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

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How is the energy efficiency in bicycles accounted for? [duplicate]

Bikes are more efficient than walking, but that's only because roads are flat so wheels make sense, right? Does it make sense to say that this fact is simply gained by putting a lot of energy into ...
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1answer
30 views

Why does length of objects seem different in different configurations of object and observer?

Today, I had gone to my friend’s garden. There was a dried water well in his garden. We got curious that know how much its depth is. First, we stood on top of the well and estimated its depth. We ...
53
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1answer
3k views

Why does wet hair keep its shape when it dries?

When I wash my hair and go to sleep, my hair is impossible to comb in the morning, stubbornly sticking to the shape it assumed during the night. The only way to get it right is to wet it again and ...
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3answers
130 views

Why do we hear better during the night? [duplicate]

At night, we hear weak and far sounds approximately clear, while during the day we cannot. My high school physics teacher was saying that “this is because of interference of sound waves. During the ...
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2answers
113 views

Physics behind seemingly-impossible “rice bowl suction” Guinness world record? [duplicate]

By pressing a rice bowl on his abdominal muscles, Zhang Xingquan was able to create enough suction to pull a 36.15 tonnes heavy train for 40 meters Source: Guinness world records website. How does ...
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42 views

How does the bowling computer know I'm right handed? [closed]

I went bowling the other day and after I rolled my first ball I was suprised it was written on the screen that I was "right-handed". How was that figured out? My first guess is that there is ...
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1answer
94 views

What is the physics behind “mocha diffusion”?

A friend shared a video on Facebook of a process for glazing pottery called "mocha diffusion." A light-coloured glaze is applied to a pot and then, while it's wet, a black liquid is dripped into it. ...
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2answers
86 views

Why is it easier to get sunburnt in the water? [duplicate]

I went today to the swimming pool and I remembered that when I was younger my mom used to tell me to be careful because you get sunburnt much more easily in the water than in the ground. I never gave ...
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57 views

By how much does the temperature of a cool Cola can increase by condensation of the ambient moisture on its surface?

Assuming standard ambient temperature and pressure, how can we estimate the increase in the temperature of a typical, cool beverage can produced by the condensation of ambient moisture on its surface? ...
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2answers
165 views

Tennis ball in a glass of water

If you pour water into a glass half full and put a tennis ball there it would aim to its sides. But if you pour water completely full a ball would aim to center. It's definitely related to a surface ...
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3answers
120 views

Would life (as we know it) be possible without the weak interaction?

I understand why the strong interaction is important in everyday life (it holds nuclei together and also allows the fusion reactions that power the Sun) and also why the electromagnetic interaction is ...
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15answers
453 views

How to pour water from a bottle as fast as possible

When one pours water out of a bottle, it first flows smoothly but then a pressure 'blockage' develops and the pouring becomes interrupted and turbulent, so that the water comes out in splashes. This ...
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41 views

What's the minimum time scale for a candle to be lit in order for it to establish a steady state?

My Understanding When a candle is lit initially, it goes through a few stages (see, e.g. this explanation from the National Candle Association): Wick burns. Crusted wax on wick melts, evaporates ...
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2answers
46 views

How can you easily measure your visual range? [closed]

There are numerous ways of estimating your hearing range by generating sine waves at a certain amplitude and trying to tell when you are no able to hear a difference between on and off anymore. An ...
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1answer
41 views

Antennas and the electromagnetic field

I'm an electrical engineering undergrad and have some questions about radio antennas. We've just covered the electronics and maths of radio theory once the signal has reached the receiver, I'm ...
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3answers
130 views

'Slapping' sound when trains pass each other

I have noticed that when riding in a train travelling at over 100 kmh$^{-1}$, a loud 'slap' can be heard when another train travelling at a similar speed passes in the opposite direction, followed by '...
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6answers
10k views

Why is oil a better lubricant than water?

How come mineral oil is a better lubricant than water, even though water has a lower viscosity? When two surfaces slide over each other with a gap filled with a fluid, the different layers of the ...
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0answers
132 views

Why does temperature change the friction coefficient of my stovetop?

