Questions tagged [home-experiment]

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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When Measuring Altitude for a High Altitude Balloon does Temperature Matter?

When I look at the High Altitude Ballon results from people online that have launched DIY balloons (that have posted their data) I can see that their claimed top altitude (based on the pressure they ...
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2answers
6k views

Why is Microwaved mac & cheese burnt where they touch?

After reheating cold about 1.5 oz. of Annie's Mac & Cheese shells for 15 seconds on high power in the microwave, the mac & cheese was burnt black only at certain points where the pasta is ...
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3answers
58 views

How to live-project a large, high-visibility double slit interference pattern?

I want to do a double-slit interference pattern for a lobby display. I've done double slits many times in classrooms and labs. They're small and not highly visible. I'd like to make the pattern ...
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51 views

How to maximise stomach drop when driving through a dip

I have a couple of young kids, and on our school commute each morning we drive through a dip in the road. The dip is probably about 5 meters deep (15 feet) and the speed limit in the area is 60 km/h (...
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1answer
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Spinthariscope with Uranium pottery / marbles instead of Americium

Usually home made zync sulfide spinthariscopes employ Americium 241 from smoke detectors as an alpha radiation source. Uranium glazed pottery (e g. fiestaware) and uranium 'glow in the dark' marbles ...
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37 views

How can I do an opening (hole) in the silicone with a diameter of 0.3 mm?

How can I do an opening (hole) in the silicone with a diameter of 0.3 mm? I need to have a perfectly smooth cylinder on the opening of the silicone with a 90 degrees angle with the base. Is it reel to ...
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1answer
78 views

Formulas related to “Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon” [closed]

I was recently going through some of the top voted questions on the thermodynamics tab. And, I came across Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon. I found this question really interesting. In ...
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2answers
87 views

Is it possible to “force” two separate light sources to be coherent?

I have edited this question for three reasons. They are: 1. A possible duplicate of another question. (I believe the "answer" to that question is incorrect.) 2. I received two contradictory answers. 3....
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2answers
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How can I measure the strength of a wrist gripper?

I've been given a hand gripper and I want to test its strength in $kg$. Of course, I could compare it to grippers with known strengths or grip it to the maximum and apply the same force on a bathroom ...
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1answer
52 views

Help with the problem of moving two fingers along a yardstick

The following problem is taken from an MIT homework assignment: Hold a yardstick horizontally on your index fingers and slide your fingers together smoothly. The stick slides first on one finger, ...
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Most precise way to measure $g$ at home?

I've tried measuring acceleration due to gravity, using a photogate with free falling picket fence. I've also tried photogate with picket fence on a low-friction cart and inclined plane. So far, ...
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2answers
138 views

If a black colored body absorbs all colors, why does the spectrum of light appear on a black shoe?

Few days back in a 10 grade school practical, we were shown the dispersion of light by a prism to create spectrum. Then we went into the open sun and performed it under a linear building roof and ...
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1answer
110 views

Black hole analogy

There is a well known black hole analogy which considers a bathtub filled with water. It seems to me that the tub creates some kind of curvature in the water comparable to what a black hole does, ...
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2answers
99 views

Why is my measured LED activation voltage lower than theoretical?

I have done an experiment to measure Planck's constant. I measured the activation voltage of the LED for each wavelength used. I calculated theoretical activation voltage results using the energy of ...
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0answers
32 views

At what wind speed will a ceiling fan 10 feet above my desk move a sheet of paper? [closed]

We sell fans. An engineer asked this question. He wants to buy a fan large enough to cool without being so large it blows paperwork off his desk. Q: At what wind speed will a ceiling fan 10 feet ...
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1answer
103 views

Near-room temperature DIY cloud chamber?

Conventional design of DIY cloud chamber uses IPA and cooling down to -26..-33°C (sometimes even lower, down to dry ice temperature). What could be changed in design approach to shift operating ...
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1answer
49 views

Bubble optics, impact

My 8 years old daughter was blowing soap bubbles. Most of the bubbles had color. She randomly choses a bubble with colors and lands it on the wand. Instantly it's color is gone. If she blows this ...
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45 views

Force on a ferromagnetic rod in a solenoid

I am developing an experiment with a coil-gun/rail-gun and need to run some equations to see what I need to build. The end result is to launch a ferromagnetic rod (iron, or possibly steel) a ...
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21 views

How to change the diameter of a water stream?

So I am conducting experiments investigating the change of sound as a bucket fills up with water. One of the parameters which changes the sound heard is the diameter of the stream of water filling up ...
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1answer
20 views

Electrostatics- Attraction between a negatively charged balloon and a plastic bottle

Let's say there is a negatively charged balloon. There is also a neutrally charged plastic bottle. You know that since the plastic bottle is an insulator, polarization occurs. Is it true that since ...
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26 views

vibration and movement of electric appliance

So, what I am thinking about here is a cooking mixer placed into a bowl which is turned on and left moving on its own. The bowl is such that it does not topple nor the mixer falls out of it. Once the ...
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3answers
193 views

How to make a object stay under water?

How to make an object submerged under water? Neutrally buoyant? Thank you
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21 views

Any alternatives to the Stern-Gerlach experiment I could do at home (or school)?

I am running a bridging class for alevel students who want to go into physics at university and I think it would be really nice to show the Stern-Gerlach experiment, showing both the quantisation of ...
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Interesting astro/particle/quantum/experimental physics investigations for gifted pre-calculus students? [closed]

TL;DR What are interesting applications that I could work through with pre-calculus level students? I'd like to go from pop science explanations to an actual building of physical intuition and ...
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1answer
669 views

Does soap repel water?

