Lake Balaton Laser experiment to determine the curvature of the Earth, if any.

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Sandor sent me this photo, camera time 5:00AM taken from a few feet west of the laser
20160819-132417-ydcz3.jpg


It shows the laser bending upwards, and it looks like it does actually hit something on the other side. What is fascinating is that the return light is then split in two, and we get a "reflection" underneath it, just just like with the lights on the right.

Here it is with some reference lines. The red lines show better where it actually would be without refraction.
20160819-132827-b0j35.jpg

From a different angle:
20160819-133455-6672h.jpg

Why do you not think we are looking at a reflection from the water surface?
 
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Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Sandor sent me this photo, camera time 5:00AM taken from a few feet west of the laser
20160819-132417-ydcz3.jpg


It shows the laser bending upwards, and it looks like it does actually hit something on the other side. What is fascinating is that the return light is then split in two, and we get a "reflection" underneath it, just just like with the lights on the right.

Here it is with some reference lines. The red lines show better where it actually would be without refraction.
20160819-132827-b0j35.jpg

From a different angle:
20160819-133455-6672h.jpg

Look at the thin reflection under the start of the laser. It's clear the laser was pointed significantly downwards, to a degree that should have been obvious while taking the pictures. I'd like to see if pictures were taken that corrected this?
 
The way I see this picture of the bending upwards of the laser and it's terminating point are just reflections of the actual beam which fades away but then reappears. Why it does that I'm not sure, but the upper been is the mirage and the termination point at the end of it is where the been reached the measuring stick which is why it makes a type of sphere or circle on the end of the beam. I think you would only see it that way if you were near the start of the laser.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Why do you not think we are looking at a reflection from the water surface?
Because the curve indicated by the laser would necessarily create an inferior mirage.

And because the surface of the lake is rippled. you would not get a mirrored reflection.

Look at a video from the boat, same lake:
20160819-164818-bon06.jpg

Here there's a similar "reflection". But it's an inferior mirage, like in the laser image. Notice the surface of the lake closer to the camera, - it's essentially a matt surface, no real reflection can form.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Is it possible that the laser was pointed down and encountered some sort of 'inversion' near the surface of the water which caused it to 'curve up' and then follow the water surface? I'm out of my depth, here, and just guessing.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Is it possible that the laser was pointed down and encountered some sort of 'inversion' near the surface of the water which caused it to 'curve up' and follow the water surface? I'm out of my depth, here, and just guessing.

It's not an inversion. It's the air near the water being warmer, it's just a magnification of the normal temperature gradient. Like a mirage on a hot road.

The laser is following the same path the light from an image would follow to make a reflection. from the point of view of someone standing where the laser hits.

i.e. if you stood where the laser hit, and you zoomed in enough, you would see two lasers. One, direct, would be low in the mirage. Another, dim and indirect, would be in the "normal" image above. At least in theory, maybe there's a photo to back this up. You'd probably have to stand to the side a bit, or the direct laser would glare everything out.
 
Because the curve indicated by the laser would necessarily create an inferior mirage.

And because the surface of the lake is rippled. you would not get a mirrored reflection.

Look at a video from the boat, same lake:
20160819-164818-bon06.jpg

Here there's a similar "reflection". But it's an inferior mirage, like in the laser image. Notice the surface of the lake closer to the camera, - it's essentially a matt surface, no real reflection can form.

You don't know the condition of the surface at the location of the reflection.

the curve indicated by the laser would _necessarily_ create an inferior mirage. Why?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You don't know the condition of the surface at the location of the reflection.

the curve indicated by the laser would _necessarily_ create an inferior mirage. Why?

Perhaps "necessarily" is too strong a word, as it might be on the edge, but if you image rays of light parallel to the laser, then what path are they going to take. It's a strong curve, and looks to me like it would create an inferior mirage.

The lake might have suddenly turned to glass over there, but even so from that low angle the very slightest of ripples is going to create a "pillar" of light reflection.

20160819-174916-3jjsn.jpg

Since there are no such pillars of light, this almost certainly is not a reflection in the surface of the lake.
 

