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I used to believe that radio waves were actually thousands of microscopic, kayak-shaped, silver flying machines with tiny men inside them who drove from the radio station all the way into the antennae of the car radio. They couldn't fly well inside tunnels, though.
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.
I used to believe that when i cut my sandwich, i had a slight chance of splitting an atom in the bread, so every time i made a PB&J sandwich i expected to die within a millisecond and everyone within a half of a mile to get they're face melted off. that lasted until i stopped thinking about it, then i learned that the edge of the knife wasn't precise enough to split an atom, so i stopped worrying about it.
I thought that hot water couldn't put out fires.
I couldn't understand why I couldn't just pick myself up (by the feet) and fly away. Thought I just wasn't strong enough.
Still not 100% sure...
When I was around 5 my parents warned me several times that if I fell from a height then I would break my neck.
I figured that since my body was heavier than my head, my body would fall faster than my head and the two parts would seperate at the neck while falling.
when i was about 6 we did a project at school about space and our teacher told us about 'black holes' that were big enough to suck in the earth and squash it. I was terrified and for several weeks i used to pray every night that the earth wouldn't get swallowed. Then i think i forgot about it!
When I was quite youg (couldn't have been over 3 or 4) we watched a documentary on black holes with Stephen Hawking in it. This was before he had his robo-chair, so he siply spoke the best he could at the time and was subtitled. Now my sister and I both couldn't read at this time, so we were put off by this, and one of us asked why he spoke that way. "It's because a black hole sucked out his voice," Dad joked. My sister and I believed him explecitly... a few years ago we were talking and we remembered this, and confronted Dad. He claimed not to remember.
I used to believe that when you yawn you risk floating. As is gravity wouldnt be able to hold onto you, the strange thing was, im sure I can remember watching tv and watching a program about yawning can cause you to float away into the sky.
I used to think that the "speed of light" was the speed of the light going from the switch to the lamp when you turned it on. I was with my parents in a lousy hotel once, and the light in the bathroom would take four or five seconds to turn on since I had pressed the button, so I thought "hey, the speed of light is really low here".
I used to believe that if everyone would walk in the same direction at the same time we could make the earth's spin reverse. I never could get everyone to do this, so I still believe it (at least a little) and I have a MS in geology.
When I was in 3rd grade I watched some cartoon where they mentioned Einstein and how he was a genius and came up with E=mc˛.
It gave me an idea.
One day when school was about to end, I took a blank piece of paper and in BIG letters wrote on it " E=mc˛ ". I signed my name underneath, left the sheet in the middle of my desk, and when the bell rung I went home. My hope was that my teacher would find it, would think I was a genius just like Einstein, and would advance me forward a couple grades! Needless to say my plan didn't quite work out :P
When I was a child I thought that blankets had heat built into them. That
was why they kept you warm. The more you piled on the warmer you
would be. I can't remember when I stopped believeing this but it came
as a shock that I was wrong.
I was once told by my dad that peddling a bike down a hill would actually slow you down. I wwas about 15 before i realized this wasn't true.
I used to belive that the only factor that made a difference to how well a sailboat sailed was how pretty the sail was. As far as I could understand, any boat with a plain white sail --even a million dollar yacht-- couldn't possibly sail well.
When I was a child I asked my Dad how the tides worked and why the sea came in and out. He took a long time explaining to me about gravitational forces and the pull of the moon. When he was done, I simply stared at him and said "yeah right dad, pull the other one". I refused to believe this elaborate hoax.
When I first learned how a helicopter's rotor gives the helicopter lift that raises it off the ground and keeps it suspended in the air, I decided that in buildings that had ceiling fans, the fans were part of what was holding the ceiling up, on a similar principle.
i was convinced that if i could spin fast enough i could fly like a helicopter. I got my limited knowledge of science involved, I figured since helicopters had tilted wing things, so if i held books tilted in my hands i would have better lift. I gave up after I realized that even if I did spin fast enough when I would float I wold lose spinning action and come back down anyway
I thought if something was radioactive it meant if you turn on a radio near it it would blow up
I used to believe that the frying pan and metal stuff were never hot unless they glowed red. That changed the day I decided to test it out when Mom wasn't looking. I cried for an hour I think.