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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
0answers
32 views

Question about Origins in Galilean transformation

I'm just learning about relativity, and every equation I see for a galilean transformation of frame $S'$ (moving with uniform velocity in the $x$-direction with respect to frame $S$) is $x'=x-vt$, ...
0
votes
2answers
17 views

Direction of current in concentric cylinders

Example 7.2 in David Griffiths E & M book (3rd edition) has a side view of 2 concentric cylinders, with smaller radius $a$ and larger radius $b$. The region in between $a$ and $b$ has ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Convention in physics for [],{} and operators (QM)

I got a little mixed up with the convention in physics. Usually a hat means an operator. For a given electron-ion Hamiltonian $\hat{H}_{e-n}$, what are the difference between these: 1) ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Kinematic sign convention

For example, if I drop a ball from a $50$ meters building, then I will consider the ground is $0$ meter downward is positive ( which makes gravity positive, downward velocity positive, etc) so ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Spherical coordinate versor problem [migrated]

I have to calculate $$ i_\rho \times i_\phi $$ it should be $$ i_\theta $$ but in my notes I have $$ - i _\theta $$ Which one is correct? How can I do this kind of operations without mistakes?
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Is there a difference in handwritten nabla $\vec{\nabla}$ with an overset arrow and typeset nabla $\nabla$?

According to some physicist at KIT it is usual to write the following when using pen and paper: whereas in typeset texts you write $\nabla$. Is that true? Are there sources for this convention?
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Why is electric potential positive?

If there is a positive charge $q$ at the origin of a coordinate system, the electric potential $\phi$ at a distance $r$ from $q$ is (by definition, if we take the point of zero potential at infinity): ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Potential energy of a dipole in a uniform electric field convention?

When finding the potential energy of a dipole in a uniform electric field, I was told by my lecturer that the convention is that the potential energy is 0 when the dipole moment and electric field ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Sign error in calculating the electric field of point charge

I have to determine the electric field of a point charge, I get a true result except for a sign. Here is my passages. $$\nabla \cdot e = \frac{\rho}{\epsilon}$$ $$e = - \nabla u$$ $$\nabla^2 u = - ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Optics - Derivation of Linear Magnification of Lens without Sign Convention [duplicate]

In some posts in this forum I've read that sign convention in optics is useful for making formula memorizing easier, and that we have to use sign convention again while applying the formulae to ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Explanation for $M{\ddot{r}}=-\nabla \phi$

Could someone please explain this equation $$M\bf {\ddot{r}}=-\nabla \phi$$ Where $\bf r$ is a position vector and $\phi$ is the potential function. Could someone brief explain the potential function ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Defining axes for conservation of energy [closed]

Problem: A bungee-cord jumper is on a bridge that is $y_1$ above water level $y_2$. The bungee cord obeys Hooke's law with spring constant $k$ and has a relaxed length $L$ The jumper stops before ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Notation for Translation Group Generators

The generators of the translation group $T(4)$ are given below: $P_0 \equiv -i \begin{pmatrix} 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\ 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Gauge pressure clarification

Is gauge pressure always zero-referenced against ambient air pressure? Or is it referenced against the sum of all pressures acting on a fluid, which usually just happens to be ambient air pressure? ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Sign of Feynman rules with derivative couplings

Feynman rules for derivative couplings always make me confused. For example, the derivative in $gV^\mu\phi^+\partial_\mu\phi^-$ will give you $\pm ip_{-\mu}$, where $\pm$ depends on whether the ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Different factors of $4\pi$ and $\epsilon_0$ in Poisson equation [duplicate]

Some authors claim the Poisson equation is $$\nabla^2 \psi = -\dfrac{\rho}{\epsilon\epsilon_0}$$ (e.g. Wikipedia) whereas other ones (e.g. Andelmann) claim it is $$\nabla^2 \psi = ...
3
votes
0answers
83 views

What decides the signs and coefficients of terms in superfield?

