The wonder of science.
Monday, April 20 2015 @ 07:53 MDT
Contributed by: evilscientist
I often use this Brian Cox video to show that yes, objects of different masses fall at different rates. This is in of itself a cool thing to watch and worth looking at the video for. As an aside, Apollo 15 did the same experiment with less explanation but being way higher on the coolness factor because they did the experiment on the Moon!
Now the video clip is cool just for what it is showing but for me the even cooler bit comes at the point where they show the reaction of the control room staff. Apart from Brian Cox, who is a PhD physicist, the room is filled with the people who operate the facility. These people will be scientists and engineers of some sort. In other words everyone in the control room knows what is going to happen when the bowling ball and feather are dropped in the vacuum chamber.
Which is why I find their reactions cool. It's a combination of awe and delight. A reaction you wouldn't expect from a bunch of people who pretty much know what's going to happen. This speaks to me of why people end up in the sciences. This sense of wonder about the world we have as children doesn't go away for scientists. Even seeing things that we know will happen work hits the wonder button in us.
In the end the world is an amazing place in both the small things and the grand scope. The key is to ensure that everyone retains the sense of wonder. That will go a long way to increase the scientific literacy of our population, something that is sorely needed.