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1answer
62 views

Approximation of an integral for time dependent quantum Hamiltonian

I want to approximate $\displaystyle\int_{t}^{t+h} dt' H(t')$ in its taylor series, $$H(t)h + \frac{1}{2}\frac{dH(t)}{dt} h^2 + \frac{1}{3!}\frac{d^2H(t)}{dt^2} h^3 + \frac{1}{4!}\frac{d^3H(t)}{dt^3} ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Approximate formula for the volume of water at a given temperature

Sorry for asking this kind of question. Do you recongnize this formula? $$V(T) = 0.0000679T^3+0.0085043T^2- 0.0624T+999.87$$ when $V$ is volume of water in $\mathrm{ml}$, $T$ is temperature in ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Taylor expansion with fractional powers [closed]

In a physics problem, I was expanding in a small parameter $x$, and arrived at the answer $$\cos^{-1}(1-x).$$ This function blows up if you take a Taylor expansion, because for small $x$, it looks ...
2
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2answers
44 views

In geometrical optics, how can we say that rays coming from a distant object are parallel to one another?

If two rays are not parallel in the start, how can they become parallel at the instant when they strike the lens of a telescope? If they don't become parallel, why do we consider them to be, in the ...
1
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1answer
725 views

The Holstein-Primakoff Representation (approximation)

I have a question regarding the Holstein-Primakoff representation. In the HP-representation we define the spin operators in terms of bosonic creation and annihilation operators. $$ S_j^+ = \sqrt{2S -...
1
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1answer
23 views

An approximation question from “Nuclear Models” by Judah Eisenberg and Walter Greiner

I'm looking at page 311 of the book "Nuclear Theory" by Judah Eisenberg and Walter Greiner. Now for identity (49) which is: $$\omega_{1,2}^2=\frac{\omega_\alpha^2+\omega_\zeta^2-2bc\omega_\alpha\...
7
votes
1answer
413 views

Adiabatic approximation

The adiabatic approximation for solid state systems is rather radical. I was wondering in which cases it breaks down. As it is based on the idea of the nuclii being much heavier than the electrons I ...
1
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2answers
52 views

Point object, Kinematics

I am very new to physics. This evening, I was reading about the concept of objects to be considered as point objects under some circumstances. And I was trying to think of circumstances under which ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

There isn't 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
31 views

WKB approximation to find energy levels of a step potential

Suppose the following potential: $$ V(x) = \begin{cases}V_0 & 0<x<\frac{a}{2} \\ 0 & \frac{a}{2}<x<a \\ \infty & \text{otherwise} \end{cases} $$ Also, assume that for every ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Difference between naive and Coriolis-force calculation

Consider the classical problem of dropping a coin from a tower at the equator of a planet without atmosphere and with spin $\Omega$: where in relation to a plumb-line will the coin land? When doing ...
1
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0answers
21 views

Adiabatic approximation with scaled time?

In this article (page 3) they have following expression for the coefficients in the adiabatic approximation: $$\dot a_k(t)=-a_k(t) \langle k| \dot k \rangle -\sum_{n\ne k} a_n(t) \frac{\langle k(t)|\...
8
votes
3answers
128 views

Validity of mean-field approximation

In mean-field approximation we replace the interaction term of the Hamiltonian by a term, which is quadratic in creation and annihilation operators. For example, in the case of the BCS theory, where $...
4
votes
2answers
269 views

Wave speed derivation for small amplitudes

The above is a derivation for the wave speed equation in my physics textbook. However, I've read online that this equation is only true for waves with small amplitudes. I do not see where this ...
1
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2answers
44 views

Wave speed derivation

The wave speed derivation approximates the wave as a circle. It uses that to know that a=v^2/R. However, numerous functions can approximate the wave. A straight line, x^2, x^3, etc. If I used those I ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Fermi's golden rule and the DoS of scattering states

Can the Fermi's golden rule $$\Gamma_{fi} ~=~ \rho(E_f) \frac{2\pi}{\hbar} |M_{fi}|^2$$ be applied for transitions of discrete states to scattering states? If yes, then what should the density of ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Why do physicists say that elementary particles are point particles?

