Explaining The Bead-Chain Experiment
My partner Ryan send around the following awesome video about a bead-chain experience. It’s a fascinating phenomenon. Beautiful, actually.
Now, while the experiment, especially in slow motion, is beautiful, I especially enjoyed the discussion around trying to explain what was going on. I’m in conversations like this all the time – where someone is trying to explain how or why something happens based on observation.
This is in stark contrast to my experience at MIT. I call this experience “the engineer brain” where you immediately start going to the underlying mathematic model. The qualitative description is definitely useful, but what’s the underlying set of equations that describes what is going on.
I’m a huge believer in the five whys and use them all the time to try to understand something. I love both qualitative and quantitative explanations. And the underlying experimentation that helps surface the phenomenon.
And it’s a bonus when what you observe is fascinating and beautiful. For example, the following hits on both of those.