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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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 ...
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78 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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91 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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40 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 ...
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48 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 ...
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29 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 ...
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1answer
30 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 ...
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1answer
22 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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1answer
76 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?
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1answer
34 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 & ...
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32 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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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 $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
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46 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 ...
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2answers
31 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 ...
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2answers
34 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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1answer
67 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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40 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 ...
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44 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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1answer
53 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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0answers
19 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 ...
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2answers
105 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
91 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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1answer
26 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
74 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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1answer
98 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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1answer
41 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 ...
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42 views

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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1answer
18 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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3k views

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?
2
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1answer
64 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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1answer
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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83 views

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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62 views

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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1answer
62 views

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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1answer
95 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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1answer
34 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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41 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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2answers
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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70 views

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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1answer
49 views

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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1answer
24 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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1answer
56 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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24 views

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 ...
1
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4answers
152 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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150 views

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 ...
3
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6answers
151 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
69 views

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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2answers
114 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 ...