CGI generated deep field "photographs" and the same speculations we've had since the 70's.

Quantum is so misunderstood you can just skip any article about it and save what little you might know from driving you insane.

New products using centuries old conepts with an LED attached are masquraded as "progress"

And, if you wait around, once every day some jackass asks "Whar flying car, whar?" and sells it to a newspaper as an editorial.


I really want to try my hand at writing science journalism, since I seem to actually have a knack for explaining some difficult aspects of science in an understandable way.

I was, somehow, able to explain time dilatation in a coherent fashion to a pre-vet student. At a weekend camp we were both councilors at, surrounded by 60 screaming children. Without being able to use drawings or math: only gestures and the 'light clock on a train' explanation. .. she later came back and said my explanation caused her physics 2306 class to suddenly make sense and enabled her to pass.

/Also, I have a really, really good visual analogy/demonstration for why we care about nanophysics/how simply changing the *size* of an object can drastically alter its properties....
 
2013-02-03 07:01:23 PM  
"At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon."

Wow, what a worthless article this was.
 
2013-02-03 07:05:39 PM  
Dropping science liked Galileo dropped the orange.
 
2013-02-03 07:07:18 PM  

Felgraf: doglover: Actually science journalism is almost dead in America.

Even Perez Hilton posting famous women on his shiatty blog and calling them whores is more insightful and educational these days.

NASA only releases rocks and CGI generated deep field "photographs" and the same speculations we've had since the 70's.

Quantum is so misunderstood you can just skip any article about it and save what little you might know from driving you insane.

New products using centuries old conepts with an LED attached are masquraded as "progress"

And, if you wait around, once every day some jackass asks "Whar flying car, whar?" and sells it to a newspaper as an editorial.

I really want to try my hand at writing science journalism, since I seem to actually have a knack for explaining some difficult aspects of science in an understandable way.

I was, somehow, able to explain time dilatation in a coherent fashion to a pre-vet student. At a weekend camp we were both councilors at, surrounded by 60 screaming children. Without being able to use drawings or math: only gestures and the 'light clock on a train' explanation. .. she later came back and said my explanation caused her physics 2306 class to suddenly make sense and enabled her to pass.

/Also, I have a really, really good visual analogy/demonstration for why we care about nanophysics/how simply changing the *size* of an object can drastically alter its properties....


WHAR FLYING CAR! WHAR!
 
2013-02-03 07:08:16 PM  
My pound of uranium is heavier than your pound of feathers!
 
2013-02-03 07:08:28 PM  

King Something: Galileo Figaro!


Magnifico!
 
2013-02-03 07:17:22 PM  
I'm postulating an effect where women are totally attracted to me, but the effect is so small that it is impossible to measure.
 
2013-02-03 07:18:50 PM  
In later experiments I conclusively proved Galileo wrong by dropping a paper airplane and a dumbbell off of a local Walmart.
 
2013-02-03 07:22:46 PM  

Software2: WHAR FLYING CAR! WHAR!


Alas, my field is nanophysics (though a grey goo scenario is... well, in my opinion, kiiinndaa vanishingly unlikely. And even if it is possible, we're so far away from that being a possibility it's not even funny!), so I cannot help you there.

That said, we ARE sort of living in the future. =) And we DO almost have friggen tricorders (Seriously, think of all the capabilities smartphone has! Now keep in mind there are people trying to develop cheap attatchmentss that would allow you to use one *as a spectrometer*).

I realize your post wasn't serious, of course. =)
 
2013-02-03 07:25:30 PM  

KarmicDisaster: I'm postulating an effect where women are totally attracted to me, but the effect is so small that it is impossible to measure.


maybe something else is so small that it is impossible to measure.

/I'll be here all week folks,  Please try the surf & turf and remember to tip your waitresses.
 
2013-02-03 07:33:22 PM  

lordargent: The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So an unproved theory, wake me up when you have actual data that supports the theory.


