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3
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0answers
24 views

Why is stat mech involved in mean field theory?

Mean field theory involves approximating an interacting system by a non-interacting one, by replacing some operators with their expectation value. However, to my surprise, free energy is involved in ...
1
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3answers
71 views

Why is that a question can be answered with several theories? [closed]

This may be silly and I am sorry for that but it is confusing me. My teacher was teaching us about path of electrons around a nucleus. He told us that many theories have been proposed about path of an ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Is Huygens's Wave Theory still correct?

We have to study on details about Huygens's Wave Theory though we have Electromagnetic theory, quantum theory today. Is it still correct or not?
1
vote
1answer
86 views

conservation of momentum? [closed]

At hyperphysics I got this image, with the same description in text as is in this image It says that when a massive particle (say $A$) moving with a velocity collides with an object having a ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Why is the Taylor expansion of the gravitational potential cut off after first term?

In this answer to a question on this site, the gravitational potential of the Earth is expanded as $$U(r) \approx U(r_0) + \left.\frac {dU(r)}{dr}\right|_{r=r_0}(r-r_0),$$ keeping only the linear ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Is the Fermi golden rule really accurate for calculating the life time of an atomic level?

In my impression, Fermi golden rule is routinely used in calculating the life time of an excited atomic level. But it is based on the first order perturbation theory, so it is not expected to be ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Am I using the variatonal method correctly conceptually?

Given A particle in a potential well: $V=-V_0 \exp(-x^2 / L^2)$ Goal Use the variational method to approximate the ground state energy My proposal The well (For $L=1$ and $V_0=10$) has the following ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Approximate cloning of a qubit, given multiple starting copies

Suppose I'm given several clones of a qubit in a pure unentangled state. That is to say, I'm given the state $(a \left|0\right\rangle + b \left|1\right\rangle)^{\otimes n}$. My goal is to make $d$ ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Why can we assume, when dealing with tension, that the mass of a rope is $0$ but still assume that there are forces on it?

I started studying tension and I can't understand the following concept: If I have two objects $A,B$ collegated by a rope, where $A$ applies a certain force $\vec{F}$ on it, I would have that the ...
6
votes
0answers
97 views

Is drag force on an oscillating sphere an effective model for a swimmer?

I saw the latest video from Sixty Symbols Little Swimmers. At the end of the videos he says that we do not know how to calculate the movement of the little swimmers. He says(6:14-6:40 in video) that ...
7
votes
2answers
219 views

Why do we still use perturbation theory, when we have advanced numerical methods and fast computers?

If my question sounds ignorant or even insulting, I apologise. I may be completely wrong, since I'm not a theoretical physicist. So, I understand why perturbation theory was originally used in ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Time independent perturbation theory for a 1D simple harmonic oscillator system

I have been looking through my notes and it says in a footnote that the approximation of energy levels using perturbation theory is more accurate when the energy shift of the energy levels due to the ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Numerical problem with Hartree-Fock equations for dilute Bose gas

I have to solve the following set of equations self-consistently: $$\begin{align} n_c(\mathbf{r}) & = \frac{1}{g}\left[\mu - V_{\rm ext}(\mathbf{r}) - 2 g n_{T}(\mathbf{r}) \right] \\[3mm] ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

How to choose basis functions that contribute most efficiently per term? [closed]

I would like to approximate some positive, scalar function $f(x,y) > 0$ on a 2D field of finite size i.e. $x\in [a,b],y\in[c,d]$ I am familiar with the set of basis functions used in the Fourier ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

There isnt really an isolated system so why sometimes we consider a system to be isolated?

