Concerns the application of the laws of physics to analyze common situations encountered in everyday life.

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9
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3answers
1k views

The best way in which a man can pull a train

I have chosen this example as a paradoxical limit, but my question really regards the outcome of force when you try to pull a weight: how can you optimize your effort/energies spent? In order to pull ...
1
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0answers
16 views

Why does cling film (Saran Wrap) cling better to surfaces which are wet or damp than dry?

The product we know in Canada as Saran Wrap is a clear plastic film (no idea of the chemical formulation, believe it to be polyethelene). Among its uses are to cover a dish or bowl. If the hard ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Does this person get electrified?

Does a person get electrified when his feet are on the floor, his right hand is holding $220~V$ and his left hand holding a piece of wood or any other insulator?
28
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1answer
905 views

Why do stickers curl?

When peeling a sticker off its base, the immediate reaction is that it curls; why is this? I am having trouble finding an answer to this. Could it be that the glued side expands upon contact with the ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Why do I always hear remote train horn at night?

This is definitely not an illusion, as many people have the same experience. I have usually lived in places miles away from train stations, which makes it unlikely to hear any train horns during the ...
0
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2answers
35 views

Solar stills with Wine [on hold]

Is it possible to obtain more concentrated alcohol by using wine in a solar still instead of seawater? If yes, as I suspected, how does the concentration (of alcohol) of the distillate vary with ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Why is it so hard to mix spaghetti with meatballs?

When I cook spaghetti with a sauce that includes meatballs or chopped vegetables, those stay in chunks and won't get uniformly mixed in the pasta. Is there a simple reason for that? Has it been ...
0
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5answers
156 views

Who does work while walking?

While walking the work done by friction is zero. But who does the work, actually? How someone is getting displaced? This situation also arises when someone climbs without slipping or is climbing a ...
21
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7answers
3k views

Does car tire pressure change with weight of car load?

Does tire pressure measured by a meter on tire gauge change with load? (I am not interested in pressure produced by car tires onto the road). Car spec usually says "inflate to 220kPa normal load, ...
6
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2answers
489 views

Which force is responsible for victory in tug of war?

I'm confused: In a tug of war game on rough ground who will win? The one who applies greater force on the rope or the one who applies greater force on ground?
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1answer
73 views

Why there is a time gap between the news presenter and the field reporter?

This one has been in my mind for years, but I simply can not find any reason for this event. The Situation Imagine yourself sitting in the living room while watching television. It's 9 p.m and the ...
2
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0answers
58 views

Researching an automobile accident.Wondering if someone can help me as I never studied physics

I am trying do some independent research on a recent auto collision where the information released doesn't seem plausible based on the pictures that I have seen of the accidents aftermath. A ...
3
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1answer
56 views

How come these 3d glasses don't show a difference between horizontal and vertical?

I thought that modern 3d glasses work by having one lens filter horizontally polarized light, and the other filter vertically polarized light. However, I found this pair of 3d glasses at my parents' ...
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0answers
41 views

Is there an efficiency-optimizing layout of items in a refrigerator? [closed]

Is there some optimal layout of items, or types of items (characterized by size, shape, density, solid/liquid, etc) that will allow a common household refrigerator to function with optimal energy ...
4
votes
2answers
69 views

Why slightly closing your eyes let you see the rainbow colors?

So I was sitting and looked at a street lamp outside my house. It is an ordinary lamp that looks something like that: This lamp emits white light and it is about 20 meters from my house. It was ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Why does the majority of smoke leave when flames appear?

When I burn wood, paper, or other plant matter, where there is a flame, there generally isn't too much smoke, but it I blow the fire out, smoke starts billowing up. It billows thicker and thicker as ...
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0answers
16 views

How do we get a wave pulse and wave packet/train?

Ok, If a disturbance is localized to a small part of the space for a certain time we get a wave pulse and if the source is active for time greater than to complete a single pulse we get a wave ...
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0answers
57 views

Milk-First School

I have always been struck by the huge amount of different arguments about the issue: When you make a cup of tea, the milk should be poured first or added to the cup after the tea? Wikipedia, ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Why do we observe opposite motion of trees (nearer) and trees (distant) when seen from a moving frame? [duplicate]

If you are in a moving train or in a bus, what you observe is that the trees which are nearer to you move opposite to the direction of your motion. But the trees which are very far away from you, ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

Will my car consume more if I plug in my laptop?

I drive a Volvo v40 with a 110hp diesel engine. It usually use 4.6L/100km. If I plug my laptop which is 85W, will this change the fuel need? If so, by how much?
8
votes
2answers
114 views

Why does the sky suddenly look gray through this window?

I am looking to the windowed roof of my building, and I notice that the sky, which has few white clouds, sometimes looks completely gray, as if there was a huge cover of gray clouds, but there are ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

How fast can fire spread?

You can build a home-made flamethrower by using a spray and a lighter: (from this YouTube video) But this can be dangerous if the fire gets in the can and the can explodes. So I guess the speed at ...
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vote
0answers
38 views

How do whitening toothbrushes work?

Certain "whitening" toothbrushes are sold and I was wondering about the mechanisms behind the tooth whitening process. I suspect this is related to the shape and arrangement of the fibres, probably ...
5
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3answers
208 views

Is it faster underwater to go down without air or up with air?

So I had a very interesting conversation between me and my friends about this topic, but we could not find the answer. The Situation Lets say you are in a pool and you want to touch the bottom and ...
4
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1answer
55 views

Why do some pressure cookers initially leak

Why do some pressure cookers initially leak steam from the sides and after a while settle down and don't leak? Is it a positive feedback mechanism from the building steam which makes the sealing ...
0
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2answers
42 views

Would incense burn at a different rate if oriented differently?