Yesterday when I was taking my bath, I scratched my soap bar a bit and threw that bit on the shower floor. There was a little amount of water on the floor where that soap bit fell. To my surprise, I ...
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3answers
178 views

Can this be considered the Newton's rings?

It can be made by pointing a laser pointer directly to a mirror at low angle and observing the reflection behind the laser pointer. No convex or concave lens needed unlike the Newton's ring experiment ...
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1answer
134 views

How to calculate total power generated?

I have a circuit with a piezoelectric transducer which converts mechanical energy to electrical. The ceramic is connected to a 1 Megaohm resistor and a voltmeter which reads voltage. If I want to ...
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2answers
91 views

Why do popcorns sizzle after popping?

Why do popcorns make a sizzling sound after popping? At first I thought it might be due to moisture, but according to this, that is not the case, as the water present in the corn has already ...
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28 views

What are the dynamics of a rope wrapping around a pole of given radius?

Suppose we drop a mass m from an initial angle $\theta_o$ connected to the pole of radius r with a rope of initial length $l_o$. As the system is released, the rope wraps around the pole, decreasing ...
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1answer
172 views

Upside down water cup trick [closed]

I've been thinking about how this upside down water trick, you fill the cup with water to the brim and place a card on top then flip the water and card do not move. how is this used in everyday life? ...
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2answers
105 views

Why do I get electrostatic shock due to wool, but not due to cotton?

I have experienced electrostatic shock quite a lot of times because of a woollen fiber, and as far as I can remember, never due to a cotton fiber. Any explanation as to why this happens? Edit: I ...
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1answer
32 views

Friction Behavior at corners

The question: Find the range of value of $L/D$ such that the system remains in static equilibrium. And explain why such a range exists and not just a single value. This is the question where I ...
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1answer
717 views

Fusion confusion: what did 12 year old Jackson Oswalt do?

This kid has been showing up in news feeds, but only credulous pop media articles, not hard science reporting. What did he build, and what physics does his device do?
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Why are there less bubbles the second time I pour soda in the cup?

I poured some Pepsi into a mug, and it foamed, and I poured until the foam was at the top of the glass. I waited a few seconds for the bubbles to go, and the liquid level was revealed to be at around ...
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3answers
164 views

Why is blowing so different than sucking? [duplicate]

Why is it so easy to blow out a candle from a significant distance, but nearly impossible to suck enough air to do the same? Even without focusing the airflow through a nozzle or something, this ...
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1answer
24 views

Why does spinning a cylinder result in a spherical image?

I was spinning a cylindrical bottle of superglue, and a sphere formed in the middle until the bottle stopped again. Why is this?
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1answer
86 views

I have a pair of magnets that when I let go they attracted and broke

I let two magnets attract from a distance and when they hit they both broke a piece off of each-other. Why did the magnets damage each-other when they collided and is it possible to put the broken ...
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2answers
297 views

Car headlight voltage

If I put a higher voltage bulb in my car headlight, what will happen? I haven't tried it yet, but I'm wondering if it would matter. The bulb has the same wattage but a different voltage.
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3answers
502 views

Why does sound behave differently in water than in air?

I noticed in some experiments at home that sound does not behave the same in water than in air. Is there a good scientific explanation to this? I noticed that the sound sounded distorted in water but ...
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2answers
362 views

What is the purpose of the slit in a spectroscope?

I built a spectroscope using a CD as diffraction grating. I understood how the grating works, but I didn't get why the slit is essential. Shouldn't it work even without the slit?
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What's the best way to plot different data sets that start at different values?

I have data for the surface temperature of two different aluminum blocks, one thicker than the other. I want to show the temperature change of the two data sets (with respect to time), but the problem ...
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30 views

Measuring Impact Force

My daughter is doing a project for school measuring the difference in impact force in softball with a mask vs without a mask. The systems I've looking into purchasing cost $1000. Please advise on how ...
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10answers
7k views

Are there physical properties that can be used to differentiate stainless steel from copper in a home environment? [closed]

So the backstory is that I purchased a reusable drinking straw that is copper coloured, but is advertised to be stainless steel. That got me thinking about whether I could be sure it was one or the ...
5
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1answer
578 views

Why do two like poles stick together when one magnet is stronger than the other?

I have two magnets, a weak one and a very strong one. The weak one is a cheap toy magnet, and the strong one is a ceramic magnet. Normally, I would expect that if I orient the magnets so that the two ...
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2answers
81 views

$V = 4 volts$ but $I = 0$

Recently in my school, I tried to generate electricity from plants in a flower pot with copper and Zinc electrodes. The Potential difference in the voltmeter read 2 to 3 volts but when I connected the ...
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2answers
172 views

Did diffraction bend this light more than 90 degrees?

Earlier I asked whether diffraction could bend light more than 90 degrees. earlier question Lambda gave me an answer. He stuck a razor blade into a piece of wood, and he shone a green laser at it, ...
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1answer
92 views

Simple experiment proving air pressure is stronger than water pressure at sea level [closed]

I conducted a simple experiment I: pour a little of water into a cup, put a card on top & turn all upside down. The card does not fall $\Rightarrow$ $$P_i + P_w < P_o\tag{1}$$ $P_i$ : air ...
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1answer
89 views

Time taken by a Magnifying Glass to heat Metal [closed]

I would like to know how long would it take for a small or medium sized mag. glass to heat a black painted metal particularly aluminum since I can't do the maths.
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3answers
75 views

Common microwave absorbing substances

I'm looking to demonstrate to class of students how microwave absorption works, but I need something relatively common which I can easily make into a board. Does anyone have any suggestions for ...
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1answer
69 views

Diffraction using a phone

I used my phone to create a diffraction pattern and measure the number of pixels along the horizontal. I used the formula in the picture and calculated everything using readings ive added in the ...