Questions tagged [physics]

Use this tag for questions about the physical nature of reality and in particular claims that are strictly about the field of physics. Please use specific tags if the question is about other sciences such as chemistry. Also consider to add [electromagnetism] and [radiation] if appropriate.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Can electricity be obtained from neutrino radiation, like a solar cell?

Power Technology magazine published a 2019 article *Neutrino energy: harnessing the power of cosmic radiation. It describes a new energy technology - making solar panels, but for neutrinos instead of ...
11
votes
1answer
625 views

Does aluminum foil safeguard your credit card from RFID attacks?

Evidence against Does Aluminum Foil Stop Identity Theft? Some sources say that if you actually have an RFID-enabled credit card, aluminum foil does the same job, if not better, than an expensive ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a lack of radiation shadows disprove the Big Bang Theory?

This article from Creation Magazine argues that: If the big bang were true, the light from the fireball should cast shadows in the foreground of all galaxy clusters. It uses some 2006 findings ...
24
votes
1answer
19k views

Does paper blunt scissors?

It is widely believed that paper blunts scissors. But it is difficult to imagine why paper should be more harmful than say hair. Is paper really any worse for scissors than hair, or any other object?
25
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Feynman's claim about the history of measurements of the charge of the electron after Millikan accurate?

In a 1974 speech Richard Feynman famously described an example of confirmation bias in science: One example: Millikan measured the charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and ...
3
votes
1answer
508 views

Is the water used in coal burning power plants “never returned to the environment”?

According to a Duke University press release titled Replacing Coal with Gas or Renewables Saves Billions of Gallons of Water: Water consumption – the amount of water used by a power plant and ...
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the F-35 aircraft literally invisible? [closed]

Donald Trump said of the F-35 "You can’t see it. You literally can’t see it. It’s hard to fight a plane you can’t see" The video of him saying this makes it seem as if he really believes it can't be ...
44
votes
2answers
7k views

Does wetting a beer glass change the foam characteristics?

Many bars rinse a beer glass immediately before serving. I've consulted with bartenders and Google, and there's some confusion about it. Some sites claim it reduces foaming. Another perk is that ...
44
votes
1answer
12k views

Did/does the US government keep secret papers by Nikola Tesla?

A popular conspiracy theory holds that Tesla invented a free energy device, but that the powers that be prevented him from publishing it, because it would hurt their investments. Of course, free ...
57
votes
2answers
12k views

Did the British navy fail to take into account the ballistics correction due to Coriolis force during WW1 Falkland Islands battle?

In Natural History magazine article, Neil DeGrasse Tyson claims the following: The military normally knows all about the Coriolis force and thus introduces the appropriate correction to all missile ...
17
votes
0answers
424 views

In a lightning storm, is it safer to stand near a beech than near an oak?

According to a German folk wisdom, in a lightning storm one should avoid oaks and seek out beeches. German Wikipedia on Volksweisheit: „Buchen sollst Du suchen, Eichen sollst Du weichen“ Meaning ...
32
votes
0answers
802 views

Does cutting paper dull a knife quickly? [duplicate]

This question is a follow-up to "How to test the sharpness of a knife?", my answer to it, and the comments my answer generated. Charlie Brumbaugh wanted to know how to tell when he is done when ...
15
votes
2answers
9k views

Is it not possible to swim in crude oil?

In the book Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, one of the characters falls into crude oil and state that one cannot swim in crude oil. The character can swim in water. If true, why would you not be ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Did all iron on Earth come from outer space?

According to the video 9 Shocking Facts from the Quran! Iron is not natural to the Earth. It did not form on the Earth but came down to Earth from outer space. This may sound strange but it is true....
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Do Shade Balls conserve/save water?

In recent headlines here, here, here, it appears that Los Angeles reservoir now has 96 million "Shade Balls" to slow evaporation. I'm skeptical on a number of fronts: How much water went in to ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there “vastly more matter than anti-matter” in the Universe?

From the Register, talking about the recent CERN antimatter experiment. I'm not concerned with the experiment itself, but rather this claim This, in turn, would help us understand how come our ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Has the speed of light significantly slowed down over the past 6,000 years?

