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

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3
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2answers
418 views

How fart is transported through air?

As we know diffussivity of gas is really slow (e.g. $\require{mhchem}\ce{O2}$ and $\ce{H2O}$ in the air are respectively $0.176$ and $0.282 ~\text{cm}^2/\text{s}$). here is a example to specify how ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Does ABS shorten stopping distance of a car?

ABS, from German Antiblockiersystem, is a device put in almost every new automobile. The web has lots of explanations about the system, how it works, but I don't understand how it shortens the way of ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What part of the fan blade actually does the noise generation?

I'm trying to identify the sources of noise in spinning fan blades and what causes them. Is the noise only generated by the lead edge of the blade 'cutting through' air? and different parts of it ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

Floating a ping pong ball in the air just using a pen!

Caution: Apparently this problem is harder than it seems! There is a well known phenomena, which I first learnt about when I was a 10 years old kid. You can levitate a ping pong(or whatever ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Increase in cloth's mass

When we iron our clothes does the mass of the cloth increase, since energy transformation and transfer happens, Einstein's energy mass relation comes to action and causes increase in mass. Am I right ...
-1
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1answer
115 views

Heat preserving performance of container relative to content

This question has been addressed in the case of a thermos bottle: Performance of a thermos bottle relative to contents I am asking the question again without the hypothesis that it is a thermos ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

Why do some air-conditioned stores blast you with jets of air as you enter?

I went to a grocery store on a hot day that was very well air-conditioned, and I noticed as I went through the open entrance that there seemed to be a very powerful downward air current right at the ...
6
votes
2answers
715 views

Why do objects sometimes fall on their own?

I have observed sometimes that when I keep some objects precariously balanced, for e.g. some objects in a cupboard, they seem quite stable at the time when I place them there but after a certain ...
8
votes
2answers
264 views

Why is the summer, in the temperate latitudes, in average, hotter that the spring?

It is common knowledge that the transition from the Spring to the Summer season occurs in the Summer Solstice when the "Sun reaches its highest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the ...
3
votes
2answers
747 views

Performance of a thermos bottle relative to contents

I'm not a physicist but I majored it at high school (a long time ago) and I study university math. Me and my roommate discussed whether the performance of a Thermos bottle is influenced by how full ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Is an ice globe the worst possible way to cool a drink (with ice)?

Given an alcohol solution and a mass of ice in whatever shape you like, is shaping it into a sphere the worst possible way to cool your drink without diluting it? If the ice starts off at a sub-zero ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Does a car consume more fuel when it's raining?

Yesterday my wife asked me that question, and I couldn't answer. Consider a car, in a sunny day, and that is consumes x gallons per mile. Considering that everything is equal, except that it's ...
5
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1answer
173 views

Why do baked goods “fall” if exposed to sudden cooler air?

This is a know rule when baking: Don't open the oven until your cake is finished, otherwise it will "fall". Why/how does this happen?
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5answers
4k views

Is it possible to generate electricity using a water tower?

Is it possible to build a water tower that will provide enough pressure to run an electricity generator? A water pump can be used to send water up to the tower. The water pump can be powered by solar ...
-1
votes
2answers
360 views

6 Story Building Swaying, Normal? [closed]

Preface: I'm currently sitting at my desk on a 5th floor in a South Florida office building, as I was earlier this morning when I felt the building sway slightly. It wasn't continuous and the ...
8
votes
1answer
366 views

Ringing sound when you flip a coin?

When you flip a coin, you hear a ringing sound. I know that the source of the sound is the thumbnail hitting the coin, but it seems to be filtered by the spinning of the coin. Specifically, the faster ...
42
votes
8answers
3k views

How can Magnets be used to pick up pieces of metal when the force from a magnetic field does no work?

I learned that the force from magnetic fields does no work. However I was wondering how magnets can be used to pick up pieces of metal like small paperclips and stuff. I also was wondering how magnets ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the Sun feel hotter through a window?

