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59

Strength is proportional to surface area divided by volume, but since volume is directly proportional with mass and i can't get an accurate density (i am guessing approximately both for mass and size.), i will use mass instead. According to Wolfram Alpha, the average mass of human body is 70 kilograms. The surface area of a person weighing 70 kg with a ...


41

While you do spend some body energy to keep the book lifted, it's important to differentiate it from physical effort. They are connected but are not the same. Physical effort depends not only on how much energy is spent, but also on how energy is spent. Holding a book in a stretched arm requires a lot of physical effort, but it doesn't take that much ...


40

I think the answer has less to do with their construction and more to do with their smaller size For more information lookup Scaling Laws. Basicly the mass of a object scales as it's size cubed so a ant 10 times the size will be 1000 times heavier. But the strength of an organism depends on the cross sectional area of muscle (I've heard this somewhere, not ...


37

If you're pushing a 10-ton truck and it's not moving, you are not doing any work on the truck because the distance $ds=0$ and the nonzero force $F$ isn't enough for the product $F\cdot ds$ to be nonzero. Your muscles may get tired so you feel that you're "doing something" and "spending energy" but it's not the work done on truck. You're just burning the ...


35

While they work on the same principles, the detonation of an atomic bomb and the meltdown of a nuclear plant are two very different processes. An atomic bomb is based on the idea of releasing as much energy from a runaway nuclear fission reaction as possible in the shortest amount of time. The idea being to create as much devastating damage as possible ...


26

This is from the Physics FAQ article that I wrote 15 years ago: If shorter wavelengths are scattered most strongly, then there is a puzzle as to why the sky does not appear violet, the colour with the shortest visible wavelength. The spectrum of light emission from the sun is not constant at all wavelengths, and additionally is absorbed by the high ...


24

There have actually been cases of (accidental!) exposure to near-vacuum conditions. Real life does not conform to what you see in the movies. (Well, it depends on the movie; Dave Bowman's exposure to vacuum in 2001 was pretty accurate.) Long-term exposure, of course, is deadly, but you could recover from an exposure of, say, 15-30 seconds. You don't ...


21

This is about how your muscles work -- the're an ensemble of small elements that, triggered by a signal from nerves, use chemical energy to go from less energetical long state to more energetical short one. Yet, this obviously is not permanent and there is spontaneous come back, that must be compensated by another trigger. This way there are numerous ...


20

You aren't creating a vacuum, but you are reducing the pressure in your lungs when you inhale. In effect your lungs are working as a diaphragm pump. When you pull your diaphragm down, and/or expand your chest, this increases the volume inside your lungs. Boyle's law tells us: $$ P_0V_0 = P_{\rm inhale}V_{\rm inhale} ,$$ where $P_0$ and $V_0$ are ambient ...


19

Strength / weight is a funny thing. The stress on a long thin rod (like an ant's leg) is limited by the Buckling strength which is given (for rod that can freely rotate at each end) by $$F = \frac{\pi^2EI}{L^2}$$ where $I$ is the second moment of area which scales with $r^4$ - so $$F \propto \frac{r^4}{L^2}$$ So when you make an object 2x smaller, the ...


19

For me it is axiomatic that machine miles are easier than real miles, but let's analyze the situation. Assume the runner maintains a constant velocity up the hill, or remains stationary in the frame of the gym on the treadmill. In both cases the runner's acceleration is zero, so we know that her legs must provide a constant force with upward magnitude $mg$, ...


18

First, Field strength. This calculation is strictly an electric potential calculation; radiation and induction are safely ignored at 50Hz.* For a 200kV transmission line 20m above ground, the max electric field at ground level is about 1.2 kV/m.** This number is reduced from the naive 200kV/20m=10 kV/m calculation by two effects: 1) The ~1/r variation ...


18

Humans are weakly diamagnetic. Rather than being attracted by a magnetic field we would tend to repel the lines of force. Look at the work of the High Field Magnet Laboratory http://www.ru.nl/HFML/, in particular http://www.ru.nl/hfml/research/levitation/diamagnetic/ where they demonstrate levitation of a living frog. It took about 16T to levitate the ...


17

No, they will not appear the same. Humans have three color receptors so any possible color for us is just three numbers in RGB space. However, electromagnetic spectrum is continuous and there is an infinite number of spectra that would produce the same RGB stimulus. That is why you perceive the this page as white although it is in fact a combination of R,G,B ...


