Gravity without air resistance

September 25, 2011

in Geek stuff, Psychology, Science

I am glad someone actually went out and did this:

Among other things, it shows how our intuitions are often based on the limited range of conditions experienced by our ancestors on Earth, and thus reflective of only a subset of what is true about the universe generally. We expect air resistance to exist everywhere, despite the airless character of many stellar bodies.

Of course, science fiction authors seem to expect all moons and planets to not only have atmospheres, but have atmospheres that Kirk and company can breathe unaided, but that is a different misplaced assumption.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan May 19, 2012 at 12:26 am

It would be a little better if the astronaut declared his purpose as “testing” Galileo’s findings, rather than “confirming” them.

The whole point of empirical observation is to test our expectations against potentially unpredictable results.

anon May 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Someone who just flew in a rocket to the moon already has some pretty good validation of universal gravitation.

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