Friday, March 13, 2020

Gee, I didn't know that :)

Everybody "knows" that when one throws a ball, the path it takes is a parabola but that's not the case in a detailed and entertaining Forbs piece titled We All Learned Physics' Biggest Myth: That Projectiles Make A Parabola.

To whit.

  1. The Earth, at least in your vicinity, is flat rather than curved,
  2. That Earth's gravitational field points straight down relative to your current location
  3. The earth is a sphere.
Ergo, because the earth is round, any object traveling below escape velocity will gravitationally point directly toward the earth's center while following the curvature of the planet as per the diagram seen below, which means ... ellipses rule, not parabolas. :)

Galileo was right. :)

Gee, I didn't know that. :)

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