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

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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
84 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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91 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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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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1answer
77 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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40 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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360 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 ...
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8answers
462 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
42 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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34 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
539 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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66 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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442 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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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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65 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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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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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 ...
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2answers
4k views

Can sugar be affected by a magnetic field?

While I was making a morning coffee at work, some sugar from the spoon started to fly away, seemingly towards some foam cups. Can this be explained by magnetism?
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3answers
963 views

Why do particles in the molten wax near a burning candle wick get pushed away?

Have a look at this clip I made of my candle burning: I can accept that the molten wax gets sucked into the wick (though not quite sure why: capilary action?). But why does it also seem to get ...
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44 views

Plausibility of the distance estimation in a cycle ergometer gym exercise

A friend of mine pedaled for an hour on a cycle ergometer, a stationary bicycle in a gym. At the end of the ride the cycle computer reported a distance of $40\:\mathrm{km}$ and an average power of ...
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2answers
77 views

How Much Does Roof Color Affect Energy Consumption?

I'm not sure whether this is off-topic; if so, I do apologize and will fully understand votes to close. That said: I live in a climate that's quite cold much of the year but gets pretty hot in the ...
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45 views

Sticky physics of pasta mixture [duplicate]

When you mix cooked noodles or other "prevailing 1D pasta" like spaghetti with other ingredients like olives, pieces of meat (not minced) etc. you will probably experience the fact, that the mixture ...
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1answer
944 views

How does wax fuel a flame? [duplicate]

I get how an oil lamp runs until the fuel runs out, but a normal wax candle doesn't seem like it works the same way.
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133 views

Time taken to cook frozen peas

I'm cooking frozen peas in my kitchen. Experiment 1 - I take a quantity of frozen peas, put them into a (room temperature) saucepan, add a quantity (at least enough to cover the peas) of boiling water ...
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3answers
296 views

Why is walking up stairs harder than walking normally?

I must admit, I'm pretty new to studying physics and I know this is a simple concept but I'm having difficulty understanding it. I've tried reading the questions here but I just need a little bit of ...
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43 views

Impact on landing with forward motion vs straight down

A skateboarder ollies down a set of stair. Is the impact when landing less than if dropped straight down from the same height?
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73 views

How can one change the virtual position of a sound source with a fixed array of speakers?

I have a question about signal processing: How to make a person, sitting between array of two loudspeakers (one from the left and one from his right), hear the sound that came from both loudspeakers, ...
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Is it (practically) possible for a large building to be a Faraday cage?

In my sophomore year of high school, my P.E. teachers kept on complaining about how phones didn't have a network connection in our gym, regardless of model, service provider, etc. A couple of feet ...
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448 views

Why don't surfboards fly out the back of a utility truck when driving on the highway?

I have never had it happen myself and every time I throw my boards (shortboards not malibus) in the back of someone's ute, with no cover on the tray, they always assure me they'll be alright( the ...
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1answer
83 views

Balanced and Unbalanced Forces Help

I am a newbie pondering in Physics concepts. I just had a question about Newtonian physics. The reason why "everyday" objects come to a rest is because there are unbalanced forces working against ...
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4k views

How does Newton's third law apply to an object interacting with air?

We all know that if I punch the wall with $100\,\mathrm{N}$ force, the wall pushes me back with with $100\,\mathrm{N}$ and I get hurt. But if I punch air with $100\,\mathrm{N}$, does air punches me ...
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242 views

Intuitive Explanation of Tippe Top Effect?

A friend showed me a tippe top (a special kind of spinning top) lately and asked me about the physics behind it. I thought about it for a while but cannot quite figure it out. So I will throw the ...
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1answer
67 views

Why can iron and dryer both make clothes with less wrinkles?

Why can iron and dryer both make clothes with less wrinkles? Is there some physical or chemical process that smooths out the clothes? Which factor in a dryer that smooths out the clothes, rotation, ...
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47 views

clouds reflective property

I am a private pilot and see some beautiful clouds in all forms and patterns up in the sky. I wonder what causes some of the clouds to be so shiny, reflecting such an intense light that it's hard to ...
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128 views

Htting the brakes with a pickup truck full of water

I am looking to settle a bet. My friend and I were discussing truck bed pools, which are pick-up trucks with their beds tarped and filled with water converting them into small temporary swimming ...
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109 views

Why the coil on high tension wires

Today I saw some high tension wires of which some (the middle two) had some large coils wound on top of them as in the image, every 50 meters or so, over a few hundred meters. Does anyone know what ...
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Why do old tube lights flicker?

When tube lights become considerable old, they start flickering; i.e when the tube lights are switched on, they don't glow immediately, but start flickering. After some time they glow. Sometimes they ...
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2answers
308 views

Why is tearing paper irreversible?

Consider a piece of paper. If I pull on it in the right way it tears into two pieces. However, if I push those two pieces together, they do not spontaneously form a single piece. What happens at the ...
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245 views

Turbulent and smooth flow of water from a tap

When water flows normally from a tap, we can say it is turbulent ( Pic 1 ). But when we attach a piece of cloth to the opening of tap, water flow becomes smooth ( Pic 2 ). We can say that by touching ...
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What causes this pattern of sunlight reflected off a table leg?

My friend noticed an interference-like pattern around the table leg. However, we do know that interference patterns of sunlight produces rainbow colours. What seems to be happening here?
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97 views

Why light rays gets scattered when it enters a translucent window pane?

Consider the light source is the light post, outside the window of my house (Pic 1). When the rays from the light post enters through the window pane which is translucent gets scattered and forms a ...
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189 views

Should these be called “weights” or “masses”? [closed]

Yeah, those circular metal disks. Weights or masses? I call them weights because when I attach them to a spring I'm interested in their weight, but it feels odd saying a "Pick up the 100g weight". ...
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Explaining this optical phenomenon

Sometimes when you blow/direct a ring of smoke at a glass window(you can see both your reflections if you stand in front of it as well as the outside) the ring,after some time seems to pass through ...
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101 views

Is the reason why water in a cup rises if a solid is placed within it the ideal gas law?

Let's say you have a cylinder with water that takes up volume V and has temperature T. When a solid mass is placed within the cylinder, the water momentarily takes up a smaller volume within the ...
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2answers
857 views

Why fast eye movement splits a white LED into the RGB components?

I have a "white" LED as the notification light on my phone. When I look at it straight it looks whitish, but when I move my eyes around (or shake my head) I suddenly see glimpses of red and green (and ...
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3answers
220 views

Opening tight bottles

Why do so many people recommend patting/hitting on the lid of bottles, or alternatively on the bottom, in order to open them when they are too tight? Is it even effective? And why would it work?
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1answer
59 views

Do bubbles splash downward?

When a solid ball drops into water, the kinetic energy of the ball pushes water upwards into what we call a splash: Does a similar effect occur when bubbles 'drop' upwards from the water into the ...
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7answers
3k views

How big are clouds? [closed]

How big are clouds? When I look up into the sky I have no frame of reference, so I don't know if they are 200 feet or 2 miles across. When I am in a plane looking out at a cloud, I try to use the wing ...
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2answers
516 views

How come a cork float to the side of a glass? [duplicate]

There's a not-so-recent video by a user named quirkology here, where he shows bets that usually work. From @2:19, he puts a wine bottle cap at the center of a glass ...
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1k views

Why is boiling not just a surface phenomenon?

The boiling point of a liquid is defined as The temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the external atmospheric pressure. That being the case, why, in a pot of boiling ...