# help me experiment to establish curvature

## Recommended Posts

I am not a scientist by any measure. I have been listening to Flat earthers online and well.... no comment.

It seems to me that an experiment that us lay folk could possibly conduct ourselves would be helpful.

A thought had occurred to me of what that experiment might look like, but like I said, I am no scientist. With the help of chat GPT, I was able to work up some description of this experiment. I need advice as to whether it seems like a reasonable proposal or not and what I am not seeing that needs to be addressed to make it reasonable if it has legs.

Below is where I am currently with my interaction with ChatGPT. I hope that there is some potential here but I can accept if not.

Here's a more detailed description of your experiment:

### Experiment to Determine if the Earth is Spherical or Flat

#### Objective:
To establish whether the Earth is spherical or flat by measuring level data points in a circular area with a radius of 1 kilometer using two different methods: laser light and water in clear hoses.

#### Methodology:
1. **Circular Area Setup:**
- Define a circular area with a radius of 1 kilometer. The center of this circle will be the starting point for measurements.
- Mark multiple data points along the radius and circumference of the circle.

2. **Laser Light Method:**
- Place a central laser device at the center of the circle.
- Emit laser beams from the center outward to the data points on the circumference.
- Measure and record the level at each data point where the laser beam intersects.

3. **Water Level Method:**
- Use an array of clear hoses filled with water, interconnected to establish level across multiple points.
- Starting from the center, connect hoses to measure the level at each data point outward to the circumference.
- Record the level at each data point established by the water in the hoses.

#### Data Collection:
- Gather data for both methods independently.
- Ensure that measurements are taken under similar environmental conditions to minimize external factors influencing the results.

#### Analysis:
- Compare the two sets of data points to determine if they match or diverge.
- Analyze the consistency of level measurements from both methods. If the Earth is flat, the level data points should remain consistent across both methods. If the Earth is spherical, there should be a detectable curvature in the data.

#### Expected Outcome:
- The comparison of the data sets will reveal whether the levels remain consistent or show a curvature, helping to conclude if the Earth is flat or spherical.

Would you like any modifications or additional details included in this description?

##### Share on other sites

Just observe a ship going out to sea. You will see the lower part of the ship disappear first, then, the mast or chimney. It is the reverse of this sequence if they coming in from your horizon. It is as though they are going over a very round hill or mound.

##### Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, mark1966 said:

I am not a scientist by any measure. I have been listening to Flat earthers online and well.... no comment.

I have never met  a "flat-earther"

Are you sure they exist?

##### Share on other sites

I am looking for a novel approach. Your suggestions is well known. Thank you for reply and not assuming that I was already familiar with that approach.

38 minutes ago, geordief said:

I have never met  a "flat-earther"

Are you sure they exist?

They do in the vat that I am bobbing up and down in. Not in yours?

##### Share on other sites

I think the simplest experiment would be for the astronauts on the ISS to take a picture of the earth.

The flat earthers beliefs are not based on logic or facts so trying to use logic or facts to convince them is a waste of time.

##### Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, mark1966 said:

I am looking for a novel approach. Your suggestions is well known. Thank you for reply and not assuming that I was already familiar with that approach.

They do in the vat that I am bobbing up and down in. Not in yours?

Not a one. Maybe if I ventured abroad a little further.

##### Share on other sites

2 hours ago, mark1966 said:

I am looking for a novel approach. Your suggestions is well known. Thank you for reply and not assuming that I was already familiar with that approach.

They do in the vat that I am bobbing up and down in. Not in yours?

Go to Dover, stand on the beach and look out to sea. You not be able to see France. Climb the cliff and look out to sea and France will be visible.

But the whole flat Earth thing is so unbelievably silly that one can only assume people strike this pose for fun. In which case there is zero point in reasoning with them.

I would not waste your time.

##### Share on other sites

One can observe the curvature of the earth's shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse. And by observing lunar eclipses that occur shortly after sunset or shortly before sunrise, it is clear that the shadow is due to a spherical object.

##### Share on other sites

3 hours ago, mark1966 said:

Below is where I am currently with my interaction with ChatGPT

ChatGPT is not a scientific resource.

Contact someone in a country roughly diametrically opposed to you. Get a photo of the sky. You should see roughly the same thing on a flat earth.

At night, you see different stars. It’s day there when it’s night where you are, and vice-versa. Neither is consistent with a flat earth.

18 minutes ago, KJW said:

One can observe the curvature of the earth's shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse. And by observing lunar eclipses that occur shortly after sunset or shortly before sunrise, it is clear that the shadow is due to a spherical object.

That shows it’s circular, not necessarily spherical.

##### Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, swansont said:

That shows it’s circular, not necessarily spherical.

Well, I am assuming that we are not living on the edge of a disc, a case that would be invalidated by observing an eclipse that occurs around midnight. Anyway, I've observed enough lunar eclipses occurring at various times during the night to know that the earth can only be spherical.

Edited by KJW
##### Share on other sites

So far I have heard replies suggesting that I try something else (All of what I am already aware of except for the seeing of France from Dover). Thank you all for your comments but the sort of comments I am interested in are about the proposed experiment. What are the problems with it (i.e. the proposed area for the experiment is not sufficiently large enough to detect the divergence in the data sets without extremely precise equipment rendering the experiment unrealistic for an individual or small group to conduct. -- or -- both water and light are equally affected but earths gravitational influence so even if there is curvature, that curvature will not be reflected in the data due to a divergence between the sets -- or any other criticism that breaks the experiment as being possible. It does not matter to me if instead of doing the experiment, you would do something different.

Thank you

##### Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, mark1966 said:

So far I have heard replies suggesting that I try something else (All of what I am already aware of except for the seeing of France from Dover). Thank you all for your comments but the sort of comments I am interested in are about the proposed experiment. What are the problems with it (i.e. the proposed area for the experiment is not sufficiently large enough to detect the divergence in the data sets without extremely precise equipment rendering the experiment unrealistic for an individual or small group to conduct. -- or -- both water and light are equally affected but earths gravitational influence so even if there is curvature, that curvature will not be reflected in the data due to a divergence between the sets -- or any other criticism that breaks the experiment as being possible. It does not matter to me if instead of doing the experiment, you would do something different.

Thank you

The way I see it, you would have to do your measurements on water rather than on land because the effect you are trying to measure would be swamped by the topography of the land. On the water, you'd have to contend with waves, but an average over multiple measurements would tend to iron out that problem.

##### Share on other sites

By needing to perform an experiment to prove the Earth is spherical you are actually validating stupid people's opinions.
( or are you trying to prove it to yourself )

The most pleasant way to prove it would be to book a flight to Europe.
Then after a pleasant stay, book a flight to India.
See the sights, then book a flight to Hawaii.
After witnessing how Americanization has ruined the islands, book a flight home.

Notice that you never went backwards, or flew off the edge of the disc.
If still incredulous, book window seats.

Life is hard, but much harder if you're stupid; taking a trip to decrease your stupidity is pleasant.
But I have little sympathy for people that require 'proof' when the evidence is staring them in the face.

##### Share on other sites

23 hours ago, MigL said:

Life is hard, but much harder if you're stupid; taking a trip to decrease your stupidity is pleasant.

Love this!

##### Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 6/15/2024 at 11:39 PM, mark1966 said:

So far I have heard replies suggesting that I try something else (All of what I am already aware of except for the seeing of France from Dover). Thank you all for your comments but the sort of comments I am interested in are about the proposed experiment. What are the problems with it (i.e. the proposed area for the experiment is not sufficiently large enough to detect the divergence in the data sets without extremely precise equipment rendering the experiment unrealistic for an individual or small group to conduct. -- or -- both water and light are equally affected but earths gravitational influence so even if there is curvature, that curvature will not be reflected in the data due to a divergence between the sets -- or any other criticism that breaks the experiment as being possible. It does not matter to me if instead of doing the experiment, you would do something different.

Thank you

Yes, as @KJW says, it is obvious you can't do this on land, because, durrh, the ground is bumpy! That's the sort of typically stupid answer you can get from ChatGPT, if you don't apply your own critical faculties.

Even on water it will be hard to do, due to waves, currents, the effect of gusts of wind on whatever floating objects you use, etc.  But the longer the distances you choose, the clearer the result will be. You may note that most of the suggestions people have made, including my own about Dover and France, rely on much larger distances than 1km, to make the effect more obvious.

But the whole flat Earth thing is unbelievably silly. Sailors in the ancient world were aware the Earth was not flat. Eratosthenes (the Greeks were a seafaring nation) measured its circumference - and got it more or less right - around 200BC, for God's sake!

Edited by exchemist
##### Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On a flat Earth, there would be no day and night cycles and no time zones with different time according to altitude and longitude, nor would there be different seasons.. There would be no polar night and polar day, and no aurora borealis. The poles only make sense on spherical objects anyway.

On a flat Earth, distance from lat1,long1 to lat2,long1 would be the same as from lat1,long2 to lat2,long2 and making a perfect rectangle or eventually square.

