*This question might had to do with the introduction of the absolute scale.

  1. Consider the planet that travel around the star, the length for it to complete the orbit was in the range of the years.(The magnitude of the speed of the earth around 100m/s.)
  2. Then consider the rain drops, it's in the range of minutes. (the speed might be around 10 m/s. )
  3. Then consider the the particles doing the brownian motion.(The speed might be around 0.1 to 100 m/s )
  4. Then consider the electron move in the copper around 0.1 cm/s
  5. and an "effective speed"(whatever that meant) of 2000 km/s inside a hydrogen atom.

It provided an intuition that the smaller the object, the easier it moved.(Which of course made sense because it's smaller.) However, notice that those effects were mainly statistical, and even if one consider the manmade object such as the hypersonic jets the exhaust was still faster.

Further, one should take into the account that the object's size was smaller even when it had a faster speed, this brought an astronomical change of $$\frac{v(\text{speed})}{(\text{size})}$$

Why the things small seemed to move faster?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Your examples illustrate the opposite of the trend you describe, with the largest objects moving fastest and the smallest ones moving slowest, with the exception of #5. $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2021 at 20:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The magnitude of the orbital velocity of the Earth around the Sun is about $30\,000 \mathrm{m/s}$. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Oct 18, 2021 at 20:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have never seen the concept of absolute scale used in physics (YMMV). It would make no sense IMO as for any example you could make supporting an absolute scale I can find a counter example. $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2021 at 21:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ i was thinking more in the line of the speed of the object with respect to the object's size. For example, if a person made one step further in a second compare an ant made one human step further it provided an intuition that the ant was "fast". But to explain the concept the absolute scale from the relativistic constrain might be needed. And when it got to QM the crazy thing happened. $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2021 at 23:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think this question is answerable since (almost) all speed is relative, and different observers do not agree on how fast objects move. Electrons in a hydrogen atom might seem to move very fast, but one can still define a reference frame such that it is stationary (until one considers its quantum nature). $\endgroup$
    – Allure
    Oct 19, 2021 at 2:30


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