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

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16
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5answers
2k views

Where does deleted information go?

I've heard that, in classical and quantum mechanics, the law of conservation of information holds. I always wonder where my deleted files and folders have gone on my computer. It must be somewhere I ...
2
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0answers
53 views

Researching an automobile accident.Wondering if someone can help me as I never studied physics

I am trying do some independent research on a recent auto collision where the information released doesn't seem plausible based on the pictures that I have seen of the accidents aftermath. A ...
1
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2answers
82 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 ...
3
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1answer
50 views

How come these 3d glasses don't show a difference between horizontal and vertical?

I thought that modern 3d glasses work by having one lens filter horizontally polarized light, and the other filter vertically polarized light. However, I found this pair of 3d glasses at my parents' ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Is there an efficiency-optimizing layout of items in a refrigerator? [on hold]

Is there some optimal layout of items, or types of items (characterized by size, shape, density, solid/liquid, etc) that will allow a common household refrigerator to function with optimal energy ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Why does the majority of smoke leave when flames appear?

When I burn wood, paper, or other plant matter, where there is a flame, there generally isn't too much smoke, but it I blow the fire out, smoke starts billowing up. It billows thicker and thicker as ...
4
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2answers
62 views

Why slightly closing your eyes let you see the rainbow colors?

So I was sitting and looked at a street lamp outside my house. It is an ordinary lamp that looks something like that: This lamp emits white light and it is about 20 meters from my house. It was ...
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0answers
16 views

How do we get a wave pulse and wave packet/train?

Ok, If a disturbance is localized to a small part of the space for a certain time we get a wave pulse and if the source is active for time greater than to complete a single pulse we get a wave ...
0
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0answers
55 views

Milk-First School

I have always been struck by the huge amount of different arguments about the issue: When you make a cup of tea, the milk should be poured first or added to the cup after the tea? Wikipedia, ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Why do we observe opposite motion of trees (nearer) and trees (distant) when seen from a moving frame? [duplicate]

If you are in a moving train or in a bus, what you observe is that the trees which are nearer to you move opposite to the direction of your motion. But the trees which are very far away from you, ...
0
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2answers
93 views

Observer looking out through the window of a train [duplicate]

When travelling by a train, it seems that the nearby objects move in the opposite direction(which I can explain) but the distant objects appear stationary. I can't explain this. By the concept of ...
2
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3answers
104 views

Will my car consume more if I plug in my laptop?

I drive a Volvo v40 with a 110hp diesel engine. It usually use 4.6L/100km. If I plug my laptop which is 85W, will this change the fuel need? If so, by how much?
8
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4answers
1k views

Why does a ball bounce lower?

If a ball hits the floor after an acceleration then why does it bounces lower? I mean the Energy is passed to the floor then why does the floor give back less Energy?
8
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2answers
101 views

Why does the sky suddenly look gray through this window?

I am looking to the windowed roof of my building, and I notice that the sky, which has few white clouds, sometimes looks completely gray, as if there was a huge cover of gray clouds, but there are ...
2
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
128 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, ...
2
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3answers
136 views

How fast can fire spread?

You can build a home-made flamethrower by using a spray and a lighter: (from this YouTube video) But this can be dangerous if the fire gets in the can and the can explodes. So I guess the speed at ...
40
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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 ...
5
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3answers
194 views

Is it faster underwater to go down without air or up with air?

So I had a very interesting conversation between me and my friends about this topic, but we could not find the answer. The Situation Lets say you are in a pool and you want to touch the bottom and ...
10
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5answers
7k views

Do low frequency sounds really carry longer distances?

It is a common belief that low frequencies travel longer distances. Indeed, the bass is really what you hear when the neighbor plays his HiFi loud (Woom Woom). Try asking people around, a lot of them ...
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0answers
36 views

How do whitening toothbrushes work?

Certain "whitening" toothbrushes are sold and I was wondering about the mechanisms behind the tooth whitening process. I suspect this is related to the shape and arrangement of the fibres, probably ...
2
votes
4answers
63 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Why do some pressure cookers initially leak

Why do some pressure cookers initially leak steam from the sides and after a while settle down and don't leak? Is it a positive feedback mechanism from the building steam which makes the sealing ...
37
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3answers
2k views

Why wet is dark?

