The Leaning Tower

841.1K Views

It is said that Galileo (1564-1642) dropped balls of various weights from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to refute an Aristotelian belief that heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects. If the balls were dropped from a height of 54 meters, how long did it take for the balls to hit the ground?

Share
pnikam Expert Asked on 18th August 2015 in Puzzles.
Add Comment

  • 1 Answer(s)

    To solve this problem, it is necessary to know that the gravity of the earth accelerates objects at a rate of 9.8 meters per second squared and then use the laws of gravitation formulated by Isaac Newton (1642-1727).

    The distance that an object travels under constant acceleration is given by the formula:

        distance = 1/2 × acceleration × time2 + intial speed × time
    The initial speed is zero because the balls are dropped and not thrown. Therefore, we can solve for time:

        time2 = (2 × distance) / acceleration
    Substituting distance = 54 meters and acceleration = 9.8 meters/second2, we get

        time2 = (2 × 54 meters) / (9.8 meters/second2) = 11.0 seconds2
    The square root gives:

        time = 3.3 seconds

    anikam Expert Answered on 18th August 2015.
    Add Comment
  • Your Answer

    By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.
  • More puzzles to try-