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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My physics teacher gave us this equation $v= -3 +3t$

She asked us if the body was accelerating or slowing down, and I immediately said that it was accelerating (because the $a=3>0$). Then she said that I was wrong because the direction of the ...
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175 views

Can we define tension in a string as the reactive force produced in a string being pulled at both ends?

In my textbook, the definition of tension was given that Tension is the reactive force which exists when string is being stretched at its both end. After it there was a case given that to calculate ...
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548 views

How to indicate that a unit is dimensionless [duplicate]

For my dissertation I am preparing a list of symbols used in the text, which basically is a table that consists of the symbol, a short explanation and the dimension it has as indicated below: ...
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88 views

What is the meaning of the negative sign in $W = -\Delta U$?

What is the meaning of the negative sign in $W = -\Delta U$ ? As far as I understand, $W = -\Delta U = -(U_f - U_i) = U_i - U_f$. While $U_i$ is the initial potential energy (before applying the ...
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100 views

Conventional definition of ideal fluid

According to Landau&Lifshitz, an ideal fluid is one with zero viscosity and a negligible thermal conductivity. This is also the FR.wikipedia version: En mécanique des fluides, un fluide est ...
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53 views

The Covariant Spinor Derivative in the Locally Supersymmetric Generalisation of the Polyakov Action and Potential Mistakes in the Literature

Questions) I recently came upon the thesis The Landscape of Free Fermionic Gauge Models by D. G. Moore and G.B. Cleaver. On pages 20 and 21 they explain that the locally supersymmetric action, ...
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19 views

Problem with the sign of the Thevenin resistance in a circuit

I have the following issue: when I want to find $R_{Th}$ for a circuit with dependent sources, I excite the circuit with a voltage Vo, and then proceed to find the resulting current $I_0$. Finally, ...
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321 views

What proved Conventional sense wrong?

What fact proved for the first time that the conventional sense of current was wrong? And when it did happen? As a corollary of this question, why do we say that electrons have negative charge? Is it ...
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29 views

Inverse Fourier Transfrom of a wavefunction

I was reading about how a Fourier transform yields the wave-function expressed in terms of the momenta which constitute it, i.e. the wave-function in momentum space. I'm not so good at calculus yet ...
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146 views

Newton's first law: unclear multiple choice question

Everyone knows that a body with no external forces acting on it remains at rest or moves with a constant velocity. But how would you answer the following multiple choice question: Question: A body ...
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59 views

Can anyone kindly help me with these sign conventions?

Since I have some confusions with the sign conventions , I have finally drawn up the following conclusions . Plz check if the following are correct .... ( I have taken all motions directed upwards as ...
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1answer
90 views

Electric flux of a closed surface, $\Psi = Q $ or $\Phi =\int\vec{E}\cdot d\vec{A}$

I have problem with the equation of electric flux. I use one book of fundamental physics and another book of electromagnetic engineering; the two of them give different equations for electric flux. ...
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62 views

Why are $2\pi$ factors included in the definition of the reciprocal lattice?

I would like to know where the $2\pi$ factors are coming from in the formula for reciprocal vectors in reciprocal lattices. For example, in a simple cubic lattice the primitive vectors are given by ...
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1answer
74 views

Euler angle rotation - active/passive

I have a very simple problem, that I cannot wrap my head around and is hurting my brain. I have a very simple example of the problem, please consider the the figure below: In the first picture, you ...
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40 views

Is the associated Laguerre polynomial $L_1^1(x)$ equal to $-1$ or $2 - x$?

I've been reading a book by Normand M. Laurendeau, Statistical Thermodynamics: Fundamentals and Applications, about hydrogen orbitals and in it is an equation that explains how to calculate the ...
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1answer
73 views

Why direction of Ampere's Law follows right hand rule? [duplicate]

Why direction of Ampere's Law follows right hand rule?
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97 views

Group representation acting on operators (QFT)

I have found in many texts the following statement: Let $T_g$ be a representation of a group (of transformations, e.g. rotations, translations, Lorentz transformations ) acting on a given Hilbert ...
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1answer
155 views

Significant Figures in Physics

A string has linear density $10.0 \cdot 10^{-3} \, \mbox{kg/m}$ and is kept under a tension of 100 N. A sinusoidal transverse wave, with a wavelength of 0.30 m, is traveling in the positive direction ...
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92 views

Convention of tensor indices

Let $g_{ij}$ be the diagonal Minkowski metric tensor diag$(g) = (1,-1,-1,-1)$, then $g^{ij}$ is defined to be $(g^{-1})^{ij}$, hence $$g_{ik}g^{kj} = g_i^{\ \ j} = \text{diag}(1,1,1,1)=\delta_i^{\ \ ...
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Why are grams usually only expressed as milligrams, grams or kilograms?

