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)

14
votes
3answers
20k views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Regarding OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division multiplexing)? [migrated]

Ok can you please briefly explain IEEE 802.11a OFDM packet structure, 1 What is meant by symbol here? 2 What is the purpose of Packet preamble 3 What is Short training symbol and its purpose 4 ...
1
vote
1answer
109 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Handling halogen lamps

When consulting manuals, electricians, online sources, etc., they always instruct you to handle halogen light bulbs with gloves. The "explanation" that usually accompanies this statement is that oils ...
2
votes
2answers
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
18 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
291 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
95 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Can we have light through out the house with out light being switched on for all the time?

Optical fibres are used to transmit light from one place to the other along curved path in a more effective manner. The optical fibres consist of thousands of strands of a very fine quality glass or ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Problem with horizontal projectile motion questions

I don't really understand horizontal projectile motion. Suppose I throw a ball horizontally. Given $\theta$ = 0 degrees, time = 0.5 seconds, horizontal range = 15.5 metres, the "initial horizontal ...
0
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Is a magnetic field affected by the presence of air?

Does air affect a magnetic field's ability to attract ferromagnets? If a magnetic field and a ferromagnet were placed in a vacuum would there be a better performance?
39
votes
5answers
6k 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
50 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

The best way to cool the teapot

My professor today in the class made us a question: "Lets say we have a teapot with water in it.The water is hot.Now we want to cool the water. Will it cool faster if we put an ice cube above the ...
0
votes
3answers
135 views

Why does the bathroom become hot after a bath?

I have noticed many times that whenever I enter into the bathroom just after someone else bathed the temperature inside it would be high. Is it that the body heat comes out when we pour a lot of ...
6
votes
1answer
450 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
166 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; ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

The physics of breaking eggs [closed]

I have to to write an 4000 word research paper for my IB diploma in high school. It is called the extended essay. I was thinking about writing on the physics of breaking eggs. I came up with the idea ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Dynamics of Honey in hot water: Honey accelerates like it is falling through air?

Here is a Video showing the honey accelerating in the hot water. As you can see, there are also dynamics. Since the water started stationary, I guess the dynamics arise because of convection flow. ...
2
votes
2answers
767 views

Liquid with freezing point above 0 Celsius that could be use at ice rinks

Please help me with an answer to my dilemma: Is there a liquid that could be used to fill an ice rink (non-explosive, non-poisonous, etc), and have the freezing point above 0 Celsius?
324
votes
19answers
122k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
413 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
155 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Accelerometer on a wheel's rim [closed]

If I put a 3-axis accelerometer on a vertical wheel's rim which acceleration is going to give to me? Will the gravity interfere my results?
1
vote
4answers
328 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?
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Ising model for ferromagnetism is not intuitive

In the Ising model for ferromagnetism a lower energy is assumed when two spin magnetic dipoles are aligned parallel to each other and the energy is higher when they are antiparallel. If I take two ...
0
votes
2answers
393 views

1 Tesla electromagnet?

Is it possible to create a powerful electromagnet at home? With use of a ferromagnet it seems so... Using the following formula: $B(Tesla)= k\mu_0nI$. I understand some ferromagnet's like iron could ...
0
votes
1answer
150 views

How does temperature affect magnets?

How does an increase/decrease in temperature affect: Strength of the magnet Polarity Other changes? I have made some research and I have found that increasing the temperature turns ferromagnetic ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
78
votes
23answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
157 views

How to calculate Standing Waves in Electrical Cables?

I have a 20 metre Coaxial Cable. I send digital signals down the cable ranging from 5 KHz to 50 KHz. I have noticed a pattern in the noise ratio, an oscillating wave. I predict this is to do with ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

does a rocking kettle cause the water to boil more slowly?

When I boil water in the kettle on my electric stove, sometimes it rocks back and forth making an annoying sound at a frequency of about 6Hz. When that happens, I move the kettle slightly to make it ...
7
votes
1answer
306 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
1k 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
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Why do we hear this mysterious sound?

Sit in a silent place and then bring your hands close to your ears and cover your ears, you will start hearing some sound but if you remove your hands you don't hear it anymore. Can anyone explain ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Layman explanation and demonstration of positive lightning

Inspired by the thunderstorm overhead, and after reading the question and answers Voltage and current of positive lightning - what is an effective means to explain this phenomenon to a layman? Also, ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Experimental information: is momentum conserved?

Could I say that it is conserved during the time, or instead there is a slight decrease?
16
votes
2answers
802 views

Why does the note played by a flute not change in this case when the air column is interrupted?

I play the flute as a hobby, and I've noticed that when playing middle D or E flat, one can interrupt the air column by releasing a certain key (which is near the middle of the air column), and yet ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

How to measure resistance of a piece of wire?

My son is doing a science experiment on how varying temperature and diameter of wire impacts the resistance. We are assuming we can accomplish this by using different gauge wires, a home thermometer, ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
205 views

Is there a good experiment to demonstrate Gauss's Law for Magnetism?

I'm trying to come up with a simple experiment that can demonstrate the properties of Gauss's Law for Magnetism. I am aware that it is a mathematical representation of the fact that magnetic ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

Accelerating onto and over inclined plane

Consider an RC car going off a jump. What angle is optimal to achieve the greatest distance? The height of each jump is the same. The angle of the jump and the related length of the jump changes. ...
1
vote
1answer
97 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
120 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
177 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
456 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 ...