Snell's law was actually first realised by Thomas Harriot, however Harriot did not publish his results.
As a result, the law was named after Willebrord Snellius when Descartes derived the law and scientists noticed his findings corresponded to a paper written by Snellius.
This is just one example of the many laws of Physics that have been wrongly attributed.
Information like this can be used in the classroom to tell the stories of the scientists involved in the discovery of Physics laws. This in turn increases respect for the subject and the scientific method behind the discovery.
Carol Black, Science teacher at Royal Masonic School for Girls, was inspired to suggest this teaching idea after hearing Dr Ken Zetie (St Paul's School) speak about 'The flight of the bumble bee' at our New Teacher Subject Days course.
Schools Programme members and course attendees can download the resources from the event in the PTI Staffroom.
Want to discover more inspiring subject knowledge? See our upcoming courses and events for 2017, including our upcoming CPD Day Integrating required practicals and our New Teacher Subject Days course for Biology, Chemistry and Physics teachers.
Find more knowledge nuggets here!
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