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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10
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1answer
483 views

A flying fly inside a sealed box on a scale

suppose there is a scale able to measure weight with an uncertainty of $10^{-9}kg$ . On the scale, an airtight plastic chamber is placed. Initially, a fly of mass $10^{-5}kg$ is sitting at the bottom ...
81
votes
11answers
12k views

Why is filling a balloon from your mouth much harder initially?

Why is it that when you first fill up a balloon, it's hard to get air through, but after inflating it a bit, it becomes much easier to further inflate the balloon?
20
votes
4answers
24k views

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 ...
15
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
11k views

Why is the pressure inside a soap bubble higher than outside?

Apparently, the air inside a soap bubble is under higher pressure than the surrounding air. This is for instance apparent in the sound bubbles make when they burst. Why is the pressure inside the ...
3
votes
2answers
880 views

Beryllium Vacuum Sphere Boat/Aircraft

Is it possible to make a solid rigid evacuated "balloon" out of Beryllium or other elements or alloys? The critical buckling pressure at which an evacuated sphere is given as $$ ...
37
votes
9answers
12k views

Why can't we see gases?

I am not sure what causes gas molecules to be invisible.This question may look silly but I really want to know the story behind it.
42
votes
6answers
4k views

How much air needs to be displaced to generate an audible sound?

I'm reading a book where in one scene a wizard/alchemist teleports a scroll after reading. He folded the parchment carefully and muttered a single cantrip. The note vanished with a small plop of ...
34
votes
6answers
30k views

Why is jumping into water from high altitude fatal?

If I jump from an airplane straight positioned upright into the ocean, why is it the same as jumping straight on the ground? Water is a liquid as opposed to the ground, so I would expect that by ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How can sound waves propagate through air?

We know that the sound waves propagate through air, and it can't travel through vacuum. so the thing that help it doing that is the air's molecules pressure. So my question how can that happens? I ...
15
votes
4answers
33k views

On a hot day, when it's cooler outside than in; is it better to put a fan in an open window pointing inwards or outwards?

If it's really hot inside, but cooler outside; what is the best way to place a single fan to try and cool a room down? I always assumed it would be better pointing inwards (and this thread suggests ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How did Enrico Fermi calculate the classical Fermi Problem?

From Wikipedia: Fermi was known for his ability to make good approximate calculations with little or no actual data, hence the name. One example is his estimate of the strength of the atomic bomb ...
6
votes
3answers
22k views

Can pockets of air exist underwater?

If yes, why don't they fill up with water, and can you breathe the air there? Like, it's not exactly atmosphere there, but an underwater cave with higher ceiling. P.S. Possible that it has a ...
4
votes
2answers
609 views

Sum total distance of electrons on a spherical surface

What is the sum total distance between every possible pair of point charges when there are n point charges on a spherical surface? All point charges can only and are located on the infinitesimal ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is exhaling more forceful than inhaling?

By blowing at pencil, a piece of paper, or another object up to fifty centimeters away, I can cause it to move away from me significantly. But I can't move an object toward myself by inhaling sharply ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Why the breath sometimes warm and sometimes cold? (2 different explanations!)

If you blow air against your hand with your mouth open, you feel warm breath. If you do with with your lips closed except for a small opening, you feel cold breath. One explanation from here says ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

how does air pressure affect the speed of sound

How does air pressure affect the speed of sound in relation to its kinetic theory etc? I have tried searching this but i have not found a suitable answer as other websites simply related to air ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to relate speed of sound with relative humidity?

I am exploring the idea of measuring the humidity of a space using sound waves, however I am having trouble finding a mathematical relationship between the speed of sound and the humidity level. ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How could electromagnetic waves propagate through space although they have no electrons?

How could electric fields in these waves propagate through space although in space there's no electrons for the electric field to be formed? is there another type of charged particles that carry the ...
2
votes
2answers
519 views

Fluid Dynamics - Water Bottle Drink Mix: Air or No Air?

If you take an ordinary sized plastic water bottle full of water and pour a packet of powdered (or liquid) drink mix into it, Will shaking the bottle with the cap screwed on to dissolve the mix into ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Force felt by parachutist when opening the parachute [closed]

When falling down with air resistance, y-axis vertical (positive is up), x-axis is horizontal, we have that: $F_y=-mg-kv=ma_y$, where $k$ is the drag coefficient. Now if the man opens the parachute, ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

Free Fall with Air Resistance

Can somebody help me understanding why when free falling the force on the vertical axis is F= -mg-kv, where k is the constant of air resistance and v the velocity? Suppose the vertical axis is ...
1
vote
1answer
335 views

/HVAC/ Air speed and influence on human body

I was wondering about three things: Wind chill effect. Human body perceives surrounding temperature as colder, with increasing air flow (chart). This is understandable, as thermal transfer "consists" ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Maxiumum weight a buoy can float [closed]

I have a buoy that can hold 2943.02 cubic millimeters of non-pressurized air, I need and equation to work out the maximum weight that the buoy can float.
0
votes
2answers
426 views

Weighing a flying bird [duplicate]

Let thing of a bird standing still in a box on top of a weighing machine that shows a mass $m_0$. Now, imagine that the bird is flying, still in the same box and the same weighing machine shows a mass ...
64
votes
2answers
8k views

Why do chimneys have these spiral “wings”?

