Talk:Uniform acceleration

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Merge with acceleration[edit]

I think that would be a good idea. Headbomb {ταλκWP Physics: PotW} 06:23, 12 July 2008 (UTC) also


There's a small dispute between two of us about whether or not this should be included in the article or not which could do with some more input. My opinion is that it adds relevant historical context to an article which otherwise consists almost entirely of formulae, and that removing sourced info when the vast majority of the text is unsourced doesn't benefit the article. The counter-view is that it's not really relevant to the topic of uniform acceleration. Anyone got an opinion on this? Alzarian16 (talk) 20:28, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

As I said in the edit summaries of [1] and [2], I think the remark is not really relevant in the context of the section, or even in the article. I also have some doubts about the source (Phil Ball?) at Even if this source is used at Galileo Galilei for a similar statement, this does not really mean that it is reliable. So indeed, comments from a few other contributors would be welcome. DVdm (talk) 21:35, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Looks like no-one's watching. Should we try asking the WikiProjects? Alzarian16 (talk) 11:38, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
You could do that, but you better find a wp:reliable source first. DVdm (talk) 17:21, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I would consider India's second largest newspaper to be reliable, especially when the only other source used in the entire article is a school textbook. But if we can't agree on that source being reliable, how about this one? Or, if you'll AGF an offline source, Sharratt, Michael (1994). Galileo: Decisive Innovator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56671-1. . All of those give the same account. Alzarian16 (talk) 17:49, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Leaving the relevance and notability of the remark aside for a while, newspapers are generally not considered to be reliable sources for scientific topics. This one talks about "Philosophers recently dropped objects" and "a professor of Greek at the University of Pisa, who led the study" etc. This source does not say that "many historians state...". It just says that a few amateurs did some sloppy experiment. What is said on which page of Sharratt's book? DVdm (talk) 19:19, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Did you read the bit under "Author's note", which says that "In popular lore, Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) dramatically refuted Aristotle’s laws of motion by dropping unequal weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In the scientist’s extensive writings, however, he never claimed to have conducted an experiment from that tower. Instead, his first biographer, Vincenzo Viviani, launched the story roughly a dozen years after the great man’s death, and other authors embellished it since, often with few facts to back up their tales."? It doesn't support the exact info that I added, but instead categorically states that he didn't perform the experiment. Page 31 of Sharratt's book says that Galileo didn't actually demonstrate that Aristotle's result was wrong, but that it was a thought experiment. Sadly, we can't verify this using Google Books as it stops at page 27 for some obscure reason. Alzarian16 (talk) 19:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
On the issue of relevance, if we were to follow that argument to its logical conclusion, we would remove the section on circular motion since that isn't directly about uniform acceleration. Alzarian16 (talk) 19:37, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
On the issue of circular motion, perhaps you are not aware of the fact that the magnitude of the acceleration is indeed constant (uniform), and that the velocity of the object "changes by an equal (vectorial) amount in every equal time period" (see the lead of the article), even if the speed is constant. So this kind of motion is indeed fully on-topic.

Anyway, so neither source supports the statement that "''many historians state" such and such. Many things can be said about what Galileo did and did not, and many of these things can be sufficiently interesting (and properly sourced) in an article about Galileo. I think that this particular thing is off-topic in this article. You could try the physics project page to find some support. DVdm (talk) 20:26, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Information about what Galileo did and did not was present in this version of the article (straight after you edited it), but unsourced. As soon as it's sourced for the first time in its history, you remove it as off-topic. Something's wrong somewhere. This is an encyclopedia article after all, and historical context is important to any topic. Having only the basic facts (and unsourced facts at that) without providing any detail on how the results were arrived at is horribly close to a WP:NOTTEXTBOOK violation. Alzarian16 (talk) 20:51, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't see the connection of the supposed Galileo experiment; one could demonstrate uniform acceleration by the free fall of a single body, and using two doesn't change anything; I think that experiment is a bit off topic. So is circular acceleration, which clearly doesn't fit the definition, since the acceleration is in different directions at different times. Dicklyon (talk) 23:34, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, different directions, but constant magnitude, and it produces uniform circular motion, fitting the definition in the lead. But that was already present in the article. The point of disagreement was whether we should say something about what some historians think about whether some experiment has actually taken place. I don't think that's relevant here. DVdm (talk) 23:42, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Uniform circular motion does NOT fit the definition in the lead. Dicklyon (talk) 23:45, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree it's not so relevant here; unless someone finds a source that makes it look relevant. Certainly we can't be including unattributed opinions and such. I see many book sources that connect Galileo and uniform acceleration, generally without mention of dropping two objects off a tower. Dicklyon (talk) 23:47, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I notice that you removed the section. No problem with me, although I was thinking along the lines of for instance this, which is why I understand how section this has come about in this article. Now that this article has been reduced to almost nothing, shouldn't we just go ahead and merge it into Acceleration, like it was suggested by Headbomb? DVdm (talk) 00:06, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I don't see the point of this article. If it had good sources, it might be defensible, but it seems like just a simple special case of acceleration, and could be covered well there. Dicklyon (talk) 05:45, 4 December 2010 (UTC)