The conserved quantity arising from a rotational invariance. Combine with rotational-dynamics for the classical mechanics approach and quantum-mechanics for the QM interpretation

learn more… | top users | synonyms

10
votes
4answers
8k views

What causes a soccer ball to follow a curved path?

Soccer players kick the ball in a linear kick, though you find it to turn sideways, not even in one direction. Just mid air it changes that curve's direction. Any physical explanation? Maybe this ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How does Newtonian mechanics explain why orbiting objects do not fall to the object they are orbiting?

The force of gravity is constantly being applied to an orbiting object. And therefore the object is constantly accelerating. Why doesn't gravity eventually "win" over the object's momentum, like a ...
10
votes
2answers
297 views

Why are the higher angular momentum states of a hydrogen atom closer to the nucleus?

I was looking at a plot of hydrogen radial wave functions $r^2|R_{nl}(r)|^2$, and I noticed that for fixed $n$, the states with smaller $l$ were "further out" from the nucleus. This conflicted with ...
10
votes
1answer
870 views

Effect of the tail of the cat in the falling cat problem

To explain why a falling cat can turn by 180 degree without external torque and without violation of the conservation of angular momentum, one usually models the cat as two cylinders as in ...
10
votes
3answers
325 views

How can a bowling ball curve in both directions?

There is a popular video on facebook that I just don't understand. A man spins a bowling ball very fast then slightly taps it down the lane. Somehow it does half of a figure eight, curving around two ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What's is the origin of Orbital Angular Momentum of electrons in atoms?

Consider the Hydrogen 1s electron. We know that, in the quantum picture, the electron isn't orbiting or rotating at all, rather we simply state that the electron is spread over the entire space with ...
10
votes
1answer
547 views

Why doesn't my particle simulation end in a flat disc?

I've made a 3d particle simulator where particles are attracted to each other by the inverse of the square radius. The purpose of my experiment is to see if this alone would create a flat disk (like ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Dynamics of counter-rotating flywheels

I've wondered about this for ages. If we create a pair of flywheels that rotate in the opposite direction with the same angular momentum, but are co-located and have the same mass and inertial moment ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Why does a curling rock curl?

In the game of curling, players "curl" a granite "rock" (of precise size and roughly a flattened cylinder) down a "sheet" of ice towards a target; the "rock" will curve in its path in the direction of ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

If angular momentum is conserved, what's wrong with this scenario?

I understand that, in a given system with no external torques applied, angular momentum is conserved. However, consider the following situation: Let's say the earth revolves around the Sun in a ...
9
votes
2answers
875 views

Lie bracket for Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$

How does one show that the bracket of elements in the Lie algebra of $SO(n,m)$ is given by $$[J_{ab},J_{cd}] ~=~ i(\eta_{ad} J_{bc} + \eta_{bc} J_{ad} - \eta_{ac} J_{bd} - \eta_{bd}J_{ac}),$$ ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Quantization of a particle on a spherical surface

Suppose we have a particle of mass $m$ confined to the surface of a sphere of radius $R$. The classical Lagrangian of the system is $$L = \frac{1}{2}mR^2 \dot{\theta}^2 + \frac{1}{2}m R^2 \sin^2 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How can a point-particle have properties?

I have trouble imagining how two point-particles can have different properties. And how can finite mass, and finite information (ie spin, electric charge etc.) be stored in 0 volume? Not only that, ...
9
votes
4answers
13k views

What determines the direction of precession of a gyroscope?

I understand how torque mathematically causes a change to the direction of angular momentum, thus precessing the gyroscope. However, the direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise, of this ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a reason why the spin of particles is integer or half integer instead of, say, even and odd?

It seems to me that we could change all the current spin values of particles by multiplying them by two. Then we could describe Bosons as even spin particles and Fermions as odd spin particles. Is ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do galaxies and water going down a plug hole spin?

We all experience things spinning, whether it's water down a drain, the earth on its axis, planets round the sun, or stars in a galaxy - even electrons round an atom. But why is spin so common in ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

What stops giant cruise ships toppling over in rough seas?

