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

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Why does higher acceleration minimize a car's fuel consumption?

I generally try to optimize my car's fuel consumption when driving, using my car's real-time MPG gauge and average-trip MPG indicator. Until recently, I believed the slower the acceleration, the ...
2
votes
2answers
405 views

Why does tea rises in the pot but water don't?

I was wondering when I boil water in a pot it only shakes too much while boiling. But I could not figure out why tea rises in the pot when we boil it. it is also a liquid but it starts rising up till ...
1
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2answers
605 views

What will happen if we place salt water on a induction cooker?

As we know that induction cooker works on the principal of induction of current in a conducting plate. So I just wanted to know what will happen if we place salt water in a plastic container on the ...
5
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1answer
179 views

What pressure or tension occurs in a glass jar when I pour boiling water inside?

Sometimes it happens that when you pour a boiling water into a glass jar, it cracks. Since glass is very hard material and resilient to pressure, the tension must be very high. Is it possible to ...
10
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2answers
320 views

What if the lid of a pressure cooker was suddenly released?

My dad and I have tried to calculate the strength of the explosion if the lid was suddenly freed. We took some measures: Lid mass: $0.7 \textrm{kg}$ Lid surface: $0.415 \textrm{m}^2$ Internal ...
17
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2answers
417 views

Stripeless cleaning of windows

Cross post: http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/4377/22 Last week I was discussing with a friend how we thought the stripeless cleaning of windows is achieved when using a cleaner like Windex ...
5
votes
4answers
346 views

Can a balloon be used as an anchor point for a pulley?

For a physics/ engineering contest, I want to use a large balloon as an anchor point for a pulley. This would allow me to raise and drop masses. However, in testing, when I pull on the pulley the ...
2
votes
3answers
204 views

Flushing water-Is it related to Coriolis force? [duplicate]

There are videos and articles on the internet which demonstrate that water flows down a flush clockwise in Northern Hemisphere and anti-clockwise in Southern Hemisphere. Here are a couple of links ...
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3answers
3k views

Using Electrostatic Force to Repel Dust From an Object

I have two 4,000V, 2.5mA, DC power supplies and am attempting to use them in such a way to cause a 6x4x1-inch ABS plastic object to repel dust from the ambient air and prevent this dust from settling ...
3
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1answer
131 views

What's the principle used in infant breath monitor devices?

Such a device consists of a sensor pad that is placed under a mattress: What's the principle it uses to detect breathing?
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1answer
88 views

What controls the heating ability of steamers?

Pictured below is a standalone steamer used for foaming and heating milk for milk-based coffee drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. They can be filled with water up to the pressure relief incorporated ...
19
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11answers
4k views

Are there still 'everyday' phenomena unexplained by Physics? [closed]

There are two very famous quotes from German Nobel Laureate Albert Abraham Michelson that are remembered mainly for being extremely wrong (especially since he said them just before two major ...
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1answer
401 views

Is my electric power cord creating magnetic field when coiled?

Simple question. But I was wondering, does my mac power cord create a magnetic field when its all coiled?
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4answers
10k views

What causes ballpoint pens to write intermittently?

After a while, a ball point pen doesn't write very well anymore. It will write for a little distance, then leave a gap, then maybe write in little streaks, then maybe write properly again. It seems ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

When driving uphill why can't I reach a velocity that I would have been able to maintain if I started with it?

Consider these two situations when driving on a long straight road uphill: Starting at a high velocity $v_h$, which the car is able to maintain. Starting at a lower velocity $v_l$, and then trying ...
4
votes
1answer
293 views

why do lightbulbs sometimes unscrew by themselves?

I've seen some light fixtures which exhibit the behavior of lightbulbs gradually unscrewing by themselves.
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3answers
3k views

Does sound propagate further in freezing weather?

A few days ago I went for a walk in the evening. We're having winter with a little snow and freezing temperatures. We're in a quiet, shallow valley with a train station about 1km from us. I heard a ...
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1answer
637 views

Confused about fire?

Im confused about fire. The way I see it : Heat creates (kinetic) energy in mass and this creates stronger vibrations of atoms. When those vibrations are strong enough the electrons interact ...
2
votes
3answers
636 views

Why does smoke go inside the car if the back door is open?

Inspired by another question I wanted to ask about phenomenon that I've experienced. We had a van with separate trunk deprtment (similar looking one below) to transport things. But some of the things ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does smoke go out the window of the car - and what if there's wind blowing instead of the car moving?

When driving a car while smoking with the window open (safety and legal issues aside), I've noticed that the smoke tends to go outside the window. Why does the smoke go outside? If the car is ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Would a bicycle stay upright if moving on a treadmill and why?

I suspect not, because moving forward (or backwards for that matter) is an important part, but I would like to confirm. UPDATE: Clearly it's possible ...
1
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2answers
348 views

How does this chair move?

I have a chair like this(shown in figure). I was kneeling on the part where we sit. I just gave a sudden push to the part where we rest the back, without moving my legs. I found that the chair is ...
29
votes
4answers
1k views

How much information about the scale of a waterfall can be obtained from its sound?

Is it possible to constrain the height, volume flow, or distance of a waterfall from the quantitative analysis of a high-quality recording of its sound? As an aside, the simulated sounds of fluid ...
2
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1answer
495 views

What is the cause of orange sky glow?

I live in the Netherlands and recently I have been seeing an orange glow in the sky at night, in the northwestern direction. What is the cause of this? And why is it in the northwestern direction (I ...
2
votes
3answers
255 views

Why is there more steam when water is subject to less fire?

When I cook things, such as scallop and salmon, I found that the food may be more tender if I wait till the water boils (at 100 C) and immediately turn the fire lower so that the water is not bubbling ...
7
votes
3answers
524 views

Why does motion help you balance on ice skates?