I'm a physics (and electronics and astronomy, etc.) enthusiast. As I learn and research topics, I notice that many SI units are often expressed using a variety of prefixes, such as in electronics ...
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1answer
34 views

Why is it possible to choose an arbitrary zero energy level when dealing with frequencies of a wave function?

This is a followup of my previous Why don't the De Broglie dispersion relation contain a constant term? question. Answerers pointed out that only differences in energy matter I can understand ...
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277 views

Defining Reference Directions for Voltage and Power (sign convention)

My professor decided to use the above reference directions when calculating power in circuits. He says that when power > 0, power is consumed. When p < 0, power is generated. This definition is ...
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1answer
102 views

The Bernoulli equation: positive and negative sign problem

According to bernoulli equation $$ P_1+1/2 \rho v_1^2+ \gamma h_1= P_2+1/2 \rho v_2^2+ \gamma h_2. $$ Because $$ v_1=0\quad h_1=0 $$ So $$ 0= 1/2 \rho V^2+ \gamma h. $$ It is wrong I know, but ...
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125 views

Sign of the totally anti-symmetric Levi-Civita tensor $\varepsilon^{\mu_1 \ldots}$ when raising indices

I am confused with the sign we get when we want to raise or lower all indices of the totally anti-symmetric tensor of any rank. Take the metric to be mostly plus ($-+\ldots+$). Then is it ...
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1answer
121 views

Kinetic energy (KE) in atomic orbital

Within an atomic orbital, electrons must obviously have relative differences between points in space due to potential gradient. But there is kinetic energy as well. If we choose a particular point as ...
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47 views

Are there universally accepted definitions for physics concepts? [closed]

Is there a list of definitions that have been agreed on by physicists so that everyone's understanding of a term is approximately the same? I have been reading some basic books and they usually give ...
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2answers
156 views

Potential energy $= mgh$, what is $h$?

NOTE: when I say potential energy I mean gravitational PE The formula for potential energy is P.E = mgh. What is h referring to? Height, obviously. Consider the example: What is the potential ...
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1answer
58 views

I can make the mechanical energy 0 or in fact anything. Is this normal?

We let the rope fall with $\alpha = \pi/2$ (no initial velocity). if I choose the original of potential energy as the picture indicates there, this means that: $$E_m = E_{pe} + E_c = \frac12mv^2 ...
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149 views

What is the point of the reduced Planck's constant $\hbar$ (h-bar)? - Why don't we just have Planck's Constant $h$?

I know that $ħ$ is $h / 2π$ - and that $h$ is the Planck Constant ($6.62606957 × 10^{-34}$ $Js$). But why don't we just use $h$ - is it that $ħ$ is used in Angular Momentum Calculations?
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771 views

Symbols of derivatives

What is the exact use of the symbols $\partial$, $\delta$ and $\mathrm{d}$ in derivatives in physics? How are they different and when are they used? It would be nice to get that settled once and for ...
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1answer
95 views

Confusion about the Kronecker delta symbol

I am not sure I understand what the short-hand anti-symmetrization means. I.e. I know that $$\delta_{cd}^{[ab]} ~=~ \frac{1}{2}(\delta_{c}^{a}\delta_{d}^{b} - \delta_{c}^{b}\delta_{d}^{a})$$ but how ...
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311 views

Raising and lowering indices of the Levi-Civita epsilon symbol in two dimensions

In two dimensions, what is the relation between $\epsilon^a{}_b$ and $\epsilon_{ab}$ where $a, b$ take the values $\{1,2\}$? By that I mean, how does the sign change in that case? In four dimensions ...
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158 views

Solar spectrum units

Why is intensity $I$ on a graph of the solar spectrum always showed in units of $[\mathrm{W/m^2/nm}]$ instead of simply $[\mathrm{W/m^2}]$? (The y-axis on the graph.) It is apparently shown as ...
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53 views

What is “above” and what is “below” the surface of a sphere?