13

Yes, it's very much physics related: The perceived smallness of distant objects is a direct function of how many space dimensions we live in. Here's an example: For a one-dimensional or "string land" creature, what would be the apparent difference in size between a dot nearby and a dot many miles away? If you think about it a bit, the answer is "none" -- ...


13

In the 19th century, the physicists Young and Helmholtz proposed a trichromatic theory of color, in which the eye was modeled as three filters with overlapping ranges. This is essentially a physical model of the pigments in the eye, and it predicts the response of the nerve cells at the retina. Helmholtz did related work on sound and timbre. Ca. 1950, ...


11

The horizontal component of running is believed to be fairly negligible for humans. Some research suggests that the limit isn't strength related at all, but design --- in particular, based solely on power, humans could theoretically run up to almost 40 mph. The issue is two fold: first, our limbs are actually too heavy, for big strength (e.g. climbing in ...


11

Water is transported through xylem tissue, which reassemble just a passive bundle of pipes. They are narrow enough to provide quite a huge capillary effect, but this is not a process of transport because it converges fast to equilibrium water levels and stops. The flow is powered by two other processes; first and most important is evaporation of water from ...


11

Perhaps an analogy is in order. Lets hold up the book by using an electromagnet (say we put a piece if steel under it ). If the coils were made of superconducting material it would take no energy input to maintain the position/field strength. But if we use ordinary wire, ohmic loses within the coil must be made up for by externally supplied electrical ...


10

When I was an undergrad, I was routinely subjected to magnetic fields thousands of times more powerful than Earth's because I was a research subject for MRI experiments. I noticed no powerful emotions induced by the magnetism, and I haven't heard of other subjects experiencing them, either. (People do experience claustrophobia in the MRI, but probably not ...


10

The reason is that you need to spend energy to keep muscle stretched. The first thing you need know is that the work $W=F \Delta x$ is the energy transfer between objects. Hence, there are no work done on the book when it is put on the table because there are no movement. When your arm muscle is stretched, however, it consumes energy continuously to keep ...


10

This is an example of "scaling laws". Have a look at http://hep.ucsb.edu/courses/ph6b_99/0111299sci-scaling.html - for once Wikipedia doesn't have a good article on the subject. The strength of a muscle is roughly proportional to the area of a cross section through the muscle, so strength is roughly proportional to size squared. That's why I'm a lot ...


10

Here is one reason: a note with a fundamental frequency of 100 Hz will have harmonics at 100 HZ, 200 Hz, 300 Hz, 400 Hz, 500 Hz, 600 Hz, etc., while a fundamental of 200 Hz has harmonics of 200 Hz, 400 Hz, 600 Hz, etc. These are a subset of the harmonics of the 100 Hz note an octave below. The human auditory system detects the pitch of the fundamental ...


10

Short answer: A nuclear power plant contains a lot more nuclear material than an atomic bomb. The "Little Boy" bomb was detonated at 1968 feet (600m) over Hiroshima with the nuclear material dispersed quickly in the air; the Chernobyl meltdown contaminated its environment for decades. Long answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_radiation Total ...


10

Your question seems to be about human body heat rather than other human activities that contribute to global warming. Humans body heat doesn't actually add any energy to the whole-Earth system (see below) but for a moment, I will assume that it does. Instead of looking at the mean temperature of humans, it's easier to look at the amount of energy our ...


10

A quick calculation brings some of the points in the other answers into clear focus. Consider a big power station, like Fukishima before its demise. Its output was at a whopping rate of $5GW$. From here I get the conversion factor that 1 kiloton of TNT equivalent is taken to be $4.184\times 10^{12}$ joules. Assuming the Nagasaki bomb let slip 20 kiloton ...


9

The atoms in the enamel of the teeth are not exchanged with the environment. Indeed, long after your death their isotopic composition can be used to tell where you lived while your teeth were growing.


9

You can get an upper limit by simply treating the case of The radioisotope structured as a point source. The whole dose still present, corrected for half-life. No shielding. A simple $\frac{\text{presented area}}{4\pi r^2}$ for the acceptance (in this case the radiation is emitted in all directions, acceptance represents the fraction that hits the target, ...


9

Yes, it does. We don't see it because our brain automagically 'correct it' because it always see the same aberration from the childhood. Our eye focuses on 'green' wavelength as it's its peak sensitivity, so red and especially violet lines are usually slightly out-of-focus.


9

Here is a video of the film's science advisor explaining what the equation is and how he came up with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjfT6MqTCqQ It is based on the Gompertz equation, which is a model of mortality rates, with some added "mathematical glitter."



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