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

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Saving energy/ petrol when drving [on hold]

Suppose you are driving on a straight road (with no traffic) at very low speed $v_o$, at one point the road goes downhill (A: grade 3%) and at the bottom (B) makes a V, going uphill again (C), up to ...
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8answers
1k views

Dying question: Tractor wheels — large vs small

This question has stumped me for over a month now: Why is it that a tractor has large wheels at the back and small wheels in the front? Current ideas: small wheel in front --> lower center of ...
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5answers
14k 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 ...
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0answers
27 views

AC is more dangerous or DC? [duplicate]

If, though not possible DC also works on specified frequency or follows sine wave form then which one would be more dangerous AC or DC?
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
5k views

Is this really a golden ratio spiral?

In this blog post, I found this picture: There are other similar photos: and Does the water really form golden ratio spiral in such cases? Or is the photo just a provocative example, without ...
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2answers
130 views

Why pouring milk from a height makes a chain shape?

I have noticed a chain-like shape when milk is poured from a height into a cup. Actually the chain pattern repeats itself after some distance and again till it reaches the milk in the cup. Any ...
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5answers
587 views

Does the pressure inside a tire equal to its average ground pressure?

On one hand, I think they should be equal since the external force and internal force are equal in equilibrium. On the other hand, I don't see anything related between them, the inside pressure is ...
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1answer
56 views

Why does paper become uneven when soaked and dried?

Pouring water on a small part of sheet of paper and then drying it makes it uneven, it gets a wave like appearance and seems to have become larger in size. Why?
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2answers
132 views

Foam patterns on espresso

When just prepared, an espresso has a thin layer of foam, known as crema, on its surface. As I move my drink from the bar to a table, the motion destroys the homogeneity of the layer, but I've noticed ...
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4answers
19k 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 ...
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1answer
28 views

Is, in terms of sound, pouring water in a bottle the analogous of blowing into it?

When we pour some liquid in a closed container, for instance a jar or a bottle, we usually hear two (acoustical) noises: one is the classical turbulent (I guess white) noise, that in my view is ...
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2answers
57 views

What happens when both of Polarizing filter in LCD screen are Horizontal

What would be the result if we replace the vertical polarizing filter in LCD device (screen) with a horizontal filter, what could we see exactly? Would we see the same if we use only one horizontal ...
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1answer
53 views

Why some material is waterproof while breathable?

I am an outdoor lover. Sometimes I am addicted to the jackets made of high-tech materials. There are some materials waterproof while breathable, I wonder how this is possible. They(Liquid water and ...
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4answers
3k views

Why do I always hear remote train horn at night?

This is definitely not an illusion, as many people have the same experience. I have usually lived in places miles away from train stations, which makes it unlikely to hear any train horns during the ...
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8answers
470 views

Why does an ice cube not twirl along when twirling a drink glass?

When you have a drink with an ice cube and twirl the glass, the liquid itself seems to twirl but the ice cube stays roughly in the same place. Why is this?
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2answers
43 views

How can humidity change in a closed room?

I know a closed (not perfectly insulated) space (like a house) can change in temperature if the outside has a different temperature (by diffusion, unless I'm much mistaken). From observation and ...
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1answer
2k views

Where does the energy of a light bulb come from?

Where does the energy of a light bulb come from? Is it from the coil of wire, magnet in the generator, mechanical input to the generator or plug where the generator is connected to the wall?
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3answers
102 views

Why does it seem as if big vehicles “attract” mine when I drive close to them?

When I drive a car at high speed and when I am near to another big car (like a van, or transport vehicle) I feel an attraction to or something push me toward the other big car . What's the physics in ...
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1answer
101 views

What's up with my whipped cream? [closed]

I got a latte with whipped cream this morning, and towards the end of the drink I noticed a peculiar effect. Regardless of how I turned the cup and thereby the coffee, the whipped cream pieces ...
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0answers
26 views

Model of scattering in wet things

You know that clothes and some surfaces become darker when wet (covered in an earlier question: why wet is dark?), because of the disordered reflections or of the refractive index of water or ...
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1answer
191 views

What is the fastest way to heat my car?

During the winter months I often have to drive in a cold car and I want to warm up as fast as possible. What is the best setting to put the air on in order to warm up the entire cabin in the least ...
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2answers
527 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 ...
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10answers
8k views

Does car tire pressure change with weight of car load?

Does tire pressure measured by a meter on tire gauge change with load? (I am not interested in pressure produced by car tires onto the road). Car spec usually says "inflate to 220kPa normal load, ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
790 views

Movie airplanes and suction

Having watched a recent action movie (with zombies in it) I wondered whether the suction from a hole in the airplane's hull would really be able to rip out luggage, persons and even seating benches. ...
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5answers
22k views

Why is there water coming out of a car’s tail pipe?

