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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Where to find or how to make a strobe in the range 20-100Hz [on hold]

Please see this for experiment details: http://ap.smu.ca/demos/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=224&Itemid=205 It is the classic: create a standing wave with a certain number ...
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2answers
69 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
22 views

Do different density objects in liquids affect net weight [duplicate]

I would test this but I have no tools to test it with. If I have a beaker of water and weigh it on a measure. Then I stick my fingers in the water (it doesn't over flow) does the weight change or ...
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1answer
23 views

What is the simplest way to perform a Cavendish experiment?

The Cavendish experiment is cool, but seems complicated to experimentally perform. What is a simple way to recreate the experiment?
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1answer
51 views

Movement of a cylinder filled with water

Not long ago I was pretty bored at a dinner and I started playing with a water bottle that was not empty: I've been quite interested in its behavior when putted on its side and pushed: the bottle of ...
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4answers
88 views

What happens when I place an ice cube into boiling water

My friend tried this experiment at home: She put an ice cube into boiling water. The water in the container stops boiling while the ice melts to water. My question: Why does the water stop boiling ...
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1answer
25 views

Estimating the rotational speed of DC motor

What is the best strategy to roughly estimate the RPM of a simple DC motor as seen in this video?. I want to estimate the max possible rotation of the coil that has $n$ number of turns and has moment ...
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4answers
132 views

How to measure the energy consumption class of a home appliance? [closed]

Some of you may be familiar with the EU energy consumption classes for domestic appliances (or equivalents in other areas). Let's say we have a domestic appliance which was made before the energy ...
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1answer
45 views

How much power you might need to generate dangerous EMP shock?

While playing with voltage multiplication and capacitors, I began to think if my experiments could damage my electrical equipment (eg. mobile phone) by creating strong magnetic fields over a short ...
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1answer
68 views

How did Fizeau make his famous speed-of-light experiment?

I heard once in a TED talk how Fizeau measured the speed of light in the 19th century. Here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8UFGu2M2gM You can read about it here in Wikipedia: ...
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1answer
43 views

What physical phenomenon occured in this experiment?

I noticed a strange behavior of my experiment. I have a glass container with a fully saturated solution of CuSO4, which I use to grow CuSO4 crystals, by waiting for the water to evaporate. Recently I ...
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5answers
6k views

Is this kids experiment a legitimate way to show that air has mass?

Consider the experiment in this link. The experiment includes using a ruler as a lever, with an inflated balloon on one side and a balloon which is not inflated on the other. The aim of the ...
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3answers
1k views

How accurately can I expect to measure the gravitational constant with a club of college students?

I am a math instructor with almost no experimental physics background, but I run a math and engineering club that is interested in doing some experiments. I have read up a bit and see some obvious ...
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3answers
144 views

Is it possible to produce images of pair production in home-made cloud chamber?

There are some nice pictures on the web showing the counter-spiralling paths of an electron positron pair produced in a bubble chamber with a uniform magnetic field, for example:- Would it be ...
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1answer
48 views

Is a non-Newtonian gas possible?

I was wondering if it was possible to have a Non-Newtonian Gas. I was planning a science fair experiment to try to create one if its possible.
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2answers
2k views

Homemade particle accelerator

Watching a documentary, I heard Michio Kaku telling that when he was young, he built a home-made particle accelerator. What I would like to know is if I, myself can do so? And how?
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1answer
44 views

Maxwell calculations that predicted the generation of waves (further use for wireless telegraphs)

At this point in this documentary about the history of electricity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPnS2WO2_0k&t=4m40s the guy says the Maxwell calculations predicted the generation of certain ...
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1answer
33 views

What length should be the gap to block UV waves from the Sun?

The origin of the question is practical, but the theoretical part is interesting too. Let's rest a little bit on the roof on a sunny summer day. We don't want to get burned, so we usually place some ...
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9answers
4k views

Classic home experiments for an 8-year-old child

My 8-year-old daughter's school report says that she's good at understanding the basic science she's doing, but she's having trouble seeing how experimental results lead to conclusions. Specifically, ...
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0answers
52 views

Solar still and how it works

I use a solar still that holds 182 cubic feet of water. Here is how it works: There is an insulator on both sides of the metal bowl. On the outside it covers the whole thing. on the inside it covers ...
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3answers
110 views

Should a Faraday cage block a radio's signal?

Today, I tried creating a very basic Faraday cage by surrounding a radio with two baking trays made out of iron. It didn't seem to affect the radio's signal (AM was being used, not FM). In theory, ...
196
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4answers
35k views

Can I compute the mass of a coin based on the sound of its fall?

Other day, I bumped my bookshelf and a coin fell down. This gave me an idea. Is it possible to compute the mass of a coin, based on the sound emitted when it falls? I think that there should be a ...
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1answer
100 views

Why does glass absorb infrared light?

I was under the impression that glass was transparent to light with a wavelength above ultraviolet, but when playing with my latest toy, an infrared thermometer which brought up a question I asked ...
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1answer
58 views

Conservation of energy and the 'crazy ball' product

Well I'm not sure how many people remember the crazy ball - a small ball made of rubber which bounced like crazy. What I noticed is that the ball seemed to bounce higher than the point from which it ...
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0answers
54 views

Is there a cheap way I can do a Bell inequality experiment?

