There are many myths in physics. Some of these myths have been debunked, while others continue to persist. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common myths in physics.
Energy is conserved
The first myth is that energy is conserved. This is not always the case. For example, when a radioactive atom decays, it emits energy in the form of radiation. This energy is not conserved, because it is not returned to the system.
It is a myth that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Although the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant, this can decrease when some of it is converted to work. Additionally, the creation and destruction of particles (and antiparticles) contribute toward the overall change in energy.
Another common physics myth is that heat rises; however, heat always flows from hot areas to cold areas until thermal equilibrium has been reached between both parts of the system.
Light always travels in a straight line
It is a myth that light always travels in a straight line. In fact, it can be deflected by objects en route. Additionally, light can be bent by the gravitational field of a massive object.
Particles are elementary objects
It is a common misconception that particles are elementary objects. In fact, particles are made up of even smaller particles, and these in turn are composed of still smaller ones. This hierarchy continues infinitely, meaning that there are no elementary particles.
Time is absolute
The other myth is that time is absolute. This is not always the case. For example, when you move through space, your experience of time changes. This phenomenon is known as time dilation.
It requires equations to solve problems
A myth about physics is that it requires equations to solve problems. Although there are many types of physics problems that require equations, other kinds may not require any at all; instead, these kinds may ask students to make observations through experiments or use their knowledge to come to a conclusion.
Equations are not the only way to solve physics problems, and it is a myth that they are. In addition, not all physics problems have one right answer; there may be several solutions or ways to approach the problem. This just goes to show that there is always more to learn in this fascinating field of science!
Light is constant
One another myth is that the speed of light is constant. This is not always the case. For example, when a light wave passes through a medium with a different refractive index, its speed changes.
Particles are point-like
One another myth is that particles are point-like. This is not always the case. For example, electrons have a finite size, and their size depends on their energy level.
Atoms are indestructible
This is not always the case. For example, when an atom absorbs a photon, it may be destroyed. Additionally, when atoms collide, they may be destroyed or create new atoms.
The universe is static
The myth is that the universe is static. This is not always the case. For example, the universe is expanding.
Equations are the only way to solve physics problems
The other myth is that equations are the only way to solve physics problems. This is not always the case. For example, many physics problems can be solved using only observation and reasoning. Additionally, there are many types of physics problems that require equations.
One right answer to every physics problem
The myth is that there is one right answer to every physics problem. This is not always the case. There may be several solutions or to approach the problem. This just goes
Gravity is instantaneous
Another popular myth is that gravity is instantaneous. This means that the presence of a massive object affects another massive object immediately, without having to move through space. For example, this would mean it takes no time for the Earth’s gravity to affect the Moon. However, this is not true; gravity does take some time to travel from the Sun to the Earth or other bodies in our solar system.
Newton’s laws are infallible
People have said that Newton’s laws are infallible when describing motion. However, when an apple falls off a tree branch due to gravitational forces acting on it, it follows an arc tangent to the ground because of air resistance. This means that if you were standing in a vacuum with no atmosphere, next to a massive ball suspended by a string so you could swing it around, the apple would follow a perfect parabolic path.
These are just some of the many myths in physics. It is important to be aware of these myths so that you can avoid being misled by them. However, it is also important to remember that physics is an ever-evolving science, and many of these myths may eventually be debunked. Thank you for reading our article on myths in physics. We hope you found it informative! Be sure to check back soon for more articles on this and other topics in science!
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2. “Energy Conservation.” HyperPhysics Concepts, Georgia State University, 2016, http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/enercon.html.
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5. “The Particle Myth.” The Particle Adventure, particleadventure.org, 2016, https://www.particleadventure.org/myths/particles/.
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9. Goldstein, Herbert.. Classical mechanics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub., 1980.
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