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Counter-intuitive science questions.

 
 
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 12:17 pm
Note: I am looking for questions, not answers. I don't need the answers to these questions. Of course, feel free to post answers if you must. But post more counter-intuitive questions please.

I am looking for questions that few people think about, but expose faulty understanding once you look at them. Here are two examples:

1) A tree grows in soil. Why doesn't the tree create a big (tree sized) hole in the soil where it is growing. After the tree grows there is about the same amount of soil as before it started growing? Where does the matter for the tree come from?

2) The astronauts in the Space Station are weightless. Yet the Earth's gravity is keeping the Space Station in orbit. If there is gravity, how are they weightless?

Those are two of my favorites.... do you have any more?

 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 12:54 pm
@maxdancona,
Okay...I'll give it a try, mostly because I play lots of golf...and golf has more counter intuitive aspects than most games.

Why, if you want the ball to go high in the air, must you hit it on the down stroke?

Why does "trying" to get the ball high in the air by trying to scoop it up...end up in a low, muffed shot...often a chili dipper.

Why do shots hit will lots of force often go a much shorter distance than shots hit will lessened force?

0 Replies
 
Bennet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 01:17 pm
@maxdancona,

1) A plane is on a conveyer belt situated in the runway that rotates to counter the rotation of the plane's wheels, basically to counter rotate at the same speed of the wheels. Can the plane take off?
2) Is red flame hotter than blue flame?
3)Can the net force on an object in free fall be zero?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 01:21 pm
Bennet's post gave me an idea that may fit your question:

Planes returning from combat were inspected to see if reinforcing certain areas would lead to fewer loses. The inspectors noted where the holes on the planes were…and suggested reinforcing areas where there were no holes.

The counter intuitive idea was: The planes hit in the areas where there were holes were able to limp back to base. The planes lost apparently had been hit in other areas.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 01:44 pm
Many people believe that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones, and I once saw a survey where people were shown diagrams and asked to indicate outcomes e.g. the path taken by a ball released by someone on a rotating carousel - a significant number of respondents thought it would take a curved path. More than one person has told me that glass window panes in old houses are thicker at the bottom because glass is a liquid that which flows slowly under the action of gravity.

There are lots of misconceptions about gears around, and the ones on the illustration on an Adobe web page are all wrong. The three gears at the top left are locked and none of the rest will turn either. This diagram is an engineer's nightmare with gear tooth sizes mismatched and sloppily aligned, and a rope or cord at the bottom attached in some mysterious way.

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cogsv4.gif


0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 02:49 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Thts why the Isreali AF has them put perforations along the wing/fuselage joint. As a wise rabbi said"NOBODY CAN BREAK MATZOH ON THE PERFORATIONS"
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 02:49 pm
@farmerman,
Does hot water freeze faster than cold? Many people believe it does
engineer
 
  5  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 03:10 pm
Consider the Earth a sphere and there is a string all the way around the equator. Add one meter to the string and arrange it so that it is equally off the ground everywhere. Could you see how far off the ground it is? What you did that on the moon instead?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 03:20 pm
@maxdancona,
I toss a ball up into the air. At its apex for an instant where acceleration is zero why is it said nevertheless to be accelerating
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 04:41 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

I toss a ball up into the air. At its apex for an instant where acceleration is zero why is it said nevertheless to be accelerating


See another thread...
Bennet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 04:44 pm
@contrex,
That other thread is the inspiration for this thread, of that I'm quite sure.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 04:46 pm
@Bennet,
Bennet wrote:

That other thread is the inspiration for this thread, I'm quite sure.


I don't think he's gonna get it, although I still am hopeful.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 04:51 pm
@contrex,
…..why is it said nevertheless to be accelerating.
Quote:
See another thread...
Oh yes indeed Con and thank you for that thread. You'll now note however my response. Still this OP isn't asking about answers, only q's
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 04:54 pm
@Bennet,
Ben I don't think 1) is counterintuitive

But maybe our BH's would

Apologies to the BH, I'm just kidding
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 04:57 pm
@farmerman,
A quick Googling seems to indicate that it does

http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_rn=4&gs_ri=psy-ab&pq=define%20microgravity&cp=38&gs_id=c&xhr=t&q=Does%20hot%20water%20freeze%20faster%20than%20cold%20water&es_nrs=true&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=Does+hot+water+freeze+faster+than+cold&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=298aa0ebeef20938&biw=1308&bih=829
0 Replies
 
Bennet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 05:05 pm
@dalehileman,
You may not think 1) maybe counterintuitive, but there have been very long and rather heated discussions in other forums regarding if whether the plane will fly or not. Now I'm curious as to how you will answer it. Without googling it do you think the plane will fly? And if you can, provide your own explanation supporting your answer.
And does BH stand for big head by any chance?
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 06:09 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

I toss a ball up into the air. At its apex for an instant where velocity is zero why is it said nevertheless to be accelerating

Fixed that for you.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 06:25 pm
@Bennet,
Quote:
Without googling it do you think the plane will fly?
Oops, now I see. The q is whether the pull of the engines can overcome the friction of the tires on the belt and/or any resistance owing to the imperfection of the wheel bearings so as to slide the plane off it. The belt would have to go incredibly fast as suggested by my later q

Given four prop engines, there might be enough lift to reduce this friction to a point where the tires could slide off

If it were jet engines, then I doubt it

So I'll hedge, saying maybe it depends on the kind of engine. But you're right about its counterintuitivity, frankly I'm baffled

Quote:
And does BH stand for big head by any chance?
Better Half

So now tell me
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 06:38 pm
@dalehileman,
how does a vector engine in a HArrier transition from raising the jet to making it go forward??
Shouldnt it fall from the sky ?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2013 06:47 pm
@Bennet,
Quote:
basically to counter rotate at the same speed of the wheels.
Can I gather from this that the gadget that determines the speed of the belt can sense any movement of the plane so as to adjust the speed of the belt to keep it stationary

In any case, no, yes, there could be some counter-intuity
 

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