Tagged Questions

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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0
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3answers
57 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
717 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
27 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
27 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?
0
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
0
votes
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?
1
vote
2answers
100 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
votes
2answers
385 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
44 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
122 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
29 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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?
6
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
147 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
146 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
83 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
164 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
66 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.
10
votes
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?
0
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
35
votes
10answers
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, ...
1
vote
0answers
62 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
145 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, ...
202
votes
4answers
36k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
192 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
62 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
58 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?) ...
1
vote
4answers
350 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
566 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 ...
2
votes
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
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
494 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?
0
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
41 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?
10
votes
1answer
188 views

Why does finely cut paper curl?

When paper is cut to a small width, it curls up like this. Why does this happen?
0
votes
1answer
28 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
349 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 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 ...