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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What does it mean for an integral's differential to be raised to a power, like e.g. $d^3r$ or $d^3u$?

I was reading Zwelfel's book on reactor physics and saw the following notation: Notice that the differential of the integral is raised to the third power. What is the meaning of this notation? ...
-1
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1answer
59 views

Why $\epsilon_0 = 1/(4\pi k)$ instead of $\epsilon_0 = 4\pi k$? [on hold]

In my physics book, they consider a positive point charge $q$ and a spherical surface of radius $r$ centered on this positive charge. Then the flux through this surface is given by $$\Phi = \iint \vec{...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

How we chose the height while calculating potential energy?

I'm really confused how to chose height when calculating potential energy. If an object is right above a desk, suppose the will we take height from desk? If we take it from a height $x$ from the ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Problem with figuring out sign conventions in QFT

I have a problem with sign conventions in QFT which I have trouble dealing with myself. I self-study and mainly use Weinberg and Peskin. I will present the reasoning following conventions adapted by ...
0
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2answers
73 views

SI Base Unit definition of mass - obsolete?

According to the formal definition of the SI Base unit of mass, the kilogram, it is stated that "The kilogram is the unit of mass; it is equal to the mass of the international prototype of the ...
2
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2answers
40 views

Standard convention for $x$ error bars

What is the standard convention regarding the error bars of the independent quantity in a graph? In what situations should I show the $x$ error bars? In case both $x$ and $y$ uncertainties are ...
1
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2answers
31 views

Is optical path length (OPL) usually in units of length, or wavelength?

When I do calculations, I usually define optical path length (OPL) of a path as the integral of index $n$ along a path divided by the vacuum wavelength, so that I can get the phase easily. So for a ...
3
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2answers
54 views

What is W.u. as a unit in a nuclear physics context?

In a recent paper (doi/arXiv), of note for causing this recent tussle over its handling by science news media, there's some strange units I can't quite puzzle out. Specifically, the abstract contains ...
0
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1answer
46 views

Conventions for work and energy are not going correct in this situation [closed]

Let us consider 2 objects A and B. The initial PE of the objects be U(A)=10J and U(B)=0J. Let F be the force exerted by A on B. Suppose W be the work done by force F. Due to this the PE of both the ...
-1
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2answers
56 views

Electric Potential produced by Hollow Sphere

Let there be a hollow sphere (Throughout the question we will ignore the thickness of the sphere) which is positively uniformly charged,q of radius, R. Suppose there to be a test positive charge, q' ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Does the use of $\gamma=\left(1-v^{2}/c^{2}\right)^{-1/2}$ automatically assume a (+ - - - ) metric? [closed]

In Special Relativity, does the use of $\gamma=\left(1-v^{2}/c^{2}\right)^{-1/2}$ automatically assume a (+ - - - ) metric convention? For introductory textbooks, the Lorentz factor is is always ...
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0answers
23 views

Sign choice for sigma-matrices

I'm trying to figure out the consequences of the sign choice $$ \sigma^\mu = (\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma)\qquad\text{vs.}\qquad \sigma^\mu = (-\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma) \,. $$ This choice does not affect the ...
1
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0answers
54 views

Minus sign in analyzing RC with changing emf circuit?

I'm learning electromagnetism from Purcell's book. He say that if we have the following circuit: $$-\frac QC + RI = \mathcal E_0\cos\omega t~,\quad I = -\frac{\mathrm dQ}{\mathrm dt} $$ The ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Why Does there Have to be Linearity in Ket and Skew Symmetry?

I'm reading Shankar's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics," and on page 8 he states that one axiom in Dirac notation is linearity in ket, and because they are also skew symmetric there is anti-linearity ...
0
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3answers
87 views

What is the Direction of area vector?

In case of closed surfaces the area vector is directed outwards the surface. But what is the direction of the area vector in case of an open surface e.g. A thin lamina type of surface. Does it depend ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Notations used to express direction [closed]

We express direction relative to a reference point and call a certain direction positive and it's direct opposite direction negative, by convention. But, what notation should we use to express a ...
2
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0answers
27 views

Where do the intrinsic parities of particles come from?

