Energy related blogs

The teaching of science and engineering is built on the laws and mathematics developed in the past to explain observed events. Teachers will teach what they were taught. Very few doubt the word of experts but unfortunately they often have a very narrow view and are unlikely to instigate any widespread change. For example it would help in understanding if we accepted that current flows from negative to positive but will it ever happen?

My energy blogs are as a result of my questioning and trying to better understand the nature of everything. In writing them I am reminded of a time at Derby College when one of our lecturers invited the whole class of engineering students to draw a force diagram. I don’t know why he did it. It might be that he had read some article or had suddenly realised that the teaching of centrifugal force was misleading students.

We were to show the forces acting on a bike going round a curve. Without exception everyone drew a diagram with forces like that shown. We had all come from A level or national certificate studies at varied locations and had all learnt about centrifugal forces and had all done calculations using it. But none of us understood it to be a fake force introduced to make the calculations work.

In reality there is no centrifugal force. The force between tyre and ground is what enables the bike to accelerate inwardly from its would be straight line motion. Our body on the speeding bike would also like to carry on in straight line motion and so we lean over so as to be attracted by gravity toward the ground. We all know we don’t fall to the ground but not many realise it is because the bike’s wheel accelerating inward from its would be straight line motion counteracts that would be falling motion. Had that lecturer not asked the question he did I might have continued to accept the centrifugal force as real.

You will find in these blogs, other examples of where I think conventional teachings are wrong and misleading. I hope to persuade you that they are wrong and deliver to you a better understanding of the nature of everything. I remember for example my brother Bill, who was assisting his grandson Tom with mathematics, being highly sceptical about imaginary numbers. All I could do at the time was persuade him they worked. If you read my blog on operators you will see he was right and that all numbers are real.

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