October 16, 2007
Major thanks to Arjun Chennu for filming this and sending it to us. May he have many visitors on his blog, and may his nerdiness know no bounds.
Originally discovered by X, this device shows a phenomenon that has intrigued lots of scientists for ages. X suggested a theory based on Maxwell’s work, which was proved to be false. Schuster and Lebedev conducted lots of experiments to prove that many theories, including X’s, were bunk.
Einstein himself stepped in, and gave part of the reason. But his part wasn’t sufficient. The final part of the explanation was proposed by Osborne Reynolds, based on Maxwell’s updated work :-)
What is this object, and who is X ?
Cracked by: Poornima , devadutta , sridhar , 2ndratequizzer , Varun.M , prasanth , Keerthi , Ganesh Prasad , Mahesh Herle , Dhruva , iamniks , Keerthi Kiran M , shyam , yaksha , fsdgdsg , BiGFooT , alephnull , nihit , Shakeel , and Prasad.
Answer: X is Sir William Crookes, and the object is what is called a “Crooke’s Radiometer”. Interesting little thing, if you read up about it a bit. Look through the comments for some linkage, and especially check out John Baez’s physics FAQ page on that.