Common Physics Misconceptions

  • Published on Dec 6, 2012
  • What if you thought the earth was flat? And then you found out it isn't?
    MinutePhysics is on Google+ -
    And facebook -
    And twitter - @minutephysics
    Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics -- all in a minute!
    Music by Nathaniel Schroeder
    Thanks to Nima Doroud for contributions and to Perimeter Institute for support.
    Created by Henry Reich Created by Henry Reich
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 10 011

  • Om Dutt Sharma
    Om Dutt Sharma 3 hours ago

    So fast. Keep it some slow to so that it become easily understandable

  • Wasem Zahr
    Wasem Zahr 3 days ago

    woah look at me 12 years old and learning about physics and chemistry and astronomy and etc
    not like my class mates absolute losers playing fortnut and watching logan and jake

    yea dddooog im soooo cool,they said

  • 0bada
    0bada 3 days ago

    No its not called distance, its displacement. Hope you know the difference.

  • Infinity Dragon
    Infinity Dragon 3 days ago

    But light has mass

  • I can't come up with a good username


  • Random Person
    Random Person 4 days ago +1

    The captions at 0:00 to 0:03

  • Anshuman Agrawal
    Anshuman Agrawal 6 days ago

    Then explain , how gravity depends on energy?

  • Bob Fischer
    Bob Fischer 11 days ago

    Yes, Minute Physics, it is reasonable to teach the Newtonian "first approximations" to young people, because for objects not traveling near the speed of light, it holds true. Likewise, Newton's gravity equation holds true to a first approximation as well, and allows young people a chance to understand planetary movements and natural phenomena around them.

    I generally like your videos, but this one is just pinheaded and stupid. If you wanted to turn people off of science, this is a great way to go about it.

  • Clem Leff
    Clem Leff 12 days ago

    Speaking of misleading and details, earth is not a sphere ^^

  • Mahesh kangude
    Mahesh kangude 13 days ago

    any flat earth retards here?

  • Bendré Van Zyl
    Bendré Van Zyl 13 days ago

    When did you go to high school? Einstein first said that light bends around objects. Cant you deduct that is because of some mystical force?

  • Dr Turtok
    Dr Turtok 16 days ago

    I learnt all of this in school, but i had Physics for 5 Yars

  • RUSapache
    RUSapache 22 days ago

    Wait, in which kinda school they tell you that world is flat? At least in Russia in elementary (and even daycare center) teachers say that the earth is (roughly) ball.

  • BlueScope819
    BlueScope819 23 days ago +1

    This is deep

  • That Guy
    That Guy Month ago

    None of this is factual. None of this bullshit is scientific.
    All of this is theoretical math. The Earth is not a sphere so there goes your math. If you're going to use this as fact, you might want to prove curvature and motion to the Earth First. Step One in proving the Earth is a sphere is measuring the Earth and proving curvature. Unfortunately scientism has run completely out of control for a full century to where we're at this point teaching this absolute garbage to people. The next five years is going to bring a revolution to the scientific Community. Scientism will be stomped out by Logic and the scientific method.

  • That Guy
    That Guy Month ago

    The irony of you misleading children with this bullshit THEORY. This is math. Not reality.

  • That Guy
    That Guy Month ago

    How retard can a theory get. Goddamn. Does anyone actually believe this garbage. Hahahaha.
    It's time we start mocking PSEUDOSCIENCE. We have to start laughing at the nonsense they're trying to push. It's the most ridiculous shit, every time with the Scientism community.
    This is not scientific. This is Scientism.

  • XeiDaMoKa !
    XeiDaMoKa ! Month ago

    Too laughable ahahahha

  • Paul Anderson
    Paul Anderson Month ago

    Hey wait a minute. You changed the way you were measuring distance from the cat. You started by measuring distance traveled along the circumference and then changed to the diameter. Sense traveling through the earth isn't an option (since I last checked). One would have to travel back along the circumference again in order to get back to the cat, and that would be the whole 20,000km.

  • TerraMine
    TerraMine Month ago

    YES A COMMENT SECTION!!! Btw I am I kid so lolololol

    THE PHOTOROOK Month ago

    U came to know that the earth is not flat in college? WHAT THE FUCK MAN?