DarkStar

Active Member

I know it's very hard to judge such things because of perspective and the angles are difficult to judge (and I'm know that some of the effect is perspective) but that sure looks like the laser is tilted down towards the water. That could be normal refraction, until it hits the mirage area and then bends pretty sharply up-how sharply again, perspective could be tricking our eyes by compressing the axis along which we are looking.

Did this same effect happen all night? Surely not. In the other photos I don't see it.

So hypothesis: normal refraction caused the laser to bend slightly around with the curvature- it hit thermal inversion and refracted sharply up. We see that inferior mirage effect in the lights as well - basically starting at that darker band of light closer to the far shore.

Mick, I did a little background research and inferior mirage pathway should be curved like this - it's a long series of refractions that form a parabola-like shape, not a sharp reflection layer.

I still want to know where we are looking and how far away that is. It doesn't look super far to me. If we can get this information we could do some research in parallel.
 
Perhaps "necessarily" is too strong a word, as it might be on the edge, but if you image rays of light parallel to the laser, then what path are they going to take. It's a strong curve, and looks to me like it would create an inferior mirage.

The lake might have suddenly turned to glass over there, but even so from that low angle the very slightest of ripples is going to create a "pillar" of light reflection.

20160819-174916-3jjsn.jpg

Since there are no such pillars of light, this almost certainly is not a reflection in the surface of the lake.
Mick, you seem to be very knowledgeable. I have to be honest. I understand most things about the flat s round earth theory. However, when it comes to knowing how to calculate the proposed edge, I'm afraid it doesn't make sense to me. I lean towards a round earth because of the Antarctic midnight sun, flight routes, distance of said routes, and the visible ISS. (although some NASA videos do look a bit silly). If you would be willing to help me understand your "curve calculator" I would really appreciate it. To be honest, I'd love to do an experiment of my own...as I have the resources but I lack the know how. (PS the same goes for triangulating the hight of the ISS, but that's another thread). If you can't or if I'm going about this all wrong, I understand.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
From Sandor on the Facebook discussion:


Can someone tell me if that makes any sense at all? It seems just.... silly.

I think I can explain it. You have to look at a lot of videos and a lot of comments to understand what it is that flat earth believers are thinking. In this case the common belief seems to be that atmospheric refraction is caused by humidity in the air... or water droplets in the air... or just water in the air.

The reasoning seems to go something like this:

Water in a glass bends light: therefore water in the air bends light.

(I've seen no evidence that there is an understanding of why water in a glass bends light. I think it would be something like: "It's in the nature of water to bend light." So the belief that water in the air bends light is just an extension. The water in the air bends light, because it's in the nature of water to bend light.)

This is strengthened by globe earthers telling them and warning them about refraction just above the surface of a body of water.

Sandor seems to be saying that when the lake surface is warmer than the air above it there will be more evaporation and thus a layer of humid air just above the surface. And this humidity will cause more refraction.

Some FE's seem to believe that the warning against refraction just above the surface of a body of water is a warning that water will somehow bend light toward or away from it... just by its very proximity. As if water were creating a force that bends light. Something like magnets and electrons I guess.
 
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Because the curve indicated by the laser would necessarily create an inferior mirage.

And because the surface of the lake is rippled. you would not get a mirrored reflection.

Look at a video from the boat, same lake:
20160819-164818-bon06.jpg

Here there's a similar "reflection". But it's an inferior mirage, like in the laser image. Notice the surface of the lake closer to the camera, - it's essentially a matt surface, no real reflection can form.

This image clearly shows a faint reflection from the water in the foreground. The water is likely to be flatter in the lee of the land (as an old sailor). Is the white line to the left the trail of car lights? In any case its refection is far too close to be a mirage IMO.

What is slightly spooky is that if you draw the locus of points half way between the beam and its reflection it is close to being a straight line, looking from the viewing point. The surface is flat, it is just lasers that are bent!

https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/20160819-132827-b0j35-jpg.20725/

 
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I think I can explain it. You have to look at a lot of videos and a lot of comments to understand what it is that flat earth believers are thinking. In this case the common belief seems to be that atmospheric refraction is caused by humidity in the air... or water droplets in the air... or just water in the air.

