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

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Thermodynamics and ice cream

The outdoor temperature is about -30 -40 degree but it does not prevent me to eat ice cream. But I don't know what is the ice cream in thermodynamic point of view. It is not liquid.It is not solid. ...
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2answers
129 views

Why is concrete dry around cracks?

On a warm and partly cloudy day this summer, I was sitting in my office and suddenly heard rain on the roof. I went outside to shut my car windows. By the time I did that and was walking back into ...
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80 views

Why (and how) do foods stick to a pan?

We all (sooner or later) have noticed that foods relatively high in protein (especially those low in fat) are very prone to sticking to a pan, or in general to any non-specially-coated metal surface. ...
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17 views

Loud, low-frequency “booming” sound in car [duplicate]

I drive a Scion XD, and I've noticed that whenever I drive at about 40mi/hr or so with just the back windows rolled down, I get a loud "booming" effect at roughly 10Hz. What causes this? I assume it ...
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0answers
39 views

Why Do Clouds Precipitate Rather than Fall From the Sky?

After spending some time watching clouds, it occurred to me how interesting it is that clouds have more structure than just being homogenous, really humid layers in the sky. I see that a similar ...
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2answers
37 views

Does a rotating DC motor near a TV affects the signals coming in the TV?

In my TV cable the signals were quite noisy so i cut the wire and hanged both the wire parallel to each other. Then the signals became very clear and everything was going alright. Once I was ...
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1answer
53 views

Why does the water rise upwards when the bottle fall down with accleretion $>>g$?

When a medium-sized bottle filled with water quarterly falls from a height with acceleration $g$, the water remains calm. But when it falls with acceleration $>>g$, the water abruptly rises up ...
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1answer
43 views

Why can someone in a noisy room not hear others outside, yet they can hear him clearly?

If I'm in a noisy room (radio on, babies splashing in bath, etc.) I struggle to hear someone shouting to me from outside the room. Yet to them, my voice comes through quite clearly. What causes this ...
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1answer
69 views

Why are we using water pipe instead of air pipe to warm our houses? [closed]

In France, most of the houses are using water pipes. I wonder why this choice was originally done.
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1answer
61 views

Why does air feel cooler when blown through a small hole and warm through a big one? (for example from a mouth) [duplicate]

I hope the question is clear enough and I'm sure that you can try this thing quite easily yourself. When I blow air from my mouth to my palm through a small opening, I feel cool in my palm, but its ...
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3answers
3k views

Emptying a bottle faster by swirl

A moment ago, I was emptying bottles filled with water (2 liters) that are on the terrace of my house. As I did so I remembered something I saw on TV a some time ago (I don't remember when or where or ...
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3answers
147 views

When passed, why does my car 'rock' on the highway when I'm stopped, but not when I'm moving?

I am the blue car in this scenario. If I am stopped on the highway and am passed by a car going fast (about 65 mph), I feel my car rock in the left/right direction. I think I understand why this ...
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1answer
106 views

How does a bowl of hot water move by itself?

I think everyone should have seen a bowl of hot water moving by itself on a flat surface such as glass(seems like it is moving by itself but maybe there are some external force applied to it when it ...
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1answer
241 views

Why do the ends of tubelight blink for a considerable time even after the switch is off?

When I switch off the tube-lights , their ends blink for a considerable time. I thought as they were old, there might be some problem. But to my utter surprise, when a new tubelight was switched off, ...
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1answer
65 views

Why do some objects tend to change their axis of rotation while rotating?

This question struck me a few minutes back, I was at a table with a pear. It was more narrow than round.I proceeded to rotate this pear in one swift movement. It rotated for a few seconds, and ...
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1answer
83 views

Why does penne pasta go into rigatoni during cooking?

I was boiling penne and rigatoni pasta in the same pot (both are hollow cylindrical pasta of approximately the same length, but rigatoni has a noticeably larger diameter) and almost all of the penne ...
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3answers
65 views

Why is signal bad in a tunnel?

Consider this: you are driving through a tunnel listening to your AM radio and a GPS, all of the sudden AM radio has nothing but statics and your GPS says "reconnecting - please hold". You say to ...
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3answers
56 views

Would using a fan cause an air conditioning system to think it's cold?

Recently my office manager said this, after I requested a desk fan: ...using a fan causes a draught, which then leads the air conditioning to believe it’s cooler than it is and it then blows out ...
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2answers
51 views

How come milk pours smoothly from a bag?

I have seen the commercial about the new beer can where it is vented by puncturing a whole on the can (air behind water). If you just pour normally with normal cans it will get bottle necked and the ...
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1answer
46 views

Why do my hairs get stuck to my cathode-ray TV screen after it is switched off?

My dad's old TV! When I switch it off after watching and get my hands closer, my hands' hairs get attached to the screen. And they stick for sometimes! Now, I know how a cathode ray oscilloscope ...
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1answer
3k views

Why are dishwasher washed glasses “squeaky clean”?

They seem to have increased friction after going through a dishwasher. The unpleasant (to me) squeaky feel is probably slip-stick friction exciting resonance in the glassware. But why? What has ...
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2answers
103 views

Why does a cooling car engine crackle?

Why does a cooling car engine crackle? What determines the frequency of the crackles?
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6answers
8k views

Can a car steer on a frictionless surface?

Do the front tires of a car act like gyroscopes, such that a car could steer on a frictionless surface?
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55 views

Why does hot food give off vapor?

Does your food melt and then boil to give off this gas? What is the vapor here?.
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1answer
46 views

Why do car wheels seem to roll backwards [duplicate]

For many years i have been wondering about this. When a car stars moving the wheels seem to work normally but as the car speeds up, the wheels seem to roll backwards. Of course that does not happen in ...
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2answers
269 views

Hourglass on the Moon

Someone asked me this, and I was surprised to find I couldn't answer it: suppose I have an hourglass / egg timer that times two minutes in Earth's gravity. If I used it on the Moon, how long would it ...
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Is there any advantage to using simple syrup over just dissolving sugar and waiting a minute?

