A Scientist Bought 3,280 Feet of Wire to Settle a Physics Debate

Does electricity move at the speed of light?
Derya Ozdemir

Derek Muller of the popular science channel Veritasium posted a video titled "The Big Misconception About Electricity" on November 19, 2021, which, in a nutshell, discusses the electromagnetic (EM) fields that are generated in circuits, and how those EM fields travel at the speed of light, which can have unexpected consequences.

A month later, AlphaPhoenix's Brian Haidet, who has a Ph.D. in Materials Science, posted a video in which he bought 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) of wire to settle a physics disagreement sparked by that video. He explains that after watching Derek's video about electrical misconceptions, he found himself obsessing over the topic and immediately used it as the excuse he'd been seeking for years to acquire his own oscilloscope.

Instead of two light-seconds of wire, he utilized around three light-microseconds of wire, which was more than enough to resolve exactly what was going on in this circuit. He constructed the Veritasium's electricity thought experiment in real life to test the result, so if you're interested in learning more, watch the video attached above.


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