I'm working on a problem in 3d field theory and I'm confused about how to write the superfields. Specifically, I'm not sure if the signs and coefficients of terms are purely a matter of convention or ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

Sign convention with the $AdS$ metric

One would say that $AdS_n$ satisfies the equations for the scalar curvature (R) and Ricci tensor ($R_{\mu \nu}$), $R = - \frac{n(n-1)}{L^2}$ and $R_{ab} = - \frac{n-1}{L^2}g_{ab}$. But do the signs ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Sign of the wave function in orbital representation?

I have some fog in my head and a rather simple question for you: When the sign of the wave function is representated on orbitals, what is this sign? I mean is it the sign of the real part of the ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Choosing sign for KVL (mutual inductance)

If I am writing KVL for one loop of the circuit which contains a coil coupled with another coil from another loop, the sign is chosen considering whether both currents enter or leave the stars AND if ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Gravitational potential energy negative?

Can the gravitational potential energy be negative? $PE=mgh$, we kind of have the same fig as this (minus the car)! and we choose the arbitrary point to be the G of the pendulum (point of ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Omega-frequency or pulsation?

I'm reading a book about optics in English. However, I speak a different language and have a problem with distinction. What does $\omega$ mean? $\omega=1/T$ or $\omega=2\pi/T$ What is the ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Help with Special Relativity velocity addition formula

While looking for question about speed of light I saw this Physics.SE question where I found this: $$v_\text{rel} = \frac{v_1 - v_2}{1 - \frac{v_1v_2}{c^2}}.\tag1$$ But in another answer there was ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Square of a tensor

I think, $$\sigma_{ij}\sigma^{ij} = \sigma^2.$$ However, on the Wikipedia page on Raychaudhuri equation, It was mentioned: $$\sigma^2=\frac{1}{2}\sigma^{ij}\sigma_{ij}$$ I am confused, but I think ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

What are phase conventions in angular momentum and rotation calculations?

I work with complicated angular momentum calculations related to atomic physics; nevertheless, I never need to use anything related to a phase convention (apparently because it's taken care of in a ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Are there reasons for the discrepancies in absolute temp units - Kelvin vs. kelvins vs. degrees Kelvin?

Before 1968, the units for absolute temperature were described as "degrees Kelvin" or "degrees absolute." After that, the SI system got rid of the idea of "degree" for absolute temperature, so the ...
3
votes
3answers
84 views

Metric signature conventions: minus sign for $x^a$ or $x_a$?

Say I use the metric signature $(-+++)$. Then $\partial_a=(\partial_0,\partial_i)=(-\partial^0,\partial^i)$, but $\partial^a=(\partial^0,\partial^i)=(-\partial_0,\partial_i)$. The same goes for $p^a$ ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Electric potential energy and signs

I know that electric potential is negative near a negative charge and positive near a positive charge. But does this mean a small positive 'test' charge has a negative electric potential energy near a ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Sign convention for EMF

When we define the field generate by EMF, why there is not negative sign in $\mathcal{E} = \oint \vec{E} \cdot d\vec{l}$? Usually we talk about potential, there should be a negative sign, right?
3
votes
2answers
41 views

Why a minus in the equation of a paraxial plane wave?

paraxial plane wave = $\exp{(-jkz)}$ for waves propagating to the right I can't figure out why it's not $\exp{(+jkz)}$. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
0
votes
3answers
64 views

Capacitance of Parallel Plates

For Parallel Plate Capacitors, I was wondering why, in the derivation, they set charge to $Q$, when there is a net charge of zero? I know it wouldn't be very helpful to use zero, but if the definition ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Sign of Potential Energy

The mass is released at height $h$ above the spring, how far will the spring move? $E_i=mgh, E_f= kx^2/2+mgx$...why the second equation isn't $ E_f= kx^2/2-mgx$? Since it is below the "zero".
0
votes
2answers
95 views

Work in Newtonian Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Well, is the basic difference between the work that we learn in Mechanics and that in Thermodynamics? This is because in Mechanics, whenever work of magnitude $W$ is done on a system $S$, then the ...
4
votes
4answers
326 views

Sign of Work and potential energy in electrostatics

Conceptual question: Suppose we have a configuration of point charges. If the potential of the energy of the system is negative, this means work is positive. I'm kind of rusty with my mechanics, ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

What is the constant $g_0$ used for calculating the specific impulse in seconds?