One of the problems for young-Earth creationism is that we are seeing light from stars more than 6,000 light-years away, which implies that those stars pre-date the alleged date of the creation. To ...
15
votes
1answer
829 views

Can gamma rays on an airplane damage a digital camera?

Rob Hummer gave a talk at Cine Gear Expo 2011 about how film and digital cameras catch light. He makes a handful of extraordinary claims about digital sensors - including a claim that you get dead ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Did a 16-year-old high-school girl in Iran produce nuclear energy at her home in 2007?

In 2007, Iran's president claimed that nuclear scientists in the country verified that a 16-year-old girl had produced nuclear energy at home. At the time, this ended up being a point of jokes and ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Is Nikola Tesla the only scientist to successfully create ball lightning?

Related: Is there any scientific proof that ball lightning is real? Someone passed along this The Oatmeal comic about Tesla. It's quite interesting and entertaining. I was curious about a lot of the ...
8
votes
1answer
16k views

Do water molecules change when you talk to them?

I've heard that saying something nice in front of water changes the water molecules shape into a nice shape and saying something bad in front of it makes the molecules align in a bad order (ugly one). ...
-7
votes
1answer
379 views

Is the Infinity MG10 a working generator that consumes no fuel?

Infinity Sav are a company pushing a product, the MG10 which is available for pre-order which, they claim, can generate electricity without consuming fuel - i.e. is a free energy machine. The ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Can a “second Chernobyl” happen at the nuclear reactors damaged by the tsunami in Japan?

In the media, you hear predictions that the events in the damaged nuclear power plants could be "the next Chernobyl", but this sounds like hyperbole to me. Are the events at those nuclear reactors ...
8
votes
2answers
781 views

Did the isolation condensors fail at Fukushima Daiichi? Was human error involved?

The reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan were overflowed by a tsunami following the Tohaku earthquake of 2011. Consequently, a power outage at the station disabled the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is Jacob Barnett predicted to win the Nobel prize for? [closed]

Jacob Barnett is a young prodigy that is currently pursuing a Master's degree in a quantum physics related field at the age of 15. A couple of months ago, I spotted a number of special interest ...
71
votes
4answers
15k views

Do wooden building fires get hotter than 600°C?

After the recent Notre-Dame de Paris fire, there has been a heavily re-posted tweet going around in response to an earlier claim that a golden cross did not melt or deform - due to an act of God. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can light travel at 30x the speed of light? [closed]

The claim seems to be that the researchers can make light travel faster than the speed of light. Is this true? How does it even make sense? It’s in Nature so presumably there’s something in it, but ...
58
votes
2answers
15k views

Has the laser at Magurele, Romania reached a tenth of the Sun's power?

This month the laser at Magurele, Romania became the most powerful laser in the world, according to various sources. Related: Is the laser built in Măgurele, România, the most powerful in the ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Will wrapping a bottle in a wet paper towel make it chill faster?

Example of the claim: Take a couple paper towels and wrap them around your beer, then douse it in water. It should be soaked but not dripping (you don't want ice forming in your freezer). Air is ...
1
vote
0answers
411 views

Are two layers better at insulating body heat than one double-thickness layer? [closed]

It is almost universally recommended that wearing multiple layers of clothing is the most effective way to stay warm in cold weather, compared to one thicker layer, although there seems to be little ...
121
votes
5answers
23k views

Do atoms exist?

There are plenty of examples of people doubting ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5]) or denying ([6], [7], [8]) the existence of atoms. Is there any compelling evidence for the existence of atoms? Has anyone ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

Do tinfoil hats protect against any sort of radiation?

Delusional conspiracy theorists are commonly portrayed as wearing tin-foil hats to protect against mind-control rays from sinister organisations such as [goverments/aliens/NSA/CIA/FBI/liberals/...
5
votes
4answers
910 views

Does physics give a climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide of about 3°C?

A letter to the editor of the Economist from Professor Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research stated the following: The IPCC’s range on sensitivity is supported by, ...
22
votes
2answers
856 views

Do setback thermostats cause more energy to be used, and does the heating type matter?

