Leaning Tower of Gingin
The Leaning Tower of Gingin is our pride and joy here at the Gravity Discovery Centre. It is an awesome feat of engineering. The Tower is an impressive 45 metre tall steel structure, leaning at an angle of 15 degrees and held in place by 180 Tons of concrete. Tower Photo E-Mail size
The extreme angle it leans at may very well make it the “leaniest” purpose built tower in the world. Its model and inspiration, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, leans at a mere 5.5 degrees.
A safe, yet thrilling climb up the 222 steps will take you to the very top of the Tower. The view from up there across the Wallingup Plains all the way to the Darling Scarp is no less than breathtaking. Experiencing our countryside from this vantage point will give you a new appreciation of its beauty and vastness.
The Leaning Tower of Gingin was built to inspire people from all walks of life and various ages to take a new look at science and get involved in some hands-on experiments of their own. Designed to re create Galileo’s experiments from some 440 years ago, the Tower is the ultimate science experiment and it is fast becoming one of Perth’s most recognised icons, along with King’s Park and the Pinnacles.
What can I drop from the Leaning Tower?
We provide water balloons for you to drop. You are able to fill balloons with water to your desired size. However, various other experiments have been conducted, including the dropping of watermelons.
The Tower Experiment
In about 350 BC the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said that heavy things fall faster than light things. For almost 2000 years everybody believed him. Galileo was a student in Pisa about 440 years ago. He was the first person to say “Let’s not just believe what the ancients told us. Let’s try it out.” As a student Galileo probably dropped things off the Leaning Tower of Pisa…who could resist the temptation! What might he have dropped? Apples, melons, stones, blocks of wood, bricks? No one knows because he didn’t leave a record. This is what he did say: “If you were to drop two weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and if they landed within 2 fingers’ width of each other, then would you still believe what the ancient philosophers said?”
Galileo 032Most people think Galileo must have done the experiment, and that his weights did hit the ground within 2 fingers’ width as he said. Today we know that he was right. Everything does fall at the same speed except for wind resistance. Space satellites are falling in a circle, and astronauts float around freely inside the International Space Station because they are falling at the same speed as the space station. The question is: Did Galileo actually do the experiment? Was Galileo telling the truth? This is for you to determine. All you have to do is drop a pair of water balloons and see if they are “two fingers’ width apart” when they hit the ground. Best way is to have one person dropping and another watching (or making a digital video) from the ground. Decide for yourself whether he did the experiment or just imagined it. Ask at reception if you want to be told the answer.