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14
votes
1answer
975 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
69 views

Intuitively, why does removing solutes cost $k_B T$ of free energy per molecule?

I can calculate that if you want to, for example, desalinate water, you will have to pay a free energy cost of $k_B T$ for each ion you remove. In other words, removing an ion from a volume of water ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Order of magnitude estimation for some intriguing questions

The physics TA showed us a few examples in which one can estimate many things from first principles and sound logic based and scaling arguments. This led usually to understanding of why some numbers ...
13
votes
8answers
1k views

In dimensional analysis, why the dimensionless constant is usually of order 1?

Usually in all discussions and arguments of scaling or solving problems using dimensional analysis, the dimensionless constant is indeterminate but it is usually assumed that it is of order 1. What ...
9
votes
2answers
930 views

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
849 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
827 views

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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
235 views

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
-5
votes
1answer
140 views

Confront Order Of magnitudes

Is it correct to say that 9.0 is one order of magnitude smaller than 10.0? Has anyone a link/source about confronting order of magnitudes, apart from wikipedia?