Wikipedia defines specific impulse as: $$ I_\mathrm{sp} = \frac{F_\mathrm{thrust}}{\dot{m} \cdot g_0} $$ The $g_0$ is said to be the acceleration at the Earth's surface. So is it actually the ...
8
votes
2answers
254 views

How come the universe is made of matter and not antimatter?

Antimatter is like matter on opposite day: it has the same properties as the stuff that makes up planets, stars and galaxies, but one vital piece is different—its charge. The universe supposedly ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

What is average life in radioactivity and what is its significance?

By definition, average life of radioactive sample is the amount of time required for it to get decayed to 36.8% of its original amount. But what is the significance of 36.8% and why has that value ...
2
votes
2answers
372 views

Why do most of the motor with blades rotate anti-clockwise when viewed from the front facing the blade?

I have noticed that most of the motor with blades and engines rotate anti-clockwise direction when viewed from front facing blade. Is there any specific reason for this? Is it because of any kind of ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

When heat is rejected by a system what will be $q$ according to sign convention?

When a system rejects heat it can be assumed that work is done by the system. So as per law the sign convention must be negative. But my physics textbook says the reverse. So is the question.
5
votes
3answers
120 views

Charge signs in current

I've had recently an argument with my friend about different charge carriers in an electric current. Suppose that electrons and holes are moving in the same direction. It effectively means we have ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Why are there two metric signature conventions?

I understand that it is more common in GR for the metric to be given a $(-,+,+,+)$ signature and more common in particle physics (or field theory, as Peskin & Schroeder tells me) to use the ...
5
votes
2answers
410 views

Why do we order the variables in certain physics questions the way we do?

I'm writing a script involving physics equations, and someone complained that my script outputs $F = m a$ as $F = a m$, as well as outputting $E_p = m g h$ as $E_p = g h m$; another example would be ...
2
votes
1answer
343 views

What is the difference between $Q=\Delta U+W$ and $\Delta U=Q+W$?

Is $Q=\Delta U+W$ for when the the work is done from the system while $\Delta U=Q+W$ is for when the work is done by the system? Will anybody explain this to me, please? When do we use $Q=\Delta ...
0
votes
2answers
473 views

What do we mean exactly by the positive/negative charges in cathode and anode?

In batteries, what exactly do we mean by negative and positive charges? My understanding is that the negative charge of the anode is basically an atom with an extra electron in the last orbital and a ...
2
votes
0answers
96 views

Is the sign in the Schrodinger equation physical?

I always have trouble remembering the sign in factors like $\exp(\pm ik\cdot x)$ (I'll use mostly minus signature here) that arise in field theory. My mnemonic is to remember that the Schrodinger ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

$2\pi$ and Feynman Rules

I notice a $2\pi$ term in the $\delta$-function when trying to construct an amplitude using the Feynman Rules. The $2\pi$ also appears as an integration measure to enforce normalisation in the phase ...
5
votes
2answers
900 views

Is negative 20 psi / 1.5 bar possible?

If I understand correctly, negative pressure usually means relative pressure: the difference between inside and outside. If outside is normal (1 bar, 15 psi, 100 kPa etc), how low can the (relative) ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

A question about electric field

I would like to understand why is it the charge density while dealing with currents is $\mathop{\mathrm{div}}(E)/4\pi$, while when dealing with insulators is $-\mathop{\mathrm{div}}(E)/4\pi$? Thank ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

A naive question about the Second Quantization?

Let's consider a single-particle(boson or fermion) with $n$ states $\phi_1,\cdots,\phi_n$(normalized orthogonal basis of the single-particle Hilbert space), and let $h$ be the single-particle ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Will we gain some extra hours if we travel in the direction of the rotation of the earth? [closed]

I heard that If we travel for long distances in the direction of the rotation of the earth, we can gain some extra hours in the journey. Is it true? What if we travel in the opposite direction?