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Effects of gravity on different elements 
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#1
Feb614, 12:41 AM

P: 2

Hi,
Hopefully this is the right place for this question. I'm wondering whether a 100lb ball of lead would roll down a ramp (assuming a 35 degree slope) at the same speed as 100lb ball of copper. Would there be a difference in force while they are rolling down? Thanks, 


#2
Feb614, 12:57 AM

P: 3,107

Might be interesting to watch...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5_dOEyAfk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eTw35ZD1Ig 


#3
Feb614, 01:36 AM

P: 2

Thanks CWatters..
I do understand that with no 'interference' the two would fall at the same speed. But would the larger contact area of the copper ball on the ramp surface be enough to affect results (here on earth)? 


#4
Feb614, 09:01 AM

Math
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PF Gold
P: 39,348

Effects of gravity on different elements
This kind of experiment has been done many times in many different ways, going back to Galileo. The "effect of gravity" (acceleration due to gravity) depends only on the mass of the object, not the material it is made of.



#5
Feb614, 10:05 AM

P: 3,107

If you eliminate every possible difference (same mass, size and rolling resistance and EDIT: Moment of inertia) so that they are the same except for the element that are made from then no, they would both roll down at the same speed. How small a difference counts as different? Both lead and copper are electrical conductors and they have different conductivities. On earth they would be moving through the earths magnetic field and that might affect the results  but it would be an exceptionally small effect that is hard to detect. 


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