  • Khue minh nguyen
    Khue minh nguyen Month ago

    can you speak more slowly

  • Siddharth Singh
    Siddharth Singh Month ago

    What's the bassline that goes on in the background

  • Onur Karadagli
    Onur Karadagli Month ago üyeleri parmak kaldırsın :)

  • Aayush Singh
    Aayush Singh Month ago

    Dafuq is he talking about , normal schools tell you that earth is a sphere at the age 6😑

  • Blacklight
    Blacklight Month ago

    Um, captions, are you okay?

  • Rakesh Dhami
    Rakesh Dhami Month ago +1

    Assume two objects / particle are moving at speed of light in exactly opposite direction what will be their relative speed ? 🤔

  • Jon Bain
    Jon Bain Month ago

    if nothing traveling at lightspeed escapes your blackhole and gravity travels at lightspeed then the blackhole would emit no gravity. relativity is illogical and a dogmatic belief akin to medieval religion with an autocratic fascist hierarchy of petty officialdom. the subconscious aim of which is essentially mysogyny and sodomy.

  • Aditya S
    Aditya S Month ago

    dear sir...whatif the train moved at 'c' and sheep moved at some velocity...then what??

    • Aditya S
      Aditya S 14 days ago

      +Willoughby Krenzteinburg Thanks. You cleared my doubt!

    • Willoughby Krenzteinburg
      Willoughby Krenzteinburg 14 days ago +1

      The train could not move at 'c'. The answer to your question would be this equation though :
      u = (v + u') / (1 + (vu'/c²))
      u = the relative velocity between the sheep on the train and to you standing on the ground
      v = the relative velocity between the train and to you standing on the ground.
      u' = the relative velocity between the sheep and the train
      For example, if the train were going 99% the speed of light, and the sheep somehow managed to move at 99% the speed of light relative to the train, common intuition would suggest that the sheep should more 198% the speed of light relative to you, but that's not what happens. Plugging in these numbers in the above equation (and using 1 as the speed of light for simplicity), we get :
      u = (.99 + .99) / (1 + ((.99*.99)/1²)))
      u = 1.98 / (1 + (.9801 / 1))
      u = 1.98 / 1.9801
      u = .9999494975
      In this scenario, the sheep would move at 99.99494975% the speed of light.

  • Mature Gambino
    Mature Gambino Month ago

    I thought you were bout to say “well it’s actually the other way around: the earth is flat” and I was like “NO NO THEM TOO”.

  • Nathan Apolonio
    Nathan Apolonio 2 months ago

    89% pistola

  • Sylvia Green
    Sylvia Green 2 months ago

    I knew these things when I was in high school, because my teacher taught them during the last year. And guess what, after learning about relativity and quantum mechanics, I decided to study physics at university. It’s not necessary to learn them at the age of 10 (like some of you proposed), but if you don’t learn them even at the age of 18, you’ll miss a lot of beautiful things.

  • M P
    M P 2 months ago

    This is it?!

  • Wdowa94
    Wdowa94 2 months ago

    Am i dumb, or you are talking about airspeed, not a ground velocity?

    CLASS ROOM 2 months ago

    wait why i studied then?

  • jimmy alderson
    jimmy alderson 2 months ago

    What is momentum's definition?
    I thought the definition was P = mv, but since light has no mass but does have momentum, this can't possibly be the case
    So what is the basic definition of momentum that applies to all objects?

  • Mr L
    Mr L 2 months ago

    What I've been lied about is that stick figures can see on their own. Fact: they have to hold a giant eyeball with both hands in order to.

  • Maisie Summers
    Maisie Summers 2 months ago

    Come for the physics, stay for the light jazz.

  • Adriano Andrade
    Adriano Andrade 2 months ago

    There are some misconcept taught to children and teenagers at schools, but the ones listed in this video aren't practical at all. Not every students is going to study physics in college after school, only a very little fraction of them will and the "misconceptions" listed on the video are very good for everyday applications, in fact they're regular generalizations used in engineering, even on state of the art technology.

  • ruben g
    ruben g 2 months ago

    You didn't say you were taking the earth's curvature into consideration when the sheep was on the train. So no, we weren't misleading our kids. Good try though.

