This experimental apparatus provided a demonstration of the Galilean law of the natural fall of bodies, which stated that the spaces traversed from a position of rest are proportional to the squares of the times of fall.
The pendulum attached to the inclined plane was swung at the same time as the small ball was released. In each successive oscillation of the pendulum, the sphere traversed spaces that increased in accordance with the sequence of odd numbers.
In the first oscillation period, the sphere traversed a given interval from its rest position. In the second period, it traveled three spaces; in the third period, five spaces, in the fourth period, seven spaces, and so on.
It follows that the sphere traverses four spaces in two periods from a rest position, nine spaces in three periods, sixteen spaces in four periods, and so on.
Last update 05/feb/2008