OT: Speed of light [was Re: Why not a Python compiler?]

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 17:28:35 CET 2008

On 11/02/2008, Grant Edwards <grante at visi.com> wrote:
> On 2008-02-11, Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com> wrote:
> > Well the history of physics for at least two hundred years has
> > been a migration away from the intuitive.
> Starting at least as far back as Newtonian mechanics.  I once
> read a very interesting article about some experiments that
> showed that even simple newtonian physics is counter-intuitive.
> Two of the experiments I remember vividly. One of them showed
> that the human brain expects objects constrained to travel in a
> curved path will continue to travel in a curved path when
> released.  The other showed that the human brain expects that
> when an object is dropped it will land on a spot immediately
> below the drop point -- regardless of whether or not the ojbect
> was in motion horizontally when released.
> After repeated attempts at the tasks set for them in the
> experiments, the subjects would learn strategies that would
> work in a Newtonian world, but the initial intuitive reactions
> were very non-Newtonian (regardless of how educated they were
> in physics).

I would like to take part in such an experiment.

I should note that movies and such often portray the wrong motion of
objects. Years of that type of conditioning may be responsible for the
non-newtonian expectations of the participants.

Dotan Cohen


A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

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