A week ago, 2 of the most gigantic cruise ships in the world docked near my city. If you have seen one, or been on one, you will know how large they are. They look extremely unsafe to me, although ...
9
votes
2answers
487 views

Addition of Angular Momementa in deeply bound situations, proton spin crisis

In Landau and Lipshitz's introductory book on Quanum Mechanics, "Quantum Mechanics Non-Relativistic Theory, Third Edition: Volume 3", chapter XIV (page 433 in the edition on Amazon) is "Addition of ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What makes a wrist-energized gyroscope rotate faster?

I'm considering a wrist-energized gyroscope, shown below (after my daughter let it fall and it broke open). That one was sold as Roller Ball, but variants are known as Powerball, DynaBee, Dynaball, ...
9
votes
5answers
764 views

Will freely rotatable polarizers align?

Will two freely rotatable linear polarizers (placed in sequence and at some angular offset less than, say, 45 degrees) eventually align if you shine (plenty of) unpolarized light at the first one? If ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I understand a Vortex Tube and its efficiency?

A Vortex Tube takes a pressurized input stream, most typically of a gas, and creates two output streams with a temperature differential. Apparently, it has been described as a Maxwell's Demon. Both ...
8
votes
1answer
688 views

Different representations of the Lorentz algebra

I've found many definitions of Lorentz generators that satisfy the Lorentz algebra: ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Huge buildings affect Earth's rotation?

Does constructing huge buildings affect the rotation of the Earth, similar to skater whose angular rotation increases when her arms are closed comparatively than open?
8
votes
2answers
886 views

Why do we think Spin is angular momentum as opposed to some other quantity? [duplicate]

What leads us to the conclusion that spin is angular momentum? Could it not be some other quantity? Sorry if this is a rookie level question.
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How do the Planets and Sun get their initial spin?

How do the Planets and Sun get their initial rotation? Why do Venus and Mercury rotate so slowly compared to other planets? Why does Venus rotate in a different direction to Mercury, Earth and Mars? ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What made Bohr quantise angular momentum and not some other quantity?

Bohr's second postulate in Bohr model of hydrogen atom deals with quantisation of angular momentum. I was wondering, though: why did he quantise angular momentum instead of some other quantity?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why can't I just think the spin as rotating?

I'm going mad about the problem. I really don't understand why do electron have 1/2 spin number, why they are not actually spinning. I can accept that the electrons have their own magnetic field, ...
8
votes
2answers
911 views

Meaning of spin

I'm pretty astounded that I did not hear about this sooner, but in my course on QFT our professor told us that the concept of spin can be used to mean three things: Mechanical spin (apparently a ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Apparent violation of Newton's 3rd law and the conservation of angular momentum for a pair of charged particles interacting magnetically

Consider a system of the two identical point positive charges situated in free space (isolated from influence of any other external fields) as shown in the figure below. Particle 1 is at $(a,a,0)$ and ...
8
votes
3answers
699 views

Addition of spin angular momentum for massless particles

How do I add the spin angular momentum of massless particles, like photons, where only the transverse polarizations are allowed? If all three polarizations were allowed, this would be an easy ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it expected that all stellar black holes will be spinning near the maximum allowed $\omega$-velocity?

Using a bit of classical reasoning I'm imagining black hole formation to be much like an ice skater pulling in her arms: Now, the size difference between a star and its black hole can't even be ...
8
votes
2answers
959 views

Intrinsic angular momentum in classical mechanics

Please note, I am only interested in classical mechanics discussion on this. Please do not involve quantum mechanics. Inspired by this question: Is Angular Momentum truly fundamental? My question ...
8
votes
6answers
331 views

How do point particles transfer angular momentum between each other?

I know that quantum physics says that one can't change the magnitude of spin of a point particle but that still leaves the question of how one changes the direction of spin. One possible way point ...
8
votes
1answer
273 views

How deep can a whirlpool descend?