I have a Ceran cooking field at home, it's a glass-ceramic surface with heating coils embedded beneath. When I slide a pan around there's much more friction on a hot plate than on a cool one. Why? ...
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1answer
79 views

I HAVE A SCIENTIFIC QUESTION FROM CHILDHOOD. but now i think my question solution is here in this website [closed]

Suppose a man is sitting in a train. Man is moving with train till the last journey as man is in contact with train. BUT WHAT ABOUT FLY which is also moving along with train with high speed. HOW IT IS ...
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0answers
48 views

Thermodynamics: Apartment Airflow: What Am I doing wrong air

Our apartment is a sauna. But sometimes it's much much hotter inside the apartment than it should be (night time it's 68 degrees outside but thermometer still says 90 inside!). I have 2 fans, one ...
46
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4answers
3k views

Why do some location on Earth have only one tidal maximum per day instead of two?

Most places in the ocean have two high tides and two low tides per "day" (~25 hours). But I remember reading that some locations only have one of each per day. This answer has some great explanations ...
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1answer
91 views

How does GPS on an airplane report a 100 km error?

On a flight across Europe, I took my iPhone out to see if the GPS can find my position. I was sitting away from a window, so reception would have been bad. I wouldn't have been surprised to get no ...
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4answers
3k views

If we feel it's hotter when humidity increases, then why do we feel it's colder when inside water?

When the humidity in the air is high, we sweat more and feel it's hotter than when the humidity is lower. So why don't we feel it's hotter when we go inside water, where the water content is much ...
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1answer
51 views

Why can't you ride a bike with a fixed handlebar?

I tried one time, as part of an experiment, to ride a bike with a fixed handle bar. Impossible. So, in any case, our movements made with the handlebar helps us in not falling down. I can feel kinda ...
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1answer
23 views

Spin on the rack

Bike mounted on hitch rack. Why wheels spin constantly while I drive? I can't find anything on the internet. The kids in the other cars love to watch them
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1answer
86 views

If a high speed car or train enters a tunnel, will the aerodynamics effect slow it down and hence requiring more energy to maintain speed?

Speed and distance are two main determinants in this question. A slow moving vehicle or train entering a tunnel is unlikely to be affected by the presence of solid stationery object covering them. But ...
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1answer
92 views

Why do I spill lesser water if it's hotter?

If I pour water in a glass to make a cup of tea, I noticed that if the water that comes out of the kettle is very hot, almost no water is spilled. If the water is cold though, much more water is ...
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2answers
67 views

Why do UV lamps look purple?

UV radiation isn't visible to the human eye, so how come we can see it as a purple/violet light from a UV lamp? Is it just because the lamps aren't perfect and end up emitting some light at a higher ...
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7answers
7k views

How did my candle wax crawl up the sides of the jar?

I have an Ikea candle which has sat on my bookshelf in the sun for >5 years. Aside from an hour or two shortly after I bought the candle, I have not burned the candle regularly (in fact, the wick is ...
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0answers
37 views

What is the explanation of the glory (optical phenomenon)?

Yesterday, I took the following picture. I was looking downwards from within an aircraft and I saw the 'glory' around the shadow of the plane on the clouds below. Wikipedia has an entry on the ...
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0answers
62 views

When beer tapping, why does only one of the beers foam up?

In the paper Physics of beer tapping the author go through an explanation of the phenomenon of beer tapping, i.e. the foaming up of beer in glass bottle after it has been hit at the top of the bottle ...
4
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1answer
72 views

Breaking strength of wet paper/cloth

In the Hollywood movie, Shanghai Knights (pardon me for the non scientific citation), Jackie Chan states that 'wet cloth' does not break easily. How true a fact is this ? We know from common ...
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1answer
66 views

Why is it easier to remove stains with water?

And I don't mean stain removers, but literally tap water. See here's the thing, you can't remove a stain without some sort of friction, and water reduces friction. Yet if I say, spill some coffee and ...
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0answers
51 views

Why does a fan blade appear to spin backwards when spun really fast?