  • Hyper Titanic
    Hyper Titanic 2 months ago

    I grew up knowing nothing about what shape earth was, but it's no good idea to argue flat earth and round earth as I find it is a trap

  • Ayush Aripirala
    Ayush Aripirala 3 months ago

    This triggered flat-earthers

    SAFAT KHAN 3 months ago +1

    You complain about people saying 4 instead of 3.99999. Then you go on to round the speed of light to 300,000,000! Also, as you were chastising people for adding the distance they have to walk (to 20,000 km), you said that the earth has a diameter of 12750 km. Is that so? In what universe is the planet earth a perfect sphere with such a suspicious whole number for it's diameter?

  • chris warrior
    chris warrior 3 months ago

    I always knew that light was affected by gravity. why else can't we see black holes?

  • Lvcqs 311
    Lvcqs 311 3 months ago


  • Seaman1010
    Seaman1010 3 months ago

    That was damn fast

  • Usama Soomro
    Usama Soomro 3 months ago

    Imagine A object from space moving toward Earth it has some KE then as it reaches near earth it hits ISS we will think that it lost all Its KE .. its KE is zero but now Something weird happens that object starts to accelerate .. Why ? . because of gravity & it will gain velocity so it means it will also have KE ? the queation is where did that energy come from ?

    MINEIRO 3 months ago

    Dude are you high?

    SKY OCEAN 3 months ago

    1:49 the earth is 12 756 km!

  • Ken Behrendt
    Ken Behrendt 4 months ago

    At time 0:36 in this speed talking video, we are told that the source of gravity is not mass, but energy and momentum. The problem with that is that energy and mass are identical which means we can always think of mass as the source of gravity and the attraction between two objects as due to their masses *only*. Yes, photons are deflected by gravity fields, but we can consider that as due to the attraction between two masses, that of a celestial body and a photon. As long as a photon has any energy, it will always have a mass associated with it and that mass will also have a tiny gravity field associated with it. But, one might object, if a photon has mass, then it's not supposed to be able to travel at light velocity. Well, apparently, "associated" mass can! I'm predicting that well before the end of this century both of Einstein's relativity theories will be discarded as erroneous. Meanwhile, they continue to have a strangle hold on modern physics.

  • royalninja
    royalninja 4 months ago

    In roughly 6th grade i decided to share my _obviously genius_ advice about how you can't just add velocities to some upperclassmen (8th graders who were just as far off from physics as me) and needless to say they didn't buy it. That was the moment at which I realized the internet wasn't a good source of things that people will think I'm cool for talking about.

  • William Horn
    William Horn 4 months ago

    I'm so disappointed in the "because we can't teach this to our children" argument. If you truly believe that, I sure as hell hope you're not the one teaching your children. Children are much smarter than people give them credit for, and at that stage in life, you grow up intuitively understanding what you had previously learned as if you never even had to learn it. Imagine having these connections with other areas that people usually associate with "too difficult for the average person to understand" like calculus, computer science, or pretty much all of physics. If you treat areas of science like they're huge and intimidating, we will not advance in science because we will have taught our children that those subjects are too big and scary to even try to understand. Don't do this.

  • Tomas Canevaro
    Tomas Canevaro 4 months ago

    1:00 that's the sheep sound from aoe2 lol

  • Pushkar Kulkarni
    Pushkar Kulkarni 4 months ago

    Suprise 'earth is a sphere'??!!!
    Then what the hell i was learning😂😂😂😂

  • Curious About Physics
    Curious About Physics 4 months ago


  • M Tarık
    M Tarık 4 months ago

    Well, electrons arent orbitting around the nucleus like in bohr's model, but it mathematiccally correct. Should we teach everyone quantum physics just so they can know the truth?

  • John Johansen
    John Johansen 4 months ago

    2:02 No, it's not!
    It's 299,792,458 m/s!

  • Cilious
    Cilious 4 months ago

    I mean most of this makes sense for the sake of simplicity

  • atif siddiqui
    atif siddiqui 4 months ago

    useless video, these arent misconceptions just simplifications used for simple physics in elementary schools

    • crashmaker18
      crashmaker18 4 months ago

      Yes they are, but at the same time you haven't been taught that it is not the actual model. You aren't prepared for a higher form of what you've already learned. This can be a big problem for kids that have trouble forgetting what they know in order to learn something more difficult. I think they shouldn't teach things like adding momentum correctly immediatly but then again, at some point, before they are tought to use it they should be made aware of how it actually is.