I notice yesterday that my neighbor’s car had water coming out of the exhaust pipe in the morning. My first response was since the hot exhaust is hotter than the cold tail pipe, heat is transferred ...
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1answer
64 views

The Egg Smashing Tournament

My cousins and I have a annual egg breaking tournament. First, each of us gets a hard boiled egg. Then, in a bracket tournament style, a pair of us face off in an egg breaking round: one person holds ...
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1answer
68 views

How to obtain this equation for skipping stones over water?

I think I have a decent conceptual understanding of the forces at work when stones are skipped over water. My question pertains to the equation found in this [source][1]. Reproduced in Latex this ...
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5answers
5k views

Why does wet skin sunburn faster?

There is a popular belief that wet skin burns or tans faster. However, I've never heard a believable explanation of why this happens. The best explanation I've heard is that the water droplets on the ...
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3answers
182 views

Why most of physics is somehow related to light? [closed]

It seems that for the past 200 years, every physicist is concerned about light. For example : Newton's particle model, Young experiment, Photo-Electrict effect and Einstein's formula, Special ...
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1answer
87 views

How can I estimate the cooking time of a roast?

I never remember what worked before, or to write it down someplace. In any case the size and starting temperature will vary. The instructions I learned from refuse to give a time at all, and the ...
20
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
84 views

Hula-hoop physics

What are the important parameters to consider when trying to keep a hula-hoop in the air by spinning it around the waist? For instance, when shopping for hula-hoops, one can commonly find its ...
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4answers
4k views

Why are stars white?

That is may be a easy question, but I am not a professional. The sun is a star and when I look at the sun is usually yellow. Why stars in the night are white? I suppose is for the distance. What is ...
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2answers
56 views

What is happening when a jenga block tower wobbles?

Imagine I am 3/4's of the way through a Jenga wooden block game. I have a tower and it is starting to wobble. To me it seems there are two possible causes for this: the wood is compressing and ...
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6answers
2k views

Does placing a lid on a pot affect the rate of boiling?

On the subject of cooking, someone once told me "If you have too much water in your pot after cooking a dish, just turn up the heat and let it boil without a lid for a few minutes". Now I've thought ...
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1answer
34 views

How does water-soluble packaging work?

Recently, I have been using detergent tablets in a water-soluble package for my dishwasher. How does the packaging get dissolved in water?
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1answer
145 views

During a turn, do the rear wheels necessarily trace out the same arcs as the front wheels?

When a vehicle makes a turn, the two front wheels trace out two arcs as shown in the figure below. The wheel facing towards the inside of the turn has a steering angle that is greater than that of the ...
101
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6answers
10k views

Very strange shadow phenomenon

I was laying on my bed, reading a book when the sun shone through the windows on my left. I happened to look at the wall on my right and noticed this very strange effect. The shadow of my elbow, when ...
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0answers
31 views

Cloud chamber with normal ice

Is it possible to build a cloud chamber by using normal ice instead of the usual dry ice? The temperature for dry ice is about 200$K$ while it is about 270$K$ for normal ice.
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2answers
603 views

Why are so many different types of objects white, yet appear gray when they are wet?

There are many things with different textures that appear white – salt, beer foam, paper, shaving cream, snow, talcum powder, white paint, etc. The most common answer is all of the frequencies must be ...
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1answer
37 views

Is it possible to use hot cloudy water as a cloud chamber?

This morning I got some warm water from the shower head to a dark plastic basin to wash some sensitive clothes. During the process lots of tiny bubbles got into the water so it had a cloudy ...
3
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1answer
122 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 ...
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1answer
53 views

Static electricity experiment

My teacher always asks me to do the experiments on static electricity in winter. I don't know why? What will happen if I conduct the experiment in monsoon?
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0answers
10 views

Electricity and it's effects [duplicate]

Why do I hear that bizzz sound sometimes from a electrical pole ? I have studied about heat and light effect of current but is there any sound effects too?
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1answer
159 views

Why do bowlers rub the ball before bowling in a cricket match

Why do bowlers rub the ball before bowling in a cricket match? What is the science behind it? Is it because of friction?
12
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1answer
386 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 ...
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3answers
480 views

Can you punch a hole in an A4 sheet of paper with your hand?

The Heading says it all. But let me explain it a little further. Suppose you hang a sheet of paper (A4 size), from one end leaving the other end free. Now practically it seems impossible to punch a ...
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1answer
84 views

Everyday phenomena for physicists

I am a physicist by training and like to learn more about everyday phenomena, i.e. how things work. All books on this rather general topic go in the direction of introducing physics, they want to ...