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

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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 ...
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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
1k 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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1answer
45 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
104 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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0answers
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
948 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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2answers
137 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
430 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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1answer
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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1answer
78 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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2answers
2k views

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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3answers
552 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
110 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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5answers
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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1answer
316 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
71 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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1answer
52 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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1answer
150 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 pools....
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0answers
114 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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2answers
122 views

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
396 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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1answer
309 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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5answers
3k views

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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1answer
114 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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3answers
223 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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59 views

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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2answers
105 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
903 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
326 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
76 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
543 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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3answers
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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Which travels further, a football or a soccer ball, when thrown?

I recently answered this question: Laminar Versus Turbulent Flow and it caused me to think of the following situation. Given that an (American) football weighs between Football 400 to 430 grams, and ...
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1answer
679 views

Height of Water 'Splashing'

Suppose from a height $H$, I throw a ball of mass $M$ and radius $R$ with initial velocity $u$ into a pool of depth $x$ having a liquid with density $\rho$ and coefficient of viscosity $\eta$. ...
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6answers
13k views

Why can we see through rain?

I am gazing through my office window into a heavy rain. I am thinking that raindrops are like small lenses that bend the light. Thus I am surprised, that I can clearly see other buildings through the ...
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1answer
157 views

Would the hot windows break? [closed]

I have a question that I was thinking about for a long time. I live in Kuwait and in the summer season the weather reach 50°C which is extremely hot specially inside a car. What if I was able to ...
33
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3answers
6k views

Push a Boeing 737 on ice: Did this guy have a chance? [closed]

In this video an airport worker (in blue) tries to prevent a Boeing 737 from sliding on ice in heavy winds: Did he even have a chance? On one side of the argument, the airplane is sliding due to ...
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2answers
202 views

Why speaker beeps when a cellphone is kept near it?

Once I had kept my cellphone near a computer speaker. After some time, a call came over my phone. Strangely, the speaker started humming and beeping till I received it. Why did the speaker started ...
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0answers
94 views

Looking for equation that explains empiric data of tire pressure change due to load

I did some measurements on how tire pressure changes due to different loads in a car. There are still some open questions I can't seem to solve on my own, even though I could already use parts of ...
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0answers
79 views

why do things stick to surfaces when left for a really long time?

I tried to move a cardboard box off the top of a cabinet, which left it on for probably years, and it was insanely difficult to remove. I don't know why this happens, but it also seems that my feet ...
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1answer
175 views

I made a tin can phone using a plastic slinky and paper cups. Why didn't it work?

After watching some videos on Khan academy in regards to the information theory, I spent a few minutes creating a primitive "tin can phone." The materials of my phone are a plastic slinky and two ...
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1answer
147 views

Is the Sun dusting my electronics?

I recently noticed this odd dust formation on my gaming console's camera peripheral. The dust is significantly thicker on the right side, with the television in the background. On the left, with a ...
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0answers
327 views

Why chewing a battery increases its power? [closed]

I know almost nothing about physics. Last night my TV remote was not working. I chewed the batteries and woh! It still had power left. How does chewing a battery increases its power? I think it's a ...
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3answers
87 views

About energy… created, destroyed?:/

Consider a dam, in that first the hydraulic energy due to gravitational force gets converted into mechanical energy by using turbine. Then those mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy ...
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2answers
134 views

Time delays in live TV talk shows

Quite often I observed that whenever a caller participates in a live TV talk show, there is delay of time to respond a particular question asked by the compère of the program. This delay is due to the ...
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1answer
290 views

How does a tightrope walker return to equilibrium?

I do not understand how tightrope walkers return themselves to equilibrium. I am not concerned with the direction along the rope or wire where their base can be large, and they are able to move ...