Sketches made by Leonardo da Vinci in the early 16th century suggest that he understood the concept of gravity long before the English mathematician Isaac Newton, who promulgated his theory of gravity in the late 17th century, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology reanalyzed da Vinci’s notebooks and found a series of drawings containing curious experiments. Da Vinci took a jug and filled it first with water and later with sand, and then moved the filled jug parallel to the ground, studying how these substances flow out of the jug.
Experts believe that the brilliant Italian, with the help of these experiments, “modeled the gravitational constant with an accuracy of 97 percent.”
In their opinion, the only thing that prevented Leonardo da Vinci from developing his experiments with gravity to a full-fledged scientific discovery was the absence in his era of high-precision instruments that could measure the speed of falling.
Drawings with a jug and diagrams in the form of a triangle, da Vinci accompanied by short notes about these experiments.
“If the jug is moving at a constant speed, the line created by the falling contents is vertical, so no triangle is formed. If the contents are accelerating at a constant speed, the line created by collecting the falling material forms a straight but sloping line, which then forms a triangle,” they explain. his schema researchers.
“And, as da Vinci pointed out in the key diagram, if the movement of the content accelerates at the same rate that gravity accelerates the falling material, this creates an equilateral triangle.”
True, an error was discovered in his mathematical formula for acceleration.
“We saw Leonardo struggle with this problem, but he modeled it so that the distance to the falling object was proportional to the 2nd power of t [where t represents time], not proportional to the square of t. This is wrong, but we later found out that he used these kinds of wrong equations in the right way.
We do not know if da Vinci carried out further experiments or explored this issue in more depth. But the fact that he struggled with this problem in the early 1500s shows how far his thinking has come,” says Chris Roh, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology.
Da Vinci is considered a genius in many fields, not only in painting, but in architecture, sculpture, anatomy, engineering, mechanics, etc. Some argue that such gifted people are born into the world only a few times in a millennium.
After da Vinci, there were many diaries with his notes and drawings, and they are still being studied by historians and scientists.