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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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 ...
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6answers
4k 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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Is it possible to “cook” pasta at room temperature with low enough pressure?

It is known fact, that boiling point of water decreases by decreasing of pressure. So there is a pressure at which water boils at room temperature. Would it be possible to cook e.g. pasta at room ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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If aerographite is lighter than air, why doesn't it float?

Air is 6 times denser than aerographite but looking at pictures or videos presenting the material, I see it resting on tables rather than raising to the ceiling. Also, since the material is made of ...
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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
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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 ...
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4answers
969 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 ...
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5answers
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Why isn't jumping from a high altitude fatal?

After seeing this answer claiming that displacing matter "In a very short time", "no matter whether the matter is solid, liquid, or gas" (even though he concludes that falling from a high altitude is ...
11
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2answers
612 views

What is the terminal velocity for a mobile phone

You may have seen the story of the iPhone which was dropped from perhaps 13,500 feet by a skydiver - it survived. This made me wonder how to work out the terminal velocity for something like that. ...
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6answers
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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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4answers
480 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 ...
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5answers
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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?
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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, ...
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5answers
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Does it take significantly more fuel to fly a heavier airplane?

I was reading in the papers how some-airline-or-the-other increased their prices for extra luggage, citing increased fuel costs. Now I'm a bit skeptical. Using the (wrong) Bernoulli-effect ...
7
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4answers
599 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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3answers
112 views

Reason for strange “canyons” of dust on the cooling platform

I took apart my cooling platform Something like this : And I found something like this inside : I wonder why around the hollows are the "canyon like" structures. PS: I also drop this platform ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
446 views

How to calculate air velocity in a fan?

How to calculate air velocity in a fan and what data should I know ? So if I have a fan motor, fan blade and a battery, what data should I get from these items ? I think I will need to know the ...
5
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3answers
9k 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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5answers
1k 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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3answers
297 views

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
169 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 ...
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3answers
365 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 ...
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1answer
175 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 ...
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3answers
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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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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?
5
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1answer
843 views

Paper plane between two fans - is this possible?

The setup: two fans facing each other, distance around 1m. Both are turned on. In between them, place a simple paper plane and according to this video, it will fly. ...
5
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1answer
458 views

What is the roaring in a roaring fire?

I was just starting a barbecue fire by blowing on the smouldering coals when I realised I had no idea what the sound was actually caused by. I can make the sound by blowing at almost any flame I can ...
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0answers
369 views

Why is it hard to breathe when cycling against the wind?

Sometimes when I bicycle against hard wind, I find it difficult to breathe. Others I have discussed it with have also noticed this effect. A possible related phenomenon that I heard from an ...
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3answers
522 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
4
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3answers
295 views

atmospheric phenomenon? What causes condensation trails to converge?

This air plane just caught my eye. Two contrails apparently are flowing backward, slightly off-centered and then ultimately converge, giving the overall shape of a very narrow rhomboid parallelogram, ...
4
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5answers
839 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
718 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 ...
4
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1answer
7k views

Why do balloons deflate?

Title says it all. Every balloon that I have got, from parties, etc, all slowly deflated for no reason at all. Why is that?
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2answers
132 views

The visibility of air

For pilots of gliders or sailplanes, the 'thermal' is the most important phenomena of the air. A thermal is classically described as an upward flow of air caused by ground level heating of air that ...
4
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1answer
147 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
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Can facial surgical mask effectively filter particles of smoke pollution?

Singapore is having an episode of its regular hazy season because of smoke from forest fires. Some people have been using surgical masks like the the one shown at the bottom of this post, presumably ...
4
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1answer
252 views

Why do wind power plants have just 3 blades? [duplicate]

Why do wind power plants have just 3 blades? It seems that adding more blades would increase the area that interacts with the wind and gather more energy. (Image from Wikipedia.)
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2answers
332 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 ...
4
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1answer
223 views

Does a fly get brought up to speed with a bus?

Consider a scenario where a bus is moving at a constant speed and a fly enters through a window,the fly is also flying at a constant speed. Since the bus is not in contact with the fly and neither is ...
4
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1answer
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What does the wind speed have to be to blow away a person?

With the approaching hurricane, I am curious about what would happen if I go outside, in particular whether the wind gusts might be fast enough to blow me away. How fast would the wind have to be to ...
4
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1answer
433 views

wind vs air resistance

I'm wondering which offers more resistance: pulling an object at some speed through air, or holding the object steady against wind at the same speed. I think initially people would think same ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Why would colder air disperse condensation on a car windshield?

The outside temperature was somewhere between the hot and cold that blows on the inside through the car's vents. I know the condensate is on my side because I can reach forward and write on it with my ...
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2answers
608 views

Physics behind the flow of gas coming out of a balloon

I'm working with stratospheric balloons (latex ones) and I want to put a valve on it so it can float for a longer time. I'm trying to define which valve I should use, which demands I estimate the flow ...
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1answer
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Can i use coils with compressed air to make a superconductor?

What im saying is inside pipes i am going to use compressing so that that in the places with low pressure they cool the superconducotor. is this possible? Can i use this concept to make ...