This is motivated by this question in the Puzzling.SE beta about measuring 90 minutes of time using two candles that burn for one hour. (Feel free to read up on that before I spoil the puzzle!) The ...
23
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3answers
4k views

Is this really a golden ratio spiral?

In this blog post, I found this picture: Does the water really form golden ratio spiral in such cases? Or is the photo just a provocative example, without physics grounds for claims about ...
5
votes
2answers
313 views

How would an X-ray mirror work?

I was wondering if light can be reflected how can someone reflect X-ray of what material does it need to be made of and is its design completely different to that of our original mirrors? Does this ...
5
votes
2answers
329 views

Why do plastic bags make less noise when immersed in water and crushed?

When a plastic bag is crushed in air it makes noise. But when immersed in water and then crushed we hear very little noise. Why is it so? Even if I go inside water, I do not hear the noise the same ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

Why do I hear the telephone ring through grandpa’s hearing aid before the actual phone rings?

I was sitting next to my grandpa (Tato), who wears a hearing aid, on the couch. I’ve noticed that when the landline telephone rings I actually hear the phone ring through his hearing aid (less than ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Why does smashing a TV remote load its batteries?

Many times I had the same problem: my TV remote's batteries were too weak for it to operate, but then, when I shook the remote a bit and smashed it on my palm, somehow the remote regained its ability. ...
4
votes
2answers
59 views

Sea surfer position displacement

Waves are means by which the energy propagates through a medium (e.g., sea water). This is not associated with a net movement of water in the direction of wave propagation. If this is the case, then ...
15
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4answers
2k 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Car headlights glass - why such uneven shape/texture?

Why does the glass on my car's headlights have such a strange shape/texture? Are there physics-based explanations or insights for these features? Wouldn't it be better if it was just transparent and ...
7
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2answers
88 views

Practical (maybe naive) question on boiling water

I put a glass bottle in a big pot, bottleneck up, I fill both pot and bottle with very hot water. The bottle is submerged except a few cm of the bottleneck and filled to the brim so some water ...
17
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3answers
4k views

How would an X-ray scanner identify a mirror?

A mirror is under normal circumstance used to reflect Electromagnetic radiation also known as photons (light) and in airport security or medical facilities, they use X-rays to detect anomalies inside ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Why does a minor vertical vibration cause my coffee to spill?

When I walk my kid sometimes I put a cut of coffee in a cupholder attached to the stroller. When I push the stroller over a brick pavement it seems to vibrate vertically. That is enough for the coffee ...
21
votes
3answers
781 views

Physics of weird “boing” sound in racquetball courts?

While playing racquetball, I frequently hear a very prominent "boing" sound (or more formally, a chirp). For example, you can hear it in this video when the ball hits the front wall. Does anyone know ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

Not-so-hot black shirt

As it is getting warmer here by the minute I was asking myself: Are there materials, that are black (in th visible range) but reflect (most) invisible light? Furthermore, I asked myself what ...
3
votes
4answers
313 views

Do objects gain and lose heat at the same rate?

For example, if I take an item out of the refrigerator, set it on the counter for a period of time, allow it to warm up a bit (but not so long that it reaches room temperature and stabilizes), and ...
11
votes
3answers
521 views

what is this force that is able to surpass an entire planet's force on it?

I have a wet teabag in an empty cup. If I will hold the teabag and touch the wall of cup with it, it will stick to the cup, like there would be glue or some magnetic field, but there's just water. ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Does a cooler, submerged in water, keep beer colder, longer?

Looking around the web, I see some submerged bucket-like things, without insulation, and some floating coolers, where the actual cooler is not submerged. Given that your water temperature is lower ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Why isn't the sunset/sunrise rainbow-colored

When the sun is rising/setting, it goes through a phase where the light is bending from the atmosphere. I believe this image will explain much better than I ever could. Now, if light goes through ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Add weight in front or behind the moving wheel?

Consider a wheel with bearing and axle bar rolling on level ground. If I want to help the wheel continue moving longer(or faster speed), should I add weight by moving the rider body in front or ...
0
votes
2answers
116 views

Day/night cycle in Greenland

I have heard that in Greenland there is day for 6 months and night for 6 months. Is this true? If so, how does it happen?
4
votes
1answer
696 views

The effect of A/C and global warming

I had been thinking about the way an air conditioning system moves heat from one place to another. The unit runs and drops the temp. in the building and raises the temp. outside. Also there is ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Are these guard rails truly strong enough?

I'm lay about physics, but I'd like to learn about it behind this question. A friend criticises and claims that the single strip of traffic barriers (as shown below) would fail and is useless. For ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Does distance traveled by a vehicle after its engine has been switched off depend on its mass at all?

A vehicle moving with some velocity on a rough horizontal road finally comes to rest after its engine has been turned off. Intuitively, it seems a vehicle with greater mass would stop first because it ...
2
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0answers
64 views

Are the elements of physics different on the upper deck, of a double-decker bus, than those on the lower deck? [closed]

In this question, I hypothesise an event that affects the entire bus; I'm not asking about menace unique to upper floor passengers, such as an overly high upper floor or hanging objects (because this ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Why do i see bright red hand when i place flashlight behind my hand?

When I place a working flashlight behind my hand, I see my hand bright red because of the light. So my question is, why do I only see red light after transmission even if incoming light from the ...