Why Scientists Keep Trying to Break This 18th Century Law | Summary and Q&A

485.1K views
March 16, 2020
by
SciShow
YouTube video player
Why Scientists Keep Trying to Break This 18th Century Law

TL;DR

Coulomb's Law, which describes the relationship between the force between two charged particles and their distance, has never failed a test in over 200 years, but if it were to break down, it could reveal a radically new understanding of the universe.

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Coulomb's Law?

Coulomb's Law is a formula that describes the relationship between the force between two charged particles and their distance. It states that as the distance between the particles increases, the force between them decreases proportionally.

Q: Why do scientists continue to test Coulomb's Law?

Scientists continue to test Coulomb's Law because if it were to break down, it could reveal new insights and understanding about the universe. Breaking established laws often leads to significant scientific advancements.

Q: How did scientists fix Newton's Law of Gravity?

In the mid-1800s, astronomers discovered that the planet Mercury's orbit didn't quite follow Newton's Law of Gravity. Astronomer Simon Newcomb proposed tweaking the exponent of the radius in the formula, but this was only a temporary solution until Albert Einstein introduced the theory of general relativity in 1915.

Q: What would happen if Coulomb's Law were to break down?

If Coulomb's Law were to break down, it could have profound implications for our understanding of the universe. It could suggest that photons have mass and cannot travel at the speed of light, which would fundamentally change our understanding of electricity, magnetism, and quantum mechanics.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Scientific laws, like Coulomb's Law, are formulas that describe how objects in the world interact, and breaking these laws can lead to new discoveries and insights.

  • Coulomb's Law, invented by physicist Charlo Gaston de Coulomb in 1785, describes how the force between two charged particles decreases as the distance between them increases.

  • Scientists have been testing Coulomb's Law for centuries, and its consistency has been a testament to its accuracy and reliability.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from SciShow 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: