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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4answers
2k views

What happens when I place an ice cube into boiling water

My friend tried this experiment at home: She put an ice cube into boiling water. The water in the container stops boiling while the ice melts to water. My question: Why does the water stop boiling ...
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2answers
47 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 ...
1
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1answer
187 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 ...
4
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2answers
308 views

Why is a washing machine unable to spin-dry a duvet?

Background story: I put my duvet (synthetic filling) into a washing machine, and the machine was unable to spin-dry it. My mom told me: "It's because it is full of air". I was not satisfied with the ...
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1answer
38 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 ...
2
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1answer
104 views

What determines the speed required to pull a table cloth?

I was watching this show "Street Genius" on National Geographic and the host Tim Shaw demonstrated an experiment about Inertia, What he did was, He tied one end of a table cloth to a car through a ...
6
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2answers
256 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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0answers
13 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 ...
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1answer
422 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
210 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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3answers
234 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 ...
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2answers
50 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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1answer
153 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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2answers
2k 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 ...
1
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0answers
33 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 ...
50
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3answers
3k 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?
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1answer
46 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 ...
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8answers
13k 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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2answers
76 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
885 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?
5
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2answers
120 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 ...
3
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1answer
244 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
47 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
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1answer
120 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 ...
3
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1answer
105 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?
420
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22answers
161k 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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0answers
58 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
36 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 ...
9
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8answers
8k 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 ...
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2answers
42 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 ...
0
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0answers
30 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, ...
2
votes
6answers
941 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 ...
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0answers
65 views

Why are cereals attracted by a magnet?

Many cereals (from the supermarket) are attracted by a magnet. This can be seen by crushing the cereals into a very fine powder and approaching a strong magnet. The usual explanation is that cereals ...
11
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3answers
13k 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 ...
0
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0answers
13 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
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1answer
39 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 ...
2
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3answers
3k 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 ...
9
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3answers
5k 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
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3answers
838 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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2answers
105 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
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1answer
29 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.
2
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1answer
348 views

How does the speed of a DC motor depend on the size of the coil?

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 ...
11
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3answers
4k 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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1answer
583 views

How much pressure is needed to break an egg if applied from top and bottom?

Everybody knows that you can't break an egg with our fingers when pushing from top and bottom. I assume if we could squeeze hard enough the egg would break?
1
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1answer
44 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" ...
2
votes
3answers
11k 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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3answers
6k 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 ...
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0answers
73 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 ...
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2answers
91 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 ...