I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means

2012, Science  -   55 Comments

I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means examines scientific theories that have found their way into popular culture and taken on a life of their own and helps you understand what they really mean in scientific terms.

Schrodinger's Cat - the famous thought experiment by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger. Radiation - the good, the extremely helpful, and the bad.

Centrifugal force - why you really mean centripetal force. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - distinguishing between the Uncertainty Principle and the Observer Effect, which are often conflated.

Hank fixes those of us who are probably wrong about what is and is not a dinosaur... and gives a refresher to those of us who do know this already.

He explains why the common understanding of equinox is wrong, what the equinox actually is, and helps us understand the difference between the colloquial meaning of randomness, and the scientific meaning, which is also known as stochasticity.

Ratings: 7.95/10from 76 users.

More great documentaries

55 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Morty Dauwinskij

    If it hasn't been mentioned yet: I think what he says at the end is wrong. Weather patterns turn counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. I just confirmed with other websites. The region closer to the equator moves faster, so that would impart the spins opposite to the way he says.

  2. Ian H.

    why is this here! Its not a documentary. Stay on youtube, where we can avoid such nonsense

  3. Penney Nile

    I have to wonder if Hank is the twin brother of Dr. Spencer Reid... he certainly talks the same, has some of the same 'tics', for lack of a better word, and they even look and sound somewhat alike. But all that aside, I certainly find him entertaining, the subjects he presents are all very informative, and best of all, he seems to be acquainted with Inigo Montoya! "My name is Inigo Montoya... you killed my father... prepare to die!' If you don't get the reference, check out the movie 'The Princess Bride ' and take note of Mandy Patinkin's conversations with Wallace Shawn.... May I leave you all laughing!

  4. aprilktutor

    The graph doesn't work because the equator is below the middle. Also, the earth is tilted on its axis. Your graph doesn't show this.

  5. grok

    wouldn't the cat observe it? I mean if cameras can collapse it, why wouldn't a cat?

    1. Chard

      It's just a thought experiment and that's where the analogy breaks down :)

    2. a_no_n

      i'm fairly sure he came up with the whole idea to point out how stupid it was in the first place.

  6. Astrochronic Beta

    if a particle is really a vibrating filament, then if you try to measure it, you might take a reading from any point in that field of vibration, thus seemingly getting readings that suggest the particle is in more than one place at a time.... Also, the Shrodinger Cat experiment was intended to DISPROVE a particular interpretation of quantum theory. Not to explain it.

  7. Supergirl

    Where is this guy and is he single? Nerd love <3

  8. Brian Hayne

    Either the abbreviation is wrong or he recites it wrong every time. The fourth letter is "I" yet he always says, "...think THAT means...". Just sayin'.

  9. herb

    I've heard centrifugal force doesn't exist but if the tether ball was really heavy, a force would pull the pole towards the ball in a direction opposite to the centripetal force. Is this not centrifugal force?

  10. larry

    I got a challenge for you: Demystify "The Selfish Gene"

  11. Josh Lipson

    Microgravity. It is one of the first truths about sciense that really blew my mind when I was a kid.

    1. Astrochronic Beta

      the first truth about science, is that it is spelled s-c-i-e-n-c-e. ;)

  12. James Maxie

    my head hurts i was trying to give a biology lecture today and had to spend most the time poping faith bubbles instead of teaching human origin just to be assaulted by a crazy godtard afterwords in the parking lot because it offends his beliefs i peper sprayed him after he hit me then stomped him out on pavement is this the future of america

    1. Oracle9

      If you're a professor I am wondering how you achieved that position, considering that you appear not to understand the value of spelling and punctuation. More important is your disturbing moral triumphalism on stomping someone who's down on the pavement. You are right on one point - this is the future of your country.

  13. Baja

    You can hear the cat if its alive! You do not need to open the box!

  14. Patrick Smith

    I love your show. You seem smart and the attitude with a modern twist, cool. I thought I was smart. You got me on a few. Wish to make a comment on the "Asteriods to Watch For", piece. Remember that NASA does not have all the big ones tracked or do they, I think current date is about 90%. So, we can still be in for a surprise. Keep up the good work.

  15. Waylon

    The subject is interesting, however the editing makes it irritating to watch.

  16. Luyang Han

    Interesting doc. comments here:
    EP1: Quantum mechanics and classical one do reconcile in certain theory.
    EP2: He misses the most harmful radiation for organism: the neutron radiation.
    EP3: If you are in a non-initial reference frame, you can fell the centrifugal force, and there is no practical different from a real force such as gravity, according to Einstein.

    1. Samuel Morrissey

      Ep1 Which theory is that?

      Ep2 is included in 'ionising radiation'

      Ep3 without a reference frame, that you are unable to tell the difference between say, gravity and acceleration - does not mean that there is no difference. The point is there is no force pushing you away from the center although you may feel one, when the centripetal force is negated, you will not move directly away from the center (because there is no force pushing you that way) rather you will carry straight on in your current tangent.

  17. Belinda Frank

    I think you are cute. I love your perfect speech, your brains, you're younger than young looks and most of all, the way you talk about science. Keep it up.