  • CG Account
    CG Account 5 months ago


  • Ritu Chandra
    Ritu Chandra 5 months ago

    1:01 That sheep sound, is it from age of empires 2?

  • Bastabananda Talukdar
    Bastabananda Talukdar 5 months ago

    What?? You have to go to college to learn that earth is round. We were introduced to the globe when we were in class 3 or 4 only.

  • Siddharth Tripathy
    Siddharth Tripathy 5 months ago

    My A's ... aint worth nothin

  • Andrei Maria
    Andrei Maria 5 months ago

    No, looks aren't an excuse to teach a 10yo kid general relativity.
    General relativity is an excuse not to teach a 10yo general relativity

  • иван орлов
    иван орлов 5 months ago

    Yes, to make it simple and understandable

  • Mr W
    Mr W 5 months ago

    Talking about wrong and right is a littel misleading. Newtons Law of Gravity is a very usefull model, which is why it's worth learning. The problem is NOT, that we don't teach a even better model (GR), BUT that we don't teach what a model is, and what the character of physical law is (Feynman, Google it).

  • ConnorConnor
    ConnorConnor 5 months ago +1

    0:00 Imagine learning for the first 18 years of your life that you aren't allowed to watch porn.

  • Junkerbunker
    Junkerbunker 5 months ago

    Lol, yet there is a flatearth movement of morons

  • Yash b
    Yash b 5 months ago

    Sike! This video is a lie!

  • T.J. Smith
    T.J. Smith 5 months ago

    Fuck thoose strobe lights

  • Roberto Mattacchione
    Roberto Mattacchione 5 months ago

    Science is just a pretty good approximation of reality

  • Mindful Citizen
    Mindful Citizen 5 months ago

    Won't somebody please think of the children?!

  • V Lisha
    V Lisha 5 months ago

    If Gravity is depending on energy of a body then the gravitational force acting on it must increase with the rise of it's temperature. Am I right?

  • nicolas martin
    nicolas martin 5 months ago

    This video is stupid. If someone at school told you earth is flat, then change school

  • MrTweetyhack
    MrTweetyhack 5 months ago

    So, the sheep will either all off or run mid air

  • siva kumar
    siva kumar 5 months ago

    For 5th grader you have to start slowly
    That's how you also learned
    Children feel physics is tough then if you tell all this stuff they quit at the start.
    This kind of thinking is there in lot of well educated people because they think they wasted lot of time thinking wrongly but they have to realise that is how one has to evolve.

    THE_KRAKEN 6 months ago

    *6kph+78kph≠84!kph* take notes! [and no it does not equal 84kph either]

  • Flash-Flire
    Flash-Flire 6 months ago

    The problem here is that basically all of these things only make a difference to like 10 significant figures, when most of the time that's so tiny it doesn't even matter (so the sheep's moving 9.9999999999999 km/h? ah whatever, call it 10)
    - someone who does engineering in school and consistently rounds gravity to 10

  • Cool Kid
    Cool Kid 6 months ago

    if this video is made on misconseptions than why you are saying that light has speed of 30000000 m/s....

  • Exalted Toast
    Exalted Toast 6 months ago

    One that messed me up was that electrons aren't real, they're just probability waves.

  • Minecraftster148790
    Minecraftster148790 6 months ago

    The thing is that when something like SR is taught at anything below degree, then it needs to be simplified because the whole thing is too much to learn and too complicated to learn at that level. My physics course acknowledges general relativity, and we even use E=mc^2, but it generally just leads to misconceptions and a bad intuition about it. Really I’d rather learn it properly at degree level than a watered down version lower down in the education system

  • Lucheeto
    Lucheeto 6 months ago

    The fact that you cannot simply add up the relative velocity of a mass traveling at a certain speed on top of another mass which is also moving at a certain speed relative to the ground explains why a car traveling 60mph or say 80kmh on a high way at night with the headlights on does not mean light travels the speed of light + the speed of the car which it comes from
    TL:DR This video shows why cars driving at night don't add their speed to the speed of light coming from the headlights. C is a constant.

  • Gary Ryan
    Gary Ryan 6 months ago

    Videos like this make me sick. You tell lies and quote them as facts. A theory .. Scientific or not . Is only a theory and not a fact. Gravity is a theory and Newton's law .. Is BULLSHIT .

    • Rob L
      Rob L 4 months ago

      Gary Ryan oh no a flat earther I bet you have a PhD in physics so you definetly know what you're talking about.

  • BaggieWaggie
    BaggieWaggie 6 months ago

    So that's why people are flat-earthers.

  • math is everything
    math is everything 6 months ago

    1:00 can anyone tell me why dont we just add those two speeds? i cant umderstand.

  • Frank Achterberg
    Frank Achterberg 6 months ago

    Energy and momentum?
    So... Things get heavier when you swing them around?

  • Redwood
    Redwood 6 months ago

    Exactly why I hated school, always making us learn false equation because we aren't yet smart enough to understand ,for example, the fondamention of gravity is dumb. They should should make us learn the easy /basic stuff first and then get into the depth of the subject when we understand the fondamention around it instead of making us learn an easy but false statement.
    I still didn't knew gravity wasn't determined by mass :(

  • Mukul Chambial
    Mukul Chambial 6 months ago

    Go and search Tycoon Particles

  • Jerado Does Everything
    Jerado Does Everything 6 months ago

    who tf would walk 20000 km away from their cat? jeez we aint Forrest gump

  • Unclevertitle
    Unclevertitle 6 months ago +1

    But simplifying equations with an approximation that is so nearly accurate that the difference between them is negligible IS a valuable practice. Not only does it make principles much easier to learn and remember it's also the basic premise of Calculus. And without Calculus a great deal of technology would have proven much more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to produce.
    I mean a common example is to say that though the Earth looks flat it's actually round, but that's also wrong. The earth isn't round. True, it's not flat, but it's not round either.
    So should we teach children the simplified, less accurate explanations first? Absolutely, as long as we also teach them the more complex more accurate truths as they learn enough to understand them. Newton's laws may not be 100% accurate but hell they're still wondrously useful for the vast majority of calculations! Further they're simpler and easier to digest, remember, and use.
    What you end up learning over time is that Science is not a simple collection of objectively true facts. It never was. But instead it's a compilation of metaphors. A descriptive model used to understand the world we live in. A model that is by necessity simpler than that which it describes, and thus less accurate. A truly accurate model would be a 100% faithful to life replica, and that's absurdly impossible for us to create. And because it would be so similar and equally complex it would fail to be practical to explain anything. Creating a full scale universe to model a universe is ridiculous and impossible.
    So we create much smaller conceptual models that are "accurate enough" to convey understanding without being too complex or detailed to consume. And the less one understands going in the simpler the models need to be to convey understanding.
    We learn in steps and degrees both individually and as a species. If we tried to learn everything all at once it wouldn't even enter our minds and we'd learn next to nothing. Taking things in simplified models and adding to those models overtime is how learning works and really the only way to understand anything in the long run.

  • Sgt BreakPrism
    Sgt BreakPrism 6 months ago

    Flat earthers must’ve had an orgasm when they heard saw what your first misconception was about

  • David Larracas
    David Larracas 6 months ago

    Its a lot easier to explain 2+2=4 to a child, then 2+1.9999999999999=3.999999999. and the im importance of the difference between the two.

  • Ultimate Pirate
    Ultimate Pirate 7 months ago +1

    At 2:04 , the speed of light is
    299792000m/sec Which is not equal to 300000000m/sec

  • Bird Bird
    Bird Bird 7 months ago

    0:50 Some floating point numbers have a bone to pick with you

  • Joy Dinassing
    Joy Dinassing 7 months ago

    Flat Earth?!

  • Malin Zoe
    Malin Zoe 7 months ago

    I actually learned the second thing in school now I can feel smart 😎

  • Tim Tran
    Tim Tran 7 months ago

    And here I thought I knew most there was to know about basic physics, yet when you said “Gravity isn’t affected by mass...” I was like 😱!

  • V Ling
    V Ling 7 months ago

    Moon landing hoaxers and Truthers should watch this.

  • Mark Thompson
    Mark Thompson 7 months ago