Tagged Questions

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

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8
votes
2answers
785 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k 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?
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Why is shifter necessary in cars? [on hold]

Electric cars do not have shifter, while gasoline cars do (manual or automatic, it doesn't matter). Why?
0
votes
1answer
13 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
17 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

keyboard very strange behaviour [on hold]

I have a USB keyboard which has a somewhat faulty wire. On shaking the wire, the USB keyboard sometimes gets disconnected or sometimes gets connected. This is normal. But I have another very strange ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Charging appliances with chargers of different amperage (safety & duration) [on hold]

Safety Will the battery or charger be damaged if I use a $1A$ charger to charge a $2.1A$ appliance? Will the battery or charger be damaged if I use a $2.1A$ charger to charge a $1A$ appliance? ...
1
vote
1answer
56 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
76 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?
0
votes
0answers
34 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
187 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 ...
40
votes
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does a dish cloth absorb liquid better when it is damp?

Take a really dry dish cloth and try to wipe up some liquid you spilled on the kitchen counter. I will take up only so much of the liquid. Then try it with a damp cloth (or a wring out a wet one). It ...
5
votes
3answers
514 views

Benefits of rear spoiler in cars

What would be the benefits of rear spoilers in cars, like this one:
1
vote
1answer
26 views

How big are soluted salts in drinking water?

I have just seen the TED talk Michael Pritchard: How to make filthy water drinkable where a device called LifeSaver bottle that filters particles that are bigger than 15nm out of water. I have heard ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

Glass tends to be cold?

In winter, our glass window serves as a separator of coldness outside and warmth inside our room. We know that the window feels cold when we touch it. Since the air temperature is different in ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Definition of spatial and temporal coherence in QM?

It is often said that lasers are spatially and temporally coherent. Is there a simple definition of spatial and temporal coherence in the language of quantum mechanics? More specifically, can these be ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Why do we use kilograms instead of newtons to measure weight in everyday life?

What was the reason to use kilograms to measure weight (e.g. body weight, market vegetables etc.) instead of using newtons?
5
votes
1answer
129 views

Why is cooling much harder than heating?

I'm trying to invent a distillation apparatus that runs solely on electricity. Suddenly, I realized that cooling things is really hard, while heating them up is so easy. Actually, it seems that there ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Why do bubble wands have ridges?

The bubble wands supplied with children's bubble mixtures seem to fairly universally have a set of ridges around the hole used to create bubbles - for example, see the circle in the upper right of ...
71
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does my wooden door disperse light into a rainbow color spectrum?

On a clear morning, light comes through this window (viewed from the inside) It then hits the door on the opposite side (so viewing from the outside the door straight on the other side) There is ...
5
votes
1answer
236 views

Why is wet paper transparent? [duplicate]

When paper get wet, it becomes transparent. How does this happen? Is it because of refraction, or bcause water extends the space between molecules that consist of the paper? I have no clue.
6
votes
1answer
232 views

Steam above meal

When I fry something on the pan and the fire is big and intensive (the flame over the pan), there is no stean above the pan or just a little. But when I turn off the fire, suddenly the steam appears, ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Cold welding of a metallic surface

I have heard of cold welding, it's said that it's only possible if the surface is very clean. Can cold welding be accomplished by shearing a metal object and then immediately touching the newly ...
5
votes
2answers
265 views

How does train back draft work

Quoting platforms and stations : Fast trains can create a vacuum called a ‘back draft’ that can blow you over or suck you under a train. How does that work ? I thought that the volume of air ...
17
votes
3answers
768 views

Why is the sky dark at night? [duplicate]

The question is the well-known Olbers' paradox: If there are so many/infinite stars, in every direction, why is it dark at night? Where goes all the light we don't see? Discussing with a friend ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Modeling wall's behaviour

Sorry if the quesiton is inconvenient, but I judged the physics forum would be the best place to go. My house is divided in two parts by a wall, and there's some tree pushing it, so the wall is about ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Will a tug-of-war battle damage my climbing rope

I plan to organize a big tug-of-war with a climbing rope (70m long) with 50-60 adults. I know the climbing rope is elastic. The rope resistance is 9 kN when a chock occurs. Will the rope breaks or ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Which dumplings will be more salty?

There are two identical pots filled with different amounts of water (one has more water, the other one has less). The same amount of salt has been poured to each pot. The same amount of dumplings has ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

How can you accurately determine your own mass?

I'm trying to figure out whether it is possible for an individual to accurately determine his/her own mass, to within 100g, using equipment that is readily accessible or can be purchased at a ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the best angle to see water

Sometimes when I clean my house, I miss some of the water since it seems invisible, but when I stand in different angle from the water I can see it clearly, whereas some angles offer partial ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Can you punch a hole in an A4 sheet of paper with your hand?

The Heading says it all. But let me explain it a little further. Suppose you hang a sheet of paper (A4 size), from one end leaving the other end free. Now practically it seems impossible to punch a ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

What makes a material adhesive (or sticky)?

I currently have a bandage on my arm that isn't sticking to me but definitely sticks to itself. It brought up the question: What makes a material sticky? What's happening on the molecular level? Why ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Why is a white cloud formed in the hot water from the pot when salt is added?

Why is a white cloud is formed in the hot water from the pot when salt (NaCl) is added?
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Paradox while Cooling & Heating in Air? [duplicate]

I was thinking about how asteroids get "burned" up in the upper atmosphere as they approach the earth surface due to the atmosphere of earth heating the asteroids immensely as a result of air ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Why is water vapor released when an empty water bottle is squeezed?

I recently came across this tutorial and wondered why vapor will come out when the cap comes off. Heres the Tutorial
18
votes
1answer
186 views

How many molecules rub off when I press a key?

I have a lot of questions below but my overarching questions are: Do surfaces rubbing lightly together always strip molecules off of each other? and How can we model that? Clearly the answer to the ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Should a pen be light or heavy? [closed]

Expensive pens are usually heavy. Naturally a heavy weight is not expected for an ordinary pen. But in the view of mechanics, the more the inertia the more the capability of holding the speed. Is ...
18
votes
6answers
3k 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 optimization, distribution and outcome of force when you try to pull a weight: how can you optimize your ...
3
votes
2answers
117 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
votes
1answer
45 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?
37
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
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
votes
2answers
36 views

Solar stills with Wine [closed]

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
331 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
votes
5answers
206 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 ...
22
votes
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, ...
7
votes
2answers
739 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?