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27 September 2002 @ 01:16 pm
cool science  
The New York Times does a piece on the Ten Most Beautiful Science experiments, gacked from coffeeandink. The one that fascinated me was Cavendish's torsion balance, about two-thirds of the way down the first page. This was the first time I'd heard of it, and I was a little boggled to discover that only 700 pounds of lead creates enough gravity to visibly attract small balls suspended in midair. That just seems wrong; I keep picturing the space shuttle, and wondering why drifting objects don't head for the back wall, consdering the mass of the shuttle behind the cabin. I'm clearly going to have to read up on this.