You Know How This Experiment Ends, But You Should Watch It Anyway

Most of you know that any two objects dropped in a vacuum will fall at the same rate. Some of you have probably even seen it demonstrated in person. But you've never seen this classic experiment reproduced in the world's biggest vacuum chamber – and you really should.


Physicist Brian Cox recently visited NASA's Space Power Facility in Ohio to check out the Agency's Space Simulation Chamber. At 30.5 meters across and 37.2 meters tall, the colossal aluminum construction has a volume of 22,653 cubic meters (about 800,000 cubic feet), making it the biggest vacuum chamber in the world.

The best thing about this video is the reaction it elicits from Cox and the engineers. Everyone knows how the experiment will end. Like us, they've been told what to expect. Like us, many of them have seen it demonstrated on a smaller scale. But something about watching a bowling ball and feathers fall from a great height, together, side by side, makes them gawk, giggle, and grin like children. I think that's kind of wonderful.

[BBC Two]



First off, I have to marvel at how incredible this is to watch and admit that it made me too gawk, giggle, and grin like a child. I can't wait to show people this.

That said, does anyone else wonder how much it had to cost to spend the 3 hours pumping out the air, setting up, and conducting this experiment that everyone know the result of? (Again, not wanting to rain on anyone's parade cause I'm damn glad they did it. I just have to wonder).