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

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Day/night cycle in Greenland

I have heard that in Greenland there is day for 6 months and night for 6 months. Is this true? If so, how does it happen?
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1answer
698 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 ...
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1answer
69 views

Are these guard rails truly strong enough?

I'm lay about physics, but I'd like to learn about it behind this question. A friend criticises and claims that the single strip of traffic barriers (as shown below) would fail and is useless. For ...
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2answers
91 views

Does distance traveled by a vehicle after its engine has been switched off depend on its mass at all?

A vehicle moving with some velocity on a rough horizontal road finally comes to rest after its engine has been turned off. Intuitively, it seems a vehicle with greater mass would stop first because it ...
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0answers
66 views

Are the elements of physics different on the upper deck, of a double-decker bus, than those on the lower deck? [closed]

In this question, I hypothesise an event that affects the entire bus; I'm not asking about menace unique to upper floor passengers, such as an overly high upper floor or hanging objects (because this ...
2
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1answer
96 views

Why do i see bright red hand when i place flashlight behind my hand?

When I place a working flashlight behind my hand, I see my hand bright red because of the light. So my question is, why do I only see red light after transmission even if incoming light from the ...
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5answers
13k views

How effective is speeding?

At a simple level, speeding in a car attempts to minimize the time required to travel a distance by utilizing the basic relationship: $$d=st$$ So for a given distance, time should be inversely ...
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1answer
136 views

Why is powdered sugar less dense than granulated sugar?

The density of powdered sugar is about 20% lower than that of granulated sugar. There is small composition difference between the two - about 3% cornstarch and 0.5% water in powdered sugar, but that's ...
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2answers
83 views

Will a tall narrow cup keep a cup coffee warmer than a more evenly dimensioned cup?

I noticed a colleague had a tall narrow cup for his coffee, and it got me thinking about whether it would retain heat for longer or not. Assume two cups, both are cylindrical, and both hold the same ...
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0answers
34 views

Could heavy-lift ships be used as oil tankers to stop oil spills? [closed]

Years ago, I was watching a science programme about some law of physics that prevents liquid from spilling if it was a container underwater. I recall that it was proposed as a safe way to transfer ...
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2answers
135 views

Physical Role of Batter in Baseball

Physically, what is the role of a batter in baseball? My question is inspired by How does the speed of an incoming pitch affect the speed of a baseball after it's hit? The answer to that question, ...
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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 ...
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2answers
85 views

Fork and Sheet Lightning

I've noticed that during British lightning storms, I have only ever seen sheet lightning However, on holiday in other countries, I frequently see Forked Lightning Q) Is this just caused by ...
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2answers
114 views

Why do batteries become weaker

I was thinking about my phone (Sony Xperia Z2) and when I put it to charge and remove it, the phone says "Please remove the charger, to save battery life," which is very intuitive question for a ...
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2answers
39 views

Can clouds quench thirst? [closed]

Suppose you are standing on a mountain surrounded by clouds. You open your mouth and try to swallow the clouds (it's crazy, but still). Can the droplets of water in the form of vapor actually be ...
2
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1answer
46 views

Why doesn't the air in a Standard Diving Dress crush you?

I recently watched a Mythbusters episode where they tested decompression in a tethered diving suit (which I believe is a Standard Diving Dress). When they removed the air pressure, the suit crumpled ...
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4answers
107 views

How does buoyancy work?

I realised, reading another Phys.SE question about balloons moving forwards in an accelerating car that I don't really understand how buoyancy works. Particularly concerning, for a SCUBA diver. The ...
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1answer
48 views

Sun radiation in England

I used to live in Italy, and when it was sunny, well, as expected it was pretty hot. Both under the direct light of the sun through the atmosphere, and in the shade, where the temperature was of ...
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12answers
8k views

Why is filling a balloon from your mouth much harder initially?

Why is it that when you first fill up a balloon, it's hard to get air through, but after inflating it a bit, it becomes much easier to further inflate the balloon?
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2answers
178 views

Why does sand stick to my shoes?

Well, that's easy: the sand is wet, and my shoes are wet, and hydrogen bonding adheres the wet sand to my wet feet and to my shoes. But then I walk home, and my shoes dry, and the sand on them dries, ...
196
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4answers
35k views

Can I compute the mass of a coin based on the sound of its fall?

Other day, I bumped my bookshelf and a coin fell down. This gave me an idea. Is it possible to compute the mass of a coin, based on the sound emitted when it falls? I think that there should be a ...
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7answers
6k views

Does Earth really have two high-tide bulges on opposite sides?

The bit that makes sense – tidal forces My physics teacher explained that most tidal effect is caused by the moon rotating around the Earth, and some also by the Sun. They said that in the Earth and ...
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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 ...
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2answers
245 views

Why does evaporation take place? [duplicate]

I was looking at at puddle when I thought that this puddle will evaporate tomorrow but then it occurred to me that the boiling temperature of water (aka to turn into gas) is $100$ degrees under 1 ...
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3answers
101 views

Which is stronger, wire rope or chain?

