questions concerning measurements, experiments, and activities that demonstrate physics and are safe to do at home, require at most one tool or ingredient not readily available, and can be interpreted or analyzed on one sheet of paper with accessible math.

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12 views

Need better keywords to search for “polarization rotator” film

I want to replicate at home the demonstration that Ron Garret gave during his 2011-01-06 talk at Google1, featuring a "polarization rotator". My online searches have not turned up any suppliers for ...
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0answers
14 views

Where are real limits of evaporative cooling?

There are many projects focused on utilising evaporative cooling for food preservation or computer cooling purposes. I have other thing in mind, however and that's cooling beer. Once you're outside, ...
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0answers
46 views

Why are cereals attracted by a magnet?

Many cereals (from the supermarket) are attracted by a magnet. This can be seen by crushing the cereals into a very fine powder and approaching a strong magnet. The usual explanation is that cereals ...
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0answers
40 views

Compute Speed of an Object when moving on a circular arc?

Consider the following figure: An iPhon is moving on a circular arc from point A to point B. The radius of the orbit is f. Consider the case that a men stands and holding his arm horizontal to the ...
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0answers
11 views

how can I compute the temperature of a metal (iron / steel) rod when a current is applied?

I would like to compute something like $T(j,l,R)$ where $T$ is the temperature of the rod, $j$ the current, $l$ the lenght of the rod and $R$ the radius of the rod. there is any difference if the rod ...
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1answer
32 views

Filming light in slo mo

So I was thinking of a cool video I could make when I thought of filming a video of me turning on a light. I thought that if you film yourself turning on a light and slo mo that video enough times ...
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2answers
87 views

Charging a capacitor using a capacitor?

I recently did an experiment using a fully charged capacitor (assumed) and charged a separate capacitor through fixed resistor. We measured the potential difference of the capacitor being charged. We ...
2
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1answer
26 views

Common CCDs and photons

Is it possible to capture single (refracted?) photons with a CCD in a typical digital camera? Are these more likely due to coatings, etc? I have minimal knowledge of physics, but am curious.
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1answer
36 views

Why covering our nose with a cloth or nose mask reduces stale smell?

Whenever there is a stale smell in air, we tend to use a cloth(maybe a handkerchief) instantly to get away with it. Why does a cloth or a mask reduce the intensity of a stale smell? Are the "smell" ...
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1answer
36 views

Patterns in laminar flow of tap water

This is a simple experiment that anyone can do at home. Open your tap so that the water maintains a laminar flow, and the cross section of flow is considerably thin. Place your finger 3-4 cm below the ...
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0answers
53 views

Making a bright beam of artificial white light

For educational purposes, is there a way to make a narrow bright beam of white light without much equipment and without using the sun as the source? The collimated beam should be about 2 mm wide for ...
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2answers
31 views

How to measure the range of a horizontal projectile?

For an experiment, I'm launching a projectile horizontally to determine the relationship between height and range. Pretty basic stuff. But I'm having trouble coming up with an effective way to measure ...
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2answers
65 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
57 views

How to build a MOKE (magneto-optic Kerr effect) magnetometer at home?

I'd like to build a magnetometer at home. The type does not matter actually that much but it should be doable at home. The MOKE (magneto-optic Kerr effect) magnetometer at least appears to use ...
2
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2answers
395 views

Momentum (apparently) not conserved in one of my class' experiments

I am a TA for an introductory mechanics course. We performed an experiment yesterday examining two-dimensional collisions. One of the things we hoped to show in the course of this experiment is that ...
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0answers
30 views

Any suggestion of laser pointer for everyday life study of fluorescence?

I want to buy a laser pointer to study fluorescence in my kitchen. Any suggestion? What kind of laser pointer? What stuff for demonstration?
6
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1answer
806 views

Test whether a glass prevents you from getting your Vitamin D portion?

I work in an office with glass, which I believe filters the UV radiation of the sunlight. Is it possible to test if exposure to the light coming through the glass will supply Vitamin D for me as a ...
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2answers
436 views

Sun spectroscopy - Home experiment

We let the sun light run through a 5x3x3cm triangular glass prism and we examined the formed 'rainbow' in search of Fraunhofer lines. However, even though we looked close enough (even with a ...
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0answers
71 views

A Proposed Improvement to the Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment

I am sure most of you are aware of the Diet Coke and Mentos craze - put a few mentos in a bottle of diet coke and whoosh! Equally, I am sure most of you are aware that this occurs because the gas is ...
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1answer
189 views

Can a thrown egg chip (or break) a car windshield?

Is it possible to throw an egg with such speed that a car windshield will chip (just like with stone chips?) I have searched around for existing research in the area and have found that the impact ...
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1answer
63 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
17 views

My electrophorus doesn't work

I have failed in generating charge using electrophorus. The charging material was a balloon rubbed with hair until it became very full of static, as well as a small piece of Styrofoam rubbed with the ...
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1answer
57 views

Are there any tests of quantum field theory one can do using everyday objects?

One of the reasons I love physics is because many of the theories I can test using everyday objects around me. For example I can predict how long it would take for me to drop the ball of a roof using ...
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1answer
49 views

How can one know for one's self how big the earth is?

I want to know how big the earth is. I have heard of double sun set experiments, but it appears that you need to know you latitude, which I do not. I want to do this without using any outside ...
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1answer
105 views

Why do you not get burned when you move your finger (quickly) over a candle flame?

