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

2012 ,    »  -   54 Comments
Ratings: 7.95/10 from 76 users.

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.

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54 Comments / User Reviews

    Samuel Morrissey
  1. 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

  2. pwndecaf
  3. 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.

  4. branrx
  5. branrx

    My brain is too Newtonian for this.

  6. VWineirle
  7. 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.

  8. RBNZ
  9. 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.

  10. RBNZ
  11. RBNZ

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

  12. robertallen1
  13. 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.

  14. robertallen1
  15. robertallen1

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

  16. thinkagainagain
  17. thinkagainagain

    And you miss the certainty that quantum mechanics is correct.

  18. RBNZ
  19. RBNZ

    No, being wrong makes you wrong.

    What am I ignorant of? Please help me out.

  20. robertallen1
  21. robertallen1

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

  22. AntiTheist666
  23. 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.

  24. terrasodium
  25. terrasodium

    Oh mortal man, is there anything you cannot be made to believe?

    Adam Weishaupt

  26. Highlander
  27. 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?

  28. DigiWongaDude
  29. DigiWongaDude

    ...that it is so unbelievable ...is exactly what makes that video so amazing. Physics in action! :)

  30. Harry Nutzack
  31. 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

  32. Harry Nutzack
  33. Harry Nutzack

    actually, there can be no such thing as a "standing wave" with a non particulate nature. your friends theory is hogwash. there must be some "thing" to resonate. you champion "the sound of vacuum", an absolutely ridiculous concept

  34. robertallen1
  35. 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.

  36. robertallen1
  37. robertallen1

    Then you shouldn't be making statements such as our basic understanding of quantum computers is flawed or "the basic failing of quantum theory is that it assumes there are discrete particles, when there are none. It's all waves. Electrons and protons are just standing waves." You are simply not qualified to go against the preponderance of mainstream physicists throughout the world who have proved quantum theory (mechanics) over and over again. .
    In answer to your question (and you should have asked in the first place rather than stated), try "The Fabric of the Universe" by Brian Greene.

  38. Harry Nutzack
  39. 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.

  40. RBNZ
  41. RBNZ

    Well what would you say if I said most of our mass comes from virtual quarks and gluons fizzing away in the quantum vacuum?

  42. DigiWongaDude
  43. DigiWongaDude

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

  44. DigiWongaDude
  45. DigiWongaDude

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

  46. robertallen1
  47. robertallen1

    I would still say you have no qualifications to be keyboarding on the subject.

  48. DigiWongaDude
  49. DigiWongaDude

    lol, fine form Mr Allen [nod]

  50. RBNZ
  51. RBNZ

    Your qualifications are?

  52. robertallen1
  53. robertallen1

    "I have no formal qualifications." As you're the one making the assertions, that says it all..

  54. RBNZ
  55. RBNZ

    Sorry, don't know what you're talking about ["the sound of the vacuum"].

    "Particles" are just a name we give to a certain states of energy.

    Maybe you should google "wave-particle duality".

  56. Harry Nutzack
  57. 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 ;)

  58. Harry Nutzack
  59. Harry Nutzack

    what you posted was an interpretation by a layman of the points made by experts, not the points of the experts themselves. Digi's vid of the smartly dressed gent with his massive gyroscope could give you a hint, but obviously your knowledge of physics is lacking.

    in Digi's vid, the gent (as observed from above, only to lend clarity to directional orientation) "defies gravity" by rotating his gyroscope in a clockwise direction (the wheel's inertial load is greater than the mass), if he attempted to rotate that system in a counter-clockwise manner, he would experience an INCREASED load, most likely to the point of dropping his device. this is exactly what your article describes. in clockwise rotation, negative mass (in comparison to the "at rest observed mass"), in counter clockwise rotation, positive mass (increased in comparison to the same "at rest observed mass"). if one accounts for the quantum "all states at any one time" phenomena of extremely small bodies, the seeming "mysterious nature" disappears entirely.

    in short, please go "fizz" on somebody elses leg, and try telling them it's a warm spring rain.

  60. Achems_Razor
  61. Achems_Razor

    You wish to be a scientist do you? I am sure we all know about the "wave particle duality" but did you know "everything"! I mean everything comes from probabilities in action, it is called quantum jitters' the particles come into action from the peaks of the waves, called "wave packets" which gives rise to the probability of a particle, waves do not make particles, particles are always in existence. Here is a link for you with some simple math.


  62. RBNZ
  63. RBNZ

    The video above mentions "scientists just accept this duality without totally understanding it"

    Would you agree with this statement?

  64. Belinda Frank
  65. 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.

  66. Luyang Han
  67. 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.

  68. Samuel Morrissey
  69. 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.

  70. over the edge
  71. 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

  72. Waylon
  73. Waylon

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

  74. Patrick Smith
  75. 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.

  76. Baja
  77. Baja

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

  78. James Maxie
  79. 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

  80. Oracle9
  81. 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.

  82. Josh Lipson
  83. Josh Lipson

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

  84. larry
  85. larry

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

  86. herb
  87. 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?

  88. Brian Hayne
  89. 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'.

  90. Supergirl
  91. Supergirl

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

  92. Astrochronic Beta
  93. 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.

  94. Astrochronic Beta
  95. Astrochronic Beta

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

  96. grok
  97. grok

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

  98. Chard
  99. Chard

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

  100. a_no_n
  101. 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.

  102. aprilktutor
  103. 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.

  104. Penney Nile
  105. 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!

  106. Ian H.
  107. Ian H.

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

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