In real life, there's nothing to be called an isolated system then why at some applications do we assign isolated systems?
1
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0answers
28 views

Approximating Gallons of Gas Needed for Trip (read: physics grad. with too much free time)

My departure from college has left me with an itch for physics-y problems to solve, and my boredom and free time gave way to this approximation of the gallons of gas I use for the trip to my ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Help understanding expansion for following $\sin(\theta)$ [closed]

my professor posted a solution to a problem that I am having trouble understanding. This is the question: Find the frequency of small oscillations about the stable equilibrium position. And this is ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Hyperfine structure in hydrogen

Consider the Dirac equation for bounded electron in hydrogen atom. I am trying to get a clear physical explanation for all mathematical terms that appear in the Hamiltonian and energy spectrum. ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Are some laws in physics really as simple as they seem?

For example, is $F = ma$ really an exact formula, or is it an approximation? I know a lot of formula's come from taking the first few terms of a Taylor expansion, so I was wondering if the simple ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Why Earth is considered to be an inertial frame? [duplicate]

Earth rotates about its axis and also revolves around the Sun at the same time. So why Earth is considered as an inertial frame in Newtonian Physics. So technically, I'm effectively asking why the ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

The angle of a rifle to hit a target (How to make approximations to find numerical answers) [closed]

The specific question is this: A target appears at a distance of 1250m with the centre of the target 1.2m above ground level. If the sniper was firing from the prone position, the tip of the ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Multiple Definition For Gravitational Potential Energy?

This may just be a simple Misconception Question, here goes: Definition for Gravitational Potential Energy: The work done by gravity to pull an object to the ground. ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

In perturbation theory, how do I determine the order of an approximation?

The title says it all: I'm confused about the various approximations and their orders. In time-independent perturbation everything is quite explicit and obvious, but, for example, how would it be with ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Systems with elements having size which tends to zero

[Question] If I have an element whose size(as in physical dimensions) tend to 0 but is NOT 0 (very very very small). If I create a system from these elements based on (say) the fractal concept ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Is “approximative reduction” general knowledge to physicists?

I came across this concept called "approximative reduction", about which there are some papers, e.g. in this collection called Structure and Approximation in Physical Theories. Very briefly, it ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Fresnel diffraction approximation (parabolic waves)

The Huygens-Fresnel principle (Introduction to Fourier Optics, Goodman), $$ U(x,y)=\frac{z}{i\lambda}\int_\Sigma U(\xi,\eta)\frac{e^{ikr}}{r}d\xi d\eta\,, $$ where $\cos \theta=\frac{z}{r}$, shows ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a rigorous definition of 'much greater than'?

I have encountered $\gg$ in many physics text books where it's used as a relation between constants or functions but in none of the text books I have read is it properly defined anywhere. If $A \gg ...
0
votes
0answers
98 views

How does a ball cause a splash? (With the relevant math)

Problem Statement: Imagine a spherical ball is dropped from a height $h$, into a liquid. What is the maximum average height of the displaced water? For instance, although one particular drop of water ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Why is drag neglected while dealing with kinematic problems?

Why is drag neglected while dealing with kinematic problems? While dealing with problems related to finding velocity, acceleration and other kinematic problems, it is mentioned to "neglect drag". ...
2
votes
3answers
25 views

Why do we assume differential coefficients of number of molecules?

In many portions of physics (like Maxwell's velocity distribution law) we assume statements like- Number of molecules having velocity between $c$ to $c+dc$ is $dn$. But number of molecules $n$ ...
-2
votes
1answer
61 views

Why are these two angles the same? [closed]

I can't find no similar or other relations between the two triangles, the two right triangles. However, if I look at it this way, the two triangles are indeed similar. But then this is a whole ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Approximate Electric Potential $V$ so that it is of the form $V(r) + V(\phi) + V(z)$

I'm trying to simulate the conductivity of a nanowire that is modeled by a cylindrical shell of infinite potential with benzene rings in the core of the wire. (This is based on a coiled-coil protein ...
1
vote
4answers
801 views

What exactly is meant by infinity?