Edited by Sensei
##### Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Sensei said:

On a flat Earth, there would be no day and night cycles and no time zones with different time according to altitude and longitude

This is not at all clear to me (and I’m thinking you meant latitude, since we don’t have time zones based on altitude)

If the sun is overhead at one location over a flat surface, it would not be overhead at some other location some distance away. This is the reason we have time zones. Why wouldn’t the sun would rise and set on a flat earth?

##### Share on other sites

4 hours ago, exchemist said:

Sailors in the ancient world were aware the Earth was not flat. Eratosthenes (the Greeks were a seafaring nation) measured its circumference - and got it more or less right - around 200BC, for God's sake!

Where did the idea come from that people in the time of Christopher Columbus thought the earth was flat?

##### Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, KJW said:

Where did the idea come from that people in the time of Christopher Columbus thought the earth was flat?

This?

##### Share on other sites

The sun meandering back and forth across the celestial equator seems like a good refutation for those without cellphones, spyglasses, lasers, ocean views, etc.  All you need is a couple weeks and a long stick for shadow generating.

##### Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, KJW said:

Where did the idea come from that people in the time of Christopher Columbus thought the earth was flat?

Acc. @geordief's link, an idiot called Washington Irving,  in 1828.

##### Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Sensei said:

On a flat Earth, distance from lat1,long1 to lat2,long1 would be the same as from lat1,long2 to lat2,long2 and making a perfect rectangle or eventually square.

Indeed.

There’s also the issue of circumnavigating Antarctica. On real Earth, that’s a distance of some ~16000km when done on a boat, and you have to make course corrections towards land. On flat Earth, the distance would be at least ~40000km, and you have to course-correct away from land. Obviously this has been done many times, so we know which option is right.

##### Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Markus Hanke said:

There’s also the issue of circumnavigating Antarctica. On real Earth, that’s a distance of some ~16000km when done on a boat, and you have to make course corrections towards land. On flat Earth, the distance would be at least ~40000km, and you have to course-correct away from land. Obviously this has been done many times, so we know which option is right.

Science is like Lego. One piece rests on top of another piece in the right place. When you start discarding something that's really on the bottom, nothing fits on top anymore. Funnily enough, these people ("flat-Earthers") use the Internet and cell phones, which are based on the top few percent..

Flat-earthers cannot live in either Japan, the US or Hawaii. Simply pinging Japan from the U.S. or Hawaii, or vice versa, yields something that completely does not fit their theory. The latency of pings is correlated with the distance the data has to travel in both directions. Such delay is used to triangulate a person, vehicle, etc. So, when you know that Japan has a small ping to Korea, and Korea has a small ping to China, and China has a small ping to India, and India has a small ping to Pakistan, then to Saudi Arabia, Israel, then to Turkey, and then to Europe, you can indirectly measure distances by simply measuring the ping latency from thousands of connections. On a flat Earth, is Japan close to the US? In spherical Earth, data can go through the Pacific ocean, or through satellites, or through entire Asia (which is easy to detect as it is longer distance to the West US).. What flat-earthers have instead?

Tokyo-Los Angeles is 8814 km in "straight" line

while to Madrid there is 9356 km

(plus all the rest through Europe-Middle East-Asia).

##### Share on other sites

On 6/15/2024 at 11:13 PM, swansont said:

Contact someone in a country roughly diametrically opposed to you. Get a photo of the sky. You should see roughly the same thing on a flat earth.

At night, you see different stars. It’s day there when it’s night where you are, and vice-versa. Neither is consistent with a flat earth.

That shows it’s circular, not necessarily spherical.

... or have both parties check whether a long pendulum suspended from a swivel precesses clockwise or anticlockwise.

Difficult to explain how two points on a rigid plane could rotate in opposite directions without ripping apart.

##### Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Sensei said:

Science is like Lego. One piece rests on top of another piece in the right place. When you start discarding something that's really on the bottom, nothing fits on top anymore. Funnily enough, these people ("flat-Earthers") use the Internet and cell phones, which are based on the top few percent..

And if crackpottery like flat-earth tried to do the same thing it would fail miserably. To have a flat earth but the same observations, requires changes in physics, which has a domino effect (to mix our metaphors) because now even more pieces don't fit together. You might possibly find a working model of gravity for a flat earth, but you need the sun to revolve around the earth, which doesn't fit with our models of gravity, and now you have an issue with planetary orbits. If the sun isn't a sphere, you now need to fit that with nuclear physics and why fusion is occurring. If it is, why is that so, but the earth is flat?

This doesn't work, and the ideas perpetuate either because the adherents don't do this closer inspection of how the idea fits in with the rest of science, or they simply ignore the problems

## Create an account

Register a new account