3
votes
4answers
287 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
53 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
683 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do I feel cold air in the shower?

Our house has a glass sliding door to the shower. The shower has the dimensions of about 2 feet wide, 5 feet long, and 6 feet high. Above the door (and shower head) there is about 1 foot of open space ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How badly could someone be injured by concentrated sunlight?

Recently-ish, I stumbled across an interesting short story (by way of Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange) where a soccer referee is apparently incinerated by concentrated sunlight. Where ...
1
vote
4answers
50 views

Why does my house seem to warm faster in summer than it cools in winter?

In summers when we switch off the air conditioner, the room seems to instantly get hot again. But in winter, when we switch off the heater the room seems to remain hot for some time. Why this ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

How to calculate net power output of heated, expanding air?

I'm interested in designing and building a Stirling engine which uses air that has been heated, which expands and then acts upon a piston producing power. There is a fixed amount of air inside the ...
5
votes
4answers
797 views

Wrapping plastic in aluminium foil to protect it from heat

Does it make any sense to wrap the plastic handle of a pan in aluminium foil to protect it from overheating when placing it to the hot oven?
3
votes
0answers
62 views

How to design a house to be cooled passively? [closed]

I live in Louisiana these days, in an area that is known for its numerous antebellum plantation homes (circa early 1800s). While touring one of these homes it was clear that almost everything about ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Where does deleted information go?

I've heard that, in classical and quantum mechanics, the law of conservation of information holds. I always wonder where my deleted files and folders have gone on my computer. It must be somewhere I ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

How hot does the upstairs need to be before it will heat the basement through convection?

During the winter we keep the basement door closed so that the cold air from upstairs won't flow into the basement. Then we heat the basement and the upstairs gets heated partially by conduction ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Does wrapping a wet paper towel around a glass bottle really speed up the cooling process?

There are claims like this one that you can improve the cooling speed of beverages when you put them wrapped in a wet paper towel inside the refrigerator/freezer. I've just tried it by myself and ...
7
votes
1answer
477 views

Camp Fire Crackle

I was sitting around the camp fire and there was a periodic sound of cracking and pieces of the burning wood flew off. My question is what is the mechanism for the cracking of the wood? I was thinking ...
1
vote
4answers
174 views

Can a thermometer really measure the temperature of a substance?

When we measure the temperature of a substance by using a thermometer and waiting until the two come into thermal equilibrium, the thermometer will not display the original temperature of the ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Why a much more water vapour is released when the heating source is turned off? [duplicate]

This question is related to a very simple experiment and I've never been able to find an explanation. Try to heat some water at the maximum power allowed by your cooking installations, either in a pot ...
9
votes
4answers
296 views

Can we detect whether food has previously been heated in a microwave oven?

An acquaintance told me that she refuses to eat microwaved food because she read that the microwave changes the molecules of the food somehow. Her statement is vague and her sources are dubious but I ...
42
votes
5answers
7k views

Why does a candle blow out when we blow on it? Our breath is 16% oxygen and only 4% CO2

Don't say that a layer of carbon dioxide covers the flame, because our breath has more oxygen than carbon dioxide. Also, our breath does not cool the flame as it is itself warm. So what is happening ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

Why does my kettle only make a noise when it is turned on

Almost as soon as I turn my kettle on it starts to make the familiar kettle noise, yet very shortly after turning off the power the boiling noise stops and the kettle is totally silent. The ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

(Why) would unmaintained water heater use more electrical energy?

I'm specifically thinking about lime/sedimentation at the bottom of water heater, and calcification of heating elements (and not possible thermal insulation deterioration). It is very often claimed ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is there water coming out of a car’s tail pipe?

I notice yesterday that my neighbor’s car had water coming out of the exhaust pipe in the morning. My first response was since the hot exhaust is hotter than the cold tail pipe, heat is transferred ...
5
votes
3answers
450 views

How does a canvas water bag cool water?

I was reading about this water bottle by Botl that behaves like a canvas water bags to keep water cool. I found out that this idea is an old idea and cars would drive with water bags in front as shown ...
3
votes
3answers
505 views

Why it is difficult to drink tea with a straw?

It is easy to drink cold drinks, soft drinks with straw but when I tried to drink tea with straw then that was very unpleasant and even for time I lost the sense from my tongue. My question is why it ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

Why does a cooling motorcycle make popping noises?

I was sitting in my parked car tonight when a Harley-Davidson motorcycle parked next to me. With my window down, I could hear that as the motorcycle was cooling down, it was giving off some type of ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

What creates black streams in fountain-type fireworks?

For the New Year celebration of 2014, my nephews set off a series of fountain-type fireworks (as shown below). When one looks carefully into the shower of light, one notices that a fair number of ...
60
votes
12answers
7k views

Why are radiators always placed under windows?

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but in most buildings and most rooms, radiators are predominantly placed under a window. Now, in my eyes, that is the worst place to put them; hot air ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

How do you keep a fridge full of food cooler?

I just graduated and a mate moved into a flat (none of us are physicists by the way). So, were graduates, we got a new flat, and were broke. So, were now having a debate on how to keep a fridge ...
3
votes
3answers
275 views

Why is gas(oline) in gas stations sold by volume (as opposed to mass)?

Fluids (including natural gasoline/petroleum) have variable volume based on the ambient temperature for the same mass of fluid. So, really, the amount of gas that you're filling your car with depends ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does deodorant always feel cold?

