One of the All-Time Great “Thought Experiments”

This must have come from Galileo, I guess. In any case, it is to show that heavy objects don’t fall faster than lighter objects.
Imagine three identical bricks falling–at the same speed, obviously. Two of the bricks have adhesive on their sides.
As they fall, these two bricks happen to touch, and the adhesive joins them together.
Does this double-weight object suddenly begin to fall faster than the third brick?



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2 responses to “One of the All-Time Great “Thought Experiments””

  1. Porlock Junior Avatar

    Yes, it is an elegant thought experiment. And yes, Galileo did use an equivalent one, though he was more inclined, I think, to have two of them tied together and therefore falling twice as fast as the lone one, till you cut the string.

  2. David Kolodney Avatar
    David Kolodney

    A version all the more merciless to his opponents! Philosopher of Science Paul Feyerabend in “Against Method” says G’s central contribution to Copernicus was his strength in argument (well, actually, he says “propaganda”).