Being childish will unleash your intelligence

Categories Science, Society, Uncategorized
Curious Cat

Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly. – Arnold Edinborough

A toddler plays, messes with stuff and generally ventures into those places which are quirky, new or just dangerous. That is what you have to learn to do again. I don’t expect you to buy toys from ‘toys ‘r’ us’ or play in the puddles whilst walking to the shop. What I mean is simple. Start playing with ideas. Explore places or objects that look mysterious or beautiful (aesthetically or mechanically). Just go wild with your intellectual creativity.

One example is an experience I had whilst I was strolling from the gym home. The sky was clear and a light blue, the wind was subtle. I was quite relaxed after the gym and I thought it would be quite nice to hold my head high and look at the sky. A Boeing plane was flying past and I thought to myself… wow. How does this 333 ton plane glide so beautifully in the air. What physical law have engineers manipulated to allow it to happen.

My curiosity took hold of me.

I remembered an effect named the Bernoulli effect. This effect basically states that an aerodynamic force across a surface creates surface pressure. The pressure is directly proportional to the speed of the surface cutting the air (or liquid) and the shape of the surface. An Aerofoil uses this principle. It is curved  so that it looks like a sad mouth (stretched a bit). As it passes through the air, the air passing along the top will go faster as the curve creates less drag. The air passing on the bottom has to push against the curve going slower as it has to overcome the drag. Slower air creates a larger pressure. This means that the resultant force on the Aerofoil is upwards, hence it creates lift.

The wings on planes are longer versions of Aerofoils. This is how they generate lift and glide so elegantly through the clear blue sky.

I started to play with this idea.

What happens if you turn the Aerofoil upside down? That would create a downwards resultant force. What is that good for? I didn’t know. But I researched and found that formula 1 cars use this to keep the car from taking off. Ingenious!

I learnt a lot from this. Just by playing and questioning.

Try it. You might really enjoy it. Also before you exit from this article just remember that the greatest minds never thought  of learning as a drag or a dull and repetitive activity. They thought it was fun.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one learned in school.” – Albert  Einstein.

Studying Physics at Swansea University and may interests lay in quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and neuroscience. I enjoy rowing, sport and politcal banter.

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