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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170 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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1answer
44 views

Can velocity be negative? [on hold]

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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3answers
175 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
109 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}) ...
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156 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 ...
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210 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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1answer
92 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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1answer
82 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
50 views

What are the right signs? [closed]

This is a question provided in my book: An object of height $2\ \mathrm{cm}$ is placed at a distance of $2.5f$ from a concave mirror where $f$ is the focal length. Find the height of the image. ...
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2answers
101 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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1answer
50 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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0answers
41 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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1answer
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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2answers
941 views

How to understand whether potential energy increases or decreases?

I am confused by how to deal with the negative sign in the equation $U=-GMm/r^2$ in the following problem: If the distance between two masses is tripled, then the magnitude of the gravitational ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
181 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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4answers
496 views

Why is an electron negatively charged, and what is the difference between negative and positive charges?

Nobody has yet defined the actual meaning of a charge, or why a negative charge is different from a positive charge. Everybody knows that positive charge is due to protons and negative charge is due ...
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1answer
25 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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4answers
4k views

When an object moves downward, is its height negative?

The question is: A ball is thrown directly downward with an initial speed of 8.00m/s from a height of 30.0m. After what time interval does it strike the ground. So I went through the problem ...
-2
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1answer
77 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
126 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 ...
3
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1answer
35 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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2answers
237 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 ...
4
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1answer
189 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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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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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 $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
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1answer
388 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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0answers
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 ...
0
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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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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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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 $60I$. ...
2
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1answer
447 views

Variation of the metric with respect to the metric

For a variation of the metric $g^{\mu\nu}$ with respect to $g^{\alpha\beta}$ you might expect the result (at least I did): \begin{equation} \frac{\delta g^{\mu\nu}}{\delta g^{\alpha\beta}}= ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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6answers
92 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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3answers
5k 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 ...
0
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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 ...
4
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2answers
102 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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2answers
110 views

Relation between Electric field and potential

I am unable to understand from this - sign comes. Which step I have done wrong?
1
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1answer
75 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
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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 ...
0
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1answer
27 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
42 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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2answers
393 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 ...
4
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0answers
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 ...
1
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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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3answers
207 views

In which direction should flow of electric current be taken while solving problems?

Consider a simple circuit with a battery of $\theta\ \text V$s, and two resistors of $R_1 \ \Omega$s and $R_2\ \Omega$s connected in series. Let us assume that $R_1$ is connected nearer to the ...