This Awe-Inspiring Physics Experiment is 100% For Real

How do you create the world’s most compelling physics demo? Start with the world’s largest vacuum chamber. Take a famous theoretical problem, and reenact it in a grand fashion, and do it all in slow-motion HD. That’s exactly what the BBC did to the classic gravitational case of the bowling ball, and the feathers in free fall. When you drop a bowling ball, and a pile of feathers, which lands first? In a vacuum, they fall at the same rate, and land at the same time. Weird, right? Watch the video to see it in action.

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The video was filmed at NASA’s Space Power Facility (SPF), which is used to test rockets (hence the size). When the vacuum is activated, the SPF goes from having several hundred tons of air, to just a few grams. It is the closest approximation of outer-space that we have, which makes it amazing for testing out this problem.

 

 

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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