When something gets wet, it usually appears darker. This can be observed with soil, sand, cloth, paper, concrete, bricks ... What is the reason for this? How does water soaking into the material ...
45
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1answer
2k views

Why does dry spaghetti break into three pieces as opposed to only two?

You can try it with your own uncooked spaghetti if you want; it almost always breaks into three when you snap it. I am asking for a good physical theory on why this is along with evidence to back it ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Is it possible that a battery goes flat faster in a cold environment?

I own an old iPod Classic with original lithium-ion polymer battery and I use it primarily while running. Recently I discovered that when a temperature outside is low, usually below 5 C degrees, the ...
0
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2answers
40 views

Would incense burn at a different rate if oriented differently?

This is motivated by this question in the Puzzling.SE beta about measuring 90 minutes of time using two candles that burn for one hour. (Feel free to read up on that before I spoil the puzzle!) The ...
7
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3answers
579 views

How does a canvas water bag cool water?

I was reading about this water bottle by Botl that behaves like a canvas water bags to keep water cool. I found out that this idea is an old idea and cars would drive with water bags in front as shown ...
56
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7answers
8k views

How does hot water clean better than cold water?

I had a left over coffee cup this morning, and tried to wash it out. I realized I always instinctively use hot water to clean things as it seems to work better. A google search showed other people ...
23
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3answers
4k views

Is this really a golden ratio spiral?

In this blog post, I found this picture: Does the water really form golden ratio spiral in such cases? Or is the photo just a provocative example, without physics grounds for claims about ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
309 views

How would an X-ray mirror work?

I was wondering if light can be reflected how can someone reflect X-ray of what material does it need to be made of and is its design completely different to that of our original mirrors? Does this ...
17
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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 ...
0
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1answer
46 views

How Sound of Mobile Vibration travels through wire of Earphones

This may sound dumb, but I have been observing that, If my mobile phone is placed on the wire of my hands free (earphones) and if my mobile vibrates, I could listen the vibration from the ear plugs. I ...
5
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2answers
319 views

Why do plastic bags make less noise when immersed in water and crushed?

When a plastic bag is crushed in air it makes noise. But when immersed in water and then crushed we hear very little noise. Why is it so? Even if I go inside water, I do not hear the noise the same ...
4
votes
2answers
58 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Squinting at light sources

I am sure it's just your eyelashes creating a filtering effects, but if you look a a bright(ish) light source such as a lightbulb while squinting, if looks like you are seeing straight light rays ...
3
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3answers
760 views

Is there more energy in the collapse of a cavitation bubble than the energy required to create the bubble in the first place?

The following does not include all scientific details and parameters, only a common summary of "thoughts". What is scientifically wrong with this summary? When you take your beer and tap the top ...
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0answers
11 views

How to survive a lightning strike [migrated]

Is this really a plausible way to survive a lightning strike ?
3
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1answer
189 views

Where is the “event horizon” on a basketball hoop?

I'm watching a lot of basketball this month. A common event is the ball going part way into the hoop and then coming out again. Announcers sometimes claim that the ball was "halfway through" when it ...
1
vote
2answers
202 views

How do I figure out the momentum of a water balloon when it reaches the person I am throwing it at?

Recently an experiment was performed in which myself and a partner filled a water balloon and threw it back and forth at each other without breaking it. We gradually increased the distance at which it ...
21
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2answers
750 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 ...
82
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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 ...
14
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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 ...
3
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2answers
136 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. ...
1
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2answers
113 views

Why do I hear the telephone ring through grandpa’s hearing aid before the actual phone rings?

I was sitting next to my grandpa (Tato), who wears a hearing aid, on the couch. I’ve noticed that when the landline telephone rings I actually hear the phone ring through his hearing aid (less than ...
2
votes
3answers
220 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 ...
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 ...
68
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?
7
votes
2answers
85 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 ...