We all use deodorant and they always feel cold, why is that? Is it because it is liquid inside the bottle and a gas when it is released?
3
votes
2answers
326 views

Heating coffee by yelling?

Is it a myth that yelling to a coffee mug will heat it? I have been hearing my friend saying that screaming will heat coffee or water.
4
votes
1answer
698 views

Opening the fridge door to cool a room

I'm well aware that the default answer to this textbook default question is "it doesn't work", but still, I believe it does. To cool the insides of the fridge, the compressor must do work, and since ...
8
votes
6answers
574 views

What's the best strategy to fully fill the fridge with beer bottles and have them all cooled?

I'm having a party. Suppose I'd like to have a fridge full of cold ($6~^\circ\text{C}$ or below) beer bottles, in as short a time frame as possible. The fridge indicates that it is targeting (and ...
3
votes
2answers
379 views

Would a small puddle of water evaporate faster if you spread a dry towel over it?

Let's say you spill 10ml of water on the kitchen counter. It forms a small puddle that would evaporate after a while (assuming room temperature and sane humidity). Would spreading a large, dry towel ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

On a hot day, when it's cooler outside than in; is it better to put a fan in an open window pointing inwards or outwards?

If it's really hot inside, but cooler outside; what is the best way to place a single fan to try and cool a room down? I always assumed it would be better pointing inwards (and this thread suggests ...
10
votes
2answers
248 views

In a large city how much hotter on average is it outside due to the air conditioning of all the buildings?

Title pretty much states the question. How much hotter do air conditioning units make it outside in a large city like NYC, Chicago, etc?
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does wet skin sunburn faster?

There is a popular belief that wet skin burns or tans faster. However, I've never heard a believable explanation of why this happens. The best explanation I've heard is that the water droplets on the ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Extreme heating by Sun on Earth- Can eggs be fried?

Will it be possible to fry eggs in Sahara desert by just keeping them under the sun? If so, then will the radiated eggs be any different? Or will we have to use the solar cooking concept to some ...
8
votes
1answer
880 views

Are two thin blankets significantly warmer than a single thick blanket?

Almost every source I can find online maintains that two 0.5 cm blankets are significantly warmer than a single 1cm blanket due to air trapped between the thin blankets. However, the thermal ...
-1
votes
1answer
106 views

Heat preserving performance of container relative to content

This question has been addressed in the case of a thermos bottle: Performance of a thermos bottle relative to contents I am asking the question again without the hypothesis that it is a thermos ...
3
votes
2answers
626 views

Performance of a thermos bottle relative to contents

I'm not a physicist but I majored it at high school (a long time ago) and I study university math. Me and my roommate discussed whether the performance of a Thermos bottle is influenced by how full ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Is an ice globe the worst possible way to cool a drink (with ice)?

Given an alcohol solution and a mass of ice in whatever shape you like, is shaping it into a sphere the worst possible way to cool your drink without diluting it? If the ice starts off at a sub-zero ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the Sun feel hotter through a window?

I have this big window in my room that the Sun shines through every morning. When I wake up I usually notice that the Sunlight coming through my window feels hot. Much hotter than it normally does ...
5
votes
1answer
244 views

What exactly heats a pool of water on a sunny day

On a sunny day an outdoor swimming pool will heat up fairly quickly. My question is, what is the exact mechanism for this and can we put numerical figures on it? Given that water is clear and ...
18
votes
2answers
725 views

How hot does the tip of a pencil get while writing?

When writing with a pencil, there seems to be quite a lot of friction - which seems like it would induce heat. How hot would the tip of a #2 pencil get writing on normal copy paper?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the boiling time depend on the number of eggs

My nephew showed me an exercise from his school-textbook about boiling eggs. Here is the exercise (translated from german): To make one hard-boiled egg in a pot of water one has to put it for 8 ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

Does more reflective aluminum foil make a room cooler compared to less reflective foil?

Aluminum foil is said to be not absorbing light at all. It reflects light. So, does it mean that a more shiny aluminum foil will reflect more light and thus make the room more cooler as compared to ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

How do whisky stones keep your drink cold?

From a discussion in the DMZ (security stack exchange's chat room - a place where food and drink are important topics) we began to question the difference between how ice and whisky stones work to ...
16
votes
7answers
6k views

Does an empty refrigerator require more power to stay cold than a full one?

Given that everything else is equal (model of fridge, temperature settings, external temperature, altitude), over a given duration of having the door closed, does it require more electricity to cool ...
6
votes
3answers
293 views

How can I determine the coefficient $k$ in $ \dfrac{dT}{dt} = -k(T - 100 \mathrm{^\circ C}) $?

I recently spend some time on cooking and I'm curious about the time evolution of the temperature of the water. I did some experiment and the temperature is of the form $$ T = 100 \mathrm{^\circ C} + ...
9
votes
3answers
707 views

How hot is the water in the pot?

Question: How hot is the water in the pot? More precisely speaking, how can I get a temperature of the water as a function of time a priori? Background & My attempt: Recently I started spend ...
8
votes
1answer
399 views

What determines bubble locations in boiling water?

Something a little different to our usual fare. I was boiling a pan of water for cookery the other day, and got to wondering what caused the location of the bubble streams from the bottom of the pan. ...