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

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Mechanics of a falling cat [duplicate]

It is a general statement that cats tend to fall on their feet. How far is this is a valid statement? If I were to drop a cat from 50 meters height, feet up(hypothetically), would it still land on ...
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1answer
59 views

Is a laminated padlock really stronger than a solid one, and if so, why?

I used to think that the padlock design of using many layers of metal stacked to form the main body was a cost-cutting consideration. This was my assumption before I came across the idea that it was ...
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2answers
55 views
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1answer
101 views

Why doesn't spaghetti knot when stirred?

When I cook spaghetti, they never tangle themselves so much to form knots, neither when in the boiling water nor when they're mixed with sauce. Why is this so? I experience this behaviour both with ...
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0answers
39 views

Direct comparison of energy measurements for kids

I am planning a few physics & science sessions in the woods with 14 year-olds. The theme for one of the sessions is Energy, and my aim is to show them how gravity, solar radiation, wind (air ...
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3answers
10k views

Why do beams of light (from torches or other directed sources) not extend to infinity?

When I'm in a dark environment, and I turn on a torch, I can see the beam of light from the torch. To the best of my understanding, the main reason why I can see the beam of light is that the light ...
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1answer
119 views

Entropy change in a boiling egg

Yesterday in a rather intuitive Q/A session, by a visiting researcher in my town, this question got my attention.What he said was that if you boil an egg, the entropy inside the egg would increase.Now ...
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1answer
34 views

How does the jumper in Christmas lights work?

This is the structure according to my textbook: I don't know what the glass insulator are for?? But there is indeed a thin layer of insulator coating on the jumper. Why I don't know, too, what that ...
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0answers
68 views

Please explain this optical phenomenon, as seen from the top of the cup [closed]

So here is a cup, and i poured some water in it. The question is why do i see those multiple reflections? What causes these images?
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2answers
9k views

Why does a mirror split my laser beam?

Last night my daughter was asking why a mirror "always does that" (referring to reflecting a spot of light). To help her figure it out, I grabbed my green laser pointer so she could see the light ...
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1answer
164 views

If my windows are open on a windy day, the curtains sway and the doors slam shut. Why don't I feel this wind?

I am standing indoors, right in front of my open window, as I see my curtains moving back and forth and I can hear my closed doors shaking. I can also hear the wind howling loudly. Why don't I feel ...
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1answer
31 views

Windchill effect or something else

If I'm driving a fire truck on a cold winter night, given the following factors. Will it create an effect that could freeze the water pump faster than if it were just parked in the same conditions. ...
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1answer
60 views

Why does wind sound the way it does?

You can obviously hear wind. From everyday experience, the stronger the wind, the louder its sound. But this sound is always similar, and quite distinctive, noise-like. Can one compute the spectrum ...
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3answers
81 views

Doesn't any massive conductor look like “ground” to an AC supply?

I've been puzzling over this excellent answer to the perennial "Why don't I get shocked by a hot wire if I'm not grounded?" question. The orders of magnitude just don't seem right for two reasons: ...
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2answers
1k views

How does making “pyramid hologram projectors using smartphones” work?

The basis of this question is this video, where a 3D hologram like effect is achieved using a 4 sided hollow pyramid. I don't know if this is holography in the usual sense. Can some one explain this ...
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2answers
58 views

Can wind be defined as momentum/mass of air molecules?

In the past I thought a breeze of wind was "made" from a large amount of air molecules going all the same direction in the same speed. But it's not like that, actually this voted answer, this site, ...
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125 views

Why do trees sway?

Resonance can also occur in three dimensions (such as wind induced swaying) I tried to make a free body diagram (I know it is terribly wrong) to find the forces that causes the tree to undergo ...
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2answers
320 views

How much upward force due to ground vibrations does the Earth exert on you?

Say you're walking by the highway and you can feel the vibrations of cars moving along. How would you approximate the force that the ground is exerting on your feet due to these vibrations?
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2answers
100 views

Why do tires with low air pressure experience more friction?

How does tyre pressure affect the frictional force on a tyre even though friction is independent of area of contact? And how does one analyze or calculate this friction?
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2answers
869 views

Why do chocolate bars usually break at the cleavages?

Why do chocolate bars usually break at the cleavages? The chocolate bar is less thick at cleavages. How can we relate thickness and fracture point of chocolate bar?
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2answers
48 views

Speed of a cycle wheel

Common sense tells me that the front wheel is going at the same speed as the back wheel, but somewhere, the phrase 100% efficient keeps nagging at my brain. That's because, I somehow feel that ...
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1answer
109 views

What is the meaning of this Feynman's statement? [closed]

Richard Feynman has a strange statement in first lecture of his known book "Feynman Lectures on Physics. He says If a piece of steel or a piece of salt, consisting of atoms one next to the other, ...
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2answers
45 views

Explanation of duration of forces due to electrostatic charge

when we use the pen and make the rubbing in it the pen can attractive the paper and after 1 sec. the paper fall down because it loss the earned energy but in this video the balloon still attractive ...
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2answers
130 views

If pencil tip is heated why doesn't it write?

Why doesn't a pencil write if its tip is heated in a candle flame?
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1answer
243 views

Should I place a spoon in a cup of liquid before heating it in a mircowave?

Metal objects in microwave ovens are known to be somewhat dangerous. However, my microwave has the following label stuck inside: It seems to imply that this particular oven forbids heating drinks ...
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1answer
92 views

Adding cinnamon to my coffee makes it stop whirling much faster: Why is thats?

