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Friday Funny – ‘Giant sucking sound’ over siphoning definition

April 25, 2014

Watts Up With That?

Physicist demonstrates dictionary definition was dodgy

It is the defining moment that demonstrates a QUT physicist was correct in pointing out a 99-year-old mistake to one of the world’s most authoritative dictionaries.

siphon_fig1QUT Senior Lecturer in Physics, Dr Stephen Hughes, sparked controversy over how a humble siphon worked when he noticed an incorrect definition in the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary.

In 2010, eagle-eyed Dr Hughes spotted the mistake, which went unnoticed for 99 years, which incorrectly described atmospheric pressure, rather than gravity, as the operating force in a siphon.

Dr Hughes demonstrated the science of siphons in a paper published yesterday in Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports. 

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