Many misinformation within flat-Earth communities is present only because of their 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 does not mean these forces don’t exist.
- An insignificant force can be omitted in a calculation for simplification. But it doesn’t mean the force does not exist.
- A force might have the opposite direction from the resultant. But it doesn’t mean the force does not exist.
This basic knowledge on how forces and vectors work can be used to answer these kinds of misconceptions:
- “Helium balloon move upward. So, gravity does not exist.”
- “Satellites are not falling to the Earth. So, gravity does not exist.”
- “A feather can fly away because of wind. So, gravity does not exist.”
- “Throwing a ball does not require us to account for the Coriolis effect. So, the Coriolis effect does not exist.”
Other similar misinformation can be found within the flat-Earth community and can be quickly answered using this basic knowledge of physics.
- Euclidean vector – Wikipedia