Archimedes’ Principle and Gravity

Archimedes’ principle states that any object, totally or partially immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. Meanwhile, Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that every particle attracts each other with force directly proportional to their masses & inversely proportional to the square of their distances.

Flat-Earthers like to characterize gravity as if it was “invented” to “replace” Archimedes’ principle & that the two are competing theories. In reality, these are two different theories that explain different phenomena. Gravity does not explain anything that Archimedes’ principle explains and vice versa. Gravity does not replace Archimedes’ principle; both are valid and in use today.

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Quote Mined Einstein Statement

In 1922, Albert Einstein gave the speech “How I Created the Theory of Relativity” at Kyoto University. Flat-Earthers took a sentence fragment from his speech and quoted him out of context. It became a hoax as if Einstein believed a stationary Earth.

By reading the entire paragraph to understand the context, it is clear that Einstein did not mean Earth is stationary. He understands that Earth is in motion around the Sun.

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Theories of Gravity

Gravity is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass or energy are brought toward one another. Today, gravity is explained by two theories: Newton’s law of universal gravitation and Einstein’s general relativity.

Flat-Earthers treat the existence of the two theories as a supposed conflict, and they use it as “evidence” of wrongdoing. In reality, these are two separate theories that explain the phenomenon of gravity. Einstein’s is more accurate yet more complex. In contrast, Newton’s is simpler but less accurate. Despite having been superseded, Newton’s gravity continues to be used as an excellent approximation of the effect of gravity in most applications.

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Isaac Newton and the “Hypotheses non Fingo”

Isaac Newton formulated the law of universal gravitation, which adequately explained the motion of all bodies in space known at his time. He also showed it is the same law that is causing everyday objects to fall on Earth.

In his famous phrase “hypothesis non fingo,” Newton stated that he did not know what causes gravity and refused to speculate. Flat-Earthers use it to discredit him. In reality, just because he did not know what causes gravity, it does not mean his law of universal gravitation is wrong.

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Sagnac Effect

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The Sagnac effect occurs to a pair of light beams traveling in a circuit in the opposite direction. If the circuit itself is rotating, then the beams will complete the circuit in different duration. The effect was first demonstrated by Georges Sagnac in 1913.

After discovering this effect, Sagnac incorrectly used the results as proof of the aether’s existence, and today’s flat-Earthers use it as “evidence” of stationary Earth. In reality, Sagnac was not aware that the effect is consistent with Einstein’s theory of relativity. And if the effect really proved aether, then optical gyroscopes are impossible.

The Sagnac effect is used as the basis of optical gyroscopes, including fiber-optic gyroscopes and ring-laser gyroscopes. In an optical gyroscope, a pair of light beams are made to travel in a circuit in the opposite direction. Because light travels at a constant speed, irrespective of the transmitter’s speed, then if the gyroscope is rotated, a beam of light will complete the circuit sooner than the other. From the difference, we can measure the rotating motion of the gyroscope.


Einstein’s Thought Experiments and Daydreaming

Albert Einstein used thought experiments as a tool for formulating his theories. His theories provided predictions that can be tested in observation and experiments. He did not perform the observation and experiments himself. Others did and confirmed his theories.

Some flat-Earthers dismiss Einstein’s theories —especially those about gravity— on the basis that they are founded on thought experiments and daydreaming. They are wrong. His theories have been repeatedly confirmed by various experiments and observation performed by many others, even to this day.

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