A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted norms. It typically helps common efficiency or understanding but is not required, as opposed to a strict standard or protocol.

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Wick rotating vector fields in QFT

Suppose we perform a Wick rotation $t \rightarrow i\tau$ from Lorentzian to Euclidean signature. Consider its action on the generator of boosts in the 01-plane: $$\zeta = t\partial_x + x\partial_t.$$ ...
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What are the units pm/K?

I can only think of picometres, but it doesn't seem to make sense. Here is the context, from the paper 'Towards Reproducible Ring Resonator Based Temperature Sensors', Klimov et al., Sensors & ...
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Doubts about Chern-Simons state as a solution of the Hamiltonian constraint in quantum gravity

I've been doing some work with both Baez's Knots, gauge fields and gravity (1) and Gambini, Pullin's Loops, knots, gauge Theories and quantum gravity (2), lately. I have basically two problems: I ...
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Are insulators and conductors arbitrary categories?

I have seen charts showing the transition from insulator to semi-conductor is at $10^{-8}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$ and between semi-conductor and conductor is $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
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Conventions for propagators in Feynman diagrams [closed]

So far, I picked up the following rules for the propagators: Scalars: Dashed Fermions: Solid Abelian gauge boson: Wavy Non-abelian boson: springy Ghost: Dotted This made much sense to me until I ...
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Computations on significant figures

During multiplication and division, the answer should be written with the same number of significant figures as the operand with least significant figures. However, while adding and subtracting, the ...
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32 views

If the potential drops across a resistor (=$V_d$) then shouldn't the potential difference be the $\epsilon-V_d$?

Consider the following circuit: Suppose a current $I$ travels in both the branches, then as the current $I$ passes through the $60$ ohm resistor, there will be a drop in the potential of $60I$. ...
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66 views

Is $\mathrm d(PV)$ the same with work received OR produced?

When I write energy conservation in thermodynamics problems, I write the internal energy before, the pressure energy before (so these two are the enthalpy) and then I add/substract the work and heat ...
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How can you tell if the work done by a force is negative?

This is kind of confusing to me. I'm guessing that it's specific to the problem. Is the work done by friction always negative? Is the work done by gravity always negative? Spring as well? It seems ...
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42 views

Deriving Pauli Matrices

How does one derive using, say, the operator formula for reflections $$ R(r) = (I - nn^*)(r),$$ the reflection representation of a vector $$ R(r) = R(x\hat{i} + y\hat{j} + z\hat{k}) = xR(\hat{i}) + ...
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52 views

Why are electrons negetively charged? [duplicate]

Why have we assigned a negative charge to electrons (and positive for protons)? I feel it would be easier if electrons were positive (thereby, protons negative)- electrons would flow in the direction ...
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A question about Majorana equation in Zee's QFT book

In chaper 2.1 of Zee's book(1st edition), he says that the majorana eqation $$i \gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu}\psi=m\psi_{c}$$ can be obtained from the ...
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83 views

Relation between Electric field and potential

I am unable to understand from this - sign comes. Which step I have done wrong?
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6answers
82 views

Why does positive work done by internal conservative forces $\implies$ decrease of potential energy?

Potential energy can be thought as the amount of work that the force can potentially do on the point because of its position. $$W=-\Delta U=U_{initial}-U_{final}$$ A positive work done by a force ...
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23 views

How to determine the direction of arrow on Feynman diagram for $W$ boson line?

I am somewhat confused. Looking through these slides (especially the 11th), which show Feynman diagrams involving $W$-bosons, I can't figure out which way to draw the arrow near the $W$ boson? How do ...
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1answer
67 views

Different definitions of the parity transformation for the Dirac spinors

There are two definitions of the parity transformation acting on the Dirac spinors: $\Psi_P = \eta \gamma^0 \Psi$ with $\eta = i$ ($P^2=-1$ as in Srednicki) and $\eta=1$ ($P^2=+1$ as in Peskin & ...
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Proportionality Constant in Einstein Field Equations

The Einstein Field Equations: $$G_{ab}~=~8\pi T_{ab}.$$ I am familiar with how to obtain the $8\pi$ proportionality factor through correspondence with Newtonian gravity, but am wondering if this ...
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Why is it said that electric current always flow from higher potential to lower potential?