While walking around I noticed something very peculiar. Many chimneys had spiral "wings", while others didn't. I came up with two possibilities: The wind circles around the chimney upwards which ...
30
votes
5answers
4k views

Why don't things get destroyed by gas molecules flying around?

Gas molecules go at an insane velocity, and though they are miniscule, yet there is a LOT of them. Of course, because of all these molecules hurtling around, there is air pressure; yet if you envision ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does blowing on a candle put it out but sucking doesn't?

Alternatively, why does the force created by blowing out air feel so much stronger than the force created by sucking in air? Ok, so forget the human factor involved in blowing out candles. Consider a ...
21
votes
4answers
8k views

If air cannot conduct electricity, how can lightning happen?

If air cannot conduct electricity, how can lightning happen?
12
votes
5answers
11k views

Why does my door shut faster when the window is open?

I've noticed that if I shut my door when the window is open in a room, the door will tend to shut faster. If I shut the door when the window is closed with a normal force it will not fully close as if ...
27
votes
5answers
13k views

Why do heavier objects fall faster in air?

We all know that in an idealised world all objects accelerate at the same rate when dropped regardless of their mass. We also know that in reality (or more accurately, in air) a lead feather falls ...
27
votes
6answers
16k views

Why does a tire need to be filled with air?

The Mini 4WD's tires aren't full of air, and it can run. Also, the tank doesn't have tires with air. So, the question is: why do real cars on the road need to be filled with air? What is the idea ...
16
votes
2answers
8k views

Is there an upper frequency limit to ultrasound?

Wikipedia has this diagram of the acoustic frequency spectrum: Is there an upper limit to the frequencies you can transmit through the air? Are they absorbed more and more at higher frequencies, ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it possible to make laser beams visible midair without smoke?

My question is: Is it possible to make laser beams viable midair without smoke? I thought it would be a great idea to have a (second) smartphone or pc screen without having a solid screen. The reason ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do bubbles make a sound?

I have an understanding of how bubbles work. They encapsulate air (or other fluids) in a membrane caused by surface tension. When they pop, there is often a sound. Sound is a type of energy, kinetic ...
0
votes
2answers
15k views

Why do particles in high pressure air always flow to lower pressure?

The title really says it all: Why is this case? A "Feynman type" answer would be really appreciated as I'm more of a layman that a physicist.
9
votes
5answers
18k views

If I take a bottle of air into space, and open it, where does it go?

It seems to me that space doesn't have any/much air, and if my bottle is full of air, when I open it, where does the air go?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

The physics behind Balloons lifting objects?

Apologies for the super basic question, but we all have to start somewhere right? Can somebody please explain exactly how you would calculate the number of helium balloons it would take to lift an ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

How air humidity affects how much time is needed for heating the air?

In cold weathers it is suggested to put a humidifier since the air gets too dry. I wonder how the humidity affects how much time is needed to get the air at a temperature of 20 Celsius degrees? I mean ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does air remain a mixture?

As we all know, air consists of many gases including oxygen and carbon dioxide. I found that carbon dioxide is heavier than O2. Does the volume difference neglect the mass difference? Is it same for ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How fast would an object have to move to create a vacuum behind it?

When an object moves, I assume that the air above it, instead of remaining at the same general height, is pulled downward as it is passed in order to fill the low-pressure area behind the object where ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Dyson Air Blade as a propulsion system?

I've read from many sources that Dyson Air Multipliers are more efficient and quieter than normal fans. Now, with the proof of concept, is it possible to use its principles as a propulsion system for, ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference in vertical stratification of partial pressure due to gravity

Say you have a mixture of two ideal gases in the presence of gravity. There is a vertical pressure gradient on the mixture due to the force balance. This condition is required to prevent the entire ...
1
vote
1answer
538 views

Different density objects falling on Earth's atmosphere?

So I finally understood why 2 objects with different masses, free falling from the same distance reach Earth's surface at the same time (due to the objects Inertia). Now when the objects fall in the ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Drying clothes with the sun's heat, without any air

Will my wet clothes dry if I hang them under the sun, and if there is no air around the clothes? In other words, do I need both air and heat to dry wet clothes, or is heat alone (in the imagined ...
6
votes
6answers
4k 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.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How can you calculate air resistances at different speeds?

I've read that at 50mph air resistance to an average car is the equivalent of driving through water and at 80mph it's the equivalent of driving through oil. I can't find any references online to ...
5
votes
3answers
834 views

A book sits on a table. What is the net force of air pressure?

An elementary problem asks, A book is at rest on a table top. In what direction is the net force of air pressure on the book? Is this a meaningful question, and if so, what's the answer? If ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

Direction of rotation of a celing fan

From Constellation Energy Quick energy efficiency tip: To stay cool and manage your energy at the same time, use ceiling fans to create a “wind chill” in rooms you are using. The wind chill ...