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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
158 views

How can one explain the Kelvin Water drop experiment without assuming the container to already possess a positive charge?

Kelvin Water Dropper experiment refers to the electrostatic generator invented by Lord Kelvin, which uses falling water to generate a voltage by electrostatic induction occurring between ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Can force be transferred through objects in a chain to the last object without any displacement of objects in the middle?

sorry for terrible graphical representation, I did an experiment, i took 6 coins fixed 4 of them in one place by placing some real heavy objects on them , then i took a 5th coin placed it in the ...
8
votes
1answer
243 views

Strange behaviour of water drops on a heated pan

I did an experiment in my home and I was surprised by the results. I heated a pan without anything in it. After some time it became very hot and I took some water (2 drops) and put it into the pan. It ...
2
votes
2answers
829 views

Measuring human resistance with a DMM

When I attach a Digital Multimeter (DMM) to read the resistance between my right and left hands, the resistance starts off high and reduces over time. It appears almost like "RC-type" behavior. Can ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Experiment regarding myopic correction by a manipulation of fingers?

Here is a small experiment my tutor once told us for just amusement. It works for myopic people at least, and can be a good check to see if you have myopia. With your naked eye, ("remove the ...
6
votes
9answers
814 views

How to measure speed of a ceiling fan?

I thought for fun I might measure how my ceiling fan slows down when turned off, and maybe find out what forces act on it when it slows down. My problem is that for that I need to measure its ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Why do some food items leak water on heating in microwave?

As seen in photo (delicious gulab jamun) after heating a certain food item that contains water, simply leaks it out. The sugary syrup seen in photo was not present with the sweets before heating but ...
1
vote
2answers
288 views

The Soda Can and air pressure experiment

Yesterday, I made an experiment. I filled an empty (but contains air) soda can with a little bit of water. Then I turn on fire at the sides of the soda can so that the water starts boiling. Next, I ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

Boiling noodles

Last week I did an expermient which goes as follows, I boiled some amount of water, and then put in a small piece from an uncooked thread of noodle, first of all it went right down to the bottom of ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Magnetic field strength in a solenoid

I'm pretty new to physics. I've been conducting some experiments with electromagnets. My practical results don't match up with the theory. The magnetic field in a solenoid of length $L$ around an ...
10
votes
3answers
394 views

How can I weigh liquid in a sealed container?

How do you measure the mass and volume of alcohol if it is in a sealed container? Are there clever ways of achieving this? The weight of the container is not known. I can't open the container, I ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Motion in insulating fluid under high voltage

I observed the following phenomenon in an experiment (I'm not a student of physics, just an amateur) and was hoping for an explanation. A metal pan is electrically grounded and a layer of insulating ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Is an alpha particle's curvature in a magnetic field visible with a homemade cloud chamber?

I'm trying to do some calculations to see just how strong a magnet you'd have to have, in order for curvature to be noticeable in a rudimentary cloud chamber, with lead-210 as an alpha particle ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is coherent light required for interference in Young's double slit experiment?

In this Veritasium video, a home experiment is presented which appears to produce a very good double-slit interference pattern with normal sunlight. The experiment is an empty cardboard box with a ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Why does shorting two cells in series heat them up?

I tried this with two 9V batteries that you can interlock easily and they heat up a lot. Why does this happen? The internal resistance of the batteries would be quite small so why would they still ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does blowing on a candle put it out but sucking doesn't?

Alternatively, why does the force created by blowing out air feel so much stronger than the force created by sucking in air? Ok, so forget the human factor involved in blowing out candles. Consider a ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Practical examples or demonstrations similar to the Chaplygin sleigh

The Chaplygin sleigh is a simple nonholonomic mechanical system. The WP article is a fresh one that I just wrote based on a description by Bloch, and may contain mistakes. The first thing I thought ...
6
votes
1answer
203 views

Weather forecasting with coffee bubbles

The other day I saw this life-hack: And I was wondering how true it is. First of all, I always thought(listening to weather forecasts) that low-pressure atmosphere is what correlates with rain; ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Optimal slit width in Young's double slit experiment

I'm trying to do Young's double slit experiment at home. Note that I don't have a laser, only a torch. I could get a bulb or use a candle though, if it helps I built the slits by cutting into a ...
11
votes
1answer
507 views

How can I explain or demonstrate the Lorentz Force to a 12 year old?

I'm a space physicist. I've been working with a group of school students (aged between around 10 and 12) exploring the Sun, the Earth and the solar system. We've talked about some basics of magnetism ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

About an upside down cup of water against atmosphere pressure

There is an experiment we learned from high school that demonstrated how atmosphere pressure worked. Fill a cup of water and put a cardboard on top of it, then turn it upside-down, the water will not ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Does the termination point(level) influence water flow from a pipe

I get water to my home from a nearby Tank A at a certain height above ground level. I have a 1" pipe through which I get this water to my home.. I leave this water into my well by connecting a 1" tube ...
6
votes
1answer
608 views

How to calculate air velocity in a fan?

How to calculate air velocity in a fan and what data should I know ? So if I have a fan motor, fan blade and a battery, what data should I get from these items ? I think I will need to know the ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What's the simplest method for accurately measuring the speed of light? [duplicate]

With common household objects in hand, and, say a budget of $20, what's the simplest experiment for accurately measuring the speed of light?
2
votes
1answer
269 views

Hooke's law doesn't work well with my spring?