What's more, he's from Montana State. Bobcats are inherently untrustworthy.

/Maroon and Silver blood.
//GO GRIZ!
 
2013-02-03 07:46:19 PM  
At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight. But if it's there, everything we know about motion, and even relativity, changes. Wouldn't that be cool?

Sure. You know what else would be cool? If it turned out that there were actually invisible angel unicorns pushing things together, instead of some weird mysterious "gravity". Think of all the things we could convince those invisible angel unicorns to do! So far, there's no evidence that they exist. Still, I should totally write an article about them.
 
2013-02-03 08:02:21 PM  
jesus farking christ, NASA has known this for a long ass time.  Its how they figured out the flightpaths for the probes.

This goes to show some shiatbag teacher with a limited degree can miraculously re-discover shiat that even KEPLER knew about.
 
2013-02-03 08:09:16 PM  

St_Francis_P: Kome: St_Francis_P: At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So some guy had an idea, but there's no evidence it's correct. In fact, it seems to be wrong. This is truly game changing.

That is how science works.

It is, but usually it doesn't become a featured article afterward.


It's io-farking-9.  One shouldn't expect much from them.
 
2013-02-03 08:16:14 PM  
I thought Galileo dropped stuff like watermelons and TV sets. Oh no wait, that was Letterman.
 
2013-02-03 08:19:16 PM  
 
2013-02-03 08:30:02 PM  
Well, of course it does.  This is kinda like how Newton was mostly right unless you're traveling at relativistic speeds and what not.  For objects of extremely low mass, like everything we deal with every day, the pull exerted on the Earth is so negligible that it really isn't even necessary to consider it, thus everything accelerates at about the same rate, +- 10-30 m/s or whatever the actual error would be.  It's really the mass difference between the two objects that matter when disregarding the smaller mass, so the Earth or Moon compared to the Sun is like a 20 pound cannonball or a 10 pound cannonball compared to Earth.

Otherwise, the actual equation for acceleration due to gravity is F= G * ((m1 * m2) / r2), which makes it quite obvious that both masses effect acceleration.  If a second Earth mass planet magically popped up nearby, the rate at which it would accelerate towards the Earth would be at least twice that of a much less massive object, like the cannonball.  Well, really, this second planet would accelerate towards the earth at the usual rate we're used to, but the Earth would also accelerate towards this second planet by the same amount, thus from the reference point of the Earth (and all reference points must be valid), the second planet would be accelerating twice as fast as a much less massive object.
 
2013-02-03 08:33:51 PM  
The second two concepts are two different views of mass. There's inertial mass. Imagine an object is on perfectly greased wheels on a perfectly smooth, level floor. If you were to reach out and push it, you would have to exert enough force to move its inertial mass.

Nope, sorry, you're wrong.  If this object was on perfectly greased wheels on a perfectly smooth, level floor, no matter how lightly you pushed it, it would begin to accelerate.  It just might accelerate very slowly if it's very massive.

GJ fail09.
 
2013-02-03 08:38:44 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: My whole science education has be a LIE! a LIE!


Wait until you find out about your history education.
 
2013-02-03 08:44:32 PM  

prjindigo: jesus farking christ, NASA has known this for a long ass time.  Its how they figured out the flightpaths for the probes.

This goes to show some shiatbag teacher with a limited degree can miraculously re-discover shiat that even KEPLER knew about.


Yeah, wtf? I remember asking my high school physics teacher if this was the case, back in 1987... and yeah, it was.

Obvious tag on vacation?
 
2013-02-03 09:22:58 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: My whole science education has be a LIE! a LIE!


Apparently newton really did get hit by an apple, it's right in his diary. But Ben franklin did not fly a note in a thunderstorm with a brass key.
 
2013-02-03 09:24:27 PM  
Heavy objects do fall faster.