Why is it said that electric current always flow from higher potential to lower potential? It is said that current flows from positive terminal to negative terminal, but it is actually the negative ...
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Why is there a minus in the Gauge Field Lagrangian kinetic term? [duplicate]

For vector Gauge fields we usually write the kinetic term: $$ \mathcal{L} ~=~ - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu \nu} F^{\mu \nu}$$ while for matter fields e.g. for a real scalar: $$ \mathcal{L} ~=~ \frac{1}{2} ...
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17 views

About Electric potential

when we bring a unit positive charge from infinity to a point in the electric field EF does work on the charge and external work is also done on the charge in same amount but in opposite sign. then ...
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Why is the cut off mass for massive stars 8 solar masses? Why can't it be 10-11 solar masses or so?

I know that stars having a mass greater than or equal to 8 solar masses are termed "massive stars". But why is the cut-off 8 solar masses?
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61 views

Wave equation in classical mechanics!

We represent the wavefunction of any wave on the string as $$y=f(x-vt),$$ where $v$ is velocity of the wave and $x$ is distance from origin and $t$ is time taken to reach the given point and $y$ ...
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39 views

“Normalisation” in the unitary gauge

I will use the example of the Abelian Higgs model to explain my problem. Consider the Lagrangian: $ \mathcal{L} = - \frac{1}{4} F^{\mu \nu}F_{\mu \nu} + \left(D^\mu \phi\right)^\dagger \left( D_\mu ...
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Maxwell's equations from differential forms

I found the following in some lecture notes I took some time ago: $$ \mathbf{E}=-\text{grad}\Phi-\partial_t\mathbf{A}\\ \mathbf{B}=\mathrm{rot}\mathbf{A} $$ These are the electromagnetic fields ...
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Thought process [closed]

Voltage = Energy/ Charge If voltage comes out of the negative terminal through a wire to do the powering and then end up at the positive terminal, then what is it that comes out the positive ...
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Why are generators defined oppositely in Weinberg's vs. Maggiore's QFT books?

I've been confused about the sign conventions used in Weinberg's QFT book for a long time. Here's my question: The generators $J^{\mu\nu}$ are defined in this book as ...
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Does the imperial system have any advantages (besides its wide acceptance in the US)? [closed]

The United States (and one other country, somewhere in Africa I think) uses the imperial system (feet, pounds, etc.), while pretty much everyone else uses the metric system (meters, kilograms). The ...
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93 views

Rocket equation derivation mistake by my professor

In one of my lectures our physics professor gave a derivation of the ideal rocket equation as follows: Let $v_G > 0$ be the velocity at which the gas is emitted from the rocket. Let $m$ and $v$ be ...
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33 views

Why potential at infinity is 0? (sphere of constant electrostatic potential)

Suppose I have a sphere of radius $R$ with potential $V_o$. Since the volume inside the sphere is bounded, then the lack of curvature of the potential (i.e. $\nabla^2\phi = 0$) gives a potential ...
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38 views

Electric Potential of Point Charge (sign problem)

This question has been asked before, but the answers didn't clarify the problem for me, so I thought I might ask again. It's really a simple question. Let's say we're calculating the electric ...
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31 views

Sig Figs, Combined Operations

Using the sig fig rule for addition / subtraction seems to break in certain circumstances. For example (I'm using underlines to show sig figs): $\underline{66}+\underline{66}-\underline{1.3}\times ...
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Need some help understanding Relativistic Notation

My question originates from what is done in the book on Quantum Field Theory book by Mark Srednicki on page 21 (if anyone has it). So say you have an inertial frame that is represented in the ...
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Deep confusion with conventions and signs in geometric optics

This is an equation given in my book. The question is why have they used a negative sign on the LHS? Now, if you try to derive the mirror equation with simple geometry, you get 1/v +1/u =1/f . ...
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23 views

Negative ampere and graphical convention

Since only electron's flow in electricity and electrons have negative charge, then why we don't say —1amps (—1C/s)? Secondly, as conventional way we write down independent variable in $x$ axis and ...
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55 views

Conventions and realities of kinetic energy?