It's almost impossible to balance on a single ice skate if you're standing still. But give yourself just a little forward motion—it doesn't take very much—and it suddenly becomes easy. You can stand ...
2
votes
1answer
251 views

Do plastic shoes electrically insulate people from the ground?

I've read on the Internet that wearing plastic shoes doesn't allow electric charges we collect from our environment (PC, TV, appliances) to be earthed. Is this reasoning correct?
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2answers
155 views

Stealing heat, or not?

Say I hook a 1KW steam engine to the steam heat in my apartment, and generate 1KW of electricity (the engine is 1KW mechanical, not 1KW thermal) from it, so I don't have to pay ConEd. That means I ...
5
votes
1answer
611 views

Why does the milk frother on my coffee machine make so much noise?

I have a Sunbeam home espresso machine with a steam wand. The steam roars out straight from the end of the wand. When it's first placed in the cold milk it really screams! Once the milk has a bit of a ...
16
votes
1answer
784 views

Why is boiling water the second time more quiet than boiling it the first time?

First of all: This is a different question than Why is boiling water loud, then quiet?, although the answers might be similar. When I wake up, I boil some water for a cup of tea. It happens quite ...
6
votes
0answers
515 views

Where to place a fan in order to cool a room the fastest [closed]

Imagine I have room that is very hot and it is colder outside. I want to cool it down using a fan. Scenario 1 There is only one door. I have one fan. Where should I put it and which way should it ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

What are the optimal conditions to fuel your car?

I was filling my car earlier today, and noticed a sticker posted on the pump. This pump dispenses fuel at a volumetric amount measured in standard gallons (231 cubic inches). It does not adjust ...
5
votes
2answers
363 views

Why doesn't a neon sign seem that hot?

I heard that neon signs contain plasma, why aren't they hot? is it because the electrons and ions do not hit the lamp's wall? Is it because it is non thermal plasma and electrons and ions are not in ...
4
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1answer
242 views

How would one calculate the amount of water contained in a cloud?

So I was looking out the sky one day and I wondered how I would go about calculating how much water was contained in a cloud. I figured the following simple outline 1) We need to roughly know how big ...
25
votes
6answers
8k views

Why does a tire need to be filled with air?

The Mini 4WD's tires aren't full of air, and it can run. Also, the tank doesn't have tires with air. So, the question is: why do real cars on the road need to be filled with air? What is the idea ...
2
votes
4answers
183 views

Is a flawless trick die possible?

Trick dice have been used in gambling and magic shows. These are dice that, when rolled, will land with a preferred number facing upwards. This makes the result of rolling the dice non-random. I was ...
0
votes
2answers
143 views

The Ultimate Hand Dryer

I have come across many hand dryers that attempt to dry your hands really fast after you wash them. Here are two of them: XLERATOR http://www.exceldryer.com/ Dyson Airblade ...
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vote
4answers
2k views

Physics of a burning log of firewood

According to my knowledge, heat is nothing but the result of the vibrations of atoms and molecules. I guess this mean that in heating up a gas or liquid, we are increasing the rate at which the ...
4
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1answer
12k views

Why do balloons deflate?

Title says it all. Every balloon that I have got, from parties, etc, all slowly deflated for no reason at all. Why is that?
0
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2answers
691 views

Center of gravity of vehicle and vehicle performance

I am interested to know how does CG of vehicle plays role in the Fuel economy and the vehicle performance. Does CG of vehicle has anything to do while accelerating of your vehicle. I am a student, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What happens when we cut objects?

What is the role of the molecular bonds in the process of cutting something? What is the role of the Pauli exclusion principle, responsible for the "hardness" of matter? Moreover, is all the energy ...
6
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1answer
286 views

What is the angle at which water is splashed when a vehicle tyre rides in water on the road?

I would like to know the following: What is the angle at which water gets splashed when I ride my vehicle through a water on the road? How does angle of water varies with speed? What is the relation ...
2
votes
1answer
962 views

What exactly is a Fluorescent lamp?

A fluorescent tube (home-based) works on the principle of discharge of electricity through gases, as far as I can tell (I don't know much about cathode rays or gas discharge) What happens inside the ...
0
votes
1answer
162 views

Do arXiv links last for the forseeable future? [closed]

If I give someone an arXiv link, say http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.0118 , will this link last for the foreseeable future?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Squinting at street lights

Simple question, I've always wanted to know the answer to this. Why do you see a pair of lines radiating out from street lights when your squint at them? I can't think of a better way of describing ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Why does the higher of two medical IV bags empties first?

I'm a nurse, so my physics background is about that of a lay person. Please explain on that level. Ordinarily an Intravenous (IV) fluid bag is one liter. An IV piggyback is usually 2500ml. usually the ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Why do beverages taste different based on how cold they are? [closed]

Why does temperature effect the taste of beverages? Specifically, how does the temperature for example mask certain tastes ie filtered vs unfiltered water taste very similar at colder temp and Is ...
1
vote
1answer
328 views

Why does the water-pressure of my shower fall if I hold the shower head high?

I live in a very old house - build 1902 - in the 4th floor in the city of Karlsruhe (Germany). I have a shower and the gas-heater for the water is in it: If I hold the shower head over some height ...
3
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2answers
213 views

Inefficiency Comparison of Car Air Conditioning vs. Open Windows

On a recent long, hot journey in Spain, I was pondering which was the most efficient way of cooling the car. Which of these would be the most effective? Switching on the air conditioning, thereby ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are coke bottles that much fizzier if you shake them?

We've all been there: you drop your bottle of soda at some point and when you try to open it, it bursts into foam. My question is, then: why does shaking a carbonated drink make the dissolved gas ...