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Lead versus feathers, Round 2

A pound of lead feels heavier than a pound of feathers – a thing long suspected, but not carefully tested until recently, when Jeffrey B Wagman, Corinne Zimmerman and Christopher Sorric ran an experiment involving lead, feathers, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, a chair, blackened goggles, and 23 volunteers from the city of Normal, Illinois.

The scientists are based at Illinois State University, which is located in that unassumingly named metropolis. In a study published in the journal Perception, they explain why they took the trouble: “‘Which weighs more – a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?’

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

Improbable Research