The reasoning seems to go something like this:

Water in a glass bends light: therefore water in the air bends light.

(I've seen no evidence that there is an understanding of why water in a glass bends light. I think it would be something like: "It's in the nature of water to bend light." So the belief that water in the air bends light is just an extension. The water in the air bends light, because it's in the nature of water to bend light.)

This is strengthened by globe earthers telling them and warning them about refraction just above the surface of a body of water.

Sandor seems to be saying that when the lake surface is warmer than the air above it there will be more evaporation and thus a layer of humid air just above the surface. And this humidity will cause more refraction.

Some FE's seem to believe that the warning against refraction just above the surface of a body of water is a warning that water will somehow bend light toward or away from it... just by its very proximity. As if water were creating a force that bends light. Something like magnets and electrons I guess.

Water vapour is a major factor in bending radio waves, causing ducting, for instance, due to sharp refractive index gradients. I don't know to what extent this applies to visible wavelengths.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This image clearly shows a faint reflection from the water in the foreground. The water is likely to be flatter in the lee of the land (as an old sailor). Is the white line to the left the trail of car lights? In any case its refection is far too close to be a mirage IMO.

The white light is the boat light, you can see actual reflections as it's closer to the camera
20160820-053649-bl0i4.jpg
20160820-053200-abqyo.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Water vapour is a major factor in bending radio waves, causing ducting, for instance, due to sharp refractive index gradients. I don't know to what extent this applies to visible wavelengths.
I think it contributes the same relative amount, but light is bent less than radio waves.

Increasing water vapor would increase the refractive index. But the upwards bending of the light here is a result of a decrease in the refractive index due the heating of the air reducing the density.

This page is about radio waves, but gives a fairly clear overview.
http://www.mike-willis.com/Tutorial/PF6.htm

I think with refraction it's a useful simplification to think about it of it as a function of density, and the light bending towards the more dense air, like it the denser air is "pulling" the light towards it. (This is just an aid to remembering which way the light bends, there's not actually pulling involved)

Then you can see that normally air density decreases as you get higher, so the denser air closer to the ground "pulls" the light down, which is why we can see a bit over the horizon.

At constant pressure hot air is less dense than cold air, so when air is heated at ground level it becomes less dense, and so the cold air directly above it is more dense, so the light is "pulled" up towards the denser air.

Is it possible that the laser was pointed down and encountered some sort of 'inversion' near the surface of the water which caused it to 'curve up' and then follow the water surface? I'm out of my depth, here, and just guessing.

I said before this is not an inversion, as the temperature is still decreasing with height, however the density actually increases briefly with height. So while it's not a temperature or pressure inversion, you could call it a density inversion.
 
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Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
I said before this is not an inversion, as the temperature is still decreasing with height, however the density actually increases briefly with height. So while it's not a temperature or pressure inversion, you could call it a density inversion.

Yeah. I think I meant to say "gradient", not "inversion".
 

DarkStar

Active Member
Yeah. I think I meant to say "gradient", not "inversion".

Inversion here just means the temperature gradient is going 'the other way'.

Refresher: http://www.district196.org/avhs/dept/science/physics/physicsweb04/AVHSPhysics/Refraction-notes.html

Normally, refraction would bend light around the curvature so when I say 'inversion' I mean the density gradient of the light path was such that it is causing the light to bend upwards - whatever we want to call it.

The rule here is that light bends 'towards the normal' going from less dense to more dense, and away from normal going the other way.

And what we care about is density - but there are two strongly competing factors in air density: Altitude(pressure) and temperature.

Lower air is generally more dense due to pressure but heating can reverse that and make it less dense. So this already makes the analysis very complex. Then add in other factors like the CO2 level and humidity.

Now, the general rule is cold air is more dense and would thus sink - but as you rise in altitude you lose pressure and temperature falls also. But near the surface it's *usually* cooler down low and warmer as you go up - so it's called a thermal inversion when it's warmer in the lower layers with cooler layers above them.

