Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics
View Poll Results: Please see the questions, below
1a) float away
4
7.69%
1b) float where it is
6
11.54%
1c) move sideways
3
5.77%
1d) fall to the ground
44
84.62%
1e) none of the above
2
3.85%
2a) the Earth's gravity extends to the Moon
4
7.69%
2b) the Moon has gravity
44
84.62%
2c) they wore heavy boots
5
9.62%
2d) they had safety ropes
4
7.69%
2e) they had spiked shoes
2
3.85%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

Heavy Boots

Old 04-26-09, 11:12 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,759
Heavy Boots

First please review the two questions and answer them, above. Please choose only one answer for 1a-1e, and one answer for 2a-2e. The questions and answers are repeated, below, for your convenience:

1. If you are standing on the Moon, and holding a rock, and you let it go, it will:
(a) float away
(b) float where it is
(c) move sideways
(d) fall to the ground
(e) none of the above

2. When the Apollo astronauts wre on the Moon, they did not fall off because:
(a) the Earth's gravity extends to the Moon
(b) the Moon has gravity
(c) they wore heavy boots
(d) they had safety ropes
(e) they had spiked shoes

OK, now, the article:
http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~det/phy2060/heavyboots.html
Heavy Boots

About 6-7 years ago, I was in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (good science/engineering school) and the teaching assistant was explaining Descartes.
He was trying to show how things don't always happen the way we think they will and explained that, while a pen always falls when you drop it on Earth, it would just float away if you let go of it on the Moon. My jaw dropped a little. I blurted "What?!" Looking around the room, I saw that only my friend Mark and one other student looked confused by the TA's statement. The other 17 people just looked at me like "What's your problem?" "But a pen would fall if you dropped it on the Moon, just more slowly." I protested.

"No it wouldn't." the TA explained calmly, "because you're too far away from the Earth's gravity." Think. Think. Aha! "You saw the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, didn't you?"

I countered, "why didn't they float away?"

"Because they were wearing heavy boots." he responded, as if this made perfect sense (remember, this is a Philosophy TA who's had plenty of logic classes). By then I realized that we were each living in totally different worlds, and did not speak each others language, so I gave up.

As we left the room, my friend Mark was raging. "My God! How can all those people be so stupid?" I tried to be understanding. "Mark, they knew this stuff at one time, but it's not part of their basic view of the world, so they've forgotten it. Most people could probably make the same mistake."

To prove my point, we went back to our dorm room and began randomly selecting names from the campus phone book. We called about 30 people and asked each this question: 1

1. If you're standing on the Moon holding a pen, and you let go, will it
a) float away,
b) float where it is,
or c) fall to the ground?

About 47 percent got this question correct. Of the ones who got it wrong, we asked the obvious follow-up question:

2. You've seen films of the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, why didn't they fall off?

About 20 percent of the people changed their answer to the first question when they heard this one! But the most amazing part was that about half of them confidently answered, "Because they were wearing heavy boots."


MORE ON THE BURNING QUESTION OF HEAVY BOOTS

I decided to settle this question once and for all. Therefore, I put two multiple choice questions on my Physics 111 test, after the study of elementary mechanics and gravity.

13. If you are standing on the Moon, and holding a rock, and you let it go, it will:
(a) float away
(b) float where it is
(c) move sideways
(d) fall to the ground
(e) none of the above

25. When the Apollo astronauts wre on the Moon, they did not fall off because:
(a) the Earth's gravity extends to the Moon
(b) the Moon has gravity
(c) they wore heavy boots
(d) they had safety ropes
(e) they had spiked shoes

The response showed some interesting patterns! The first question was generally of average difficulty, compared with the rest of the test: 57% got it right. The second question was easier: 73% got it right. So, we need more research to explain the people who got #25 right but did not get #13 right!

The second interesting point is that these questions proved to be excellent discriminators: that is, success on these two questions proved to be an extremely good predictor of overall success on the test. On the first question, 92% of those in the upper quarter of the test score got it right; only 20% of those in the bottom quarter did. They generally chose answers (a) or (b). On the second question, 97% in the upper quarter got it right and 33% in the lower quarter did. The big popular choice of this group was (c)...33% chose heavy boots, followed closely by safety ropes at 27%.

A telling comment on the issue of fairness in teaching elementary physics: Two students asked if I was going to continue asking them about things they had never studied in the class.
shaun3000 is offline  
Old 04-26-09, 11:35 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mrs. Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: With Nick Danger
Posts: 17,584
Re: Heavy Boots

The reason the astronauts didn't fall off the Moon was because the Moon is made out of metal, they wore magnetic boots.
Mrs. Danger is offline  
Old 04-26-09, 11:47 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,937
Re: Heavy Boots

Now, calculate how far you have to be from the Moon in order for the heavy boots to be pulled by Earth's gravity to four significant digits!
gmanca is offline  
Old 04-26-09, 11:56 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 20,679
Re: Heavy Boots

I did the tour at the Cape Canaveral KSC. Cool place. The launch experience ride is the best ride ever.

