Applies to questions related to common objects and frequently experienced effects. Typically, these questions require explaining how the laws of physics are applied to a common situation, how objects work, etc.

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3
votes
1answer
104 views

Where is the basketball event horizon?

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
170 views

Can we detect whether food has previously been heated in a microwave oven?

An acquaintance told me that she refuses to eat microwaved food because she read that the microwave changes the molecules of the food somehow. Her statement is vague and her sources are dubious but I ...
3
votes
2answers
62 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
43 views

Why does my eardrum feel strange inside a car?

When I was riding a car (I was not the driver), my eardrum felt a little similar to the case when I was in a plane that was taking off, and little loss of hearing. Nothing was played inside. The ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does paper become transparent when smeared with oil but not (so much) with water?

When I smear oil onto a scrap of paper and rub it in, the paper becomes quite transparent; but when I attempt the same with water it doesn't as much. Why?
2
votes
2answers
167 views

Does wrapping a wet paper towel around a glass bottle really speed up the cooling process?

There are claims like this one that you can improve the cooling speed of beverages when you put them wrapped in a wet paper towel inside the refrigerator/freezer. I've just tried it by myself and ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How do projectors work?

So, objects are certain colors because they are absorbing every color except for that one. So why is it that if I take a projector and project a blue image on a red wall, the red wall still reflects ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Can doppler shift be used to find the MH370 black boxes?

The Australian ship Ocean Shield has detected multiple pings from the black boxes onboard the missing Malaysia Airline Flight 370, specifically on 4 lines of bearing according to this article. The ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Kicking a soccer ball

I wonder which type of kicking may cause the ball to go a larger distance? One way is kicking the ball when it is at rest and another is kicking a moving ball in the opposite direction. If the ball ...
4
votes
4answers
120 views

Does car have more kinetic energy when turning?

I asked this Phys.SE question Does car lose kinetic energy when turning? Assume a car turning without losing its speed by holding to a point by a rope. IMO, while the car is turning, its kinetic ...
38
votes
16answers
3k 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.
4
votes
2answers
148 views

Why does my kettle only make a noise when it is turned on

Almost as soon as I turn my kettle on it starts to make the familiar kettle noise, yet very shortly after turning off the power the boiling noise stops and the kettle is totally silent. The ...
0
votes
4answers
137 views

Does car lose kinetic energy when turning?

I am writing simple car simulation. Assume non friction, then in straight line the car doesn't lose speed. But what if the car is turning, there should be some kinetic energy loses to change the ...
41
votes
2answers
5k views

Why Do Sausages Always Split Lengthwise?

Sausages universally split parallel to the length of the sausage. Why is that?
1
vote
2answers
223 views

Why does a bottle shrink when you pour hot water in it?

I think the title says pretty much. Last night I poured hot water in a half full bottle of water and closed the cap. The bottle immediately shrunk. Why? My girlfriend suggested that the hot water has ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

Sun: When its closest and when its farther away?

If the sun is closest to the North American Hemisphere in the winter than it is in the summer, why doesn't our faces and hands tan and/or blister quicker? Please provide two hyperlink sources with ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Can I detect/measure strength of a FM radio wave using a Electro magnetic field meter?

I understand that an alternating current produces an Electro magnetic field . The strength of this magnetic field can be measured by measuring devices. What I wanted to understand is Are the FM ...
1
vote
3answers
114 views

Why do I still get static shocks when hands are wet?

Quite a few times now I have washed my hands, and while my hands are still wet I will touch something metal and get a static shock. I thought static electricity doesn't really build up when there's a ...
0
votes
3answers
478 views

Is there a physical reason steel balls are not suitable to play billiards with?

Steel is an elastic matter and is often used when demonstrating elastic collisions. We also make springs from it. Due to these properties and for its relative low price, it seems obvious to me to ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

physics of wet hair

I'm curious about the physics behind the clumping of wet hair. More specifically, how the amount of water in hair and distance between hairs affect the clumping process. I know intuitively that when ...
1
vote
4answers
107 views

Can a thermometer really measure the temperature of a substance?

When we measure the temperature of a substance by using a thermometer and waiting until the two come into thermal equilibrium, the thermometer will not display the original temperature of the ...
39
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is water clear?

Water appears transparent to visible light, yet most other objects are opaque. Why is that? Is there an explanation why water appears transparent? Is water transparent at all wavelengths, or are ...
5
votes
5answers
304 views

Why is it easier to walk diagonally upstairs

Try it yourself on a set of wide steps! Work is given by $$\int_C \mathbf{F} \cdot d\mathbf{x}$$ where $C$ is a path integral. In this case I think $\mathbf{F}$ is a rotational vector field because ...
7
votes
4answers
11k views

Why can't helicopters reach mount everest?

Is there a reason why people can't just take the helicopter to mount Everest? Why is it that helicopters can't reach that high?
7
votes
1answer
467 views

Camp Fire Crackle

I was sitting around the camp fire and there was a periodic sound of cracking and pieces of the burning wood flew off. My question is what is the mechanism for the cracking of the wood? I was thinking ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Why a much more water vapour is released when the heating source is turned off? [duplicate]

This question is related to a very simple experiment and I've never been able to find an explanation. Try to heat some water at the maximum power allowed by your cooking installations, either in a pot ...
8
votes
2answers
85 views

Why does soda fizz when it meets ice?