When making coffee, I want to sweeten it with sugar. Many coffee shops offer simple syrup which is essentially just a solution of water saturated with sugar. Obviously, this has the advantage that ...
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3answers
745 views

How do blankets keep you warm?

I heard a famous physicist (was it Feynman?) argue that blankets do not keep you warm by trapping heat but by trapping air next to the body. Is this true?
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2answers
93 views

What's Optimal About Six Legs According to Physical Laws? [closed]

In many respects the insects can be regarded as the most successful class of animals in evolutionary terms. And one of the most common features of insects is that they (mostly) all have six legs. Not ...
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3answers
51 views

Why is the required tire pressure inversely proportional to the volume/size of the tire?

I once noticed a tire pressure table on a farm recommended a tire pressure of around 1.0 bar (I don't remember the exact number, but it was definitely below 1.9) for the rear tire of farm tractors. ...
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0answers
16 views

How does the Triboelectric effect work? [duplicate]

The general description for the Triboelectric effect (the main cause of static electricity in everyday life) is that when two certain materials come into contact, electrons are transferred between ...
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4answers
218 views

Why Does Angular Velocity Increase as Radius Decrease?

Suppose a child were to ask you why a tetherball (picture below) seems to speed up as it wraps around the pole. How would you explain this to them? Certainly you wouldn't say something like, "Angular ...
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5answers
485 views

Dying question: Tractor wheels — large vs small

This question has stumped me for over a month now: Why is it that a tractor has large wheels at the back and small wheels in the front? Current ideas: small wheel in front --> lower center of ...
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1answer
93 views

Why does water appear still near the shore

Often when there's a light wind I notice this behaviour on lakes that there appears to be a very distinct line between the water with waves and the calm water. I don't know how well it comes through ...
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1answer
57 views

Why is a bow always arch-shaped and not of other shape?

Everytime I see a bow , one thing is greatly noticable- its arch shape. I have never seen bow other than this shape. But what is the cause for taking this shape for the bow? What is the physics behind ...
11
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1answer
80 views

Why does my jam often “fall up”?

I often get my jam out of the refrigerator, and it looks like this: That is, all the jam has gone to the top, looking as if the jar has been sitting upside down. However, this happens fairly ...
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1answer
20 views

Can physicist estimate is it safe to walk/drive on ice? [closed]

I'm curious about the following: Suppose that I know the the weather forecasts of a given place. How can I compute from that data whether or not it is secure to walk or drive by a car to an island.
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2answers
99 views

Kitchen floor dries faster with lights on?

My mother used to leave the lights on in the kitchen after washing the floor, saying that it would dry faster. Does this really happen, or is it just a superstition? If true, how substantial is the ...
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2answers
900 views

How does varying temperature affect the accuracy of grandma's pendulum clock?

I have an antique pendulum clock(my granny's!) . If I detail it, This clock is approximately 5 feet tall and enclosed by wood and below it its glorious pendulum oscillates . It gave more or less ...
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5answers
4k views

Why are a motorcycle's front brakes more effective than back?

I've noticed that when I apply the front brakes on my bike it stops quite quickly. If I apply the back brakes at the same speed, it skids rather than stopping quickly. Why?
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1answer
100 views

Why is shifter necessary in cars? [closed]

Electric cars do not have shifter, while gasoline cars do (manual or automatic, it doesn't matter). Why?
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26 views

Most efficient way to cool a two story house with two fans?

Suppose I have two fans in my two story house, one in an upstairs window and another in a downstairs window. I want to cool my whole house; it is cooler outside than inside. Is it more efficient for ...
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0answers
25 views

How different sizes of water bubbles behaves in space

I watched a YouTube video of Chris Hadfield talking about different preventive measure for spills in space station. He is using water to demonstrate spills in space station. At 0.24sec the initially ...
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1answer
70 views

Can one calculate the distance from Earth to the camera, given a single picture?

Given an image of (part of) a sphere of known size, can one calculate the distance to the camera based on the relative size of the sphere in the image? My instinct is "no" unless you have some fixed ...
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1answer
323 views

what kind of wings would a person need to fly?

I heard from a teacher in school that in order to fly, he would need a wingspan much wider than the wood shop where he was standing. Thinking back on it, I assume the number of times you can beat your ...
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2answers
81 views

What make us fall when we move on ice? [duplicate]

This is a common phenomenon and most of the people have encountered this while moving on ice:falling down! Why does this occur? According to me, it is due to lack of static friction. But why will it ...
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2answers
128 views

Why can't we reach the ends of rainbow?

Rainbows are spectacular things. But I imagine why we can't reach to the ends of rainbows. Do rainbows have no ends ? If so, why can't we reach at them? If you go closer,they will go further. Why?
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40 views

Magnetic field of magnetic screwdriver?

I wanted to know what is the typical strength of the magnetic field generated by the tip of a magnetic screwdriver, but couldn't find it anywhere on the manufacturers' webpages. So I was wondering, ...
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2answers
205 views

Why do corn flakes clump together in milk when stirred? [duplicate]

The Cheerios Effect is the name the scientific community has given to this phenomenon. When cornflakes or oats are mixed with milk and stirred, they tend to clump together. Why does this happen? Can ...
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3answers
4k views

Why do the big nuts always remain at top? The Brazil-nut Effect

Most of the time I mixed different nuts in a bowl, I observed that the big Brazil nuts were always at top while the small peanuts settled near the base. No matter how you take it, if the big nuts are ...