What Physics Teachers Get Wrong About Tides!

We all know tides have something to do with gravity from the Moon and Sun, but if gravity affects the motion of all objects equally, then how come oceans have large tides while other bodies of water don’t? It’s because your mental picture of the tides is probably WRONG!!! Join Gabe on this week’s episode of PBS Space Time as he sets the record straight on tidal force, gravitational differential and what role the moon actually plays in tides.

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2 Responses to What Physics Teachers Get Wrong About Tides!

  1. alfy says:

    I would ask Gabe to try a thought experiment. Imagine you are a High School physics teacher. Imagine you are wearing a collared shirt, tie and jacket, because without them you would not have got the job in the first place. Now imagine you are faced by about fifteen students, aged sixteen. Some of them are cleverer than you; some are not. Try to explain your theory of tides to them in a way they can understand.
    Oh, I forgot, you only have an hour to do this, because there is a lot of physics to cover in your course. Your physics colleague, Bob Elbow-Patch still teaches the standard model on tides, “because it is much easier for them to understand, and if they do Physics at University, they can soon put them right with the necessary corrections”.

  2. Naan Glozi says:

    You can only teach what you have been taught yourself. This is the first I have heard of this explanation but I was never fully happy with the traditional explanation anyway so I am very happy that someone has come up with a better one. All we need now is for some genius to understand it completely and come up with the simplest possible explanation (but no simpler).

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