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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
 
*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!

Revision as of 17:59, 4 March 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 24 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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Physics Confession
"You know lightning, right? When electric charge builds up in a cloud and then discharges in a giant spark? Ask me why that happens." "Why does tha--" "No clue. We think it's related to the hair thing."
Title text: "You know lightning, right? When electric charge builds up in a cloud and then discharges in a giant spark? Ask me why that happens." "Why does tha--" "No clue. We think it's related to the hair thing."

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: This is my first contribution it should be looked over by someone before the tag is removed.

A Theory of Everything is a goal of modern physics which would explain all of the phenomena observed in modern physics. The current approach to a theory of everything is to figure out how everything works on a quantum scale, and then just demonstrate how the rest of known physics can be derived from that quantum behavior. This approach, however, leaves many everyday phenomena which are not understood by modern physics. This comic lists several of those phenomena:

It is unknown how ice skates work. It is thought that they develop a film of water between the skate and the ice that lubricates sliding, but scientists dispute how the film gets there. Why is ice slippery?

Physicists lack a clear understanding of the interactions involved in the flow of granular materials, such as sand. It is known that the behavior diverges greatly from that of a liquid, but it is unknown exactly how the flow works.PhysicsCentral:Granular Materials

Modern physics also doesn't understand what makes electrons move from one material to another when two materials are rubbed against each other (the triboelectric effect), and why the transfer takes more electrons in one direction than in the other.

Transcript

[Megan is facing Ponytail and Cueball .]
Megan: I'll be honest: We physicists talk a big game about the theory of everything, but the truth is, we don't really understand why ice skates work, how sand flows, or where the static charge comes from when you rub your hair with a balloon.



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