Body in Free Fall moves in Parabolic Path

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A body in free fall above the surface of the Earth follows a path approximating to a parabola.


Historical Note

According to tradition, Body in Free Fall moves in Parabolic Path was noted by Galileo Galilei by observation and reasoning.

However, it appears that in fact it was his pupil Bonaventura Francesco Cavalieri who first published it.

Because it upset Galileo to have had his pupil take that last step, Cavalieri agreed that the result should be accredited to Galileo himself, and so offered to withdraw his own publication.

It was confirmed mathematically by Isaac Newton by application of his laws of motion.