Learn how Galileo mathematically described the physics of falling objects in this video from NOVA: The Great Math Mystery. For thousands of years, people erroneously thought that heavier objects fell faster than lighter ones. It was not until Galileo studied the motion of falling objects that it became clear that, in the absence of air resistance, gravity causes all objects to fall at the same rate. Galileo used ramps to slow down the speed of falling objects so that he could carefully observe and collect data about their motion. Ultimately, he recognized that all falling objects accelerate at the same rate and showed that the distance a falling object travels is directly proportional to the square of the time it takes to fall.
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