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10
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2answers
2k views

Why are smaller animals stronger than larger ones, when considered relative to their body weight?

I am interested in why many small animals such as ants can lift many times their own weight, yet we don't see any large animals capable of such a feat. It has been suggested to me that this is due to ...
1
vote
3answers
308 views

How to distinguish between the spectrum of an atom in motion and the one of a scaled atom?

Galaxies are moving dragged by the space expansion. When atoms are in motion the doppler effect will shift the spectra of the emitted photons. The proton-to-electron mass ratio, $\frac{m_e}{m_p}$ ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Google interview riddle and scaling arguments

I am puzzled by a riddle to which I have been told the answer and I have loads of difficulties to believe in the result. The riddle goes as follows: "imagine you are shrunk to the size of a coin ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How does the period of an hourglass depend on the grain size?

Suppose I have an hourglass that takes 1 full hour on average to drain. The grains of sand are, say, $1 \pm 0.1\ {\rm mm}$ in diameter. If I replace this with very finely-grained sand $0.1 \pm 0.01\ ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Characteristic length, characteristic time and complexity of the process

Different physical processed (starting from elementary particles or even below to the universe itself) have different length scales $L$ and different characteristic times $T$. Larger processed tend to ...
9
votes
4answers
704 views

Are we big or small?

How does the size of humans compare to the size of other objects in the universe? Are we among the relatively large or the relatively small things? My very preliminary research suggests that the ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How can an an ant lift 50 times its own weight and pull 30 times its weight?

According to many sites like this one, an ant can apparently lift 50 times its own weight and pull 30 times its weight. Is it true? Can it be proved using physics? Though most sites agree that an ...
3
votes
1answer
369 views

Using Wien's Law to show spectral distruibution function of one temperature represents all temperatures

This is a exercise question from Quantum Mechanic textbook by Bransden: Using Wien's Law to show that if the spectral distribution function of black body radiation, $\rho(\lambda,T)$ is known at ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

Amount of material required for a pressure tank

I read the answer for the question Why is a hot air balloon “stiff”? and thought something sounded ridiculous. My engineering requirement is that the walls be strong enough. Here $T$ will be the ...