This a phenomenon which I notice everyday but never really took an interest in. Why does a fan (or any other rotary object), when spinning really fast, 'appear' to slow down, upto a certain rpm, then ...
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2answers
98 views

How do ceiling fans cool or heat?

Why does a ceiling fan blowing air downward cool in the summertime: whereas a ceiling fan sucking air upwards heats in the wintertime: ? Why isn't it the other way around?
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1answer
72 views

What causes the buzzing sound when the electricity changes into heat?

When I turn on any kind of electric heating (kettle, cooker, heater, ...), it keeps producing a constant buzzing sound. What is the exact cause of that sound? Do the electrons of the electric ...
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3answers
81 views

How do Calories (kcal) relate to watts?

In thinking about exercise and "burning calories" it occurred to me that there should be some fairly intuitive correlation between the biological energy conversion going on in a person's body with the ...
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2answers
50 views

Creasing of a material at the molecular level

What exactly happens when a material (particularly paper or even cloth or a metal) is folded to form a crease? Why is it that a creased material tends to retain form, while a lightly folded one, '...
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0answers
56 views

How fast should 6 liters flow out of the sink through a 6cm pipe?

I had 6 liters in the sink when I pulled the plug. It took the water about 30 seconds to get through a pipe which has about 5cm in diameter. I think the pipe might be blocked a bit, causing it to have ...
53
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3answers
9k views

How is 6W equivalent to 40W, as claimed by adverts for LED light bulbs?

Every advert I come across for LED bulbs advertise them as the equivalent of a higher W incandescent bulbs. This makes no sense to me, if the room requires 40W to lighten it up then it'll always ...
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5answers
2k views

Milk or sugar first to maximize temperature of a hot cup of tea?

If there is a hot cup of tea and we were asked to add milk and sugar, which mixing order would make the hottest tea? I personally think that the order doesn't matter, since sugar wouldn't change the ...
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2answers
127 views

Why do headphones tangle themselves whereas shoe laces untie themselves?

Why do headphones tangle themselves whereas shoe laces untangle or untie themselves? Why aren't we using the phenomenon to create headphones that tangle less and shoe laces that untie less?
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2answers
8k views

Why do I see better under water using swimming goggles? [duplicate]

I am myopic (I don't really know if this is relevant or not) and I usually swim without contact lenses. My vision is clearly better underwater when I am using swimming goggles. I have tried to ...
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1answer
44 views

Is it scientifically possible to stop a screens polarization by adding a layer? [closed]

Back story: At work we deal with confidential data, however our desk layout does not allow for screen privacy. We do not a privacy screens and are not allowed to take apart our screens. In searching ...
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1answer
55 views

Hard drive disk seems to “move” its weight when running

I have an external box for hard drives and plugged a broken hard disk to it. Then I turned it on and took it in hand. Now, if I gently tilt and turn the box on its axis, the weight seems to "go" in ...
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0answers
25 views

Optimal two-stage warming up of a bottle of baby milk

Here's a common two-stage method to warm up a bottle of baby milk to avoid uneven milk temperature: 1) Heat up a bowl of water in a microwave oven. 2) Put the bottle into the bowl of heated water to ...
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4answers
101 views

Why adhesion is stronger at faster peeling rate?

Adhesion is strong at fast peeling rates and weak at slow peeling rate (paper, video; Newtonian adhesive, non-Newtonian adhesive?), i.e. it is rate-sensitive. Why? (source: Meitl et al.: thanks to ...
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3answers
93 views

Lifting and putting down a weight

A man in a gym lifts a weight and then puts it down where it was before. 1) What can be say about the work done by the man to the weight? 2) Can it be equal in absolute value to the work made by ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Why purple seems so to similar to red? [duplicate]

Purple lights has the highest frequency among all visible lights, while the red lights is the least frequent one. However, purple seems to be a mix of red and blue to human eyes, why?
3
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1answer
39 views

Slackline tangling

This question is about random formation of knots in a systematically tied rope. I will give some background, hope that does not make it off-topic. In climbing (and sailing) one has to store very long ...