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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167 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 ...
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2answers
46 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
148 views

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 $$ ...
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2answers
245 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 ...
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2answers
85 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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31 views

Sign convention in geometrical optics

This is slight misconception that has bugged me. While deriving the mirror formula: $$\frac{1}{u}+\frac{1}{v}=\frac{1}{f},$$ people (as per my reference book) tend to apply the sign convention to ...
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1answer
168 views

Rule sign for concave and convex lens?

I am just totally confused about the rule sign of convex and concave lenses. The general formula: $1/v-1/u=1/f$ Is okay but when solving problem sums sometimes $v$ becomes negative sometimes $u$ and ...
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23 views

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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1answer
49 views

Two mass spring system

The equations of motion of the spring mass system with, m = 1 $ \ddot{y_1} = -k_1y_1 + k_1(y_2-y_1)$ $ \ddot{y_2} = -k(y_2-y_1) - ky_2$ My question is with the second term in the first equation. ...
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35 views

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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4answers
74 views

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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41 views

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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8answers
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Why is the charge naming convention wrong?

I recently came to know about the Conventional Current vs. Electron Flow issue. Doing some search I found that the reason for this is that Benjamin Franklin made a mistake when naming positive and ...
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0answers
49 views

Transforming operators and minus signs

If I have an operator $A_H$ in the Heisenberg picture, then it obeys the equation $-i \frac{\partial}{\partial t}A_H=[H,A_H]$. However, if I plug in the expression $H=i\frac{\partial}{\partial t}$ I ...
23
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2answers
546 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
47 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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0answers
12 views

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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1answer
131 views

How do you derive Fleming's left hand rule?

How do you derive Fleming's left hand rule? What is the theoretical explanation for the directions of the magnetic field, current and the force on the current for being oriented in that way relative ...
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2answers
79 views

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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3answers
732 views

Why is a conservative force defined as the negative gradient of a potential?

I'm learning about work in my dynamics class right now. We have defined the work on a particle due to the force field from point A to point B as the curve Integral over the force field from point A to ...
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2answers
41 views

Kirchoff's law, can it tell me the direction of current in this case?

Say I want to find the current Ia in the circuit below: If I use the approach of using kirchoff's voltage law and ohm's law on the left loop, I get $-24V -12k\Omega*1mA -21k\Omega*I_a = 0$ $I_a = ...
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63 views

Correlation function $\langle s_1(x, t)s_2(x', t')\rangle$ vs $\langle s_1(x, t)s_2(x', t')\rangle-\langle s_1(x, t)\rangle\langle s_2(x', t')\rangle$

The correlation function in statistical mechanics is defined in either of two ways $$g(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{x}', t-t') = \left\langle s_1(\mathbf{x}, t)s_2(\mathbf{x}', t') \right\rangle$$ ...
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870 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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2answers
145 views

Why in electrostatics is $dV=-E.dr$ but in electromagnetic induction, $EMF=+E.dS$?

In electrostatics we learned that $$dV=-E.dr$$. I understood the derivation which was used to derive this. Now when I have come to Electromagnetic Induction,I see that when there is a time varying ...
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1answer
66 views

Problem arising from quantisation of e.m. field

In my studies on the quantisation of the electromagnetic field I've come across a small calculation that I wasn't able to reproduce. Remember the following: In the Gupta-Bleuler method to quantize ...
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1answer
77 views

How should Christoffel symbols be written (in LaTeX)? [closed]

I'm writing a summary of a lecture on relativity, and we've recently introduced the Christoffel symbols. It seems that the upstairs indices are the "leftmost" and the downstairs indices are somewhat ...
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1answer
164 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 ...
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1answer
256 views

Fourier Transforms of position and momentum space in Quantum Mechanics

Fourier transformations: $$\phi(\vec{k}) = \left( \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi}} \right)^3 \int_{r\text{ space}} \psi(\vec{r}) e^{-i \mathbf{k} \cdot \mathbf{r}} d^3r$$ for momentum space and ...
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1answer
652 views

Geometric optics- Sign conventions

Why do we need to use the sign convention again in the mirror equation while solving numericals when we know we have already used a convention while deriving the mirror equation? The question is not ...
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1answer
152 views

Issue on sign convention with optics

I have a problem understanding the sign conventions used in the equations that describe the imaging properties of mirrors - in particular, when and why should I use a positive or negative number for ...
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1answer
186 views

Does sign convention in geometric optics fail to explain the cases of image formation by virtual objects?

