Posts Tagged

forget everything

Broken Physics

First, I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. That is a damn fine balanced hammer. Even I’m impressed and I normally I get all nervous when something is balanced precariously. Mind you my definition of “balanced precariously” is putting down a drinking glass within an inch of the edge of a table.

But as impressive and unsettling as this hammer is I think we all know it’s balanced right? No one’s like “Hey Jim-Bob,  come look at the internets. It gone done and broke physics!”

This could just be my mechanical engineering degree speaking but a balanced hammer seems like a pretty poor reason to “forget everything you know about physics”. If you see something on the internet that you don’t understand, doesn’t behave the way you think it should or appears to “break physics” there are really only two possibilities:

  1. It’s a trick. Either an optical illusion, Photoshop or some other form of wizard based treachery. In which case don’t forget everything you ever knew about physics. I understand you saw a video of David Blane floating in mid air but gravity still exists and cars will still mess you up.
  2. It’s real, which means that what you are looking at is physically possible. Let me say that again with emphasis: it is PHYSICally POSSIBLE. As in, PHYSICS says it is POSSIBLE. In which case maybe don’t forget everything you know about physics because it’s obviously explaining the shit out this right now.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that in 99.999% of cases where you want to explain how objects can do the things they’re doing you shouldn’t “forget everything you know about physics” and should probably “know more physics”. Realistically, clearing your brain of all knowledge about how the physical world functions is only useful if you’re Neo in the Matrix.

I’ll spare you all the detailed force diagrams explaining how all this works but if you want to see some well balanced stuff you can read the original article series of pictures that require far too many clicks to get through here.

 

Oh and if you want those detailed force diagrams I’ll totally nerd out for you.