Flat-Earthers use the phenomenon of refraction as a catch-all “explanation” every time they observe something not appearing in the expected position if the Earth is flat. They use the term “refraction” as mere technobabble without any underlying explanation.
The following are how we can distinguish real-world, scientific refraction from the technobabble used by flat-Earthers:
Continue reading “Refraction: Only a Baseless Technobabble in Flat Earth Community”
Atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases. There is no visible boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space in terms of pressure. There is no abrupt drop in pressure where space begins.
Flat-Earthers assert that it is impossible for the pressurized atmosphere to meet the vacuum of space without any barrier. In reality, the pressure changes gradually. There is no sudden pressure drop between the atmosphere and space.
Continue reading “Atmospheric Pressure and the Vacuum in Space”
Switching is used to establish a telecommunication network between two non-adjacent communication nodes. The information is relayed by one or more intermediate nodes that might use very different means of data transmission.
In 1969, President Richard Nixon called the Apollo 11 astronauts from the White House using a landline phone. Flat-Earthers regard the fact as ridiculous. According to them, if we cannot reliably make a phone call to the next room, then it must have been impossible for President Nixon to make a phone call to a location 384000 km away using a corded phone. Such allegation only stems from their lack of understanding of telecommunication.
Continue reading “Switching in Telecommunication Network”
Many natural phenomena cannot be explained if Earth were flat, including the observation that the bottom part of a distant object appears clipped. To “explain” it as if it can occur on a flat Earth, flat-Earthers invented the “explanation” that it is due to what they call “perspective.”
This supposed “perspective” that flat Earthers invented is different from the actual law of perspective. To distinguish it from the actual, real-world law of perspective, many people call it “flerspective,” a combination of the words flerf and perspective.
Continue reading “Flerspective”
The electromagnetic force is a type of physical interaction that occurs between electrically charged particles. Electromagnetism is different from gravity. Both phenomena are real but have different characteristics.
Flat-Earthers refuse to accept gravity, and some of them use electromagnetism in place of gravity to explain the various phenomena that are explained by gravity. In reality, electromagnetism has different characteristic from gravity, and cannot explain the various phenomena that are explained by gravity.
Continue reading “Electromagnetism”
The word ‘theory’ has several meanings and can be confusing. Its meaning in the scientific context can differ from that in the context of everyday communication.
Continue reading “Scientific Theory is not “Only a Theory””
The Coriolis force is a force that acts on objects that are in motion within a rotating frame of reference. Because the Earth is a rotating sphere, an object traveling unattached to Earth’s surface is affected by the Coriolis force, depending on its speed and direction, as well as its latitude on Earth’s surface.
The rotating motion of the Earth causes the different parts of Earth’s surface to have different linear speeds, depending on its distance from the Earth’s rotational axis. An object moving from a location to another with a different linear speed will be affected by the Coriolis force because the motion of the object is now being observed from another location with a different linear speed/direction relative to Earth’s rotational axis.
Continue reading “Coriolis Effect”
Polar areas have a lower temperature than areas closer to the equator because the same amount of solar radiation is dispersed over a larger area, and the surface of ice and snow reflects more sunlight than darker surfaces.
In the spherical Earth model, the distance to the Sun from the poles and the equator is practically the same because the sun is much farther than the distance between any two locations on Earth. Because of that reason, flat-Earthers then claim that the temperature in polar and equatorial areas should be the same. In reality, the distance to the sun is not the only factor that can determine temperature.
Continue reading “Temperature Differences Between the Equatorial & Polar Areas”
Some people are confused that the crescent moon can be visible at night, even though during the time, the Moon is closer to the Sun than Earth, and the part of the Earth is facing away from the Sun.
Many flat-Earthers have the same visualization difficulties, but they take it a step further and use it as ‘evidence’ as a ‘failure’ of science to explain the fact. In reality, the phenomenon can be readily explained in the spherical Earth model.
Continue reading “Geometry of a Crescent Moon”
We cannot feel the Earth rotating, and to explain the phenomenon, we usually use the moving vehicle analogy. If the vehicle is moving at a constant speed, we will not be able to sense the motion. We cannot feel the motion of Earth because of the same reason.
Flat-Earthers invented the excuse that we are standing on Earth, not inside it, to falsely reject the explanation.
Continue reading “Moving Vehicle Analogy and the Physical Barrier Excuse”
A vacuum implosion can occur if a sealed enclosure has less pressure inside it than outside it, and the structure is not designed to withstand the pressure difference.
Flat-Earthers use vacuum implosions to ‘disprove’ space travel in the vacuum of space. In reality, 1. it is possible to engineer structures that can withstand such a pressure difference; and 2. in space, the inside is pressurized while the outside is a vacuum, which simplifies the engineering considerably.
