The Big Misconception About Electricity

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
2,110
Veritasium is a crock. They spout just enough b/s to baffle and wow people who don't actually understand how things truly work. It's almost like watching MLM's spout bad science to 'cure all'.... IMHO
 

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
12,862
Veritasium is a crock. They spout just enough b/s to baffle and wow people who don't actually understand how things truly work. It's almost like watching MLM's spout bad science to 'cure all'.... IMHO
Prove it, but really you can't backup your non-scientific statement. People that actually understand how things truly work know their explanation of electrical energy is NOT A CROCK.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
2,753
The big problem I find with that video is he replaces the "big misconception about electricity" with the biggest misconception in physics.

That being that fields can do work, instead of fields describing work.

A field is a mathematical abstraction that describes how a particle behaves under the influence of a force, and it's forces that transmit energy to the load...not fields.

I don't even think he ever even mentions forces in that video, it's like they don't even exist.

At least at the very end he states that the energy gets to your house by EM waves, which is correct.
 

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
12,862
The big problem I find with that video is he replaces the "big misconception about electricity" with the biggest misconception in physics.

That being that fields can do work, instead of fields describing work.

A field is a mathematical abstraction that describes how a particle behaves under the influence of a force, and it's forces that transmit energy to the load...not fields.

I don't even think he ever even mentions forces in that video, it's like they don't even exist.

At least at the very end he states that the energy gets to your house by EM waves, which is correct
All forces are field based.
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/A-level_Physics/Forces,_Fields_and_Energy/Electric_fields

For EM, the momentum is transferred via the field.
http://www4.hcmut.edu.vn/~huynhqlinh/olympicvl/tailieu/physlink_askexpert/ae462.cfm.htm
Force is the rate at which momentum changes with respect to time (F = dp/dt). Note that if p = mv and m is constant, then F = dp/dt = m*dv/dt = ma. On the other hand, you can also say that the change in momentum is equal to the force multiplied by the time in which it was applied (or the integral of force with respect to time, if the force is not constant over the time period).
There are mathematical (describing work) fields and physical fields (theories doing work). A discussion of the physical existence of fields is an issue that's mainly in the realm of "philosophy". IMO, something exists if it can be measured.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/starts...than-are-quantum-fields-real/?sh=2b7007fe777a
In physics, a field, in general, describes what some property of the Universe is everywhere in space. It has to have a magnitude: an amount that the field is present. It may or may not have a direction associated with it; some fields do, like electric fields, some don't, like voltage fields. When all we had were classical fields, we stated that the fields must have some kind of source, like particles, which results in the fields existing all throughout space.


That doesn't sound very particle-like, does it? In fact, that sounds more field-like: some property of the Universe everywhere in space. That's because, in quantum field theory (QFT), quantum fields aren't generated by matter. Instead, what we interpret as "matter" is itself a quantum field.

And these quantum fields, themselves, are made up of particles.
  • The electromagnetic field? Made of particles called photons.
  • The strong nuclear field, that holds protons and neutrons together? Made up of particles called gluons.
  • The weak nuclear field, responsible for radioactive decays? Made of particles called W-and-Z bosons.
  • Even the gravitational field, if we try and formulate a quantum version of gravity? Made of particles called gravitons.
Yes, even the gravitational waves that LIGO detected, as smooth and continuous as they appeared, should be made of individual quantum particles.
So how many fundamental quantum fields are there? Well, that depends on how you look at the theory. In the simplest QFT that describes our reality, the quantum electrodynamics of Julian Schwinger, Shinichiro Tomonaga and Richard Feynman, there are only two quantum fields: the electromagnetic field and the electron field. They interact; they transfer energy and momentum and angular momentum; excitations are created and destroyed. Every excitation that's possible has a reverse excitation that's also possible, which is why this theory implies the existence of positrons (antimatter counterparts of electrons). In addition, photons exist, too, as the particle equivalents of the electromagnetic field.
 
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Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
12,862
Another source worth considering weighs in on Veritasium's Video.


Sorry, I love Kathy and have her book but it's pretty obvious that rambling video proves her expertise in electrodynamics is shallow and Veritasium's video was right on the physics. The quotes about Feynman are disjointed and out of context to the point of being unfair to a great scientist, teacher and man, but the killer for me was the rant about Jackson's EM book. Sorry but given a choice between Jackson and her 'feelings' I'll take Jackson every time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Electrodynamics_(book)
Classical Electrodynamics is a textbook written by theoretical particle and nuclear physicist John David Jackson. The book originated as lecture notes that Jackson prepared for teaching graduate-level electromagnetism first at McGill University and then at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[1] Intended for graduate students, and often known as Jackson for short,[2] it has been a standard reference on its subject since its first publication in 1962.[3][4][5]

The book is notorious for the difficulty of its problems, and its tendency to treat non-obvious conclusions as self-evident.[4][6] A 2006 survey by the American Physical Society (APS) revealed that 76 out of the 80 U.S. physics departments surveyed require all first-year graduate students to complete a course using the third edition of this book.[6][7]
Veritasium was 100% correct in the physics even if the first video had some problems with presentation of the facts.
 
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ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
1,472
The big problem I find with that video is he replaces the "big misconception about electricity" with the biggest misconception in physics.

That being that fields can do work, instead of fields describing work.

A field is a mathematical abstraction that describes how a particle behaves under the influence of a force, and it's forces that transmit energy to the load...not fields.

I don't even think he ever even mentions forces in that video, it's like they don't even exist.

At least at the very end he states that the energy gets to your house by EM waves, which is correct.
In general relativity there is a field (describing gravitation) but no force abstraction.
 