Drop a small marble against a heavy bowling ball.  Initially they will accelerate at the same rate, yes.  But because the bowling ball is heavier, the Earth will accelerate toward it slightly faster.  Because it accelerates slightly faster toward the ball, the radius between the two gets lower faster, and because the radius is lower the acceleration of gravity is greater, therefore the bowling ball falls faster. QED
 
2013-02-03 09:26:25 PM  

Holfax: ecmoRandomNumbers: My whole science education has be a LIE! a LIE!

Wait until you find out about your history education.


I believe in Paul revere whether he rode or not
 
2013-02-03 10:04:56 PM  

St_Francis_P: Kome: St_Francis_P: At least that's the idea. The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon. If there is an effect, it's very slight.

So some guy had an idea, but there's no evidence it's correct. In fact, it seems to be wrong. This is truly game changing.

That is how science works.

It is, but usually it doesn't become a featured article afterward.


Io9 is hardly qualifies as a "featured article" in academic circles. It's probably more embarrassing to be on io9 than get rejected from a crappy conference.
 
2013-02-03 11:11:21 PM  
Newton invented calculus while trying to model gravity pushing.  He wanted to calculate how each tiny part of each object would be pushed towards the other object.  I still find it an interesting experiment because if you model the pushing force as to be very high, very fine and very unlikely, the sums do mirror the much simpler formula that works so well and it also works for inertia.  It is also an interesting way to teach people how to think of developing their own mathematics to solve new problems as well as dealing with edge cases where things do end up differently between observed and the theory.
 
2013-02-03 11:18:45 PM  

Felgraf: /Also, I have a really, really good visual analogy/demonstration for why we care about nanophysics/how simply changing the *size* of an object can drastically alter its properties....


Since someone has to....

Did she 'change the size of your object'? wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean? say no more, say no more..?
 
2013-02-03 11:43:24 PM  
I always figured the object with the greater mass fell faster because the more massive object's additional gravity helped things along
 
2013-02-03 11:45:07 PM  

SpdrJay: My pound of uranium is heavier than your pound of feathers!


My pound of gold is lighter than your pound of uranium.
 
2013-02-03 11:54:11 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: I always figured the object with the greater mass fell faster because the more massive object's additional gravity helped things along


If you have two items of the same size and weight but one has a denser core, it will fall faster because pull of he side of the higher density areas is closer to the center line in theory.  It would take some impressive equipment to do that experiment and get any useful data since a fall of meters might have fall times that differ far less than a trillionth of a second.
 
2013-02-03 11:54:24 PM  

MayoSlather: In later experiments I conclusively proved Galileo wrong by dropping a paper airplane and a dumbbell off of a local Walmart.


You shouldn't do that, you could kill some people shopping at Walmart.

Ummm ... on second thought, that sounds like an excellent experiment.
 
2013-02-03 11:55:59 PM  

Ivo Shandor: SpdrJay: My pound of uranium is heavier than your pound of feathers!

My pound of gold is lighter than your pound of uranium.


But how do your carets of gold compare to my karats of carrots?
 
2013-02-04 12:00:52 AM  
Next you're gonna tell me an apple didn't fall on Newton's head. BLASPHEMER!!
 
2013-02-04 12:12:13 AM  
Wow, old news is exciting! Nordtvedt has been at this for decades. I used a lot of his work in my undergrad research project. For further reading, check out my advisor's 2000 paper:  http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0007047  I worked to try to extend that paper to other solar system bodies. I made some progress, but it was a dead end and another student has picked it up and is heading in a slightly different direction.

The basic idea is that many "beyond the standard model" proposals introduce a field that couples to matter differently than gravity. Perhaps nuclear binding energy plays a role. Perhaps it's proton to neutron ratio. There are many proposed fields out there. Now, just as gravity is far weaker than electromagnetism, this proposed field is much weaker than gravity, so any effects would be very small. It is already constrained to the 1 part in 1013  by lunar laser ranging and torsion balances. That still leaves plenty of room for a new field to hide.

