3 Surprising Places To Find Physics
What do you know about physics? This particular branch of science has to do with the nature and properties of matter and energy. Maybe you avoided taking physics class in school, but even though you may not be able to describe how physics is used to calculate the age of the universe, physics is at work in our daily lives. Fundamental principles of physics such as energy, motion, and forces govern the world around us and are present in ways you might not expect.
Here are three surprising places you?ll find them at work in your daily life.
In Your Cereal Bowl
Why do lingering pieces of cereal tend to migrate to the edge of your bowl? Referred to as the Cheerios Effect by scientists, LiveScience explains that the simple physics behind this phenomenon has to do with surface tension and buoyancy. Buoyancy, or the tendency to float in water or air or some other fluid, keeps your cereal floating in milk due to inherent surface tension present in the milk. Molecules on the surface of the milk are attracted to each other, causing cohesion that prevents external forces (aka your cereal) from breaking through. Buoyant bits of cereal push on the surface of the milk, causing it to become slightly concave. The slightly curved surface cause cereal bits to attach themselves to each other when they get close enough to each other and sometimes the float up the curve to the edge of the bowl.
According to Cereal Science: Why Floating Objects Stick Together, ?this clumping phenomenon applies to anything that floats, including fizzy soda bubbles and hair particles in water after a morning shave.? Isn’t it interesting to know why cereal sticks together and always seems to migrate to the edge of your bowl?
In Your Laundry
If you?ve ever pulled a shirt, sweatshirt, or sweater over your head and had your hair go awry, or left for work with a stowaway sock attached to a pant leg, that?s static electricity at work. Static electricity is caused by positively and negatively charged electrons that are always present in our environment. These electrostatic charges are caused by the tumbling action of clothes rubbing together in the dryer.
You?ve heard opposites attract? This is certainly true with electrons that come with a positive and negative charge. Electrons that hold opposite charges attract while ones of the same kind repel each other. It?s those oppositely charged electrons that cause clothes to stick together when you least expect it. For tips on eliminating the positive charges between electrons in your laundry, The Spruce has a helpful suggestions in How to Get Rid of Static Cling from Clothes that go beyond the dryer sheet.
In Your Microwave
Microwaves are a convenient way to heat food quickly, thanks to science! True to their name, microwaves rely on electromagnetic waves, a form of energy, that invisibly pass through your food to heat it. According to Encyclopaedia Brittanica, ?a device called a?magnetron?channels electrical energy from a power outlet to a heated filament, creating a flow of electrons that in turn transmits microwaves into the cooking chamber through an antenna.?Microwaves bounce around in the chamber and cook food through?radiation heating?exciting molecules within an object?by becoming lodged in water, sugars, and fats.? I bet you?ll never look at your microwave the same way again!
More from Space Nation
Start training like an astronaut.
Download the Space Nation Navigator now!