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MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,281
In general relativity there is a field (describing gravitation) but no force abstraction.
But I guess there is a delay though, of about 2 or 3 months :)

This has always been an interesting subject to many people.
The question arises, does anyone truly understand this phenomenon completely.

The way I think of this sometimes is that one does not 'exist' without the other, therefore it's almost like current is not real and voltage is not real, but together they form something that is real.
Note I had to put the word 'exist' in quotes because we sometimes think of purely theoretical things as if they really exist, and it seems to me that if something truly 'exists' then it should be able to be measured directly somehow.
In this view of reality, a "hole in the ground" does not exist because it can not be measured. Only the surrounding dirt can be measured, and then and only then we can make an inference about the properties of this hole. That, in this view, would not constitute a direct measurement because we did not measure the item itself we measured the surrounding medium.
 
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ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
1,472
But I guess there is a delay though, of about 2 or 3 months :)

This has always been an interesting subject to many people.
The question arises, does anyone truly understand this phenomenon completely.

The way I think of this sometimes is that one does not 'exist' without the other, therefore it's almost like current is not real and voltage is not real, but together they form something that is real.
Note I had to put the word 'exist' in quotes because we sometimes think of purely theoretical things as if they really exist, and it seems to me that if something truly 'exists' then it should be able to be measured directly somehow.
In this view of reality, a "hole in the ground" does not exist because it can not be measured. Only the surrounding dirt can be measured, and then and only then we can make an inference about the properties of this hole. That, in this view, would not constitute a direct measurement because we did not measure the item itself we measured the surrounding medium.
Indeed metaphysics is always lurking in there somewhere. The term "understand" means (insofar as science is concerned) having some ability to predict a future state of a system. If we can do that then we "understand" the system.

I personally distinguish between "understand" and "makes sense". We can understand electricity but does it make sense? does its existence make sense?

The deep problem with relying on science to make sense of the world, is that the laws of nature themselves do not make sense, their presence cannot be scientifically explained, for example what gave rise to laws? what gave rise to determinism? Too many people today have embraced scientism and thus miss the true role of science, which is to explain what already exists, not explain how it came to exist.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,182
Indeed metaphysics is always lurking in there somewhere. The term "understand" means (insofar as science is concerned) having some ability to predict a future state of a system. If we can do that then we "understand" the system.

I personally distinguish between "understand" and "makes sense". We can understand electricity but does it make sense? does its existence make sense?

The deep problem with relying on science to make sense of the world, is that the laws of nature themselves do not make sense, their presence cannot be scientifically explained, for example what gave rise to laws? what gave rise to determinism? Too many people today have embraced scientism and thus miss the true role of science, which is to explain what already exists, not explain how it came to exist.
In other words, science studies immediate causes, while philosophy is about finding the axioms (or the original Cause, or Causes) themselves ... and personally, I believe that mathematics lies somewhere in between.
 

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
12,862
Speaking of crock.

Whereas this guy is superb.
On this issue Veritasium is not a crock. What is a crock is people thinking that circuit theory is equivalent to EM physics that tries to explain electrical energy in fundamental terms. Circuit theory says 'nothing' on the subject of how energy moves in the circuit. Circuit theory shows, in very practical and useful terms, only how to calculate it.

EM fields (WAVES OR PARTICLES? YES!) are obviously physical forms (with energy, momentum, and angular momentum just like mass) of electromagnetic energy and are distinct from the mathematical abstract of a 'field' used to describe them.

If rocks exists and are real, then so are EM fields.

https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/02/05/3937083.htm
Are we teaching electricity the wrong way around?
The waterfall analogy — where the height, flow rate and number of rocky obstacles in a waterfall equate to voltage, current and resistance — has no relevance beyond simple battery-based circuits.

Worse still, it — and a lot of our language around circuits — feeds into the idea that moving electrons themselves carry energy from one part of a circuit to another. It's a lie.

The truth is way more spectacular: the energy doesn't travel through the wires at all — it shoots through the space around them, at the speed of light. (Way to bury the lead, science!).
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstl.1884.0016
On the transfer of energy in the electromagnetic field
J. H. Poynting
Published:01 January 1884
 
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MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,281
Veritasium is a crock. They spout just enough b/s to baffle and wow people who don't actually understand how things truly work. It's almost like watching MLM's spout bad science to 'cure all'.... IMHO
Hi,

Veritasium is after that "wowness" factor which attempts to get people to be somewhat shocked at the facts and peaks their curiosity.
"Wow, is that really true? I better look at this".
It's like an ad that tries to pull you into reading the whole thing.

It does have it's good points though as it makes people think and possibly understand the world and the universe a little better, perhaps.
What I find in practice though is that people only stick with something if they have a true interest in it.

One thing I did learn on that channel is why the space shuttle turns over when it takes off. The article was not about the space shuttle though it was about some minimization of energy or something. It was a little known fact and that is why NASA did not know why the shuttle turned on it's back the first time it took off. They said they did some time later, but they didn't know until after it actually occurred. I can't imagine how shocked the crew was on that first flight.
 
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ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
1,472
Hi,

Veritasium is after that "wowness" factor which attempts to get people to be somewhat shocked at the facts and peaks their curiosity.
"Wow, is that really true? I better look at this".
It's like an ad that tries to pull you into reading the whole thing.

It does have it's good points though as it makes people think and possibly understand the world and the universe a little better, perhaps.
What I find in practice though is that people only stick with something if they have a true interest in it.

One thing I did learn on that channel is why the space shuttle turns over when it takes off. The article was not about the space shuttle though it was about some minimization of energy or something. It was a little know fact and that is why NASA did not know why the shuttle turned on it's back the first time it took off. They said they did some time later, but they didn't know until after it actually occurred. I can't imagine how shocked the crew was on that first flight.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_locking

Simple laws, complex outcomes
 
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