Assume they are the same material with the same weight, which is stronger?
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1answer
58 views

Conservation of energy and the 'crazy ball' product

Well I'm not sure how many people remember the crazy ball - a small ball made of rubber which bounced like crazy. What I noticed is that the ball seemed to bounce higher than the point from which it ...
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2answers
49 views

Maximum helicopter height [duplicate]

Helicopters or dual/quadcopters stop rising after reaching some height from the ground. What causes that? And what one should do if he want to prevent this, if he want the helicopter to keep rising ...
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3answers
140 views

Does the pressure inside a tire equal to its average ground pressure?

On one hand, I think they should be equal since the external force and internal force are equal in equilibrium. On the other hand, I don't see anything related between them, the inside pressure is ...
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1answer
57 views

Why is mud muddy?

How to explain properties of mixture of sand with water? Why is it so coherent and slippery at the same time? Is it due to hydrogen bonds? Why is mud of smaller grains more slippery and incoherent ...
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1answer
50 views

How is magnetism ''conducted'' through a non-magnetic metal?

I have a ball of metal about an inch in diameter and a concave disc of another metal (which is magnetic) around the ring of the disc (about $12 {\rm mm}$ in diameter). I don't know which metals they ...
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1answer
46 views

Stagnant Air Deep Inside Vintage Mines

This is really a question more about mining ventilation than true "physics." I occasionally explore a southwest desert mine, but am aware of the hazards - typically passing over half a dozen vintage ...
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4answers
69 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 ...
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2answers
131 views

Can Aluminium be softened

I have an aluminium baking plate that I did put in a very hot oven and now it is soft, so I can bend it or almost roll it up. Why?
4
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2answers
347 views

What is the duration of a snap?

What is the duration of a snap (of the fingers)? When someone says, "it's ridiculously fast, it's like [snap]" - where [snap] is them snapping their fingers - they would normally mean it is ...
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1answer
46 views

Why Least Distance of Distinct Vision is treated as image distance in the lens equation.

Least distance of distinct vision is the minimum object's distance that is able to produce a distinct image on the retina. Yet, it is treated as image's distance while applying lens equation. Say, ...
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0answers
24 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 ...
3
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1answer
47 views

Do electrons move in a conductor when it is connected to only one pole of a power supply?

If I were to get a conductor e.g. a piece of copper wire or aluminium and connect it to one pole of a battery (let's take the positive pole for example), will electrons be removed from the conductor ...
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4answers
1k views

Why does a ball bounce lower?

If a ball hits the floor after an acceleration then why does it bounces lower? I mean the Energy is passed to the floor then why does the floor give back less Energy?
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0answers
31 views

Using Optic Lens to Simulate Distance

I have an actual scenario, where I have to align a particular electronic optical device to two objects in the distance (2-3 km away), forming a right angle at the point where the optical device is. ...
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2answers
100 views

Observer looking out through the window of a train [duplicate]

When travelling by a train, it seems that the nearby objects move in the opposite direction(which I can explain) but the distant objects appear stationary. I can't explain this. By the concept of ...
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0answers
54 views

Why am I experiencing some type of odd motion?

So I noticed for a few years ago while I'm riding on the bus and as we stop at a corner i tend to just look at the road while I'm listening to music, I noticed that as the bus driver had stopped i ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does one get an illusion as moon following him?

When you run or ride bike at night if you observe the moon you feel like he moves along with you as the same speed you are going. Why?
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7answers
8k views

How does hot water clean better than cold water?

I had a left over coffee cup this morning, and tried to wash it out. I realized I always instinctively use hot water to clean things as it seems to work better. A google search showed other people ...
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1answer
58 views

How Sound of Mobile Vibration travels through wire of Earphones

This may sound dumb, but I have been observing that, If my mobile phone is placed on the wire of my hands free (earphones) and if my mobile vibrates, I could listen the vibration from the ear plugs. I ...
14
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3answers
754 views

Alternatives to electromagnetism for communication?

It seems, from my (weak) understanding of the standard model that the only field suitable for long range communication is the one we actually use, electromagnetism. (Gravity waves could be used as ...
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4answers
892 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?
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1answer
68 views

Wavy stream of liquid

When pouring a liquid into a glass some streams have a wavy shape, like the one in the following photo: (Couldn't find a better picture, sorry.) What causes the stream to be of such a shape?
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2answers
546 views

Tearing a piece paper along a crease

Why is it easier to tear paper along a crease? To word it differently: why does a "tear" progress along a crease, if one is present?
6
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1answer
85 views

Why are popcorn seeds soft after popping?

When a seed of popcorn is heated up in oil, it pops like this: You can take one of these popped pieces and eat it with little to no problem. However, if you get an un-popped seed and sink your ...
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1answer
65 views

What causes the 'tears' in yoghurt drinks?

Fluid dynamical instabilities are present in many different everyday things. The famous tears in wine for example are a classical example of a Marangoni effect, where surface tension gradients due to ...