My question is based around comparing the physics of a tornado against, what I imagine/assume to be the marine equivalent of a tornado, that is a whirlpool located either at sea, in a tidal region or ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Where does the kinetic energy go?

A uniform cylinder was placed on a frictionless bearing and set to rotate about its vertical axis. After a cylinder has reached a specific state of rotation it is heated without any mechanical support ...
8
votes
2answers
179 views

How to design a deliberately biased coin?

For demonstrating basic probability concepts, it would be nice to have a coin-like object that lands heads/tails not in 50/50% ratio, but biased in a way that can be revealed in a short experiment. ...
8
votes
4answers
945 views

Why do 3d spheres and gravity tend to rotating discs on one plane?

Whether is it our solar system or a whole galaxy, there is usually a massive object (star or black hole) at the centre with gas and objects rotating around it. The gravitational effect of the ...
7
votes
5answers
29k views

Why does a ballerina speed up when she pulls in her arms?

My friend thinks it's because she has less air resistance but I'm not sure.
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How long was a day at the creation of Earth?

Since the earth is slowing its rotation, and as far as I know, each day is 1 second longer every about 1.5 years, how long was an earth day near the formation of earth (4.5 billion years ago)? I ...
7
votes
3answers
728 views

The Asymmetry between Real and Imaginary in the three Pauli Spin Matrices

The Pauli spin matrices $$ \sigma_1 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 0 \end{smallmatrix}), \qquad\qquad \sigma_2 ~=~ (\begin{smallmatrix} 0 & -i \\ i & 0 ...
7
votes
3answers
572 views

Questions on the movie Gravity (2013)

To start off, I'm not a physicist but a programmer, and only had a few years of physics education in high school so I'm sorry if I'm asking a stupid question. I just finished watching the movie ...
7
votes
3answers
670 views

Can one make a ball rotate around a vertical axis using only a combination of horizontal axis rotations?

This is a nice problem that I would like to share. Problem: In a public garden, there a statue consisting of a spherical stone and a stone cup. The ball is 1 meter in diameter and weighs at least a ...
7
votes
1answer
283 views

ket vector with two “entries”

This is a very simple question. I am learning about angular momentum. In my lecture notes, the symbol $|\lambda,m_l \rangle$ was defined as a eigenfunction of a central potential. Two assumptions are ...
7
votes
1answer
333 views

Spin of 125 GeV Higgs boson

Can someone please explain to me why (according to decay of Higgs boson into 2 photons) Higgs boson cannot have spin $S=1$?
7
votes
3answers
525 views

Moment of Inertia, why $r^2$and not $r$?

So my engineering mechanics book includes a brief discussion on area moments of inertia. Unfortunately, the ensuing chapter is predominately computational in nature. I don't have a thorough grasp of ...
7
votes
3answers
799 views

Why don't we talk about angular momentum at all in fluid mechanics?

People usually talk about similar (or maybe not?) things like vorticity or enstrophy in fluid mechanics, but no one talks about angular momentum, why?
7
votes
3answers
485 views

What is the origin of spin of celestial objects?

In an older question from June 2011, Why does each celestial object spin on its own axis?, apparently revived by the system, a user is asking about the origin of the rotation of celestial bodies. The ...
7
votes
3answers
105 views

Rotationally invariant body and principal axis

Suppose a rigid body is invariant under a rotation around an axis $\mathsf{A}$ by a given angle $0 \leq \alpha_0 < 2\pi$ (and also every multiple of $\alpha_0$). Is it true that in this case the ...
7
votes
3answers
725 views

Are there planetary systems where the planes of orbits vary greatly?

Inspired by this question, are there any known planetary systems with largely varying planes of orbit? For example a system where two planets have perpendicular planes?
7
votes
1answer
408 views

Orbital angular momentum of photon

People talk about orbital angular momentum (OAM) of photons. Is there some physical example that cannot be explained without assuming that photons have non-zero OAM? Does different photons have ...