Galileo’s inclined plane
Place the ball in the upper position on the inclined plane and watch the ball rolling down. Pay attention to the time intervals between the determined – increasingly longer and longer – sections.
How does it work
The ball while rolling down the plane and being affected by the gravity field, is accelerating, in other words: it is gaining more and more speed. Thanks to that, and despite the sections becoming longer and longer, it needs the same amount of time to cover them. The lengths of the subsequent sections remain in the ratio described by the negative numbers: 1, 3, 5, 7, … The second section is three times the length of the first one. The third one is five times the length of the first one and so on.
Galileo was the first to investigate this phenomenon around the year 1600. His biggest problem was precise time measurement. In order to perform it, he was weighing the water flowing from the container on subsequent sections of the path. The experiment that you have just experienced is on the list of 10 the most beautiful experiments in the world.