**correction** it's colder as you go up so Mick is right, inversion would be the other way. **correction** thanks!

That said, I have to run for now and it's a pretty busy day but will get back to this later if someone else doesn't cover it.

Food for thought for now.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
But near the surface it's *usually* cooler down low and warmer as you go up - so it's called a thermal inversion when it's warmer in the lower layers with cooler layers above them.
I think you mean that the other way around, cooler lower layers would be a thermal inversion.
 
If a second test is done, they could combine the test that Mick suggested a few pages back with the laser and I think that would remove all doubts. We are just interested in a graph of the points to see if they curve or not. Put a laser next to camera and point them both at the back of the boat with colored marker board. Then film it at the time of day where refraction is minimum or repeat the test at various times in the day. I think in the winter, conditions will be better. If the laser remains at the same level on the boat through the 14km test then it's definite proof that the water is flat.
 

DarkStar

Active Member
I think you mean that the other way around, cooler lower layers would be a thermal inversion.

Top google hits:

"In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a "temperature inversion", i.e. an increase in temperature with height, or to the layer ("inversion layer") within which such an increase occurs."

And

"Thermal inversion occurs when a layer of warm air settles over a layer of cooler air that lies near the ground. The warm air holds down the cool air and prevents pollutants from rising and scattering."
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Top google hits:

"In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a "temperature inversion", i.e. an increase in temperature with height, or to the layer ("inversion layer") within which such an increase occurs."

And

"Thermal inversion occurs when a layer of warm air settles over a layer of cooler air that lies near the ground. The warm air holds down the cool air and prevents pollutants from rising and scattering."

Yes, that's the opposite of what you said:

it's called a thermal inversion when it's warmer in the lower layers with cooler layers above them.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Then film it at the time of day where refraction is minimum

Yes, unfortunately I suggested dawn without checking the typical local conditions:
http://koponyeg.hu/t/Balatonfüred
20160820-081842-5z9me.jpg
20160820-082750-0dq7v.jpg

Today (Aug 20) was 14°C at dawn with water temperature a pretty solid 22°C, so 8°C temperature gradient in a few feet above the surface.

So it seems like dusk on a cool day would be a better time. Ideally you would want it dark, so you can see if the laser beam is bent.
 

DarkStar

Active Member
If a second test is done, they could combine the test that Mick suggested a few pages back with the laser and I think that would remove all doubts. We are just interested in a graph of the points to see if they curve or not. Put a laser next to camera and point them both at the back of the boat with colored marker board. Then film it at the time of day where refraction is minimum or repeat the test at various times in the day. I think in the winter, conditions will be better. If the laser remains at the same level on the boat through the 14km test then it's definite proof that the water is flat.

It's not proof unless all variables are controlled - refraction *could* cause the light to bend down and keep it on the boat - it's called ducting. Have to figure out a way to control for refraction.

One way we know to help with that is put the laser up higher - well above the water (water mucks up the air temperature above it more than land, generally speaking) - exactly as Wallace did at Bedford which we suggested here also :)

A picture of the laser from 90 degrees might help but at that angle you might not be able to see it
 
Sure in the test the higher the better. We are not looking to see if the laser skates the flat or curved surface but whether it remains a constant height above the surface. So set the laser at something like 2 meters. The camera will record the results and can be analyzed easily later. Just have someone in the boat put up a sign indicating each kilometer.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Sure in the test the higher the better. We are not looking to see if the laser skates the flat or curved surface but whether it remains a constant height above the surface. So set the laser at something like 2 meters. The camera will record the results and can be analyzed easily later. Just have someone in the boat put up a sign indicating each kilometer.

The laser seems to be at 1.25 meters. I think the problem is magnified by the laser pointing down a bit.
20160820-090036-p0uua.jpg
 
What makes you think it's pointing down a bit? If it was pointed down it would more likely encounter the curved water surface and not reach the measure stick at 1.25 meters. Of course depending of the distance of that test.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What makes you think it's pointing down a bit? If it was pointed down it would more likely encounter the curved water surface and not reach the measure stick at 1.25 meters. Of course depending of the distance of that test.