Continue reading “Vacuum Implosion”
An egg will generally sink in freshwater, but if we pour salt into the water and stir it, then the egg will start to float. The reason is that after salt is added, the density of water increases. However, the relationship between density and if the egg floats or sinks is not a direct causality.
Flat-Earthers claim that the phenomenon “proves” things fall because of density, and that gravity does not exist. In reality, the density of the water determines the magnitude of buoyancy the egg receives. If the buoyancy is higher than the weight of the egg, the egg will float, and vice versa.
Continue reading “Egg and Salt Water”
In making mathematical models, physicists often remove real-world details that have little influence over the final results for simplifications. In flight-dynamics, it is often perfectly adequate to assume Earth is flat & non-rotating, even if the aircraft is flying over spherical & rotating Earth.
Some flat-Earthers claimed to have exposed ‘a secret document’ from NASA saying that Earth is flat & non-rotating. They are wrong. The document is simply a derivation of a flight dynamics problem, assuming flat and non-rotating Earth, which is a common assumption made to simplify flight models. It does not imply the Earth is flat and non-rotating.
Continue reading “Flight Dynamics: Simplification by Assuming Flat & Non-Rotating Earth”
Light travels in a practically straight line over a short distance. We often use this property of light to determine if an object is flat or straight from visual observation.
Some flat-Earthers start with the wrong assumption that a specific object is flat, then attempt to redefine how our vision works from that. They are wrong. From visual observation, we can determine if an object is flat, not the other way around.
Continue reading “Line of Sight: Determining if an Object is Straight or Flat”
‘Flat’ and ‘Level can mean approximately the same thing in everyday conversation. But in the context of science and engineering, they have different meanings. ‘Flat’ describes a planar surface. ‘Level’ means at the same height or perpendicular to the direction of Earth’s gravity.
Flat-Earthers interpret the word ‘level’ as if it always has the same meaning as ‘flat.’ However, in the scientific context, the two words have different meanings. Insisting that both words to have the same meaning is the fallacy of appeal to definition.
Continue reading “‘Flat’ vs ‘Level’”
The geoid is the shape that the ocean would take under the influence of the gravity and rotation of Earth alone. The geoid is smooth but irregular because Earth’s density and surface are uneven. ‘Height above sea level’ is measured relative to the geoid.
Some flat-Earthers claim that measuring height above sea level is not possible if the Earth is spherical. They are wrong. Height/altitude/elevation is usually measured relative to the geoid, which is approximately a sphere. The geoid is a more accurate model depicting the shape of the Earth, compared to the spherical & ellipsoid model.
Continue reading “Geoid and Altitude Above Sea Level”
The Earth retains an atmosphere because gravity pulls air particles toward the center of the Earth. Without something affecting the air —like gravity— air particles would move toward lower pressure, and Earth would lose its atmosphere.
Flat-Earthers claim that Earth should not be able to have an atmosphere because without any barrier separating Earth’s atmosphere and space, it would have been sucked by the vacuum in space. They are wrong. Gravity pulls air and allows Earth to retain an atmosphere.
Continue reading “Vacuum in Space and Earth’s Atmospheric Retention”
Gravity is the attraction between objects with mass. The higher the mass, the greater is the gravitational attraction. Gravity is not the result of the shapes of the objects.
Flat-Earthers like to perform the ball-and-water ‘experiment.’ They spray water to a ball, then observe the water does not stick to the ball the same way the ocean water curves over the surface of the Earth. They would wrongly conclude that “gravity does not exist.” Gravity does not come from the spherical shape of objects, Continue reading “The Ball and Water ‘Experiment’”
When aboard an airplane flying at cruising speed, we will not be able to feel that the plane is, in fact, moving at speed of more than 900 km/h. But if the plane changes its speed, turns or changes its altitude, we can easily feel it.
The same thing happens with the motion of the Earth. Due to Earth’s rotation, the surface of the Earth is moving at 1656 km/h near the equator. We never feel it because the speed is constant, or in other words, the acceleration is zero.
Continue reading “Human Perception of Speed and Acceleration”
An airplane exists on Earth. It has the same motion as the surface of the Earth, including the Earth’s rotating motion. The motion of the airplane itself is measured relative to the surface of the Earth.
Flat-Earthers think that due to Earth’s rotation, an airplane should not be able to fly east or land. They are wrong. The speed of an airplane is relative to the surface. It retains the motion of the Earth and does not need to chase Earth’s rotation.
Continue reading “Airplane and Earth’s Rotation”