I have this big window in my room that the Sun shines through every morning. When I wake up I usually notice that the Sunlight coming through my window feels hot. Much hotter than it normally does ...
-4
votes
2answers
9k views

Why two balls of different mass dropped from the same height falls the ground at the same time? [duplicate]

When two balls of different masses, thrown from equal height they reaches the ground at the same time. Can anyone explain this in terms of laws of Physics(or with mathematical equations)?
1
vote
1answer
227 views

Optical illusion of car wheels, speeding up

Perhaps it is some free moving spinner attached to the wheel, but as opposed to this question: Why does the wheel of a car appear to be moving in opposite direction? I have seen car wheels that appear ...
5
votes
1answer
273 views

What exactly heats a pool of water on a sunny day

On a sunny day an outdoor swimming pool will heat up fairly quickly. My question is, what is the exact mechanism for this and can we put numerical figures on it? Given that water is clear and ...
4
votes
1answer
314 views

Why do ice cubes make a cracking sound when placed in fizzy wine (Prosecco)?

When placing ice cubes in a fizzy drink such as Prosecco, ice makes a cracking sound, after which the fizzy bubbles more than usual. What is the physics of this phenomenon?
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Is play-dough liquid or solid?

At room temperature, play-dough is solid(ish). But if you make a thin strip it cannot just stand up on it's own, so is it still solid? On a more general note, what classifies or differentiates a ...
18
votes
2answers
790 views

How hot does the tip of a pencil get while writing?

When writing with a pencil, there seems to be quite a lot of friction - which seems like it would induce heat. How hot would the tip of a #2 pencil get writing on normal copy paper?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the boiling time depend on the number of eggs

My nephew showed me an exercise from his school-textbook about boiling eggs. Here is the exercise (translated from german): To make one hard-boiled egg in a pot of water one has to put it for 8 ...
13
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2answers
2k views

How does a sponge “suck” up water against gravity?

If I take a sponge and place it in a shallow dish of water (i.e. water level is lower than height of sponge), it absorbs water until the sponge is wet, including a portion of the sponge above the ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Cycling down a mountain

I am Dutch, so I cycle a lot, hence the following question. Say I am standing at the top of a mountain on my bicycle. I have an amount of energy $E$ available. Say that after the slope of the mountain ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Harmlessness of a pure alpha decay particle

From my high school physics class I remember that there are some particles which exhibit pure alpha decay (i.e. alpha decay to there stable isotope), like Po-210, Po-211 and Bi-209. What I also know ...
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votes
1answer
81 views

How does the formaldehyde leak into the food from bamboo cutting board? [closed]

http://food.thefuntimesguide.com/2010/07/bamboo_cutting_board.php Some bamboo cutting boards are glued together with adhesives that have formaldehyde in them — which could eventually leak into and ...
2
votes
3answers
224 views

Can random constructive interference with sound waves cause damage?

Any two sound waves have a random chance to constructively interfere with each other at a given spot and this will cause an increase or decrease in pressure. So is it possible that a large number of ...
6
votes
1answer
330 views

The quickest 6-3 play in baseball: to bounce or not to bounce?

What's the quickest way the get the ball (say from shortstop) into the first-baseman's glove, given some fixed initial (throwing) speed? Directly or with one bounce? I'm fairly sure that the answer ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the meander ratio of a river $= \pi$?

