A lot of misconceptions within the flat-Earth circles are present simply because of the lack of understanding on how forces work on an object.
- A force is described by a vector. It has magnitude and direction.
- A single object can be affected by more than one force at the same time.
- These forces can be added together, resulting in what we call the ‘resultant’. The object will move according to the magnitude and direction of the resultant.
- Forces can cancel each other out, and results in a zero resultant. But it doesn’t mean these forces don’t exist.
- An insignificant force can be omitted in calculation for simplification. But it doesn’t mean the force doesn’t exist.
- A force might have the opposite direction from the resultant. But it doesn’t mean the force doesn’t exist.
Those basic knowledge on how forces and vectors work can be used to answer these kind of misconceptions:
- “Helium balloon move upwards. So, gravity doesn’t exist.”
- “Satellites are not falling to the Earth. So, gravity doesn’t exist.”
- “Water in a glass does not appear to be attracted by the moon. So, there’s no gravity from the moon.”
- “A feather can fly away because of wind. So, gravity doesn’t exist.”
A lot more of these kind of misconceptions can be found within the flat-Earth community; and can be easily answered using this basic knowledge of physics.
- Euclidean vector – Wikipedia