Theoretical Reconstruction of Galileo’s Two-Bucket Experiment

Author: Sylvio R. Bistafa

In the present work, the theoretical solution of a problem extracted from a historical context is addressed, in which Galileo supposedly conducted an experiment to measure the percussion force of a water jet. The experimental apparatus consists of a balance, in which a counterweight hangs on to one of its extremities, and two buckets hang on to the other extremity. The water jet from the bottom of the upper bucket strikes the lower bucket. The objective is to find the jet percussion force on the lower bucket. The result of the analysis revealed that the method proposed by Galileo for the calculation of the jet percussion force is incorrect. The analysis also revealed that the resultant force during the process is practically null, which would make Galileo’s account of the major movements of the balance credible, despite his having not identified all the forces acting on the system.


Journal: Advances in Historical Studies

DOI: 10.4236/ahs.2018.73009 (PDF)
Paper Id: 86799 (metadata)

See also: Comments to Paper

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