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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1answer
18 views

Gliders in a trailer

Everybody has heard I the old thought expirement of the birds in the trailer where the man hits the trailer the birds take flight and the trailer gets lighter. This has been disproven by the ...
1
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2answers
164 views

Is it possible to mix a luminescent drink? [closed]

Is it possible to create a drink that glows? In other words, is it possible to create a non-poisonous drink that fluoresces? Are there known compounds suitable for that? If not, then what about a ...
42
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5answers
3k views

What causes this pattern of sunlight reflected off a table leg?

My friend noticed an interference-like pattern around the table leg. However, we do know that interference patterns of sunlight produces rainbow colours. What seems to be happening here?
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votes
1answer
376 views

How to measure blue light at home?

I know that we can measure light intensity using a simple 'light meter' and I know that 'blue light' emitted by LCD monitors is in $400-470\,\mathrm{nm}$ spectrum. Since I have sensitive eyes, I want ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Measuring friction coefficient with a inclined plane. Beetle problem

I want to measure friction coefficient between a beetle and an inclined plane (angle of inclination $\theta$). As we all know, friction coefficient $\mu$ is given with: $\mu=tg \rho$, where $\rho$ is ...
6
votes
2answers
543 views

How come a cork float to the side of a glass? [duplicate]

There's a not-so-recent video by a user named quirkology here, where he shows bets that usually work. From @2:19, he puts a wine bottle cap at the center of a glass ...
0
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0answers
29 views

What is the minimum size of a steel bar to 'absorb' the magnetism of one of the poles of a magnet?

I have two $51~\text{mm} \times 41~\text{mm} \times 17~\text{mm}$ Neodymium magnets ($N35$) which I want to connect with a bar of mild steel to form one horseshoe-magnet. The poles are on the $51 \...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

Is blowing bubbles a decent means to stir a liquid?

Occasionally I'll catch myself with a mixed drink at home that I'd normally stir between drinks due to the contents separating. Even more occasionally I'll be having said drink while doing something ...
0
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2answers
91 views

Measuring the energy of an alpha particle

I would like to measure the energies of particles emitted from a variety of ionizing radiation sources (alpha and beta), and then convert these energies to velocities. However, I am not too sure about ...
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0answers
26 views

Can I calculate the size of a real object from a picture taken by a Camera placed a 45 degree angle from object [duplicate]

I am trying to get actual width of a object looking thru a camera real time. i would get the image distance from camera and i know focal length of camera so getting object distance 1/f-1/i=i/u. Since ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Colour changing material/ink

i am not sure if this is the right place to ask but is it possible for me to make an ink or material that changes colour when electricity goes through it at home? (as much colours as possible and low ...
6
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5answers
1k views

What is the simplest possible experiment that proves that there are atoms? [duplicate]

As I known all the matter consists of atoms. What is the simplest possible experiment (with as little scientific equipment as possible) that can prove that there are atoms?
0
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1answer
49 views

Heat transference in my lunch [closed]

Say that I have a hot sandwich and a cool salad, both in functionally-identical plastic containers that provide no effective heat insulation. I need to stack these two containers for ease of carrying,...
1
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2answers
74 views

Is it possible to reverse the polarity of already polarized light using passive materials?

For a gizmo idea that I have, I want to understand if it's possible to "reverse/turn" the polarity of light using passive, relatively thin and cheap films, similar to what we see in 3d glasses or TN ...
0
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0answers
18 views

What material would be best for a plastic ball being launched by a pneumatic?

I know this isn't objective in asking for scientific explanation but I'm doing a physics experiment involving center of mass and angle/path of trajectory and to do so I need a sphere that I can reach ...
0
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2answers
58 views

Can a 0.1mm iron cannonball fired with a proportional cannon damage a tumbler (glass)? [closed]

A teammate just used the well known phrase "a storm in a teacup". I looked at my tumbler (full of water) and asked this question: "If a pirate ship the size of a nutshell had cannons with iron ...
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0answers
47 views

What factors are influencing a woosh rocket?

Not sure if this is too much chemistry, but I'll try: If I fill a plastic bottle with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, shake it around and hold a match to the bottle neck, I'll get a flame wooshing ...
1
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1answer
167 views

Will my induction hob be powerful enough? [closed]

I'm looking to buy an induction hob to heat some water and I would like to know if its going to be powerful enough. If so, can it be done in, say, 1 hour? Additionally, what power rating could I go ...
56
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3answers
7k views

How to measure the wavelength of a laser pointer?

I'm working on something and I need to know the wavelength of the laser pointer that I'm using. Can you suggest me a way, using some optics formulae, or anything else to calculate the wavelength?
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Radioactive objects in a student's room [closed]

Contrary to common believe, radioactive materials are everywhere, including inside our bodies, our food, the air we breathe and so on. From Wiki (emphasis mine): The decay of a 14C atom inside ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

If I start spinning a raw egg slowly why does its angular velocity increase spontaneously?

If I start spinning a raw egg very slowly in place, why does its angular velocity increase spontaneously? This is something I noticed the other day while cooking. It doesn't do the same thing with a ...
7
votes
1answer
270 views

Is it possible to remove the last block from a the lowest layer of a Jenga tower?

A while back, my brother and I had a discussion about the possibility of removing the last block from the lowest layer of a Jenga tower with the layer immediately above it having only one block in it ...
4
votes
1answer
252 views

Possible to make full loop on a swing only by “pumping legs”?

Is it possible to make a full $360^{\circ}$ loop on the type of swing in a children's playground if I power the swing only by "pumping" my legs? i.e. nobody pushes me?
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0answers
61 views

Is there any quantum experiments or effects that you can do at home? [duplicate]

I have heard that you can do the double slit experiment, but is there any other experiments like particle entanglement or observer-induced state collapse?
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0answers
156 views

Determine the amount of energy used for baking a cake

Let's suppose we have a room of temperature $T_0$ with an oven of volume $V$, both filled with air of density $\rho$ and specific heat $c$. We need to bake a cake in the temperature $T_1$. Thus we ...
1
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2answers
83 views

Non-linear relationship between power supplied and perceived brightness in a filament lamp?

I was expecting the relationship between these two to be linear, but after conducting an experiment my data fits almost exactly on the curve, $y = 2800.2 x^{2.0173}$, where $y$ is the brightness in ...
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0answers
66 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, ...
0
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0answers
27 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
41 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 (...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why isn't ice a good electrical conductor?

Water can conduct electricity, and some solids can conduct. Why can't ice? Are ice molecules too packed together to let valence shell electrons bounce across each other to create electrical charge? ...
0
votes
2answers
158 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
votes
1answer
30 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.
1
vote
1answer
102 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" ...
7
votes
2answers
558 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
447 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
89 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
202 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
178 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
votes
2answers
806 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 ...
1
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0answers
57 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
votes
1answer
842 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
791 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 ...
1
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0answers
206 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
791 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
91 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?
2
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
521 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
2k 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
804 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 ...