Anyway, they had the moon walking video and the astronauts seemed to be 'walking' by taking hops to float to the next hop. Low-gravity stroll.
Ranger is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 12:01 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 20,679
Re: Heavy Boots

Quote from the movie Space Cowboys.

"You'd just need to hit the ball halfway to the moon for it to get there."

Um, no.
Ranger is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 12:08 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 822
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
The reason the astronauts didn't fall off the Moon was because the Moon is made out of metal, they wore magnetic boots.
Stop with the blasphemous lies! Everyone knows the moon is made out of cheese.
keyed is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 12:25 AM
  #7  
Premium Member
 
The Cow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Grazing in a field somewhere...
Posts: 20,588
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
The reason the astronauts didn't fall off the Moon was because the Moon is made out of metal, they wore magnetic boots.
The reason the astronauts didn't fall off the Moon was because they didn't get there. They didn't even try. It was a hoax. There are a ton of websites that 'prove' this.

(and yes, the moon is made of cream cheese, everyone knows that...)
The Cow is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 12:54 AM
  #8  
2017 TOTY Winner
 
Save Ferris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 13,576
Re: Heavy Boots

The moon may be smaller than the earth, but it's farther away. That, my friends makes all the difference.
Save Ferris is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 08:54 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 21,570
Re: Heavy Boots

Both 1c and 1d.

It would move sideways as it dropped because of coriolis effect. So there!
Nick Danger is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 11:55 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,805
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by gmanca View Post
Now, calculate how far you have to be from the Moon in order for the heavy boots to be pulled by Earth's gravity to four significant digits!
Distance from Earth to the Moon 384,403 Km. Earth Moon L1 Point is 321,868 Km from the earth. So, Moons Surface to L1 point is 384,403-321,868 = 62,535 Km. Add a meter or so to get past the L1 point and I guess if you could jump 62,536.0001 Km off the moon you would end up on Earth.
Nifty03 is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 04:18 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Working for Gizmonic Institute
Posts: 10,430
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
The reason the astronauts didn't fall off the Moon was because the Moon is made out of metal, they wore magnetic boots.
[Richard C. Hoagland]Because that's no moon, that's a space station![/RCH]
crazyronin is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 06:52 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Numanoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Down in 'The Park'
Posts: 27,882
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by The Cow View Post
(and yes, the moon is made of cream cheese, everyone knows that...)
Cheddar!





(actually, it's "green" cheese, not cream)
Numanoid is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 07:43 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,173
Re: Heavy Boots

mmmm cheese

Why wasn't cheese one of the answers?


(e) they had spiked shoes and the moon is made of cheese
4KRG is offline  
Old 04-27-09, 10:45 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 14,802
Re: Heavy Boots

So...

What are the right answers?

= J
Tarantino is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 04:50 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Working for Gizmonic Institute
Posts: 10,430
Re: Heavy Boots



Hint:
Spoiler:
Any large body has gravity even if it is in "Outer Space" (i.e. not on Earth). The Moon is a large body, therefore, it has gravity.

You do the rest.

Last edited by crazyronin; 04-28-09 at 04:56 AM.
crazyronin is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 07:11 AM
  #16  
Enormous Genitals
 
Bandoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a small cottage on a cul de sac in the lower pits of hell.
Posts: 32,748
Re: Heavy Boots

@ "implied facepalm"
Bandoman is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 08:10 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,980
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by crazyronin View Post

Spoiler:
Any large body has gravity even if it is in "Outer Space" (i.e. not on Earth). The Moon is a large body, therefore, it has gravity.

You do the rest.
actually, everything with mass has gravitiy
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 09:06 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,814
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by crazyronin View Post
Any large body has gravity
An atom has gravity.
The Bus is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 09:11 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mrs. Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: With Nick Danger
Posts: 17,584
Re: Heavy Boots

So much gravity... lighten up, everyone!
Mrs. Danger is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 11:22 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: On the banks of the Red Cedar
Posts: 9,867
Re: Heavy Boots

^ I can't...heavy boots!
jonw9 is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 11:46 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 3,879
Re: Heavy Boots

Wow, people are just stupid.
dieinafire is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 11:59 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,805
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by dieinafire View Post
Wow, people are just stupid.
Idiocracy was more a documentary than a comedy.
Nifty03 is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 02:02 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 3,879
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by Nifty03 View Post
Idiocracy was more a documentary than a comedy.
That movie was genius.
dieinafire is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 02:38 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,759
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by dieinafire View Post
Wow, people are just stupid.
Scary, isn't it?
shaun3000 is offline  
Old 04-28-09, 04:48 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Working for Gizmonic Institute
Posts: 10,430
Re: Heavy Boots

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
actually, everything with mass has gravitiy
Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
An atom has gravity.

You two are going to confuse the stupid. Let's get them to realize that gravity is not an Earth-centric idea, and that things on the Moon are not weightless, then we'll move on from there.
crazyronin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.