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← Myth-Making: Say It Often, People Will Believe

hemidemisemigod's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by hemidemisemigod

One of my favourite myths is the classic school physics experiment designed to show that the air around us is about 21% oxygen.

A lighted candle is placed in a puddle of water and then covered by an inverted glass. As the candle flame dies out, the water lever rises. I remember measuring this change in level and getting the expected answer. Any slight difference was assumed to be an acceptable level of experimental error.

It turns out that people have been drawing the wrong conclusion from this text book experiment for years. It took some meddling kids to make people look again!

Sat, 03 Sep 2011 21:54:47 UTC | #867017