Here is an example of Cassegrain telescope: Parallel rays from a distant object get reflected by the concave mirror forming an image at its focus behind the convex mirror. This image acts as a virtual ...
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423 views

On solving a two lens system

A common method to solve for the image formed due to a two lens system consisting of two thin-lenses separated by a distance is: Locate the (intermediate) image formed by the first lens, ignoring ...
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0answers
22 views

The sign of a focal length

We know that for converging lens, $f>0$ , for diverging lens, $f<0$. But for many materials I have read so far, it says that: "the focal length of a concave lens is 8 cm." I thought that the ...
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2answers
72 views

Does metric signature affect the stress energy tensor?

If one were to derive the stress-energy tensor for a metric with $(+,-,-,-)$ signature would it be different from the stress-energy tensor derived from the same metric but with $(-,+,+,+)$ signature?
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284 views

How can we know that a particular charge is positive or negative?

Suppose I am provided with a positive is charged....and someone tells me to find which type of charge is present in it? Then how can we detect that the body is positively or negatively charged? Is ...
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16 views

Conventions in defining spherical harmonics and associated Legendre polynomials

Relevant Background Spherical harmonics are defined with several different conventions: the definition used in quantum mechanics according to Wikipedia is $Y_l^{\,m}(\theta,\phi) = ...
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2answers
70 views

Momentum conservation in the one-loop contribution of the photon propagator

The lowest contribution to the photon self-energy is represented by the following diagram (Taken from F.Schwabl, Advanced quantum mechanics, p.365):: ($k$ is the momentum of the photon that decays in ...
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1answer
43 views

Velocity-time-distance problem

In my book the formula for the $y$-component of velocity during the upward projectile motion is given: $$V_y=V_{iy}-gt$$ and next to it the formula for $y$-component of velocity during the downward ...
3
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2answers
737 views

Why is the focal length of a convex mirror negative?

According to the Cartesian sign convention, the focal length should be positive since the convex mirror forms a virtual image to the right of mirror (positive direction) when light comes from left. ...
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3answers
1k views

Wave Function for a Sinusoidal Wave (Why minus sign?)

I was trying to understand how the wave function for a sinusoidal wave was derived, but did not understand one specific sign, the minus sign in the following formula: $$y(x,t) = A \sin(k x – \omega t ...
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1answer
56 views

Confused regarding sign convention of silvered plano convex lens

I'm totally confused while finding the sign convention of a silvered plano convex lens. I know that equivalent power of such a system can be found by adding the power of the mirror and twice the power ...
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2answers
73 views

Complex scalar field theory

For the complex scalar field theory $$L = -\partial_{\mu}\phi^{*}\partial_{\mu}\phi - m^{2}\phi^{*}\phi + J\phi^{*}+J^{*}\phi,$$ Why is there no factor of 1/2 in the lagrangian like in the real ...
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1answer
63 views

Why do physicists use a positive sign for the Fourier kernel / outward propagating waves? [closed]

I am not a physicist but rather an engineer / mathematician, so I've always wondered why is it that physicists use the positive sign convention in the forward Fourier transform. That is, in all of my ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Integration path with opposite direction from the unit vector

The task is to calculate the voltage between points $M$ and $N$ if the electric field vector is known to be $\vec{E}=\frac{V_0\cdot x^2}{a^3} \cdot \vec{i} + \frac{V_0 \cdot y}{a^2} \cdot \vec{j}$, ...
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565 views

More about the right hand rule?

We started learning about electromagnetism in physics class, and the Right Hand Rule comes in handy as seems easy to use, but I'm curious as to how it actually works. I guess it's more of a math ...
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129 views

Defining gravitational potential

I recently came across the definition of gravitational potential where ..... Suppose a particle of mass $m$ is taken from a point $A$ to $B$. Let $U(A)$ and $U(B)$ denote the gravitational ...
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194 views

Calculating $\langle x | \hat{x} | p \rangle$ in $p$ basis

I am trying to calculate $\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle$. I can work in the $x$-basis like so: $$\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle=\int dx'\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ x'\rangle\langle x'\ |\ ...
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3answers
58 views

What's the work done by a spring on a block when it moves from extreme to mean position?

I really don't know where am I doing it wrong, but block when it moves towards mean position displacement will be along the force right, so the force acting on block will be $+fxdx$ Integrating we ...
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2answers
63 views

Complex conjugation of Weyl Spinors

Let $\chi$ be a left-handed Weyl spinor transforming as $$\delta\chi=\frac{1}{2}\omega_{\mu\nu}\sigma^{\mu\nu}\chi.$$ In my lecture notes it is explicitly stated that complex conjugation interchanges ...
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1answer
102 views

Maxwell equations in 2+1 D

I have a problem with the Maxwell equations in (2+1) dimensions using differential form. Following J. Baez "Gauge Fields, Knots and Gravity" page 93 (or any other book), the equations are ...