There have been a few satellite projects proposed to measure this effect even more sensitively. Some of the Gravity Probe B guys are working on STEP (Satellite Tests of the Equivalence Principle) which would theoretically be able to measure any deviation to one part in 1018. The Europeans are working on a project called MICROSCOPE that will work similarly. These satelliteexperiments wouldn't be terribly expensive, but unfortunately, big projects like the JWST take up all of the funding.

Smeggy Smurf: I always figured the object with the greater mass fell faster because the more massive object's additional gravity helped things along


The object with the greater mass feels a greater force, yes. However, because it's more massive, it takes more force to accelerate it at the same rate as a smaller mass. It's actually very fascinating that there are two types of mass, and as far as we can tell, they're exactly the same. Mass is the gravitational "charge." It's what determines how strong a gravitational field is. It's ALSO what causes resistance to acceleration. At first glance, these two things should have nothing to do with one another. The fact that they are equal is one of the foundations of Einstein's general relativity.
 
2013-02-04 12:14:09 AM  
I had no idea Ken Nordtvedt was a physics professor. I've been reading post of his on dna research and thought that was his profession.
 
2013-02-04 12:14:23 AM  

DON.MAC: If you have two items of the same size and weight but one has a denser core, it will fall faster because pull of he side of the higher density areas is closer to the center line in theory.  It would take some impressive equipment to do that experiment and get any useful data since a fall of meters might have fall times that differ far less than a trillionth of a second.


Gauss's law disagrees with you. Unless you can break out some math, I do believe that the theoretical difference in the rate of falling is 0.
 
2013-02-04 12:25:44 AM  
The Nordtvedt effect has been tested, and so far no evidence has been found that the more massive Earth is falling towards the sun faster than the moon.

Remember when  Subby implied that our traditional understanding of gravity had been overturned?  Yeah about that.
 
2013-02-04 12:37:02 AM  

jack21221: DON.MAC: If you have two items of the same size and weight but one has a denser core, it will fall faster because pull of he side of the higher density areas is closer to the center line in theory.  It would take some impressive equipment to do that experiment and get any useful data since a fall of meters might have fall times that differ far less than a trillionth of a second.

Gauss's law disagrees with you. Unless you can break out some math, I do believe that the theoretical difference in the rate of falling is 0.


Hmmm... let me grab a copy of Dr Parkinson's Gravity Probe B paper and copy and paste the math.... oh... I don't seem to have enough room.

I'm guessing that the zero you talk about is a good round number.  I'm guessing the real difference would be something on the order of one test sphere having one more atom than the other but my second guess would be the ratio of the difference would be something in the order of 1 to 10-75.
 
2013-02-04 12:40:15 AM  
The heavier mass might have a greater force acting on it, but that force is trying to accelerate a greater mass. If you want keep the acceleration rate the same and have increased the mass the amount of force applied must also be increased.

Then again the physics of planets is all theory anyway. The math might be sound, but it isn't like you can really measure things planet sized.
 
2013-02-04 12:41:06 AM  
Yes, but for the most part, the other object falling to the Earth is proportionally irrelevant in comparison.

You'd have to have an incredibly accurate method of measurement to note any difference.

Galileo did not have that, nor do most.

/everything's relative.  (pun intended)
 
2013-02-04 12:43:00 AM  
I had this same thought in high school 20 years ago when I read about Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation... from which you can derive the basically the same thing without having to go to all the trouble to make a new name for it with an unnecessary 'd' paired up with 't's.
That pesky general relativity probably explains this too, but It's too late for me to internet deep dive long enough to understand what the fark a tensor is.
 
2013-02-04 12:51:24 AM  

Felgraf: spectrometer


Not only are they just trying, they have succeeded. Here's a kickstarter for one that seems to have all the relevant info.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jywarren/public-lab-diy-spectrom et ry-kit
 
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