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Spherical cow facts for kids

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An illustration of a spherical cow.

A spherical cow is a metaphor that is used when a complex scientific model is made more simple than it really should be.

The words "spherical cow" came from a joke where a dairy farmer talks to a theoretical physicist about how to get more prices for his milk. The physicist later talks about an answer to the problem at a seminar. The physicist says "First, we assume a spherical cow..." Sometimes, a "spherical horse" is used instead of a cow. For example, there is a joke about a physicist who says that he can find out who will win a race if it had a "spherical horse moving through a vacuum".

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