Now reading: 10 common misconceptions in physics

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10 common misconceptions in physics

The true power of science is that it perpetually refines our understanding based on new evidence.

crumpled paper slice

A key part of a scientist’s job is to question everything – including the things we think we know.

Through the ages, many ideas considered “facts” have been revealed as common misconceptions. To name a few: the Earth is flat (nope), your tongue has taste “zones” (that map of the tongue you remember from elementary school is wrong), and lightning can’t strike the same place twice (a small area in Venezuela gets roughly 1.2 million strikes each year).

Indeed, one of the most common scientific misconceptions is that science is full of facts. Rather, science is a field in which the best current models of understanding can either be supported or disproved by evidence.

Here, we debunk a few of the more common scientific misconceptions.

white coats

black holes EHT

The Event Horizon Telescope Initiative at Perimeter Institute, led by Associate Faculty member Avery Broderick, will analyze and interpret the torrent of data collected by the network’s telescopes, generating humanity’s first image of a black hole and testing fundamental concepts in our understanding of spacetime.

space gravity

Watch Perimeter’s curious cartoon duo, Alice and Bob, explore why the moon doesn’t fall down.

quantum computer speed

Watch “As We Enter a New Quantum Era,” a public lecture on the incredible advances (and potential pitfalls) of the quantum computing revolution, delivered by Perimeter Institute Associate Faculty member Michele Mosca.

sun white

Check out “20 illuminating, enlightening, day-brightening facts about light.”


energy conservation

Watch Alice and Bob explore where energy comes from.

particle accelerator myth

Dark energy matter

Read “What we know (and what we don’t) about dark matter.”

Scientific process



On July 27, Juan Maldacena, a luminary in the worlds of string theory and quantum gravity, will share his insights on black holes, wormholes, and quantum entanglement.

/Jul 12, 2023

Perimeter’s Jessie Muir and collaborators in the Dark Energy Survey have measured 100 million galaxies to better understand the mysterious force causing the universe’s accelerated expansion.

/Apr 11, 2023

Dark Matter Night will feature live talks on October 26 at both Perimeter Institute and the McDonald Institute, webcast free online.

/Oct 07, 2022