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

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1answer
5k views

Why does it spark when I push a plug in the electrical socket?

When I slowly push a plug into the electrical socket I can often see sparks. Can anybody explain why? Can this be possibly harmful for the devices I plug in?
24
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is boiling water loud, then quiet?

Water in my electric kettle makes the most noise sixty to ninety seconds before the water comes to a full boil. I have been fooled many times by the noisy kettle, only to discover that the water was ...
3
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1answer
313 views

Boiling when I plunge my french press?

Occasionally when I make coffee in my french press I experience something odd. It happens pretty infrequently but certainly enough to be curious about. I have the grounds ready in the carafe. The ...
9
votes
2answers
521 views

Why don't we see solar and lunar eclipses often?

Since we see the new moon at least once in a month when the Moon gets in between of the Sun and the Earth during the evening ( and as far as I know if this happens during the day, you'll get to see a ...
3
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1answer
210 views

A practical deceleration question

My friend is a U.S. Army paratrooper. Today, through an unfortunate series of events, he was jerked out of a C-17 traveling at 160 knots by his reserve parachute. First-hand accounts describe it as he ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Work Done to click a mouse?

Is there any good research done to find out the work done in clicking a mouse button. any link to that would be greatly appreciated. P.S. i am not too sure whether this question belongs here or ...
2
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2answers
181 views

Knots and strengh of a rope

I read a few times that a knot can reduce the strenght of a rope, but I can't understand why this happens. Can someone explain me what happens to a rope tied with a generic knot and stretched? Is ...
3
votes
1answer
305 views

Why does the bubbling of a soda bottle pulsate?

If I take a bottle of carbonated water and open the cap slightly to allow the gas to escape, there will be a sudden rush of bubbles foaming to the top of the liquid for a few seconds, then a partial ...
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5answers
2k views

Why would it be true that people with longer legs walk faster than ones with shorter legs?

When a person walks, the only force acting on him is the force of friction between him and the ground (neglecting air resistance and all). The magnitude of acceleration due to this force is ...
8
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2answers
571 views

Why do books have dog ears?

I googled the question and found no explanation. It seems that dog ears are inevitable (for paperbacks, notably) even if you've always been careful. From my experience, they are about equally likely ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

How much is 1 electron-volt (eV)?

I am interested in knowing how much is one eV of energy. Everywhere I found are the technical definitions. Can anybody please tell me how much is this much energy. I need something which I can feel. I ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

Why do rain waves form and what is their connection to the texture of the surface they're on?

When it rains and water flows down an inclined street, ripples may form that are carried along with the current. Here's a picture with an example of what I'm talking about I'd like to know what the ...
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0answers
96 views

Is putting a charged balloon up to a neutral wall polarization AND temporary induction, or just polarization?

Is putting a balloon that is charged up against a wall and having it stick polarization AND charging by temporary induction, or just polarization?
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8answers
6k views

Why do ice cubes come out easier from top trays?

This is my "hey, I've noticed that too!" question for the week. If you stack two plastic ice cube trays with water in them in a freezer, the resulting ice cubes in the top tray will usually come out ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Please recommend a good book about physics for young child (elementary school aged) [closed]

I'm looking for a book that would be appropriate for an advanced elementary school aged kids (say, 6-11 YO) describing the basics of physics (or sciences in general) in entertaining way. The ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Can you safely draw sparks from the nose of an electrified boy?

From Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism A spectacular conclusion of one of the popular exhibitions of the time was likely to be the electrification of a boy suspended by many silk threads ...
3
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3answers
891 views

Is there more energy in the collapse of a cavitation bubble than the energy required to create the bubble in the first place?

The following does not include all scientific details and parameters, only a common summary of "thoughts". What is scientifically wrong with this summary? When you take your beer and tap the top ...
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1answer
448 views

Why is the optimum wheel size of a bicycle about the same as that of a car?

The optimum wheel diameter of cars and bikes appear to be roughly the same, certainly well within an order of magnitude. This is despite very different average speeds and propulsion mechanisms. Can ...
3
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3answers
716 views

What is the most efficient way to use hand dryer?

What's the most efficient way to place your hands under the hand dryer? Let's assume that dryer creates simple downward flow of hot air. Here are some examples:
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3answers
2k views

How much energy was consumed when we turn on/off light?

My parents told me to turn off the light when I am not using it. But I remember my physics teacher told me that the action of turning on/off a light can cause huge energy. I am wondering how much is ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Should I heat my room when I'm not here, energy-efficiently speaking?

I was wondering as it's getting cold : is it better for my electricity bill to shut down completely my (electric) heater during day, and to turn it on again when I come home (then it will have to heat ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are refrigerators 4 degrees and freezers -18 degrees?

I assume that the refrigerator's temperature of 4 degrees has something to do with the fact that water is densest at that temperature. Does that inhibit microbe growth? But what about the freezer, ...
2
votes
1answer
321 views

How does physics scattering experiments relate to real life? And what does the scientist gain from such experiments?

How does physics scattering experiments relate to real life? And what does the scientist gain from such experiments? I am having a hard time figuring the answer out. Please help.
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Why are bubbles formed in the empty space of soda when turned upside down?

I know this may actually be a chemistry question, but I don't know where else to ask. When I have a soda plastic bottle, I turn it upside down so the soda fills the empty space, and bubbles start ...
8
votes
3answers
516 views

What made the keys in my pocket so hot?

Not sure where to ask this question - thought you guys would probably have the best idea! Today a single key on my keychain in my pocket heated up so that it was too hot to handle and scalded my leg. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How does radio receives signal from particular station?