It is known that some particles have negative intrinsic parity - for example pion $\pi$. I was wondering if this parity can be understood. I read somewhere that parity of quarks is defined to be ...
0
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1answer
105 views

Bridges between maths and physics: the $\tau=2\pi$ constant [closed]

[disclaimer: I am not a math or a CS major, this is probably an easy question for most people on Physics SE.] I just read the tau manifesto explaining - according to its author - the various ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Use of infinitesimals in physics [duplicate]

I want to ask about infinitesimals and non-standard analysis. In physics we always use $\mathrm dx,~\mathrm dv,~\mathrm dt$ etc. as infinitesimal quantities. When we deduce equations in physics, when ...
0
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3answers
43 views

Need help with signs (+ -) in electric potential work and potential energy problem

The problem is from Sears and Zemansky's University Physics, 12th edition in Spanish. The problem says: How much work is needed to assemble an atomic nucleus that contains three protons if it is ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Number operator in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics $a^{\dagger}a$ is defined as the number operator, where $[a,a^{\dagger}]=1$. Why cannot we define $aa^{\dagger}$ as number operator instead of the usual definition?
0
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1answer
27 views

Does the sign of imaginary part of complex permittivity have any physical meaning?

I have noticed some papers having written complex permittivity as $e' + je'' $ and others as $e' - je''$. The data in literature does not specify the sign. What should I use and does the sign of $e''$ ...
0
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1answer
47 views

EFE and Local Minkowski

Suppose we view the Einstein Field Equations (EFE) in the context of a boundary value problem with a given stress-energy tensor and boundary conditions. The problem is solved by finding a pseudo-...
-6
votes
1answer
51 views

Can velocity be negative? [closed]

In free fall I use the formula V=g*t and g is negative(-9.8m/s^2). It gives me negative.
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2answers
196 views

The Zero Electric Potential of the “Earth”

I know its the potential differences that matter and generally we define the zero of the electric potential according to our convenience. I would like you to look at this standard problem: Charge $-...
5
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1answer
98 views

Staggered Indices ($\Lambda^\mu{}_\nu$ vs. $\Lambda_\mu{}^\nu$) on Lorentz Transformations

I have some open-ended questions on the use of staggered indices in writing Lorentz transformations and their inverses and transposes. What are the respective meanings of $\Lambda^\mu{}_\nu$ as ...
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1answer
95 views

How does the Einstein summation convention apply to the following equation?

This is the equation is in the "mathematical form" section of the following wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geodesics_in_general_relativity More specifically, the "Full geodesic ...
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0answers
42 views

Feynman graph, proportional charge of a vertex

It is defined that the contribution of a vertex in a Feynman Graph towards the probability amplitude $ M_{fi} $ is proportional to a charge $Q_f$. Yet I seem to cannot find any precise explanation how ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

Should the trace of a product of gamma matrices depend on the convention I use?

I am trying to work out $$\text{Tr}[\gamma_5\gamma_\mu\gamma_\nu\gamma_\alpha\gamma_\beta]$$ using the same convention as J.J. Sakurai (Advanced Quantum Mechanics), what I get is $$\text{Tr}[\gamma_5\...
4
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1answer
30 views

Is Charge Conjugation Representation Dependent?

I'm having a problem understanding section 7 of this paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.1718 The author defines the commonly know $\Psi^c$ as $\textit{C}\Psi \textit{C}^{-1}=\eta \hat{\Psi}$ in ...
1
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1answer
32 views

Differences in notation of momentum 4 vector

I have noticed three ways to write the 4 momentum vectors: $P = (E/c, \vec{p})$ $P = (E, \vec{p})$ $P = (E, c\vec{p})$ I know how to derive equation 1, and as far as I know, one can use the ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Why is force negative if PE increases?

I'm looking at the PE vs force graphs for gravity, and it doesn't make sense to me. As potential energy increases (and the object goes higher above the ground), F=-mg. But if I'm raising an object up, ...
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votes
1answer
81 views

Area as a Vector [closed]

Why can we take area as a vector? And say if we take it as a vector why not on the plane why only perpendicular? What is positive or negative area or what the area has to do with direction?
3
votes
1answer
36 views

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 & ...
1
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0answers
33 views

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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4answers
1k views

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 $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
1
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0answers
51 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
35 views

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 ...
0
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2answers
36 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 $60I$. ...
0
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
1
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2answers
60 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Deriving Pauli Matrices

How does one derive using, say, the operator formula for reflections $$ R(r) = (I - 2nn^*)(r),$$ the reflection representation of a vector $$ R(r) = R(x\hat{i} + y\hat{j} + z\hat{k}) = xR(\hat{i}) +...
0
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

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 Lagrangian:$$L=\bar{\psi}i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu}\...
1
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2answers
299 views

Relation between Electric field and potential

I am unable to understand from this - sign comes. Which step I have done wrong?
1
vote
6answers
133 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 ...
0
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1answer
34 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 ...
1
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1answer
79 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 & ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

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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votes
1answer
43 views

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 ...