When we move a finger quickly over/through a candle flame, why doesn't it get burned? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire
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2answers
106 views

Water VS Soapy Water

I recently did an experiment. I have a cup of tap water, and a cup of tap water mixed with soap. I used an eyedropper to slowly drip drops of tap water onto a penny. Then I cleaned the penny, and ...
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4answers
100 views

Measuring electric conductivity

My daughter is doing a science experiment on which metal (e.g., copper, silver, aluminum, iron) has maximum electric conductivity. We are assuming we can accomplish this by using different metal, 3 to ...
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2answers
212 views

Is it really possible to “discover” the speed of light with a microwave oven?

I've seen a number of sites/videos online that describe a method for measuring the speed of light, using a microwave oven and a chocolate bar. For example, this video on youtube. The basic idea is to ...
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0answers
164 views

Experiment to verify a spring constant

In my high school physics class, I had students do a Hooke's Law lab to measure an unknown spring constant. Once we compared everyone's data we came up with a class value for $k$ of 253 N/m. We then ...
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1answer
98 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 ...
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4answers
102 views

Possibility of making an experiment in a classroom to simulate DNA diffraction

I am a TA in a structural chemistry class. The professor want me to show students how Watson and Crick determined the structure of DNA from X-ray diffraction results of DNA crystals. The professor ...
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1answer
214 views

Ways to measure the focal length of a convex lens with only natural sun light [closed]

What are the common ways to measure the focal length of a convex lens with only natural sun light?
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2answers
79 views

Flipping a bottle

I tried to do this experiment recently at school and my house. I started the experiment by having three same type of bottles with the labels A,B and C. Bottle A has been fully filled with water, ...
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1answer
139 views

Constant current in inductor

When I brought the dc voltage from $25 V$ to $0 V$ . A constant flow of electrons I could see in the inductor. Why is this phenomenon happening ? When a constant voltage was supplied the inductor ...
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1answer
28 views

Experiment Equipment Supplier (for use in the Classroom & at Home) [closed]

Does anyone know of an online store that sells equipment specifically designed for carrying out demos in the classroom or at home? I'm helping out a student taking college physics and chemistry. These ...
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1answer
139 views

Simple air resistance experiment

I have a paper plate, and I'm taping paper streamers to it. I have 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 streamers. I tried to place the streamers at places equidistant from the next. 2mm are attached to the plate and ...
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0answers
54 views

Home experiment with airfoils and Reynold's number

I want to do an experiment about lowering the Reynolds number of an airfoil moving through air. I want to figure out how to lower the turbulence around an airfoil. So my two hypotheses to lower the ...
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2answers
208 views

Net work done for rubber bands

I know that work is done on a rubber band to extend it, and then the rubber band does work to contract. However, then what is the net work done? If it returns to its original length, is the area ...
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1answer
768 views

Effect of varying distance of light source from a Light Dependant Resistor

I'm doing the experiment described here and I have a few questions about it. I have a miniature light dependent resistor (LDR) hooked to a multimeter set to $\Omega $ and a $25\,\mathrm W$ Light ...
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1answer
44 views

Beam of electromagnetic wave, with radius of 3cm or less

I need to create a beam of electromagnetic wave, with radius of 3cm or less, for distance about few meters. What is the minimum frequency (maximum wavelength) that it is really possible?
2
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1answer
57 views

Work due to air resistance

I was trying to find the distance a machine system I designed would potentially go. The machine works like this: A mass $M$ drops down and through a system of pulleys, pulls a wheel wound with the ...
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3answers
109 views

Can you pre-determine the result of a coin toss?

The question is fairly simple. Consider the following parameters which are known to you: 1.) Mass of the coin 2.) The force applied on the coin 3.) The point where the force is applied on the coin ...
14
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1answer
789 views

Which hemisphere am I on?

Inspired by this answer to a question on Puzzling.SE (which contains the old but wrong idea that the Coriolis force determines the direction in which a bathroom vortex rotates, and also an approach ...
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1answer
40 views

Ideas for improvised UV filter

I am doing a project where I would like to do some UV exposure to some concrete and stone samples. Therefore I have bought a couple of 400 watt UV bulbs, the product specification says it has an ...
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1answer
218 views

Sound Wave interference Experiment

I was wondering, can we use two sound sources so as to create a destructive interference at the position of a recorder at home? If possible, what is the easiest way?
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1answer
336 views

Frictionless Cart on a Ramp (Experimental Design Question)

Question: Why is the calculated value for our final velocity higher than our predicted value? Since our prediction neglected air resistance and friction, shouldn't the velocity for the actual cart ...
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0answers
26 views

Magnetic field of a living human [duplicate]

Is it true that a human body is like a bar magnet? Say our head is north pole while the legs are south pole, or vice versa? If so, can we confirm it by experiment say with the 360 Pro compass etc?
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3answers
3k views

If mass is added to a toy car does it affect its speed making it faster

If mass is added to a toy car (29.7g) and dropped down a wooden ramp would it affect its speed making it go faster? I know friction comes in to play to, so if you could give me an answer or an ...
6
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2answers
609 views

Homemade Spectrometer

Recently I have had ideas of how to build a spectroscope, but I'm not sure if it will work. As can be seen in the diagram, the experiment is simple: it consists of a laser that generates the light ...
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4answers
140 views

How can I measure the speed of a figure skater's spin?

My daughter is a figure skater and needs to measure how fast she is spinning before she loses her position. This is a science project for 7th grade. I have looked for devices to possibly measure her ...