For those of you following us on facebook, you will already be aware of the YouTube channel Veritasium because I posted on facebook last week about this awesome video. For those of you who aren't following us on facebook, why not? You're missing out!
Now, before I get on to the subject of this post, let me first say I really, really like Veritasium's videos. I thought minutephysics was the pinnacle of awesome when it came to internet science videos, but I have to admit that Veritasium challenges minutephysics for that crown.
Here is why. Minutephysics is awesome and entertaining (and I'm still a huge fan), but take a minute and think, how much does it really improve your understanding? It definitely entertains and therefore sparks an interest in the subject it is describing, but part of the limitations the author imposes upon himself restricts just how much understanding he can actually teach. I think (though James might wish to chime in with a different opinion) that people who watch Veritasium's videos will come away having actually learned more.
Here is why. Derek Muller, the man behind Veritasium, has actually done research (a doctorate, in fact) into what does and doesn't work when teaching science in videos. Most importantly he found that if you first of all explain the common misconceptions and why they are wrong, that people learn better. He actually found in his research that if people with misconceptions watched a video that only explained the truth they often come away even more sure of their misconceptions. Surprising, I know. I really encourage everyone reading to watch the video where he explains all of this - for me at least it made for fascinating viewing.
Has Veritasium made a mistake?
Anyway, here is a quick quiz. I think Veritasium has made a mistake in the video above. Can anyone spot it? Am I just being pedantic about this particular "mistake"? (I don't think so, I think it is quite important) Or is it me making the mistake and everything in the video is correct?
I know when I've tried to provoke comments in my posts before nobody has replied, so my hopes aren't high, but I'd really like to know whether other people can spot what I think I'm spotting.