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Author Topic: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?  (Read 316 times)

Offline wheelMetal

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Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« on: 25/09/2016 01:55:21 »
When the Wright Brothers solved the human flight controlled problem, or they invented airplane, it is my believe that they didn't break any physics law or rewrite any physics.

But recently it occurred to me, what if they actually did, or sort of almost did.

Think about it, at the era before human flight was made possible, there got to have scholars who would have written thesis to explain human flight was impossible, and it is evident that at least some scholars would utilize physics to emphasize the credibility of their theories.

And then when the Wright Brothers had demonstrated flying the world's first successful airplane, all those thesis would either be forgotten, burned, or buried away. Either way, we would never know those failure theories.

Anyway the above is just my speculation, but if it is truth, are we still able to find those thesis or is it really lost forever?

But as always, there are two side of the stories, if there are those that said human flight is impossible, then there will have those that said human flight is possible.


 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #1 on: 25/09/2016 02:06:20 »
The Wright brothers did not work in isolation. Aerodynamics was already a subject of study. This prior work was the basis of some of their work. For more information please review the following page.

http://wright.nasa.gov/overview.htm
 

Offline wheelMetal

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #2 on: 25/09/2016 02:28:46 »
Yeah I know, the Wright brothers started their flight experiment based on other predecessor, they had to learn from somewhere first. But the fact is at that time, none of the tests succeed to sustain long distance & duration flight. The aerodynamics at that time is based mainly on the success of the flying slider (or sort of), which in term gave rise to people thinking they could further achieve longer flight by adding engine to the slider, thus to the era of the Wright brothers.

But I just felt it is literally impossible that there were not a single scholar that state human flight is not possible, was that even possible?
 
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Offline wheelMetal

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #3 on: 26/09/2016 04:51:15 »
Another interesting case, when solar cell (or photo-voltaic) was first discovered during the 1800s, majority of the scientific community dismissed it due to no one knew how it worked and because the discovery goes against what they knew the science of that time.

But of course there will always have minority supporting the discovery, and continue with experiment & demonstration. Although this time, majority of the science community dismissed it with the lack of being a potential energy source.

It was only after the rise of the material silicon, then came to what we know today of the solar energy.

I'm curious what were the arguments and debates (or the theory and thesis) whose 1800s scientists used for dismissing the solar discovery.
 

Offline William McC

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #4 on: 26/09/2016 05:46:28 »
Another interesting case, when solar cell (or photo-voltaic) was first discovered during the 1800s, majority of the scientific community dismissed it due to no one knew how it worked and because the discovery goes against what they knew the science of that time.

But of course there will always have minority supporting the discovery, and continue with experiment & demonstration. Although this time, majority of the science community dismissed it with the lack of being a potential energy source.

It was only after the rise of the material silicon, then came to what we know today of the solar energy.

I'm curious what were the arguments and debates (or the theory and thesis) whose 1800s scientists used for dismissing the solar discovery.

Benjamin Franklin realized electricity static in particular was a form of perpetual motion. It only worked on dry late fall days and perhaps into early spring in some areas. But by stroking a glass bottle a few times with his hand he was able to turn a turkey on a spit for 20 minutes with his static repulsion drive motor. One time as a kid just to bother my father, about the fact that we were not standing up for perpetual motion, I created a static arc that continued again and again, to my finger until my finger was actually burned. It was a very dry day, and the static electricity was everywhere, the crack each time it happened was very loud. It started to annoy my father. My father just hit me on the back of the head but he had to laugh. We are Irish so we hit each other a lot, it is often a form of respect.

Sincerely,

William McCormick

 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #5 on: 26/09/2016 07:48:07 »
You can't break the laws of physics because they are descriptive, not prescriptive laws. When unexpected things happen, we have just discovered something about the laws. As far as we know, they haven't changed, but we discover more about them every day.

The error of followers of philosophers such as Aristotle was to assume that the apparent laws (heavier-than-air machines can't fly without feathers, flapping wings are essential...) were prescriptive. Another persistent error is to rely on authority (Aristotle) rather than observation (Galileo). Curiously, however, it can be argued that Western science developed rapidly because the dominant monotheisms of islam and christianity imply that there is a consistent pattern worth seeking, rather than the universe being the debris left by warring and capricious gods.   
 

Offline wheelMetal

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #6 on: 26/09/2016 09:24:37 »
I find it puzzling why do people have this funny believe that if something unknown is discovered, it will change some rules of physics.

Often time, when something new is being discovered, the result is simply more stuffs added onto the existing knowledge; which also mean more subjects to study, students would probably hate it. Although they did downgrade Pluto, but that just proved that science is a subject of flexibility; when new information came to light, science will make adjustment.

Discovery of something new or the unknown is either it's something that we have never encountered before or it's something that we believe we know, yet it's still beyond of our expectation.
 

Offline GWFirstinFlight

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #7 on: 26/09/2016 23:08:59 »
"The Wright brothers did not work in isolation. Aerodynamics was already a subject of study. This prior work was the basis of some of their work..."

Yes, indeed, this is so! The Wrights did not work in isolation - far from it. The Wright brothers utilized information and the rarely lauded successes of their predecessors and contemporaries to develop their version of a flying machine. Then they proceeded to attempt control of world aviation. Popular, carefully constructed legends about the Wrights' work fall short when inspecting long-buried primary source materials from their era. Scholars should learn the truth by inspecting these previously unavailable documents. I have written a book on this subject, Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight (2015).
« Last Edit: 26/09/2016 23:11:17 by GWFirstinFlight »
 

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Re: Did the Wright Brothers break any physics rules?
« Reply #7 on: 26/09/2016 23:08:59 »

 

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