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The German word for x-rays is Röntgen-Strahlen, so I used to believe it must be an amazing coincidence that the man who discovered them bore the name of Röntgen.
I believed that if you held up a large enough piece of paper, that if a very fast jet plane flew through it, it wouldn't make a hole in the paper.
I grew up hearing a lot about the atom bomb, and, having just heard about atoms in school, I thought that these incredibly powerful bombs were, well, the size of a single atom. When my father told me that atoms were always dropping off of me I was wondering how there weren't explosions everywhere.
When I was around seven years-old, my friend and I put a rock in a microwave and thought it would melt.
I used to believe that I would be the first person to see air.
I used to believe that heat and cold were two separate energy forces. It was only actually "cold" when the temperature was below zero, whereas seemingly cold temperatures above zero merely indicated a lack of heat.
I teach 8th grade. Many of my students have been amazed to learn recently that our Galaxy is called the Milky Way, that this isn't the only galaxy, that our sun is not at the center of our galaxy, and that no people or even space probes have left our galaxy. I especially love to watch their faces when I show them a picture of the Hubble Deep Field North and say that every point of light in the picture is a galaxy, then explain just how small an amount of the sky that the picture covers.
I was convinced that hot air sinks. Why else are mountain tops cold, and Death Vally is so hot?
When I was little, my parents had a neon sculpture that lit our dining room. They told me that if I touched it, I would get electrocuted.
Fast forward 20 years...
I'm on a first date with my future husband, and we're seated next to a neon beer sign. He reaches out to touch it, and I say, "HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? IF YOU TOUCH THAT, YOU'RE GOING TO GET ELECTROCUTED!"
He just laughed and told me it was fine as long as he didn't touch one of the joints between the neon tubes. I felt pretty dumb.
I use to believe that if I poked an sufficient amount of holes unto something, I would acutally be able to make that something disapear...example: A cheese full of holes leaves no cheese at all.
When I was six, I was obsessed with turning out the light and racing it to my bed as I ran and dove on to it.
I thought the after-image in my eyes was the light fading away because it wasn't powered any more by the light bulb.
I used to believe that the front of our green family van was the direction north. Whichever way the van was facing was how direction was determined.
My friend and I were once told my her mother that it was scientifically impossible to jump on a trampoline without smiling. We were determined to prove her wrong. So after a few tries, we finally managed to jump and keep a straight face. After this we turned to her and said, "Ha!" She then told us she made it up, and we were dissapointed.
When I as little I used to think gravity could be turned off. Never having grasped the concept of gravity completely, I used to think that there was a big switch in the middle of the Earth which could be shut down at any moment and we would all fall off. Everytime I looked at pictures of the Earth (such as in school or in the movies) I used to close my eyes and I was horrified. I remember pleading my mom to move to the North Pole since according to my theory, this was the only safe place where we would be unable to fall from.
My sisters once told me that the Laws of Gravity are all relative, and that the only reason they work is because we are so convinced that they are true. So basically, if you forget about gravity, then you'll float/fly. They told me that to do this you have to trip and become so distracted that you forget all about the falling, the fact that the ground is coming up very quickly, and the fact that its going to hurt.
I decided to test this theory and went to the living room (which is a carpeted floor) and got my sister to throw pillows at me as I tripped. This was so I could become distracted and forget to fall. It didnt work and I became very distressed and finally gave up.
I still believed that I could fly if I was properly disctacted until my Dad, several months later, told me that they had made it up to make me do something stupid so that they could video tape it...
i used to think that if i pour water into a cup and fil it up, it would just keep going up and up on the borders of the cup. to my surprize that the water suddanly began to spill!
When I was in 6th grade I told a classmate that if reflections and shadows didn't exist that we would fall through the floor. And he believed me!
i thought if i tied enough balloons to my bedpost the bed would fly away with me in it. unfortunately, i never had more than two balloons at a time, so i never got to test the theory.
When me and my friend were about 6 years old, we decided to go time-travelling. The only way we could work out how to do this was to sit at the top of my stairs in my baby brother's baby bath and wait for my mum to get home from shopping(the front door was right in front of the stairs) and then we would slide down the stairs and right out the front door so quickly we'd have to go back in time. Fortunately we didn't have the patience to sit all squashed up in the tiny little baby bath for longer than about 10 minutes so we gave up on our time-travelling plans and watched tv instead.
My parents are religious fanatics, so of course they did not properly explain the "big bang" to me. I am now an atheist, but back then (when I was 7 or so) I thought the "big bang" theory was idiotic. Why? Well, because I thought that the BIG BANG meant that something went *kaboom* and *poof* there was the earth as I knew it! My parents also told me that the theory of evolution meant that humans evolved from monkeys! But then, many uninformed people make that mistake...