Register to reply

Galileo's experiment and equivalence principle

by AlonsoMcLaren
Tags: equivalence, experiment, galileo, principle
Share this thread:
AlonsoMcLaren
#1
May8-12, 02:05 PM
P: 75
Why do we say that Galileo's experiment at Pisa is an illustration of Equivalence Principle?

All we know is that

G* (mass of earth)*(gravitational mass of object)/(R^2) = (intertial mass of object)*a

Therefore,
a=G* (mass of earth)*(gravitational mass of object)/(R^2 * (inertial mass of object))

The experiment shows that a does not change for different objects.
But this only guarantees that (gravitational mass of object)/(inertial mass of object)= a constant, which is not necessarily 1.
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
New approach to form non-equilibrium structures
Nike krypton laser achieves spot in Guinness World Records
Unleashing the power of quantum dot triplets
Nugatory
#2
May8-12, 04:43 PM
Sci Advisor
Thanks
P: 3,436
Quote Quote by AlonsoMcLaren View Post
But this only guarantees that (gravitational mass of object)/(inertial mass of object)= a constant, which is not necessarily 1.
We choose the value of G so that that constant is equal to 1. We don't have to - it just makes the math simpler. We could, if we wanted, say that that constant was equal to 2, and use a value of G which was greater by a factor of four to make the calculation match the force that we measure experimentally ... but why bother?


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Galileo's experiment Classical Physics 2
Question about Galileo's principle of relativity Classical Physics 2
Galileo's thought experiment Classical Physics 19
Long planet and Galileo thought experiment Special & General Relativity 71
Galileo's experiment and Equivalence Principle Special & General Relativity 8