When I stir my coffee in a cup, the fluid spins a long time, but when I pour cinnamon into the cup, the spinning fluid slows and stops very rapidly - why?
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0answers
19 views

How does it takes to deadlift a sports car? [duplicate]

In the movie Furious 7, Dom lift a Lykan HyperSport with bare hands. Given that in reality, how strong it has to be to lift a Lykan HyperSport(1,380 kg), says to 40 cm in one rear end, and hold it ...
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11answers
3k views

Backyard experiments to falsify the Flat Earth theory [duplicate]

I recently became aware that the flat Earth theory still exists in the 21st century, and has colored the views of a friend of mine. Roughly speaking, the tenets are: The Earth is a flat disk, with ...
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0answers
95 views

Why should I discard a carafe if it has ever been heated empty? (Can thermal shock permanently weaken materials without causing them to fail?) [closed]

Related to "What pressure or tension occurs in a glass jar when I pour boiling water inside?" I just got a new coffeemaker, and one of the warnings in the manual states that you should discard the (...
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1answer
72 views

Nail clippers and conservation of momentum

As I clip my fingernails using nail clippers, pieces of nails sometimes fly off violently, reaching the other end of the room. What's happening in terms of conservation of momentum, how are the pieces ...
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2answers
112 views

Would you save energy by heating the air in a shower stall so that you could use colder water?

It is refreshing to take a cool shower in hot weather. And for the sake of discussion, lets assume that one should be "comfortable" with temeratures when taking a shower. Considering that the vast ...
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1answer
68 views

Why do i see more steam coming out from the vessel containing water after i turned off the stove? [duplicate]

It is a little observation i did when i was boiling the water. what i observe is that when i turned off the stove on which the water was boiling i could see more steam coming out from it than the ...
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0answers
97 views

My bathroom door stays open in summer [closed]

My bathroom door remains open in summer, but in the winter it stays about halfway between fully open (90 degree angle, against a window) and closed. The door is between bedroom and bathroom and it is ...
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0answers
29 views

Theoretical model of MRI scanner

Recently I have gained strong interest in studying the Physics of an MRI scanner. Most of the physics resources I have found are strongly practically orientated and do not so much approach the ...
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1answer
103 views

Are low pressure and high pressure areas responsible for rain?

My understanding is that low pressure areas are susceptible to rain. However, high pressure areas have no rain. Now, I want to correlate this with the following areas - Lower Hutt, Wellington , NZ - ...
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2answers
132 views

How does liquid stay in a Pasteur pipette/eye dropper instead of dripping out?

From what I understand about how pipettes work (correct me if I am wrong), when you squeeze the bulb of a pipette, you are removing the air from it and when you dip the end in liquid and release the ...
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0answers
22 views

The frequency induced by the alternating current

Let set up the experiment as followed. A string is stretched at two ends. Two magnet poles N and S are placed under and above the string. Now we let an alternating current go through the string with ...
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2answers
120 views

How much money can I save on gas by losing weight?

I read somewhere that if you carried around a penny in your car, over the lifetime of the car, you would end up paying an extra penny in gas than if you weren't carrying that penny. I was wondering ...
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2answers
41 views

Wall vents in house and heat loss

I live in northern midwest of USA--have propane central heat. Electricity is cheaper here than propane sometimes. To aid in heating front room I have 2 electrical space heater--one with fan,and one ...
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1answer
389 views

Why is it difficult to ride a bicycle with a partially inflated or deflated tyre?

It is a common observation that riding a bicycle with an inflated tyre is easier than riding one with a deflated tyre but why is it so? As per my knowledge in an ideal case of no deformation in tyre(...
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8answers
463 views

Why not use our own light production to produce new energy instead of wasting it?

Why don't we use our own light production at night (I mean home, buildings, streets,..., lighting) to charge photovoltaic panels instead of wasting it?
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2answers
47 views

Can a floor made of copper pennies produce a static electric shock?

A friend is going to install thousands of pennies in a mosaic layout to be used as flooring in his home. Can this floor produce a static electric shock when walking on it? Is it possible to ...
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0answers
45 views

Prismatic shaped rear view mirrors

To reduce the intensity of the incident light, prismatically shaped rear view mirrors are used in cars with a day-night switch which changes the angle such that instead of the polished surface ...
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3answers
598 views

What determines the sharpness of a shadow?

What are the factors that affect the sharpness of a shadow? I would think that the distance between the light source and the object, the distance between the object and the shadow, and the size of ...
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3answers
67 views

When walking, why the foot which get the reaction doesn't accelerate?

To walk we apply a force and the earth gives us a reaction. But the foot which get the force doesn't accelerate.
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1answer
744 views

Jumping from a moving train

If you were to jump from a moving train at 20 km/h, would it be better to run in the direction of movement before jumping to maintain inertia or in the opposite direction of the train ?
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1answer
80 views

Is it a law of physics that all machines will break?

The question sounds kinda dumb when I say it out loud but at the same time I'm very curious. When things break, is it solely due to an intrinsic design flaw or is it due to entropy? And is the ...
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2answers
99 views

Unusual phenomenon from fluorescent lightbulb

Next to my bed I have a fluorescent desk lamp. One night, after I had turn off all the lights in my room, I grabbed my blanket from the other end of the bed. As I grabbed the blanket, one end of the ...
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0answers
30 views

Approximating Gallons of Gas Needed for Trip (read: physics grad. with too much free time)

My departure from college has left me with an itch for physics-y problems to solve, and my boredom and free time gave way to this approximation of the gallons of gas I use for the trip to my ...
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84 views

I don't see that general relativity is really needed for GPS to work correctly [duplicate]

From what I understand, GPS localization is based on the difference in the reception time from the time of emission of a signal from different GPS satellites whose positions are known. For this we ...