I am having doubts regarding why $1/2$ is present in kinetic energy and if this is conventional why cant we say potential energy is $2mgh$ and kinetic energy $mv^2$. So is this $1/2$ conventional or ...
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Relation between gravitational field and gravitational potential

gravitational field is the negative differential of gravitational potential . now gravitational potential due to a particle at a distance r is -Gm/r where m is the mass of the particle . If i take the ...
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147 views

The sign of the current flowing in a circuit

I was doing the following problem: And I was asked to find Iy. I found Iy to be 2.64 using KCL. However, the right answer was negative 2.64. Is it negative only because there is a dependant ...
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Why is the Ricci tensor defined as $R^\mu _{\nu \mu \sigma}$?

The Ricci tensor is defined as the contraction of the Riemann tensor in its upper and the second lower index. I was wondering why it is defined this way. What happens if the Ricci tensor is defined ...
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Are ergs commonly used in astrophysics? If so, is there a specific reason for it?

I was reading the recent LIGO paper and one passage stuck out to me: The system reached a peak gravitational-wave luminosity of $3.6^{+0.5}_{−0.4}× 10^{56}\:\mathrm{erg/s}$, equivalent to ...
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When we write that $F = -\nabla V$ , what would happen if we ommit the (-) minus sign

I have had this question for a long time. In classical mechanics, if we choose $\mathbf F = -\mathbf \nabla \, V,$ with the minus sign, we can proof the work - kinetic energy theorem. What are the ...
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2answers
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How can “…electrons flow in metals, but not in the ground…” explain grounding rods?

I really enjoyed Why is the charge naming convention wrong? But, in the comments at the very end, the statement that "...electrons flow in metals, but not in the ground..." left me uneasy. I was ...
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106 views

Can an angle be defined as a vector?

In Classical Mechanics angular velocity, angular acceleration, torque and angular momentum can be defined as vectors with clear advantages such as the possibility to use vector product to simplify ...
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Why is surface tension positive?

My book describes surface tension as $e=dW/dA$ and work as being negative when it is done against a force. Therefore, if i increase the surface area of a liquid i am doing work on the liquid against ...
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When writing a differential equation, when do you take $+\text{d}x$ and when do you take $-\text{d}x$?

When writing a differential equation I'm confused as to when to write $+\text{d}x$ a and when to write $-\text{d}x$ a where $x$ represents some quantity. For example, I wanted to derive the equation ...
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Sign of induced EMF and other elements in AC circuit

I am having problems to determine the direction of the induced EMF in AC circuits. For example, we have an inductor of inductance $L$. The induced EMF is given by: $$ \epsilon = - L \frac{di}{dt} $$ ...
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Why the force acting on a particle is the negative gradient of a scalar potential? [closed]

For conservative forces we can proof that it is a gradient of a scalar potential, but why we use the negative sign? In every book I searched, it said that it is like an agreement between physicists, ...
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133 views

How can energy be negative in a finite square well?

Say if the potential $V(x) < 0$ in the well but the sides or the scattered states its zero potential, anyways How is that the energy in the well is less than zero? Is it because the potential ...
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What is the direction of area vector while calculating flux in AC generators?

I was told that in case of an open surface, the direction of area vector is considered to be in the direction of magnetic field but my doubt is won't the direction of area vector change as armature ...
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Confusion with $F=-\nabla V$, $F$ conservative

I am rather confused by the relationship $F=-\nabla V$. If a pen drops from a height it loses potential energy so $\nabla V$ is negative. From the above equation this means that the gravitational ...
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Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of scalar field

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-stime Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M = \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi $$ The Minkowski action is $$ ...