What exactly is meant by infinity when I see it in a physics equation (always something wrong?)? And in experiment how many orders of magnitude can be treated as infinity (say, if infinity is ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Explain how $\Delta v_{\perp}=v\Delta\theta$

In The Feynman lectures, under the chapter entitled Vectors, Feynman writes: My two intimately related questions are: 1) What does he mean by the magnitude of velocity? is he talking about the ...
2
votes
2answers
185 views

Why does GW-DFT give higher bandgaps in semiconductors

Usually the GW Density Functional Theory (DFT) gives larger band gaps in semiconductors compared to the LDA and GGA methods. This seems to be related to the screened potential in GW, but it is not ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Off-axial Field of Finite Solenoid

Regarding the computation of the off-axial field of a finite solenoid: The Radial and Z components of the off-axial magnetic field of a solenoid are given as: \begin{align} B_r &= \frac{\mu ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Non-relativistic limit of complex scalar field Lagrangian

I am trying to derive the non-relativistic Lagrangian for a complex scalar field from taking the non-relativistic limit of the complex scalar field Lagrangian. I am following the steps in "QFT for ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Why is the elemental volume of a sphere equal to $4 \pi r^2dr$?

I was doing this question on calculating the electric field at a certain point in a sphere (length $r$ away from the centre), where the charge density is given by an equation. When I checked the ...
0
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the typical strength of the electric field in a particle accelerator?

I am working on a research project involving the closed orbits of hydrogen in the presence of an external electric field and I am curious what a reasonable approximation for the electric field ...
4
votes
2answers
560 views

Is Torricelli's law “wrong” for big holes? - Tank draining problem

Consider a tank full of water with a constant cross-sectional area A1 placed vertically on the ground. Now someone drills a hole of an area A2 in the bottom of the tank, and the liquid starts escaping ...
3
votes
1answer
306 views

Mean field theory Weiss Approximation for the Isling Model of a Protein

A model for protein in 2D can be formed by adding bonds of fixed length $l\sqrt{2}$ on a square lattice along the diagonal, ie $\hat{\mathbf{b}}_i=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(\pm \hat{\mathbf{x}}\pm ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Why do some approximations give exact results?

The moment of inertia of a sphere of mass $M$ and radius $R$ can be calculated exactly (meaning, with certainty) using integrals. The formula we get is $\frac{2}{3}MR^2$. However, there's an other ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

WKB boundary conditions [duplicate]

Technically, this is a math problem but I think it is better here than in the math stacks. Consider the differential equation \begin{equation} y'' = (x^4 - E)y \end{equation} The boundary ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

How is the uniform gravitational field approximation $F_g\approx mg$ near Earth's surface derived from Newton's law $F_g=GMm/r^2$ of gravitation?

I am really bothered about how we can derive the equation of projectile motion. Suppose a point mass will move in the gravitational field of the Earth according to the equation $$\ddot R ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

I have a problem with the variational method approximation in quantum mechanics. Is my issue valid, or am I misunderstanding something?

The variational method for approximating the ground state of a Hamiltonian $H$ by providing a lower bound is simple enough. If we construct any test wave function $|\bar{0}\rangle$ then the claim is ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Lagrangian for small oscillations

For a double pendulum we can consider 2 generalised coordinates $\theta_1$ (angle between first mass and vertical axis) and $\theta_2$ (angle between second mass and vertical axis). The Lagrangian to ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

How fast do I have to dry myself for a hot shower to heat my body?

I am not a physicist. I would like to know how fast do I have to dry myself after taking a hot shower to get more heat from the shower, than lost because the water on my skin increasing heat exchange ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

Weizsäcker–Williams approximation

I'm having some trouble understanding the Weizsäcker-Williams approximation What I think it is is the following: I have a charged particle at high speed, close to the speed of light, at this speed ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Born approximation and dipole approximation

I'm having some trouble really understanding when it's okay to use these approximations and why. I've been looking myself blind on equations, but I'm not even sure I understand it qualitatively. So I ...
1
vote
1answer
542 views

Hartree-Fock: Coulomb integral [closed]

Today I was wondering how to better understand the Coulomb integral in the Hartree-Fock approximation. Extracted from: Szabo & Ostlund, Modern Quantum Chemistry, p. 112 The Coulomb term has ...