  18. Harry Nutzack

    wow, western adults unaware of the non existence of centrifugal force?? all one must do is release a weight spun about an axis on a string... the path it describes is tangential, not radial. bingo, you have disproved it a thousand times at least in your lifetime, why did you never notice? that's why the flyweights on a governor MUST have strength not only radially, but tangentially as well (large arms supporting those spinning balls on the ubiquitous steam engine whirly-gig). epic educator fail

    1. robertallen1

      For an interesting take on centripetal v. centrifugal force, I recommend the first two pages of Washington irving's "Knickerbocker History of New York."

      P.S. Don't stay away so long.

    2. Harry Nutzack

      i think perhaps it was indeed mr irving's musings on the subject that first led me away from the erroneous concept, which were then confirmed by such scattered observations as the "throwing stick" of prehistoric spear bearers, attempts to recreate the sling of "david and goliath" fame, and other spanking inducing experiments of my extreme youth, lol. my maternal grandmother was among the "last of the knickerbockers" (undiluted NY dutch blood traceable back to the first van pelts), and read me his writings until i bullied my mother to teach me to read at 4, at which time i devoured every word of his i could (until poe replaced him at 7, lol, morbid tyke i was). i really should reacquaint myself with his work, along with a lot of other classic american pen slingers.

      my absences are mostly brought about by disinterest in docs posted, truth be told. i have little interest in "perfect vaginas", the "cultural significance of techno", localized canadian or chinese political machinations, or the philosophical masturbatory fantasies of the "new age movement", so i wander to other fields when such fare is all i see on the menu, lol. my own fault for devouring the content i had interest in with such gusto. i also see little point in endlessly debating the same subjects over and over, beating dead horses is as entertaining as observing the drying patterns of enamels, lol.

    3. DigiWongaDude

      lol..diggin that! see my profile, there's lots to watch.

    4. DigiWongaDude

      What did you make of that vid i posted (here, at the bottom)?

    5. Harry Nutzack

      "fun with gyroscopy" if im allowed to invent words here, lol. the effects of torquing forces and their vector loads can be both entertaining and enlightening ( as demo'd by the gent in the vid), and deadly, as demonstrated in many a turbine (or other rapidly spinning device) failure. of note is the motion he describes with the wheel. it is entirely tangential to the shaft. it is also entirely in one direction as related to the rotation. i have seen a much more insidious demonstration of the effect in the cracking of aluminum hulls on twin screw boats without counter-rotating shafts, or worse yet CR shafts on the wrong sides (accentuating rather than relieving keel stress loads on semi-monocoque plating). i've actually seen the presentation by that gent before, though i can't for the life of me remember where, but im certain it was NOT in any NY public school i attended, rofl. forgive the delay in reply, one of the other selections i was viewing lulled me into the arms of morpheous for a few hours ;)

  19. Highlander

    Sorry Mr presenter , but your super fast speech and constant video jumps are ( to me ) irritating . ....... ....Why this "smart arse " approach ? No doubt you are a very intelligent guy with interesting and informative stories to tell . I guess that you alienate most of your target audience within the first 30 seconds of each of your videos. Please slow down a little . Let those of us who do not understand everything you are talking about listen , .......absorb and then understand what you are saying?

  20. AntiTheist666

    Great stuff from the Sci Show guys, fast and furious with loads of fun facts and gags, highly recommended, those 22 minutes just flew by.

  21. RBNZ

    arg this guy is annoying. wave / particle theory is so 1970's

    1. robertallen1

      Does being "so 1970's" make wave/particle theory wrong?
      Ignorant post no. 2 for you.

    2. RBNZ

      No, being wrong makes you wrong.

      What am I ignorant of? Please help me out.

    3. robertallen1

      Error 1: That quantum mechanics (physics) is wrong.
      Error 2: That "our models" are wrong..
      Now, what are your qualifications?

  22. RBNZ

    he misses the possibility that quantum physics is wrong.

    I thought science was based on observation... "superposition cannot be observed". Whatever our models are wrong.

    1. robertallen1

      No, quantum physics (mechanics) has been proved time and time again and is based on observation.
      So far you sound like an ignoramus. So I want to know your qualifications for stating that our models are wrong.

    2. thinkagainagain

      And you miss the certainty that quantum mechanics is correct.

  23. branrx

    My brain is too Newtonian for this.

    1. VWineirle

      Well I actually learned something from this, about centrifugal force
      not actually existing, thanks Hank. The rest of it I thoroughly enjoyed
      for his particular style anyway, as always.

  24. pwndecaf

    Fun stuff!

    Also, it was worth my time in that I didn't sit here scratching my head over IDTIMWYTIM, which is obvious, of course.

  25. Samuel Morrissey

    Well I actually learned something from this, about centrifugal force not actually existing, thanks Hank. The rest of it I thoroughly enjoyed for his particular style anyway, as always.

    Thanks TDF looking forward to see more of these - IDTIMWYTIMs

    1. over the edge

      they added a video today on the Coriolis Effect. i won't give anything away but it was my turn to learn something lol