Today students got the chance to test gravity experimentally. They used a photogate to measure the speed of two falling marbles. Both were the same size, but one was made of metal and the other was made of plastic. The metal marble was five times heavier!
Contrary to popular belief, heavy objects do not fall faster. Both marbles experienced the same pull of gravity and both accelerated toward the ground, their speeds increasing at roughly the same rate. The reason heavy objects seem to fall faster in because they are less affected by air resistance. Tomorrow, we will take this experiment to the next level, attempting to prove that Earth’s gravity really does accelerate objects at 9.8 m/s per second.