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When i was younger I thought "the speed of light" was the time taken for the lights to come on after you had pressed the switch.
I concluded that is was pretty quick, and that flourescent tubes were slower than ordinary bulbs
when i was very young i asked my dad how a radio works. he explained the principle of radio waves to me, and how they were invisible. he said that you couldn't hear them or see them or even taste them, but i never fully beleived that you couldn't taste them for some reason. i remember getting his transistor radio and putting my mouth on the antenna in hopes of tasting radio waves.
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 dad used to tell me that if you pointed at things, you were poking holes in the air and the fairies/birds would trip over them.
i'm still hesitant to poke holes..
When I was quite young, I desperately wanted my very own swingset. Then it dawned on me: unlearned in simply physics, I believed I could simply get a piece of rope, hold each end in opposite hand, and then while supporting the rope, I could just sit down and swing myself. Unfortunately, as you probably guess, it did not work quite as I had expected.
When I was a boy, my dad took a test drive in a Volkswagen bus, just so that I could have the reward of a lunchpail in the shape of a VW bus. The prize included a small thermos bottle. I'd take the pail and thermos to school, the thermos filled with iced juice. I convinced myself that when the ice melted in the thermos, the resultant water would fill the thermos beyond its capacity and it would explode, sending VW bus shrapnel throughout the classroom, killing me and anyone else in its path. Each day, I was anxious for lunch to come so that I could drink the juice and defuse the ticking time bomb. After weeks of such dread, I confessed my concerns to my dad. He explained that water expands during freezing and contracts during thawing. To this day, I believe that his explanation was the inspiration for my career in science.
I used to believe that Newton's 3rd Law (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction) could work both ways....the example we were given was that "if you push on a wall, the wall pushes back"....I used to walk down the hallways worriedly thinking "what if the wall pushes FIRST!!??"
I used to think that every time you broke something, you risked splitting an atom and causing an explosion.
My friend and I used to play with sticks. We would break them and throw them to try to get them to explode.
My brother convinced me that the world spinned around on its axis because it was at a very perfect angle that scientists couldn't easily reproduce. He told me that if I took out the school globe and adjusted it juuuuuust right that it would start spinning! I spent hours trying to get it to spin.
When I was younger I asked my dad:
"If I let go of a balloon, would it float up to heaven or space?"
He replied "It'd pop eventually."
I was hugely disappointed, as I'd already let go of a helium balloon that day with my name and address attached to it, hoping that an angel or astronaut would receive it and I'd get some sort of penpal (I wasn't picky).
Incidentally, it ended up a few streets away.
When I was little I had a fluorescent bulb in my bedroom. It would often take 1-2 seconds to fully turn on. This was grand because I thought that when people were referring to the speed of light, they mean how long it took a light bulb to turn on starting when the flip was switched. This made me very happy, because I could run to the center of my room before the light came on, and was therefore faster than the speed of light!
When i was younger i thought germs and bacteria were the same size as me
I one time asked my dad what comets are and he said they are made of dirt and ice. Based on this I thought if I got some dirt and ice I could throw it into space and make my own comet!
When I was a kid, I thought the speed of light was the time it took from when you flipped the light switch until the light came on.
When I was 8 my elder brother told me that due to the spin of the Earth, if anyone faced exactly east they would fly off into space, when I questioned this he said very few people had ever done it because it was almost impossible to exactly face east.
i used to believe if i dug a whole big enough i could find gravity, i found some polestirine so for years i was convinced gravity was white
I used to believe that if you shouted into a balloon whilst blowing it up and then tied it up, the same noise would come out later on when you popped it!
When I was 11 I went to the doctors for my headaches, and he gave me some little balls to put in my ears. When i asked how they would get out, he started explaining that very small objects could be transported into space, by a mini black hole. I was amazed and told everyone that if they lost something, don't worry, because its near Jupiter.
I still believed that at 13....
I remember being swung across the backseat of a car when my dad made a sharp turn. I asked my dad why it happened, and he told me, "It's something called enersha". So I believed that there was an invisible girl named "Enersha" who would occaisonally push me from time to time. I apparently got in trouble at school many times for blaming Enersha when I dropped something.
One day I was taught about how Marie Curie discovered the x-ray machine. For a long time I thought she had discovered it by digging it out of the ground and hence 'discovering' it.