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Showing posts from January, 2021

Fighting Ice With...Ice?

If you live in a part of the world with cold winters, you probably know the awful feeling that comes with an unexpectedly early frost or snow—one that covers your car in a layer of ice before you’ve pulled out your gloves and ice scraper for the season. The one that makes your fingers freeze in anticipation as you blast the defrost and pull out a credit card so that you can begin chipping away at the windshield.

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Newton's Apple

As someone whose job it is to help people understand and appreciate physics, I absolutely hate  the way most people talk about Isaac Newton and how he developed his theory of gravity. It's not the apple bit that I have a problem with; that's an important part of the story, and even historically accurate! The thing that kills me is the way the idea is framed, and the gulf that it creates between his observation  and his insight . What do I mean by that? Let's unpack the story, as I remember first being told it.