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 and follow the curriculum. I believe delivering an understanding of science is important but that the mathematics often detract from that objective. Even students who take up careers in science and engineering may never use the mathematics taught. Those pushing the boundaries of knowledge are specialists and provide the way forward in teaching but they are unlikely to review or change any historically established wrongs and I believe there are many of them.

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. We and the bike lean over so as to be attracted by gravity toward the ground. We don’t fall to the ground because the bike’s wheel accelerating inward from its would be straight line is counteracting 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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