Experiment is the beating heart of Science. The story of Galileo dropping cannonballs off the Leaning Tower of Pisa to disprove Aristotle’s Theory of Gravity remains one of the great examples of the scientific method of all time. More importantly it proved how counter-intuitive Science can be and why Science without experimentation is a joyless and immobile creation.
Imagine a cannonball and a feather. Which will fall faster in a vacuum?
If you are like me your gut screams that the feather must fall slower than the cannonball in a vacuum. After all we’ve seen feathers and other light objects fall before, and they inevitably fall slower than more massive objects. But our perceptions are warped by our experience of not living in a vacuum.
Here is the experiment performed in the world’s largest vacuum chamber. It is simply brilliant.