I read that the soda's temperature allows it to contain its $\text{CO}_2$: colder means it can retain its bubbles better. So, why does soda fizz when it meets ice? If anything, because the soda is ...
3
votes
7answers
543 views

How do I see things of the bright room, being in the dark room?

Visible light emitted or reflected from the objects around us provides information about the world. If I sit in a dark room, and see the bright room outside, I am able to see all the objects of ...
11
votes
3answers
884 views

Which color of an umbrella is more effective against sunlight?

It's usually said that black umbrellas are best against sun, since black absorbs most of the radiation . The common umbrellas in market(atleast in India) are painted black outside and silvery inside. ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Electricity Flow and Ground Wire

Pre-face: My step-father and I were turning the heat down on the water heater. He demonstrated that touching the ground wire doesn't shock you. My understanding is that the ground wire doesn't have ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Accelerate the car by static friction

I asked this question about friction and slip ratio and now I still don't understand it Why friction is zero when wheel slip is zero? As the below graph of wheel friction vs slip ratio shows that in ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Why friction is zero when wheel slip is zero?

From most graph, when the tire doesn't slip, then the friction is zero, for example see the below image Why there is no friction when there is no slip? As the car stand still on slope, there is no ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Why does soap produce more foam when rubbed on a head with hair?

While bathing, if you rub soap on parts of your body like the chest or hand, it creates less foam. When you rub the soap for a longer time only then the foam produced will be more. But, when you rub ...
39
votes
5answers
7k views

Why does a candle blow out when we blow on it? Our breath is 16% oxygen and only 4% CO2

Don't say that a layer of carbon dioxide covers the flame, because our breath has more oxygen than carbon dioxide. Also, our breath does not cool the flame as it is itself warm. So what is happening ...
46
votes
7answers
6k views

Why does a remote car key work when held to your head/body?

I was trying to unlock my car, but I was out of range. A friend of mine said that I have to hold the transmitter next to my head. It worked, so I tried the following later that day: Walked away from ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

When I stretch a rubber band, it breaks. When I hold the broken ends together, why doesn't it join again?

The question is simple. When we join the two broken surfaces, what is it that keeps the surfaces from connecting with each other, while earlier they were attached to each other? Also, would the two ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Red color has largest wavelenght and violet minimum (in the range of visible light). then why does violet light appears reddish? RED + BLUE = VIOLET [duplicate]

My question is simple. Green light is more similar to red light than violet, then why is violet reddish and green not? in the language of frequencies and wavelengths, red and violet should contrast ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Mirror Transportation

Why do people transport mirrors in inclined position? I frequently find people carrying mirrors in slant position on mini trucks.I guess it has some advantage of carrying them without breaking,and I ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Refrigerator cooling power usage

I have a refrigerator, that makes a lot of noise, and we have therefore set a time on it will limit the run time to when we are not at the office. But this is where our discussion begins, should we ...
4
votes
0answers
54 views

Why do floating objects attract? [duplicate]

Objects floating on the surface of calm water seem to be attracted to one another and tend to come together in a drift. Is this attraction like gravity?
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Is preheating plates in microwave dangerous? If so, why?

My understanding of microwaves was that due to the high frequency they are easily absorbed into any material. The more "loose" the material, the easier the absorption. I know it's dangerous to let ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

How do you calculate the air and water pressure inside the bell siphon during and after the vacuum is formed?

I am interested in the math/physics behind the simple bell siphon. In this YouTube video, the presenter says that the space in the top of the bell becomes a vacuum when the water flow eventually fills ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

Why do canvas water bags and doors expanded when wet?

I recently asked a question on a canvas water bag and I realized that there was something really interesting that I didn’t understand. When a dry water bag gets filled, it leaks a lot of water; ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Why does shaking your head with short hair hurt? [closed]

When my hair gets long I start doing a little flick of my head occasionally to get my hair out of my eyes. This grows into a habit though, and for the first few days after cutting my hair I end up ...
2
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

Why does centre of mass of ice-container system shift in absence of any net external force?

Consider a cube of ice in a flat based container(the base is very broad).The temperature of the system is at first fixed at a minus Celsius temperature, but then the system is left on a table with the ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Why does my body create interference with my clock radio while in bed?

I typically listen to NPR in the morning from a clock radio next to my bed. There are days when just moving my body, even my arm or leg, is enough to cause interference with the radio to dramatically ...
5
votes
1answer
47 views

What are circles on broth (eating soup) surface?

Think about broth in the soup, usually it has circles on its surface. What are their properties? Why there are many of them (not a few big blobs)? Are they depended on liquid's temperature? What needs ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Can walking provide electrical energy?

This is more of a theoretical question, but is it possible to convert the energy you use to walk into electrical energy to say, power a light bulb?
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Why is a wine glass shaped the way it is? [closed]

Why is a wine glass shaped the way it is? And why are there different shapes for different wines? Is this a tradition, or is there any scientific reason behind it?