5 Fun Physics Phenomena | Summary and Q&A

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August 6, 2014
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Veritasium
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5 Fun Physics Phenomena

TL;DR

A video discussing and explaining five fun physics phenomena, including the center of mass, phone flipping, electric charges, magnetic cereal, and teabag rockets.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the center of mass phenomenon with the horizontally held cane work?

When placing index fingers under the center of mass of the cane, it doesn't work. However, placing fingers at opposite ends of the cane and moving them towards the middle results in ending up under the center of mass due to balancing forces.

Q: Why can't you flip a phone end over end cleanly without rotation?

Flipping a phone end over end without rotation is difficult because of instabilities and the phone rotating around other axes. It requires precise control and coordination to achieve a clean flip.

Q: What is the real explanation for the deflection of water by a charged cup?

The deflection of water by a charged cup is not solely due to the polarity of the water molecule. It is primarily caused by the presence of a uniform electric field, which exerts forces on both the positive and negative sides of the water molecule.

Q: Why is cereal magnetic?

Cereal is magnetic because it contains iron, which is attracted to magnets. The iron particles in the cereal can be influenced by a magnetic field, allowing them to be pulled around by a strong magnet.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Center of mass: When trying to place fingers underneath the center of mass of a horizontally held cane, it doesn't work. However, placing fingers at opposite ends of the cane and moving them towards the middle results in ending up under the center of mass.

  • Phone flipping: Flipping a phone end over end without rotating it in another direction is almost impossible due to instabilities and rotation around other axes.

  • Electric charges: Rubbing a cup on hair and bringing it close to a stream of water causes the water to deflect, but it's not due to the polarity of the water molecule. Instead, it's because of the presence of a uniform electric field.

  • Magnetic cereal: Dropping a piece of cereal into water and using a strong magnet to pull it around demonstrates magnetism in cereal.

  • Teabag rockets: Cutting the sealed end of a tea bag, forming it into a column, lighting it on fire, and balancing it on a plate causes it to "take off" like a rocket.

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