To get from point $A$ to $B$, a river will take a path that is $\pi$ times longer than as the crow flies (I think this result is from Einstein). What is the proof of this, and how well does it hold ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Color of sky scattering by sky dust [duplicate]

Why does we see sky like blue in maximum time? We know violet has less wavelength, so we should see sky like violet. My assumption is that, violet is not primary color and not sufficient in the ...
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vote
1answer
1k views

Calculate the distance between two points from iPhone Camera

I want to calculate the distance between two objects using an iPhone camera. Suppose I'm standing with my iPhone 10 feet away from the objects. Now, I want to calculate the distance between those ...
38
votes
16answers
4k views

Quantum mechanics and everyday nature

Is there a phenomenon visible to the naked eye that requires quantum mechanics to be satisfactorily explained? I am looking for a sort of quantic Newtonian apple.
5
votes
1answer
362 views

Physics of every-day life: rotating bag of tea

Whilst studying for my physics courses, I like to drink tea. Today, I noticed that if you pull a bag of tea out of a hot cup of water, it gradually starts to rotate, picking up speed as time ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

What is the minimum pressure difference for your ears to pop?

I'm assuming the answer to this largely varies from person to person. Assuming you could instantly change the pressure around your head by amount $\Delta p$, what is the minimum $\Delta p$ for your ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Why Won't a Tight Cable Ever Be Fully Straight?

I posted this picture of someone on a zipline on Facebook. One of my friends saw it and asked this question, so he could try to calculate the speed at which someone on the zipline would be going ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How does my hand amplify an FM radio signal?

I have a gizmo that broadcasts an FM radio signal from my phone's headphone socket to my car's radio antenna. Sometimes, there's another station on the same frequency with a stronger signal and my ...
4
votes
3answers
9k views

Why don't electric workers get electrocuted when only touching one wire? [duplicate]

I know that when electricians work on the poles on the streets, if they only touch one wire at a time they will be fine. However, from my understanding, the negative wire is connected to a large ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

Does more reflective aluminum foil make a room cooler compared to less reflective foil?

Aluminum foil is said to be not absorbing light at all. It reflects light. So, does it mean that a more shiny aluminum foil will reflect more light and thus make the room more cooler as compared to ...
14
votes
1answer
295 views

Modelling the movement and jumps of a chalk while drawing a dashed line on a blackboard

You probably know that if you try to draw a line using a piece of chalk on a blackboard , under some conditions (for example, $\alpha<\frac{\pi}{2}$ in the picture below) you will have a dashed ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Why do lumps of sugar break more easily when blowing in it?

My question is simple, when you have a small lump of sugar, it's hard to break it with your bare hands, but when you blow in it, it appears to be more easy. (it's a piece of advice i learned for my ...
25
votes
6answers
7k views

How do whisky stones keep your drink cold?

From a discussion in the DMZ (security stack exchange's chat room - a place where food and drink are important topics) we began to question the difference between how ice and whisky stones work to ...
6
votes
1answer
660 views

Why is it hard to breathe when cycling against the wind?

Sometimes when I bicycle against hard wind, I find it difficult to breathe. Others I have discussed it with have also noticed this effect. A possible related phenomenon that I heard from an ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Seashell occurrance

Sometimes, sea shells accumulate on the sea shore, but sometimes they will instead be dragged back out to sea. What are the main physical factors that determine which of these things will happen?
3
votes
1answer
207 views

Does tapping at the side of a bottle prevent shaken soda from bubbling over?

Anecdotal evidence has it that a bottle of soda that was heavily shaken will not bubble over if tapped at the side multiple times. Yet I wonder: Has the tapping really any effect? Or could it be that ...
4
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3answers
449 views

Does more rain strike a vehicle while moving or while stopped (or neither)? [duplicate]

Assume there is a rainstorm, and the rain falling over the entire subject area is perfectly, uniformly distributed. Now assume there are two identical cars in this area. One is standing still, and ...
16
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7answers
8k views

Does an empty refrigerator require more power to stay cold than a full one?

Given that everything else is equal (model of fridge, temperature settings, external temperature, altitude), over a given duration of having the door closed, does it require more electricity to cool ...
3
votes
4answers
209 views

Would a phone move upon vibration in a completely uniform situation?

I was sitting down yesterday and saw my phone vibrate on a side, and it moved about a centimetre per vibration. I wondered why it moves, and thought perhaps that the side it was on had a slight ...