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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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 ...
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3answers
7k views

Why does cold water weigh more than hot water in a fixed volume?

Take a bucket of hot water and the other bucket of cold water. Why does the bucket full of cold water weigh more than bucket full of hot water?
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3answers
55k views
+50

Why do grapes in a microwave oven produce plasma?

Some of you may know this experience (Grape + Microwave oven = Plasma video link): take a grape that you almost split in two parts, letting just a tiny piece of skin making a link between each ...
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6answers
9k views

Why does hot oil explode when pouring water on it?

I am puzzled to know, What is the reason of hot oil make sound and explode when we pouring water on it?
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1answer
160 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
150 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
105 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Potential energy from opposing magnets repelling each other with a gap of 1 mm

I have two powerful rare earth magnets, that are separated by a distance of 1 mm. I applied energy to bring them closer to each other, hence increasing the potential energy. Now, when one of the ...
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1answer
342 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 ...
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1answer
33 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?
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0answers
12 views

My electrophorus doesn't work

I have failed in generating charge using electrophorus. The charging material was a balloon rubbed with hair until it became very full of static, as well as a small piece of Styrofoam rubbed with the ...
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0answers
20 views

Does triboelectric effect causes building up charge only on the surface of the material or inside as well?

I am planning on building a Van De Graaff generator and what I plan to use as material for the rollers is PVC for bottom roller(or Teflon), nylon (pantyhose) or wool for the belt and metal (conductor) ...
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3answers
317 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
68 views

How can I estimate the cooking time of a roast?

I never remember what worked before, or to write it down someplace. In any case the size and starting temperature will vary. The instructions I learned from refuse to give a time at all, and the ...
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1answer
46 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 ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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1answer
147 views

Is it really possible to “discover” the speed of light with a microwave oven?

I've seen a number of sites/videos online that describe a method for measuring the speed of light, using a microwave oven and a chocolate bar. For example, this video on youtube. The basic idea is to ...
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4answers
82 views

Possibility of making an experiment in a classroom to simulate DNA diffraction

I am a TA in a structural chemistry class. The professor want me to show students how Watson and Crick determined the structure of DNA from X-ray diffraction results of DNA crystals. The professor ...
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1answer
409 views

Home-made Shock diamond

Is there any way of creating a "home-made" effect of shock diamond phenomenon that I could take a picture of? If so, How could I make one?
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2answers
76 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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1answer
154 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 ...
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1answer
111 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?
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3answers
11k 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 ...
391
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20answers
144k 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 ...
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4answers
54 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 ...
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0answers
87 views

Experiment to verify a spring constant

In my high school physics class, I had students do a Hooke's Law lab to measure an unknown spring constant. Once we compared everyone's data we came up with a class value for $k$ of 253 N/m. We then ...
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3answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
340 views

Effect of varying distance of light source from a Light Dependant Resistor

I'm doing the experiment described here and I have a few questions about it. I have a miniature light dependent resistor (LDR) hooked to a multimeter set to $\Omega $ and a $25\,\mathrm W$ Light ...
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6answers
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 ...
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1answer
139 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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1answer
99 views
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2answers
110 views

Net work done for rubber bands

I know that work is done on a rubber band to extend it, and then the rubber band does work to contract. However, then what is the net work done? If it returns to its original length, is the area ...
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5answers
417 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 ...
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2answers
55 views

Flipping a bottle

I tried to do this experiment recently at school and my house. I started the experiment by having three same type of bottles with the labels A,B and C. Bottle A has been fully filled with water, ...
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1answer
65 views

Constant current in inductor

When I brought the dc voltage from $25 V$ to $0 V$ . A constant flow of electrons I could see in the inductor. Why is this phenomenon happening ? When a constant voltage was supplied the inductor ...
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1answer
21 views

Experiment Equipment Supplier (for use in the Classroom & at Home) [closed]

Does anyone know of an online store that sells equipment specifically designed for carrying out demos in the classroom or at home? I'm helping out a student taking college physics and chemistry. These ...
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1answer
51 views

Simple air resistance experiment

I have a paper plate, and I'm taping paper streamers to it. I have 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 streamers. I tried to place the streamers at places equidistant from the next. 2mm are attached to the plate and ...
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0answers
45 views

Home experiment with airfoils and Reynold's number

I want to do an experiment about lowering the Reynolds number of an airfoil moving through air. I want to figure out how to lower the turbulence around an airfoil. So my two hypotheses to lower the ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
253 views

If friction disregard area, why the direction you drag a long object matters?

I am talking here about dry friction between solid objects, for example a ruler and a table, not anything lubricated or fluid. I noticed that with a ruler and a table for example, if you drag 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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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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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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1answer
44 views

Beam of electromagnetic wave, with radius of 3cm or less

I need to create a beam of electromagnetic wave, with radius of 3cm or less, for distance about few meters. What is the minimum frequency (maximum wavelength) that it is really possible?
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1answer
54 views

Work due to air resistance

I was trying to find the distance a machine system I designed would potentially go. The machine works like this: A mass $M$ drops down and through a system of pulleys, pulls a wheel wound with the ...
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3answers
92 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 ...
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1answer
767 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 ...
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1answer
441 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 ...
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1answer
37 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 ...
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2answers
159 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 ...