When you tune your radio (digital or analog) to receive say 100 MHz frequency and while in the environment there are hundreds of channels everywhere around the radio. How does it chooses to receive ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Relating milliampere-hours to watt-hours for batteries

I've seen many batteries that are measured in milliampere hours (mAh), while others are measured in watt hours (wh). How can I convert them between each other so that I can actually compare them? It's ...
9
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3answers
2k views

How can rising bubbles shrink and disappear?

I was recently looking at a Wurlitzer juke box, and noticed something strange. It's decorated with liquid-filled tubes. Gas bubbles are injected at the bottoms of the tubes, and the bubbles naturally ...
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2answers
4k views

How do I join two co-axial cables?

I'm trying to join two ends of co-axial cables. I've managed to connect the two ends of copper wires but still the signal response is very low. When I try to stretch the cable signal gets good. Why ...
2
votes
2answers
309 views

Why do balls in a spinning ellipsoid move to the minor axis plane?

There is a question concerning the Physics of a small child's tall that has been bothering me for some time now. I have investigated this to a small degree, but I have not been able to find a ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Infrared remote flashes blue light in camera

I know that if you held an infrared remote in front of a digital camera, it'll flash a blue/purplish light when you press the buttons. Why?
5
votes
2answers
5k views

What happens to a fully charged battery, when you continue to charge it?

If I leave my cell-phone charging the whole night, it will be fully charged after a while. What happens with the battery and the excess energy I add? Also, I noticed my charger emitting a different ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why do mirages only appear on hot days?

A previous question asked why the road sometimes appears wet on hot days. The reason is that when there's a temperature gradient in the air, it causes a gradient in the index of refraction, causing ...
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2answers
2k views

Measuring the Electromotive Force and Internal Resistance of a Battery?

Here is a problem that emerged some time ago: We needed to measure the emf(electromotive force) and internal resistance of a car battery. The only instruments were voltmeter and ammeter. ...
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5answers
3k views

Why does my refrigerator door resist opening?

After closing my refrigerator's door I noticed that it's much harder to reopen it immediately, as if there's an underpressure. Only after a minute or so it opens normally. How can this be explained?
3
votes
1answer
543 views

What is the formula for the glug point?

When you pour water out of a bottle, normally you have a smooth stream. However, if you pour it too fast it glugs, which is to say, comes out in quantized bursts. What is the formula for calculating ...
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vote
1answer
741 views

How does a table fan work?

In a table fan, the blades move around in circular way and we feel air/wind when sitting on front of it. How does this happen?
3
votes
1answer
102 views

What ring weave disposition should be the most resistant against stabbing and/or how to determine it

In a website that I am studying so I can build a Chain Mail, I have found a page featuring a lot of different Ring Weaves to build them. I want to determine which one is the best to provide ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Explain moving lightbulb [closed]

An acquaintance of mine, while being home alone, saw that the light bulb in the room which was hanging from the ceiling with wires having a pendulum motion which was more than noticeable. He says that ...
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vote
4answers
9k views

domestic electric AC wiring - Live and Neutral correct or not? [closed]

On electric circuits, with $120$ or $230$ AC mains, there are the wires Live and Neutral. The wiring isn't symmetrical : following the circuit, you cannot switch $L$ and $N$. However, in Italy, ...
4
votes
1answer
251 views

What Is the Noise of an MRI Machine

What is the source of the loud noise of an MRI medical scanning machine? Is it due to some mechanical moving parts such as pumps, or is it an effect, similar to magnetostriction of superconducting ...
5
votes
2answers
365 views

Why does a firebrand glow brightest before it burns out?

I've noticed this in match-sticks, and mango wood. After the flames die out, the brand glows red for a while. The glow is brightest right before it dies out. My guess is that immediately before the ...
4
votes
1answer
11k views

Why is my tupperware sealed after heating it up in the microwave?

I had a vegetable soup in a crystal tupperware and I put it in the microwave to heat it up. The funny thing is that when I took it out, it was impossible to open it up. The lid is bent towards the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Which phenomena is involved in the clothes drying process?

There's this question that has been bugging me most of my life: how is it that wet clothes left hanging to dry, get actually dry? If I get it right, the clothes are a mesh of fibers (we could assume ...
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3answers
3k views

Function of air conditioner

What i always thought that air conditioners blow the cool air without knowing that they actually take the warm air from indoor and from outdoor. But whats the point of taking air from indoor and ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Maximum limit on the number of paper-folds possible after tearing into halves [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why can't a piece of paper (of non-zero thickness) be folded more than "n" times? On skeptics.stackexchange, there is a question on the maximum limit on ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Why did my liquid soda freeze once I pulled it out of the fridge and opened it?

This isn't a duplicate to "Why did my liquid soda freeze once I pulled it out of the fridge?". My question is why soda froze after it was opened. Opening a can or bottle seems to have a larger effect ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a full freezer freeze items faster than an empty one?

Let's say we want to freeze a banana. Would it freeze faster if we insert it into an empty freezer, or into one that already contains many frozen bananas?
4
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1answer
227 views

The feeling of fuzz on the display surface of a Cathode Ray Tube Television

I was always wondering where the feeling of fuzz comes from when touching a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) television on its display screen when the TV is turned on. Can someone please explain why I feel ...
38
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5answers
20k views

Why do power lines buzz?

When near high tension power lines, particularly after a good rain, the lines themselves emit a buzzing noise. A similar noise can be heard coming out of the electric meters attached to my apartment. ...