# Tagged Questions

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### What's smaller: a neutrino, or a string from string theory [on hold]

I've recently read an article that stated "If an atom were as big as the solar system, a neutrino would be the size of a golf ball". I watch the science channel, and on (I believe) the show How the ...
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### In geometrical optics, how can we say that rays coming from a distant object are parallel to one another?

If two rays are not parallel in the start, how can they become parallel at the instant when they strike the lens of a telescope? If they don't become parallel, why do we consider them to be, in the ...
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### Quantity of force between two magnets

I have compiled data detailing a magnetic field. If I assume a duplicate magnet is set up across from it, how can I calculate the repulsive force between them?
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### Planck mass is about the mass of one eyebrow hair

Unlike most Planck units named after "Planck" such as Planck length, Planck temperature, etc, the Planck mass seems more closed to daily life. It is about $10^{-5}$g, same order of magnitude of one ...
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### Energy behind door knocking?

How do we estimate the energy released from knocking on a wooden table or a door?
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### How did Enrico Fermi calculate the classical Fermi Problem?

From Wikipedia: Fermi was known for his ability to make good approximate calculations with little or no actual data, hence the name. One example is his estimate of the strength of the atomic bomb ...
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### A Fermi-question: Are there more stars than grains of sand?

This claim is pretty popular in the web and obviously cannot be answered by counting grains or stars. Thats what physicists call a Fermi-question. It deals with problems/questions where we dont have ...
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### What is a realistic launch speed of a grappling hook gun? [closed]

In The Dark Knight, at the end of the movie Batman throws the Joker off of a building and then shoots his grapple hook gun to catch him. Is 68m/s a reasonable speed for a grapple gun to shoot?
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### Why is Planck mass much larger than the smallest mass that we actually know about?

The three fundamental constants $h$, $c$ and $G$ are manipulated and rearranged in different ways to get the Planck time, Planck mass etc. The Planck time is said to be the smallest time possible and ...
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### About how fast can a small fish swim before experiencing turbulent flow around its body? [closed]

About how fast can a small fish swim before experiencing turbulent flow around its body? An Engineering Problem! Please go through this question step by step. :D
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### How cold does it need to be for spit to freeze before hitting the ground?

What is the dominant form of heat transfer between warm water and cold air? If a $100 mg$ drop of water falls through $-40 C$ air, how quickly could it freeze? Is it credible that in very cold ...
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### Is there scale by size of all discovered particles?

Atom: Neutron: Elementary particles: Is there scale by size of all discovered particles? From neutron and proton to electron and to boson? Compare to each other, like this I have found ...
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### Dimensionless numbers or parameters that are $\ll 1$ or $\gg 1$

Many times, in various fields, authors use the notation: $$C\ll 1$$ or $$C\gg 1,$$ where $C$ is some parameter related to the system being studied. I know this is highly dependent on application, ...
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### Is it possible to reach lower temperatures than the Boyle temperature in de van der Waals equation?

We know that for a real gas we can write a virial expansion in powers of $p$: $$pV=Nk_{B}T+B(T)p+\cdots$$ It results that the van der Waals equation: \left[p+a\left(\frac{N}{V}\right)^{2}\right]\...
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### Dimensional analysis to estimate order of magnitude of quantities

In the Coursera course From the Big Bang to Dark Energy on several occasions dimensional analysis was used to estimate the scale of quantities. This almost seems like a contradiction in terms to me, ...
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### Newton's Third Law Of Motion: Earth Falling to an Apple?

I 'get' Newton's third law of motion, except for one thing. We know that if we let an apple fall to the Earth, the earth will fall to the apple, because the Earth must experience the same force in the ...
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### Why do mirages only appear on hot days?

A previous question asked why the road sometimes appears wet on hot days. The reason is that when there's a temperature gradient in the air, it causes a gradient in the index of refraction, causing ...
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### For how long must a molecule remain stable to be considered “stable”?

In the Star Trek: Voyager episode The Omega Directive, Seven of Nine says that the Borg synthesized a molecule which was "kept [] stable for one trillionth of a nanosecond before it destabilized". ...
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### Can the solar system really fit in a thimble?

Almost every time somebody talks about atoms, at some point they mention something like this: If we remove the spaces between the atoms and atomic components, we can fit the solar system in a ...
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### Why do some liquid metals have anomalously-high surface tension/heat of vaporization ratios?

In a didactic article, Victor Weisskopf estimated the size of molecules in a liquid from measurements of their surface tension and heat of vaporization. If atoms are exceedingly small, then only a ...
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### Explanation of energy levels in molecules, atoms, nuclei and their relationship

Why are the energy levels of molecules, the atoms that form them and the nuclei inside the atoms considered separately? Or phrased in a different way- what is it that makes their energy levels so ...
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### Turned to steel in the great magnetic field

This is obviously a "fun" question, but I'm sure it still has valid physics in it, so bear with me. How great of a magnetic field would you need to transmute other elements into iron/nickel, if that'...