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7
votes
3answers
740 views

Energy needed for Superman to take off and fly at the speed of sound

I just watched "Man of Steel", and I'm wondering if my logic is correct. Let's assume Superman is 80 kg. The energy required to take off from the rest to reach the speed of sound in air (if I neglect ...
5
votes
2answers
128 views

Simple estimation of the critical temperature of water

I'm trying to develop fermi estimation skills and I came up with a question for which I don't even know where to start from. Here goes: Is it possible to estimate the critical temperature (say in ...
3
votes
2answers
56 views

Is it possible to calculate the radius of star?

Suppose I know the Luminosity $L$, temperature $T$ and Mass $M$ of star. Assuming the star is very heavy so that we can treat it to be radiation-dominated star. This would imply that pressure inside ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Why do flat sheets of paper twist more than paper cones as they fall?

If I cut a 10cm circle out of a piece of paper and drop it, it will twist as it falls, even if it's rigid. If I then cut out a one-quarter wedge of the circle and tape the remaining three-quarters ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Reduction of Earth's Rotation due to increase in humidity

I came to know that, moon is moving away from earth, resulting reduction of Earth's rotation. Similarly, if Earth's humidity increases, water vapor will be move up to the air from water sources, will ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Could one fire a bullet with sufficient speed to leave the Earth?

Consider a gun or rifle fired directly upwards. My original question was what speed would be required to escape the Earth. The escape velocity from the surface of the Earth is the classic $$v_e = ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Continuity equation and pressure head in a tank

Consider a tank which is full of water. We connect a horozontal pipe at its bottom. When the pipe is open, water starts flowing through the pipe, then the velocity of water is proportional to the ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Tangent and Normal accelerations position estimation

How can I derive a particle position given it's last known positions (x,y), velocities in it's components (vx, vy), tangential and centripetal (normal) accelerations? (this is the only available data) ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

liquid trapped in wet sponge

If you soak a sponge in water, or some other liquid, and then let it hang then some liquid will flow down due to gravity but not all, some amount will remain trapped in the sponge by the capillary ...
-2
votes
1answer
37 views

Calculating time dilation

I'm writing a science fiction story where the protagonist's experience requires long intervals between events. My plan is to put him/her/it on a spaceship between events at an appreciable percentage ...
4
votes
0answers
85 views

Intuitively, why does removing solutes cost $k_B T$ of free energy per molecule?

I can calculate that if you want to, for example, desalinate water, you will have to pay a free energy cost of $k_B T$ for each ion you remove. In other words, removing an ion from a volume of water ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Quantum Efficiency Estimation

Might there be a way to do a rough estimate of the quantum efficiency of a photo-detector like a CCD or CMOS sensor based only on a picture taken with it? I've read papers and guides (like this one: ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Are there any connections between James–Stein estimator and quantum mechanics?

Very nice statement from wiki: When three or more unrelated parameters are measured, their total MSE can be reduced by using a combined estimator such as the James–Stein estimator; whereas when ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Vehicle Driving off Cliff (Thelma and Louise movie)

What is the slowest speed at which a vehicle driven off a cliff can clear the cliff without catching its underside between the wheels? In the usual frictionless vacuum, this would appear to depend on ...
1
vote
0answers
1k views

What is the maximum non-fatal force withstandable by a human being for a short period?

Assuming any (optimal) body orientation/position relative to the direction of force and mechanism of death. I'd be interested in a rough estimate of threshold force and a suggested mechanism of ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Determine the amount of energy used for baking a cake

Let's suppose we have a room of temperature $T_0$ with an oven of volume $V$, both filled with air of density $\rho$ and specific heat $c$. We need to bake a cake in the temperature $T_1$. Thus we ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Thermistor calibration - estimation of number of reference temperature points needed

A thermistor changes resistance with the temperature in a non-linear way and follows the exponential Arrhenius equation. Two reference points, ice slush water and boiling water, are used for ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Orbital elevators and the Coriolis effect

Consider an orbital elevator simply modelled as a large mass in geostationary orbit (altitude approx 36,000km) around the Earth, connected to a point on the equator via a strong, light, likely ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

Algorithm for calculating lunar crescent visibility

Is there a simple algorithm for predicting lunar crescent visibility. Simple enough to do with a calculator at least. Those offered in Meeus' Astronomical Algorithms are a bit too involving to do by ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Can the half-life of rubidium 87 be theoretically estimated?

Can the Fermi golden rule be applied to give an approximation of this half-life?
0
votes
0answers
82 views

How much energy does it take to simply run forward?

I'm interested in tracking as much data about my runs as I can in an effort to get faster, and while I can easily estimate energy expenditure during an uphill run due to the change in elevation, I ...