Physics Demo

The best branch of science is microbiology. I can say this for certain because I’m a microbiologist, so I should know. There are other sciences that are quite good as well, and then there are some that are OK, and then somewhere deep into the lower half of the list of good sciences is physics. Physicists would probably argue with this, saying that “without physics, there would be no gravity”, but this is plainly untrue. Without microbiology, there would still be bacteria, and it’s not like we’d all go floating off the surface of the planet if physics was suddenly abolished as a science.

Anyway, this isn’t their list.

I did see some physics demonstrated the other day though, and I was impressed. Not impressed enough to move it above anthropology, but impressed nevertheless. And so, I’m going to share the video with you, right here, right now.

What happens in the video isn’t unexpected – physics tells us what to expect and what physics tells us to expect, occurs – but it is still a bit weird and tough to get your head around. Allow me to demonstrate – bring forth The Coxmatron!

The lead in is actually really interesting too, but if you just want to skip to the mentally confusing bit, jump to 2:30.

Galileo hypothesised that falling objects would fall at the same rate regardless of their masses, and so yes, the only reason that a bowling bowl falls more quickly than a bunch of feathers is because of the added air resistance on the latter. And yes, you know that, but because you have never seen a bowling ball and some feathers dropped in the absence of air (until now), it’s properly weird to actually see happening, isn’t it?


* It’s nowhere near as good as microbiology, but still much better than biochemistry.