why can you only feel air (like fanning yourself or the wind) when speed is involved?


why can you only feel air (like fanning yourself or the wind) when speed is involved?

In: Physics

because then air molecules hit you which first off makes you feel air and second takes heat from you if the air is colder which is regularly the case

Your body has thresholds for when a sensation alerts your attention.

If it didn’t, you’d always feel it and it’d be more distraction. Imagine if none of your senses had thresholds: you’d smell smells you normally tune out, see lots of little motions you normally tune out, hear lots of background noises you tune out, feel your clothes brushing at you constantly, etc.

All these things would become overwhelming and you’d struggle to concentrate on anything you need to do because of the overwhelming sensory information.

These thresholds allow you to know certain sensations should be considered normal and can be ignored.

What you are feeling when you move yourself quickly through air or when a fan blows air on you is a temperature change, in addition to your other sensory neurons firing. This is the “wind chill factor.”

The windchill factor happens because, without any breeze, energy transfer is pretty slow between you and the outside world. This is because newton’s law of cooling: the rate of cooling is proportional to the difference in temperature between the two bodies. Normally, when you’re sitting still and there’s no wind, air particles remain relatively in place around you, accepting heat quickly at first, but then starting to slow after a moment or two. To cool something down, the goal is to keep the air particles from entering that slow energy transfer rate.

So how do we prevent this? We keep blowing the old air particles away as they heat up, refreshing warm air with new, cold air. According to Newton’s law of cooling, these cold air particles are going to suck heat energy up really fast.

Therefore, movement and/or wind makes you colder. Your thermoreceptors in your body are able to easily and suddenly pick up on this.

On top of this, when your arm suddenly starts colliding with air at an increased rate, your mechanoreceptors are able to pick up on this.

As such, your body is able to feel the movement of air because thermoreceptors and mechanoreceptors are triggered.