I'm trying to make an application for Hooke's law using a spring, but the law doesn't give any correct result with my spring, because when I hang a $100\,\mathrm{g}$ object on the spring it's ...
0
votes
1answer
239 views

How to heat swimming pool with physics principles [closed]

I'd like to apply physics principles to a home-experiment relating to my swimming pool. The water should flow inner to 100 meters of black pipe and so it should become warm. Then it should return in ...
4
votes
2answers
643 views

Energy transfer in a coupled pendulum

If you take a look at this video you will see what kind of a coupled pendulum I'm talking about. So I made a similar one in my high school's physics lab, using light metal bobs(much lighter than the ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does a cork float to the side of a glass?

What is this physical phenomenon and when it's happen ? Please take a look at this picture: Link to picture Notice: This is a cork ball attracted to sides of a glass of water
76
votes
24answers
8k views

How can you weigh your own head in an accurate way?

I read some methods but they're not accurate. They use the Archimedes principle and they assume uniform body density which of course is far from true. Others are silly like this one: Take a knife ...
-4
votes
1answer
203 views

home made atom destruction unit [closed]

Today we learnt at school that atoms can be destructed. I believe Physics is a great science to do experiment and I would like to try it at home. Could you tell me what I need to do it? and is it ...
1
vote
3answers
456 views

Beads in 'perpetual motion'?

This page has an interesting video of beads 'syphoning' out of a glass beaker: http://blog.zennioptical.com/weekly-optical-illusion-crazy-beads/ The host has a few explanations for the effect, but ...
29
votes
3answers
1k views

Floating a ping pong ball in the air just using a pen!

Caution: Apparently this problem is harder than it seems! There is a well known phenomena, which I first learnt about when I was a 10 years old kid. You can levitate a ping pong(or whatever ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Magnetic field, alternated current and EMF

If I apply an alternated current to a solenoid and insert into it a smaller solenoid, I could measure the induced EMF (electromotive force) and study how it changes in relation to the frequency of ...
-6
votes
3answers
212 views

Can you lift a basket up while standing inside it? [closed]

Suppose you stand in a basket and you try to pull the handles of the basket. Will you be able to lift the basket from ground? Similarly, Baron Münchhausen allegedly pulled himself and the horse on ...
10
votes
3answers
775 views

Best way to chill a cup of coffee with cold water and 5 minutes [duplicate]

Initial data 1 x 3/4 full cup of hot coffee / tea / your favorite morning beverage cold water 5 minutes Considering that it's starting to get hot outside, and we all want to drink reasonably cold ...
11
votes
2answers
416 views

The secret behind the spinning, asymmetrically weighted, 2D disk-shaped top?

When you spin an asymmetrically weighted, 2D disk-shaped top, the heavy part actually rises to the top. Why is this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0SZZTBQmEs ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Creating a stream of single file atoms

How do you go about creating a stream of single file atoms? The aim is to fire a stream of single file atoms (hydrogen, helium) down a vacuum and detect there arrival on the opposite end. Any ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Would the empirical behavior of a simple circuit match my model of it?

I have a practical problem in E&M which has baffled me and and my electrician. The copper water pipes in my house are carrying a current of small potential (~1V) AC current. Here is my ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

How to homegrow large, momocrystalline water ice crystals

This is a follow up to this question:Can one get clear ice crystals from a dirty suspension?. How could one grow a large - meaning visible with the naked eye - water ice crstal with common household ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you build a nuclear reactor in your garage?

When I came across this link earlier today, I was astounded. Nuclear reactors are immensely complex devices that took scientists years to develop, and are usually housed in huge facilities. The link ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Atmospheric pressure experiment using a cup with a fluid to hold a glass plate

When I was in high school, my teacher did an experiment to show the power of atmospheric pressure. Experiment: Prepare a glass bottle, fill with water, put a glass plate on the bottle, make sure ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

Easy to do experiments that clearly show outstanding properties of graphene

By chance we received for free some monolayer graphene sheets (20 cm x 20 cm) and mixed coper-graphene wires at our University. I would like to prepare some very easy to do experiments for the ...
5
votes
1answer
292 views

Physics of every-day life: rotating bag of tea

Whilst studying for my physics courses, I like to drink tea. Today, I noticed that if you pull a bag of tea out of a hot cup of water, it gradually starts to rotate, picking up speed as time ...
1
vote
0answers
192 views

Easy question about magnetism?

I have to build a simple electric motor by attaching a magnet to a battery, extending the terminals of the battery (with stiff wires so they could act as supports), and placing a coil of wire on top ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it viable or possible to make your own transistor?

Just wondering if it is possible/viable to construct your own transistor, not small like todays, but the same scale as the one created at Bell Labs.
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Calculate how hot PLA will become

I am trying to attach the shaft of a brass heating tip to a PLA component. My problem is that the tip will have to reach a temperature of about 200°C and the PLA can only handle a temperature of about ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

How do whisky stones keep your drink cold?

From a discussion in the DMZ (security stack exchange's chat room - a place where food and drink are important topics) we began to question the difference between how ice and whisky stones work to ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

Must a vertical sundial face exactly South?

I am a sundial. I'm prepared to bet Your watch can't tell when the sun will set I once heard Frank King talk about sundials in particular this very cool one, which measures Babylonian hours ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

Michelson–Morley @ Home

The Michelson-Morley experiment seems to have taken many years, resources and a nervous breakdown to complete. Is it possible to recreate a variation of this experiment at home for say, under $1000, ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

A good theoretical approximation for a magnetically damped pendulum

In a laboratory course we had to perform an experiment with a pendulum (just an iron weight on a wire) and play around for some time with its wire's length and so on. This was quite boring and we ...