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

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2answers
156 views

Why does smashing a TV remote load its batteries?

Many times I had the same problem: my TV remote's batteries were too weak for it to operate, but then, when I shook the remote a bit and smashed it on my palm, somehow the remote regained its ability. ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Sea surfer position displacement

Waves are means by which the energy propagates through a medium (e.g., sea water). This is not associated with a net movement of water in the direction of wave propagation. If this is the case, then ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Why do bubbles make a sound?

I have an understanding of how bubbles work. They encapsulate air (or other fluids) in a membrane caused by surface tension. When they pop, there is often a sound. Sound is a type of energy, kinetic ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Car headlights glass - why such uneven shape/texture?

Why does the glass on my car's headlights have such a strange shape/texture? Are there physics-based explanations or insights for these features? Wouldn't it be better if it was just transparent and ...
7
votes
2answers
95 views

Practical (maybe naive) question on boiling water

I put a glass bottle in a big pot, bottleneck up, I fill both pot and bottle with very hot water. The bottle is submerged except a few cm of the bottleneck and filled to the brim so some water ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

How would an X-ray scanner identify a mirror?

A mirror is under normal circumstance used to reflect Electromagnetic radiation also known as photons (light) and in airport security or medical facilities, they use X-rays to detect anomalies inside ...
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vote
1answer
113 views

Why does a minor vertical vibration cause my coffee to spill?

When I walk my kid sometimes I put a cut of coffee in a cupholder attached to the stroller. When I push the stroller over a brick pavement it seems to vibrate vertically. That is enough for the coffee ...
21
votes
3answers
814 views

Physics of weird “boing” sound in racquetball courts?

While playing racquetball, I frequently hear a very prominent "boing" sound (or more formally, a chirp). For example, you can hear it in this video when the ball hits the front wall. Does anyone know ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Not-so-hot black shirt

As it is getting warmer here by the minute I was asking myself: Are there materials, that are black (in th visible range) but reflect (most) invisible light? Furthermore, I asked myself what ...
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4answers
343 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 ...
11
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3answers
525 views

what is this force that is able to surpass an entire planet's force on it?

I have a wet teabag in an empty cup. If I will hold the teabag and touch the wall of cup with it, it will stick to the cup, like there would be glue or some magnetic field, but there's just water. ...
2
votes
0answers
66 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 ...
22
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5answers
2k views

Why isn't the sunset/sunrise rainbow-colored

When the sun is rising/setting, it goes through a phase where the light is bending from the atmosphere. I believe this image will explain much better than I ever could. Now, if light goes through ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Add weight in front or behind the moving wheel?

Consider a wheel with bearing and axle bar rolling on level ground. If I want to help the wheel continue moving longer(or faster speed), should I add weight by moving the rider body in front or ...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

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?
4
votes
1answer
704 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
70 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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vote
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 ...
2
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0answers
67 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
100 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 ...
40
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
85 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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vote
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 ...
3
votes
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, ...
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 ...
2
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2answers
88 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
0
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4answers
114 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
69
votes
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?
16
votes
2answers
184 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, ...
200
votes
4answers
36k 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 ...
87
votes
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
268 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 ...
2
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3answers
103 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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vote
1answer
60 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
154 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
52 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
70 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
132 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
votes
2answers
350 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 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
27 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 ...