My work is almost completely theoretical/computational. But I'd really like to do a Bell inequality experiment just so I can personally see this (the best way to learn something is hands-on, right?) ...
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4answers
201 views

Experiment - Measuring final velocity of a parachute

I'm working on a project that involves a scale parachute. It is vital for the project to get a good measurement of the speed it has when it lands. We still haven't built the parachute, but we need a ...
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2answers
124 views

Self Stirring Boiling Liquid

A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were brewing a new batch of beer. We boil our wort in a turkey fryer. Pretty standard setup for beginners. Anyway, our wort was getting pretty close to boiling ...
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1answer
67 views

How to prove R value for insulation?

I ran some tests on different types of insulation. I heated water, and placed it into an insulated box. The temperature was recorded every minute, for the water, as well as the air. The insulation ...
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1answer
555 views

Does the pressure increase under an upturned glass?

During my children's bath time we were playing with an upturned plastic jug filled with water and making some plastic divers float up inside the jug - see image. If one of the divers swam from A to ...
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5answers
89 views

How to transfer mechanical power from the inside of a vacuum chamber to the outside while maintaining a seal?

In a vacuum chamber how would one transfer mechanical power (either rotation or linear) from inside to the external environment? I'm working on an idea for a new/different type of motor that would ...
3
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1answer
269 views

Why my simple electromagnetic experiment does not work?

I make a setup (see attached picture). ONE coil (1" diameter x ~120 turns), which is separated with a gap, is mount on two sides. Each side has an iron rod (1" diameter x 6" long) to increase the ...
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2answers
487 views

Are there any astronomical objects at night that are dangerous to look at (through a telescope)?

Are there any astronomical bodies that would be dangerous to my vision to view through a telescope? Obviously the sun is dangerous, but are there other bodies at night I should avoid?
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1answer
41 views

How a plasma reacts with an AC electromagnet

Any metal conductor such as aluminium or copper is a conductor because of the free electrons in such metals. Plasma also has free electrons so I would like to know if you can repel plasma the same ...
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2answers
89 views

Cloud chamber temperature

I'm planning to build a small cloud chamber. The design is the usual: alcohol evaporates at the top by gently heating it with a thin wire and small current. The vapour sinks to the bottom of the ...
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1answer
36 views

Is it possible to create a solar cell in home? [closed]

I'm not really sure that this is the place to ask this question, but anyway. I'm curious is it possible to create a solar cell (not panel with 2$ cells from ebay) in home. If not why and if yes how. ...
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1answer
38 views

What is the experimental uncertainty of an ensemble measurement? [duplicate]

Let's say you measure the time it takes for 10 oscillations of a mass undergoing simple harmonic motion to within ± 0.01s, what is the uncertainty of the period of one oscillation?
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1answer
164 views

Why does finely cut paper curl?

When paper is cut to a small width, it curls up like this. Why does this happen?
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1answer
25 views

Do I need the exact velocity when experimenting with sliding coins?

I'm doing a home experiment but it's not going very well. I'm pushing coins on a table. I'm taking the time for how long it takes coin A to hit coin B and then I divide it by the time between them ...
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3answers
337 views

Home experiment question

I want to make a home experiment where I roughly explain the phenomenon of water remaining in a straw if you close one end of the straw. So I'm thinking that the weight of the water is pulling it ...
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1answer
39 views

Finding a 1-Dimensional Mass Distribution

Past Discussion There have been a lot of questions and discussions regarding determining the mass distribution of various bodies through non-destructive purposes. Here are a few: Determination of ...
42
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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 ...
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1answer
58 views

Explanation request for flashes of light [closed]

I have observed what I believe to be the same phenomenon on two occasions and wanted to ask for possible explanations. Both times, I saw flashes of whitish light, near the ceiling of a room. They ...
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2answers
92 views

The best way to cool the teapot

My professor today in the class made us a question: "Lets say we have a teapot with water in it.The water is hot.Now we want to cool the water. Will it cool faster if we put an ice cube above the ...
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3answers
339 views

Why does the bathroom become hot after a bath?

I have noticed many times that whenever I enter into the bathroom just after someone else bathed the temperature inside it would be high. Is it that the body heat comes out when we pour a lot of ...
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2answers
125 views

Problem with horizontal projectile motion questions

I don't really understand horizontal projectile motion. Suppose I throw a ball horizontally. Given $\theta$ = 0 degrees, time = 0.5 seconds, horizontal range = 15.5 metres, the "initial horizontal ...
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1answer
128 views

The physics of breaking eggs [closed]

I have to to write an 4000 word research paper for my IB diploma in high school. It is called the extended essay. I was thinking about writing on the physics of breaking eggs. I came up with the idea ...
2
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2answers
99 views

Is a magnetic field affected by the presence of air?

Does air affect a magnetic field's ability to attract ferromagnets? If a magnetic field and a ferromagnet were placed in a vacuum would there be a better performance?
4
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2answers
108 views

Dynamics of Honey in hot water: Honey accelerates like it is falling through air?

Here is a Video showing the honey accelerating in the hot water. As you can see, there are also dynamics. Since the water started stationary, I guess the dynamics arise because of convection flow. ...
2
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2answers
142 views

Can we have light through out the house with out light being switched on for all the time?

Optical fibres are used to transmit light from one place to the other along curved path in a more effective manner. The optical fibres consist of thousands of strands of a very fine quality glass or ...
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4answers
255 views

Can we create invisible things?

We are able to see this beautiful world because of light. When light gets reflected from the object, the reflected light enters our eye retina and thus we are able see that particular object from ...