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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3answers
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How to make a small tokamak?

$\require{mhchem}$I made a fusor once, like the easy science project: deuterium-deuterium ones, but they're really inefficient. I was wondering if it would be possible to make a small tokamak; not one ...
2
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1answer
284 views

How can I calculate how long to keep my beverage chilled?

The problem is simple, I suppose... I have a beverage at room temperature (let's say 23°C) in an aluminum can (it's a Barq's root beer.) I want to put it in a freezer (let's say it's at -17°C). How ...
3
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2answers
9k views

How do you magnetize an object?

How can I go about magnetizing something? Specifically, a whole bunch of BB's. I want to try this so that I could make a cheaper version of the Bucky Balls product. Even if I can't replicate Bucky ...
2
votes
2answers
339 views

How does my air-cooling unit work?

During the winter, my office gets a little cold. I have a unit (essentially a space heater) that heats the area around it to help keep me warm. Now that it's summer, I realize the unit also has a ...
8
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1answer
679 views

Why does the water in the toilet move around so much on stormy days?

On calm days, the water in the toilet looks completely still. But when it's rainy and windy out, the water looks like it moves and pulsates. Why is this?
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2answers
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The Galileo thermometer: why do the bubbles float in the middle of the tube?

If the water were uniform temperature, it would have uniform density, so a bubble should either be all the way at the top (if it's lighter than water) or all the way at the bottom (if heavier). But in ...
354
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19answers
132k views

Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon

During the breakfast with my colleagues, a question popped into my head: What is the fastest method to cool a cup of coffee, if your only available instrument is a spoon? A qualitative answer would ...
5
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8answers
654 views

Example of a time varying function which can be easily measured

My sister is in 10th grade. She doesn't seem to understand the concept of time varying functions (current, light, sound wave forms etc). I explained her in easiest possible terms. She got it but not ...
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2answers
1k views

How to count photons

How are photons counted? What is the experimental setup used to count photons from a laser or even a lamp? Of course, in the case of the lamp, I would be able to count only the photons that pass ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Black hole analog experiment?

This question is directed mostly at people giving lectures on black holes, but input by other physicists or students is very much appreciated. Do you know a good (home)-experiment with a black hole ...
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7answers
5k views

Why is a 1mW laser dangerous?

In our Physics lab we have a 1 milliwatt (0.001W) helium neon laser. Despite the low power, we were cautioned not to even look at reflections of the beam as it could cause permanent eye damage - why ...
5
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4answers
449 views

How would you design an experiment to grok optical phenomena?

I've been toying with the idea of making a 3D scanner that uses an IR distance sensor to find position vectors of an object in space and then translates that into a 3D computer model. One of the ...
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5answers
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Home experiments using wireless LAN or mobile phones about electromagnetism?

Are there any nice experiments using wireless LAN access points or routers or mobile phones to demonstrate physical features of electromagnetic fields, especially em-waves? More precisely I am ...
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4answers
1k views

Home experiment to estimate Avogadro's number?

How to get an approximation of Avogadro or Boltzmann constant through experimental means accessible by an hobbyist ?
6
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3answers
8k views

Why do lightbulbs continue to glow after the light is turned off?

I've noticed that whenever I turn the lamp off in my room at night, the lightbulb seems to continue to glow for a minute or so after that. It's not bright though; the only way I even notice it is if ...
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13answers
9k views

Home experiments to derive the speed of light?

Are there any experiments I can do to derive the speed of light with only common household tools?
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4answers
2k views

How can I measure the mass of the Earth at home?

How can I measure the mass of the Earth at home? How was the mass of the Earth first measured?
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2answers
671 views

What are insightful/impressive experiments for adults [closed]

Similar to this question: what experiements do you think are impressive for layman adults? I for example like how you can simulate an Einstein Ring with the bottom of a wine glass.
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9answers
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What are good mechanics experiments for 10 year olds? [closed]

I'm trying to explain elementary mechanics - without the benefits of calculus or even algebra - and struggling. I'd like to find reasonable ways to demonstrate Newton's laws, minimally, and possibly ...