That 1.25m measurement is at the laser.

If it were level then it would be constantly rising up away from the surface of the lake with a very slight curve that would decrease with distance, tilting it down a bit would make it go down into the warmer (less dense) air, and then more sharply curve back up, and then become less curved. We see the latter.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
From the Facebook thread:

Have they explained how they "calculated" the refraction?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Have they explained how they "calculated" the refraction?

Seems unlikely they did it correctly. @Ian Dalton said: "They observed extreme refraction of the laser bending it upwards due to high humidity", but higher humidity near the water would actually make the beam bend downwards. Upwards bending means the air near the water is lower density than the air just above it.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Seems unlikely they did it correctly. @Ian Dalton said: "They observed extreme refraction of the laser bending it upwards due to high humidity", but higher humidity near the water would actually make the beam bend downwards. Upwards bending means the air near the water is lower density than the air just above it.

He certainly is taunting people and bragging on Facebook about how well they can calculate it. Don't they need much more precise data than they are taking to even TRY to calculate that?
 

Bass In Your Face

Senior Member.
He certainly is taunting people and bragging on Facebook about how well they can calculate it. Don't they need much more precise data than they are taking to even TRY to calculate that?
Which was my exact criticism of his "boasting" FB thread, other people in the thread are believing him because he is speaking like he is so sure of their results, even after acknowledging he doesn't have the full results.
There is clearly a different mindset when speaking on this website about FE, and speaking to die-hard "followers" on FB with less objectivity and more confirmation bias.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So the best time would be early in the morning during cooler months?

Well, the lake stays the same temp pretty much day and night - somewhere between the high of the day, and the low of the night. So there will be two times when the air and lake temps are the same, late morning, and early evening. Best time of the year would probably be when there was the lowest variation between day and night temps
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Seems unlikely they did it correctly. @Ian Dalton said: "They observed extreme refraction of the laser bending it upwards due to high humidity", but higher humidity near the water would actually make the beam bend downwards. Upwards bending means the air near the water is lower density than the air just above it.

Humid air is in fact less dense than dry air. Water vapor effectively displaces air molecules, and are lighter than the average weight of an air molecule. (Molecular weight ~10 versus ~28 for molecular nitrogen, which makes up 78% of the atmosphere) The fact that the lake surface was 5C warmer than the surrounding air is likely a far greater factor, though.
 

DarkStar

Active Member
Humid air is in fact less dense than dry air. Water vapor effectively displaces air molecules, and are lighter than the average weight of an air molecule. (Molecular weight ~10 versus ~28 for molecular nitrogen, which makes up 78% of the atmosphere) The fact that the lake surface was 5C warmer than the surrounding air is likely a far greater factor, though.

Sounds correct - source for us to reference

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news.../08/05/why-dry-air-is-heavier-than-humid-air/

"You might also say: “Water is heavier than air.” True, a glass of liquid water weighs more than a glass filled only with air. But, humidity is water vapor, not liquid water, and water vapor molecules are lighter than the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen that make up approximately 99% of the atmosphere."
 

Sandor Szekely

Banned
Banned
Sorry for all to keep you waiting!

We came back only Wednesday evening and I started to go over 150GB of video, audio and pictures and organise them.

I sent a lot over to Mick as well to start his evaluation process and he can confirm that it is a huge and very interesting material. So we shall go over a few questions raised in this experiment outcome - on refraction.

We made a conclusive measurement after sunrise with a different laser setup: 1.25 meters high that is 4.1 feet above water level. We have measurement data and evaluating the distances by the GPS coordinates.

The laser was visible and made a direct hit into the camera over a distance of 6 kms that means that the drop + laser height would have been over 4 meters that is NOT possible to film from the rubber boat. Actually the camera eyeheight was about 1.7 meters.

Mick pls share the photos you have evaluated on this distance of the last measurement.

the videos show the laser beam direct hit much better 20160816_065525.jpg 20160816_071030.jpg DSCN2058.JPG DSCN2060.JPG DSCN2084.JPG
 
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