Sheffield Café Scientifique

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Counter-Intuitive Science

07 Nov 2005
Dr Kevin Byron

At first sight many ideas in science do not make sense, indeed they can often appear in opposition to what we consider to be common-sense. The phrase 'counter-intuitive' has been coined to describe such concepts and in recent years this phrase has found widespread usage in the published literature of science. Ideas often appear to be counter-intuitive when there is insufficient knowledge of the underlying phenomena and in a sense our intuitions at this stage can be viewed as biases even though they instinctively 'feel' right. Such ideas in science can surprise, amaze, confound and amuse us and but more importantly they challenge us to review our own ideas.
Kevin Byron will demonstrate a variety of counter-intuitive concepts in science and show how a creative attitude not only to science, but to our own thinking can lead to a clearer more consistent view of the physical world.