Earth's atmosphere is a layer of gases that surround it, permitting life and protecting life by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface by retaining the heat and mitigating the temperature difference between day and night.

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What is it that makes this structure cause turbulence?

I'm trying to design a quasi-simple vertical axis wind turbine, and a coworker came up with this design to focus the wind as it reaches the turbine in a wind tunnel. He says that there's going to be ...
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3answers
629 views

How would you move without gravity?

I'm wondering how would you move without gravity? You would still have air pressure at 1Atm. Would you "swim" in the air or would you have do something else?
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3answers
299 views

Ozone Hole in the South Pole

Perhaps this should be a chemistry question, but it seems to have physics attributes. There's a perennial ozone "hole" around the south pole created by destruction from Cl based chemicals like CFCs. ...
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1answer
154 views

What's the name for taking pictures of air flow in a normal room?

There is a way to photograph air in a room. It makes convection, breathing and movement visible. The result looks a bit like a soap bubble. This is some kind of optical effect. No special gases or ...
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2answers
391 views

Burning alcohol vapor

Let's imagine a plastic container, sealed closed. We fill half of it with alcohol, then we generate a spark. The question is: can the mixture of alcohol and air burn, or do we need a hole to let air ...
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6answers
2k views

Is it possible for wind to break the sound barrier?

I understand that in nature wind would never get high enough, but I am just curious as to whether physics would allow this to occur or not.
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4answers
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Why does the air we blow/exhale out from our mouths change from hot to cold depending on the size of the opening we make with our mouth?

Why does the air we blow/exhale out from our mouths change from hot to cold depending on the size of the opening we make with our mouth? It's not just a subtle difference, but significant in my ...
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2answers
943 views

Tube under water and air pressure

If you take apart a syringe you are left with one piece that is a tube with a tiny hole in one end and the open end of a tube at the other. If you then submerge this underwater and cover the small ...
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Why don't different air masses mix immediately?

In meteorology, the atmosphere is considered to be divided into air masses, regions of relatively uniform temperature and humidity with fronts on their borders. But why doesn't the air from different ...
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Sound - what happens with the particles when a wave passes

I'm having some problems in understanding the principles of sound propagation. The wave propagates though air (for example) exerts compression, which is followed by rarefaction. I think I got than ...
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3answers
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Will an air-filled tire normally gravitate toward being nitrogen-filled just by refilling with air?

A big argument by the nitrogen-in-the-tire crowd is that: Nitrogen atoms are bigger and thus less likely to escape the tire, bringing stability to your tire pressure. If Earth's atmosphere is ...
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2answers
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Including air resistance, what is the escape velocity from Earth?

Including air resistance, what is the escape velocity from the surface of the earth for a free-flying trajectile?
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How much friction is caused by a 10x10 cm window on the side of an airplane?

Say that the airplane is going in 1000 km/h. On the side of the airplane, there is a 10x10 cm window. How much friction would this window cause. For the sake of the calculation, imagine that the ...
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4answers
665 views

Why does an airplane have more lift near the ground?

I've noticed that an airplane appears to have more lift when it's almost touching the ground then it has 100 feet or more in the air. What causes this to occur?
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5answers
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What principles does an air glider use?

I just saw this video which was kind of nifty. What principles govern this? Is it simply that 700 lbs of air pressure are exerted from that little 1 HP blower? What would you have to take into ...
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6answers
2k views

Why is air invisible?

I think that something is invisible if it's isolated particles are smaller than the wavelength of visible light. Is this correct? Why is air invisible? What about other gases and fumes which are ...
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2answers
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Can extra-solar gamma rays reach the Earth's surface?

Can gamma rays of high enough energy entering our planet's atmosphere reach the surface (50% probability)? Or, in other words, is there a window for extremely high-energy gamma rays like for the ...
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4answers
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Why can you “suck in” cooked spaghetti?

We all know that there is no "sucking", only pushing. So how are cooked spaghetti pushed into your mouth? The air pressure applies orthogonal on the spaghetti surface. Where does the component ...