When studying Electromagnetism using D.J. Griffith's Introduction to Electrodynamics, the boundary conditions for the electric potential across a surface charge density are expressed using the normal ...
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95 views

How are the components of the spin vector defined?

How do we distinguish between the $x$, $y$ and $z$ spin components? More precisely: how do we define the $z$ component? (according to what, it is the $z$?) for measuring the $x$ component how ...
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2answers
109 views

My total potential energy?

The potential energy in a uniformed gravitational field is $mg \cdot \Delta h$. This assumes of course that $g$ doesn't change and only gives the difference in potential energy for $\Delta h$. How ...
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1answer
128 views

Treating the spinors as Grassmann numbers or as c-number objects

In the literature on supersymmetry, the following spinor summation convention is often used (eg. Wess & Bagger's book Supersymmetry and Supergravity) $$ \psi\chi = \psi^{\alpha}\chi_{\alpha} = ...
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What is the right order of creation operators?

I started to learn some basics of second quantisation and specifically its use in quantum chemistry. Currently I'm reading this book by Péter R. Surján, and here is small excerpt from it. If one ...
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1answer
71 views

Scalar products in the spinor helicity formalism

In A. Zee's book Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell (2nd edition), Chapter N.2, page 486, the momentum $p$ is written as a $2\times 2$ matrix: $$ p_{\alpha\dot{\alpha}} = p_{\mu} ...
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178 views

Is four-current a vector or a vector density?

According to MTW, $$F^{\alpha\beta}{}_{;\beta} = 4\pi J^\alpha$$ and we can infer that the four-current must be an ordinary vector field because the left side is tensorial. But Wikipedia says that ...
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2answers
58 views

What is the zero of potential?

A satellite of mass $m$ is travelling at a speed $v_0$ in a circular orbit of radius $r_0$ around a fixed mass at $O$. Taking the zero of potential at $r=\infty$, show that the total energy of the ...
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82 views

Transposition of spinors

Suppose we have two 4-components Dirac spinors, that is two non commuting objects, $\psi$ and $\chi$. We know that: $ \bar{\psi} \chi= - \chi \bar{\psi} $ $ \bar{\psi} = \psi^{+} \gamma_0 $ $+=T*$ ...
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21 views

Kármán Line Definition from “Aeronautical Flight” (Mass, Area, and Lift)

This question asks something very similar, and the single following answer says, in part, that the balance is achieved when: $$ \frac{2m}{\rho(r) A C_L r} = 1 $$ [...] I note that the mass ...
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1answer
431 views

What are the proposed realizations in the New SI for the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole?

The metrology world is currently in the middle of overhauling the definitions of the SI units to reflect the recent technological advances that enable us to get much more precise values for the ...
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1answer
69 views

Why do we have different signs before the delta on the Klein-Gordon and the Dirac Green's function equation?

Let's read equation (2.56) on Peskin & Schroeder $$(\partial^2+m^2)D_R(x-y)=-i\delta^4(x-y).$$ Let's look now to equation (3.118) $$(i\gamma^{\nu}\partial_{\nu}-m)S_R(x-y)=i\delta^4(x-y).$$ ...
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152 views

The force of gravity is $F_g=+mg$ or $F_g=-mg$?

I have noticed that in my classical mechanics course and in the textbook I read for it, seem to ignore the gravitational force's position. For example, if we were dealing with a system with a ball of ...
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1answer
55 views

Why is there not a delta here in this formula about temperature changes

I have been taught and have seen this formula many times $$Q=m\cdot c\cdot\Delta T$$ Where $Q$ is the internal energy, $m$ is the mass, $c$ is the specific heat and $\Delta T$ is the temperature. ...
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1answer
89 views

Yukawa potential, which is correct?

Sometimes I see Yukawa interaction term written as $$-g\bar{\psi} i \gamma^5 \phi \psi$$ and other times as $$-g \bar{ \psi} \gamma_5 \psi \phi $$ Which is the correct form?
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300 views

The definition of transpose of Lorentz transformation (as a mixed tensor)

In the appendix of the textbook of Group Theory in Physics by Wu-Ki Tung, the transpose of a matrix is defined as the following, Eq.(I.3-1) $${{A^T}_i}^j~=~{A^j}_i.$$ This is extremely confusing for ...
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How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ and $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$? [closed]

I'm French. I would like to know: How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ : "A scalar B" or "A dot B" ? How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$ : "A vectorial B", "A vector B", "A cross ...