A Few Popular Physics Myths
- Sep 29, 2016
- Sudipto Das
There are many myths that have emerged over the years that are related to physics and physicists. We have collected a few of these popular myths in this list for your reference.
The Theory of Relativity proves that everything is relative
In this postmodern world, many believe that Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity means the fact that “everything is relative”.
Quantum Physics means that the universe is completely random
Several aspects of quantum physics result in this misconception. The first aspect can be considered to be the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which particularly relates to the proportional relationship of quantities- for example, position measurement and momentum measurement- within a specific quantum system. Another fact is that quantum physics field equations produce a range of probabilities on the basis of outcome. Both of the facts above have made certain people believe that the reality is completely random. This is basically a myth.
Einstein’s failure in Mathematics when he was a student
This rumor is pretty popular and was even in circulation even at the time when Albert Einstein was alive. It was believed that Einstein failed in Mathematics when he was a kid. This is actually false. Einstein was real good in mathematics when he was a kid. In fact, he actually considered being a mathematician in future instead of a physicist.
Sir Isaac Newton’s famous apple drop
People have a tendency to believe in the fact that Newton conceived the law of gravity when an apple FELL on his head from a tree. This is a pretty famous rumor which is false. What’s true is that Newton was on his mother’s farm when he watched an apple fall from the tronto to the ground. That incident made him wonder about the forces of nature at work at that point of time. But the point is Newton was NEVER hit by an apple on his head.
Destruction of Earth by the Large Hadron Collider
The working of the Large Hadron Collider had created a feeling of unrest among many people. There were a few specific reasons for that. People believed that in investigating high energy levels through particle collisions, the Large Hadron Collider might create a few microscopic black holes. Those microscopic black holes would result in drawing in matter, thereby devouring the entire planet. This concept is totally baseless because the formations of such black holes, as per several physicists are very unlikely due to the laws of gravity. But even if it happens, the minute black holes would be so unstable that they would disintegrate immediately. So it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Large Hadron Collider
Noise travels freely in space
This one’s not exactly a myth in proper sense because most people who are aware of the basics of Physics would not even believe that this incident happens. But still there are many people who have developed this notion (special courtesy to films and novels for developing that wrong notion in public).
Sound waves always require a medium of travel. This means that they can travel through a specific medium such as air, water or even solid objects. There aren’t enough particles in space to transmit sound. There’s complete vacuum in space.
Hope you had a good read. We’ll be signing off for now. Ciao!
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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