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    1. Proving the Earth is round at home

      I am looking for practical ways to prove the Earth is round using materials accessible to the average person. I have zero interest in disproving Flat Earth folks. I am inspired by Dan Olson's...

      I am looking for practical ways to prove the Earth is round using materials accessible to the average person. I have zero interest in disproving Flat Earth folks.

      I am inspired by Dan Olson's (Folding Ideas) excellent video where he is able to do this measuring the curvature of a lake near his home that has a very specific geography that lends itself to this sort of experiment. I've seen all sorts of ways to prove this measuring shadows and poles, using gyroscopes, etc. and wanted to know if there are any practical guides for proving once and for all that the Earth is round for yourself relying on nothing more than experimentation.


      What I'm not looking for:

      • Math relying on flight times/charts
      • Video/picture evidence
      • Deductive proofs built on agreed upon premises
      • Expensive tests
      • Extremely time consuming projects
      • Underwhelming results (relying on a probabilistic argument for a round Earth from the evidence.)

      What I am looking for:

      • Practical experiments
      • Things I could potentially do without spending much money
      • Tests that aren't largely comprised of accepting someone else's research
      • Potentially math-heavy evidence
      • Results that are strong and conclusive

      I've thought of finding some easy to test version of Eratosthenes' proof using two poles. I've also thought about using a balloon and sending something to space like what is done in this Tom Scott video. Nothing seems well documented in such a way as for me to be able to follow it at home.

      TL;DR: I think it would be a meaningful experience to have the power to prove the Earth is round by myself, for myself. I can only compare this desire to the desire a child with a telescope has when wishing to observe Saturn or Mars themselves for the first time. It's not to prove anything or to settle doubts, but for the personal value of independently observing this astronomical fact oneself.

      16 votes
    2. Science hobbyists of Tildes

      Who here does science at home, for fun? I've been an electronics tinkerer for a while, but I've only recently gotten into reproducing some interesting physics phenomena, like accelerating small...

      Who here does science at home, for fun?

      I've been an electronics tinkerer for a while, but I've only recently gotten into reproducing some interesting physics phenomena, like accelerating small screws with electromagnets and varying the current, voltage, and substances involved to optimize the acceleration. It's fun stuff, but I'm looking to get a vacuum pump and some good vacuum equipment so that I can create a similar experiment on a higher level of energy: "cathode rays", or accelerating electrons produced by thermionic emission. This is like the mechanism powering old televisions and computer monitors, but I hope to set the system up so that it's easy enough to add additional electromagnets to focus or deflect the beam.

      What interesting phenomena have y'all replicated? How did it go? Do you feel that you learned something? Have you published anything on the topic?

      10 votes