It was first brought to my attention by a local HVAC Contracting company, that a programmable/setback thermostat would actually cause my home heating system to use more energy, and hence for me to ...
11
votes
5answers
11k views

Are there more 40-moves chess games than atoms in the universe?

I read this tweet recently: "There are more possible games of chess lasting 40 moves than there are atoms in the entire universe. Intriguing to know." I find this highly doubtful. Could ...
3
votes
1answer
858 views

Does Heads Up Texas Hold'em have more possible hands than atoms in the universe?

In the Vice (HBO) clip AI Poker Bots Are Beating The World's Best Players, it is claimed (at 2:00), that Texas Hold'em has "more possible hands than atoms in the universe". ..this competition ...
2
votes
0answers
501 views

Can ridges on the bottom of shakers be used to help with dispensing?

From https://twitter.com/LipBitinANNAmal/status/1078840770864529408 156,700 Retweets 376,681 Likes (probably not the original author): How old were y’all when you found out the ridges on the bottom ...
4
votes
1answer
551 views

Do lipid droplets in our skin create a laser?

The home page of Dr Jack Kruse, who claims to be a neurosurgeon and "optimal health educator" contains the following paragraph: There is a deep connection between thermodynamics in biology and the ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Does earthing reduce oxidative stress and inflammation?

The other day my friend asked what I think about "earthing" claiming that their products provide electrons we used to get from walking barefoot on the earth surface and that they have positive (...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Does turning the lamp in my classroom off and on use more energy than it being turned on for 30 minutes?

My physics teacher regularly said to our class: Turning these lights [pointing to the ceiling of the classroom] off and on uses more energy than leaving them on for 30 minutes. Is this true? I ...
20
votes
1answer
19k views

“The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe”?

When one googles "The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe", many images appear. Some of them claim this is a post by the Flat Earth Society itself, such as this one: I wonder if this ...
1
vote
1answer
539 views

Does General Relativity bring “Cosmic Time,” which is the same for all frames-of-reference?

In a recent podcast, the philosopher William Lane Craig said that while Special Relativity taught us to doubt whether any given clock is, or whether it could be, an absolute measure of time, General ...
18
votes
2answers
35k views

Do electric heaters with open heating elements “dry the air” or “burn up oxygen”?

There is a popular belief in Russia that electric heaters with an open nichrome heating element (red hot) "burn up oxygen" and "dry the air", unlike oil-filled ones. Is it true that a Joule heater ...
23
votes
7answers
7k views

Are there technologies that provide unlimited free energy?

Many different sources claim to be able to produce "unlimited free energy". For example: UNLIMITED FREE ENERGY IDENTIFIED Company claims to have developed new technology that provides unlimited free ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is redefining the kilogram useful for drug development and nanotechnology?

With the redefinition of kilogram currently underway, I see recent online articles claiming that a precise definition of the kilogram is critical for drug development and nanotechnology. E.g. BBC.com ...
72
votes
1answer
11k views

Are the claims made by Indian Ministers / personalities regarding ancient Indian inventions true?

In the past couple of years, several Indian Ministers / personalities have made claims regarding existence of modern inventions in Ancient India. Prime Minister Modi claimed that genetic science ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

Does the Wowfixit screen protector harden phone screens?

The WOWFIXIT web-page offers a product where you wipe a liquid over your phone screen and polish it. They claim the result will make your protect your phone screen from scratches: One of the many ...
104
votes
5answers
7k views

Are personal electronics a risk to commercial aviation?

Are personal electronics (of present or recent past; e.g. cell phones, mp3 players, iPads) a risk to commercial air travel? Is the typical request to "turn off all personal electronic devices" based ...
18
votes
2answers
7k views

Are electric chairs powered by generators connected to the mains in the same building?

There's an episode in The Green Mile movie where the death row servicemen rehearse the upcoming execution that is done using an electric chair. One of them says (quoted from here): Roll on one. [...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

Does the radioactivity on Hiroshima's soil affect radiometric dating?

I heard several times from creationists that now, if scientists would examine the land in Hiroshima, it will tell them it is millions of years old all because of the atom bomb. And because of that ...