For example, an electron, it has mass and charge, but is considered to have point mass and point charge, but why? Why are they assumed to have charge and mass in a single infinitely small point in ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

Condition for adiabatic approximation, derivation?

In quantum mechanics it is said that an adiabatic approximation is valid when $$T\gg \frac{\hbar}{\Delta E},$$ where $T$ is the time scale of variation of the Hamiltonian and $\Delta E$ is the typical ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Is the existence of a sole particle in an hypothetical infinite empty space explicitly forbidden by QM?

Suppose the universe is completely empty with one sole particle trapped in it. To simplify, I will only be looking at the one dimensional case. However, all arguments are applicable for three ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

The Energy Equation

I've been studying the energy equation in relativistic motion $E= \frac{mc^2}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$, which can be expanded as $$E = mc^2 + \frac{1}{2} mv^2\text{ + some other terms.}$$ I'm curious ...
2
votes
2answers
81 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
3answers
78 views

Derivation of the group velocity

I know that the group velocity of a light pulse is defined as $$\begin{split}v_g&=v_p\left(1+\frac{\lambda}{n}\frac{dn}{d\lambda}\right)\\ &=\frac{c}{n}\left(1+\frac{\lambda}{n}\frac{dn}{d\...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Electric field at surface of a spherical shell

The shell theorem provides a well known result that for a spherical shell with uniformly distributed charge $Q$ and radius $R$, the electric field at a distance of $r$ from the center is: $$\begin{...
1
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0answers
58 views

Approximate cloning of a quantum state, informed by past measurements

Suppose I give you a state $|\psi\rangle$, and tell you a sequence of measurements that have been performed on it. The measurements are not guaranteed to be orthogonal to each other, or to cover the ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Quick question - infinitesimals proofs [duplicate]

In a few of my courses in mechanics certain statements/equations have been proved by assuming that two infinitesimals multiplied by each other are zero. For instance in the equation : $dx + dy + dx^2 ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Multipole expansion of the electric field generated by an infinite charged plane

Take an infinite plate with uniform charge density, the classical problem that is usually solved with Gauss' theorem, to get that the electric field outside the plane, at a point $\boldsymbol r$ is: $$...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

About field lines and continuity of magnetic and electric fields

In my laboratory class we were doing an experiment with grass seeds and iron filings to visualize the electric and magnetic field lines. So, we were discussing why they appear, because we know that ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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
102 views

Fermi's golden rule and infinite probablity?

I am slightly confused about the application of Fermi's golden rule. Which during standard derivations indicates a probability of transitioning from the state $|i \rangle$ to the state $|f\rangle$ of: ...
5
votes
1answer
81 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 $d$ ...
13
votes
1answer
381 views

Could Navier-Stokes equation be derived directly from Boltzmann equation?

I know how to derive Navier-Stokes equations from Boltzmann equation in case where bulk and viscosity coefficients are set to zero. I need only multiply it on momentum and to integrate it over ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Solution of QM tasks by using asymptotics

When we solve QM tasks by solving the Schrödinger equation, such as tasks about a particle in a Morse potential, a Poschl-Teller potential and many others, we usually find approximations (lets call ...
3
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0answers
37 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
vote
2answers
84 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
93 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
187 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 term....
0
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0answers
52 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
54 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
112 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
132 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
65 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] n_{T}(\...
0
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
826 views

Special Relativistic approximation to GR

Some time ago I was talking to a professor in college about some of the fundamental aspects and origin of General Relativity. I was surprised to learn, in fact, that a pretty good approximation to GR ...
1
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0answers
32 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 ...
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votes
1answer
69 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
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0answers
61 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. ...
3
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2answers
109 views

Any quadrupole approximation? Any example?

In atomic and molecular physics we quite often encounter with electric dipole approximation. The dipole approximation we do when the wave-length of the type of electromagnetic radiation which induces, ...
2
votes
2answers
81 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 ...