Leonardo’s Arundel Codex and the Theory of Gravity

Leonardo’s Arundel Codex Shows Groundbreaking Information About the Theory of Gravity, Say Physicists Who Studied It.

Feb 22, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Leonardo’s Arundel Codex
Leonardo’s Arundel Codex


Leonardo’s Arundel Codex may be one of the first to clarify the theory of gravity. Overall, there is a good chance that this man of art surpassed the greatest physicists of all time in this matter. This includes Isaac Newton and Galileo. Leonardo’s Codex caught the attention of today’s physicists. It’s safe to say the evidence was out in the open all along.


Leonardo’s Arundel Codex: New Evidence About the World of Physics

Leonardo’s Arundel Codex
Leonardo’s Arundel Codex


An apple falling from a tree inspired Isaac Newton to formulate the theory of gravity in the 17th century. The first step in defining this question made Galileo. But new evidence suggests someone whose primary occupation was not a physicist, first addressed this question. That man was Leonardo Da Vinci, the Renaissance painter.


Through the analysis of the codex, Leonardo continues to fascinate modern researchers. The Renaissance polymath constructed a now newly-discovered triangle drawing. Overall, these are early established mathematical proofs. They show what the gravitational force breaks into. Also, they take into account more than just its clear negative pull. But it also explains how the force gradually accelerates behavior.


Pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Arundel.


While Newton used an apple and a tree as an example, Leonardo used dripping from a jar. The polymath understood that the sand would form the hypotenuse of a triangle if he dragged the jar, along a horizontal plane. But, this must match with the speed of the force dragging the grains down. This change in the falling speed of the object per unit of time is an important step in determining the gravitational constancy on Earth.

Did Leonardo Solve the Mistery of Gravity Before Galileo and Newton?

Theory of gravity
Pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Arundel.

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This latest discovery in the field of physics saw the light of day in the journal Leonardo. A hundred years before Newton and Galileo, Da Vinci at least to some extent, solved the mystery of gravity. The Renaissance artists’ sketches give us proof for that. There are a series of brilliant experiments that he conducted using only his ingenuity and expert empirical methods.


Dr. Morteza Gharib was the first to notice his doodles. She is a professor in aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology. It is interesting that his work and discovery were in plain sight. But, nobody noticed them. This is because they were more the subject of analysis by art historians, rather than scientists/physicists.

Pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Arundel. Courtesy the British Library.


“It’s mind boggling”, Gharib said. “That’s the beauty of what Leonardo does”. Later scientists like Galileo and Newton formalized our comprehension of gravity. They carried out their job in an era of highly developed mathematics and timekeeping methods.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.