This is great. Many people have already reported google's apple-dropping homepage in honor Newton's birthday. In case it disappears, here is a screen shot.
So, I got this awesome note from Dale Basler. He said that his class had analyzed this falling apple animation. What a very Dot Physics-y idea (check out his analysis). He said they were questioning the results which might be due screen capture issues. I decided to reproduce this.
I captured the motion with Apple's Quicktime X screen recording feature. I then used Tracker Video Analysis - which now has an autotracking feature that works really well in this case (I will post more about that later). Here is a plot of the y-motion of the falling apple.
I fit a parabolic function to the data (at least to the part where it was falling) and I get an acceleration of about -2 units/sec2. I didn't scale the video so I don't really know the distance units. Is it constant acceleration? Kind of, I guess. What about the bounce? That should have the same acceleration, right?
Not even close. I guess google thought it would be enough to honor Newton with the silly falling apple, but not falling with a constant acceleration. Hello, Google? I thought your motto was "do no evil."
Actually, this doesn't bother me too much - but I thought the analysis was a cool idea.
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Can't you scale the drawing by the size of the apple? (Yeah, I know, I know - apples aren't a set size - but they fall within a certain range - and that gets you a range that may or may not include the g we're expecting).
And no, we don't know what planet this is on - but it's one that has trees more or less like ours, so g can't be too different (unlike Pandorum...)
Maybe it was windy...