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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Electric Potential produced by Hollow Sphere

Let there be a hollow sphere (Throughout the question we will ignore the thickness of the sphere) which is positively uniformly charged,q of radius, R. Suppose there to be a test positive charge, q' ...
3
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1answer
421 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 $$\psi(\vec{r}...
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1answer
107 views

What does “Receptor” convention refers to in RC circuits?

my question is How can we choose the convention in a circuit and what does it refer to ? Especially for a Capacitor I hear the terms "passive sign convention..." "receptor convention ..." "generator ...
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1answer
65 views

Does the use of $\gamma=\left(1-v^{2}/c^{2}\right)^{-1/2}$ automatically assume a (+ - - - ) metric? [on hold]

In Special Relativity, does the use of $\gamma=\left(1-v^{2}/c^{2}\right)^{-1/2}$ automatically assume a (+ - - - ) metric convention? For introductory textbooks, the Lorentz factor is is always ...
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0answers
20 views

Sign choice for sigma-matrices

I'm trying to figure out the consequences of the sign choice $$ \sigma^\mu = (\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma)\qquad\text{vs.}\qquad \sigma^\mu = (-\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma) \,. $$ This choice does not affect the ...
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3answers
198 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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6answers
106 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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53 views

Minus sign in analyzing RC with changing emf circuit?

I'm learning electromagnetism from Purcell's book. He say that if we have the following circuit: $$-\frac QC + RI = \mathcal E_0\cos\omega t~,\quad I = -\frac{\mathrm dQ}{\mathrm dt} $$ The ...
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1answer
45 views

Why Does there Have to be Linearity in Ket and Skew Symmetry?

I'm reading Shankar's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics," and on page 8 he states that one axiom in Dirac notation is linearity in ket, and because they are also skew symmetric there is anti-linearity ...
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227 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
74 views

Relation between gravitational field and gravitational potential

The gravitational field is the negative differential of the gravitational potential. Now the gravitational potential due to a particle at a distance $r$ is $-Gm/r$ where $m$ is the mass of the ...
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3answers
84 views

What is the Direction of area vector?

In case of closed surfaces the area vector is directed outwards the surface. But what is the direction of the area vector in case of an open surface e.g. A thin lamina type of surface. Does it depend ...
3
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2answers
71 views

Ambiguity in assigning intrinsic parity

We know that, fermions can have intrinsic parity either $\eta_P=+1$ or $=-1$. How does one then fix the intrinsic parities ofthe elementary particles, uniquely? Again, the intrinsic parity of a baryon ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Notations used to express direction [closed]

We express direction relative to a reference point and call a certain direction positive and it's direct opposite direction negative, by convention. But, what notation should we use to express a ...
2
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0answers
27 views

Where do the intrinsic parities of particles come from?

It is known that some particles have negative intrinsic parity - for example pion $\pi$. I was wondering if this parity can be understood. I read somewhere that parity of quarks is defined to be ...
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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 ...
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1answer
46 views

Is the net force conventionally shown in a free body diagram?

Is it standard convention to display the net force vector on a free body diagram? Internet searches seem to give mixed results.
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3answers
106 views

Dealing with negative work

Dumb question, I'm working with vector fields right now, and one question on here tells me to assume an object can take on three paths from a to b. (paths not listed here) for times in [0,1] Now ...
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1answer
205 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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1answer
102 views

Bridges between maths and physics: the $\tau=2\pi$ constant [closed]

[disclaimer: I am not a math or a CS major, this is probably an easy question for most people on Physics SE.] I just read the tau manifesto explaining - according to its author - the various ...
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3answers
36 views

Need help with signs (+ -) in electric potential work and potential energy problem

The problem is from Sears and Zemansky's University Physics, 12th edition in Spanish. The problem says: How much work is needed to assemble an atomic nucleus that contains three protons if it is ...
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1answer
65 views

Use of infinitesimals in physics [duplicate]

I want to ask about infinitesimals and non-standard analysis. In physics we always use $\mathrm dx,~\mathrm dv,~\mathrm dt$ etc. as infinitesimal quantities. When we deduce equations in physics, when ...
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1answer
133 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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1answer
64 views

Number operator in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics $a^{\dagger}a$ is defined as the number operator, where $[a,a^{\dagger}]=1$. Why cannot we define $aa^{\dagger}$ as number operator instead of the usual definition?
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2answers
241 views

Different signatures

I was working out the christoffel symbols, once where the metric that I am using has (+---) signature and another time where it has (-+++) signature because two books had different signatures and I ...
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1answer
27 views

Does the sign of imaginary part of complex permittivity have any physical meaning?

I have noticed some papers having written complex permittivity as $e' + je'' $ and others as $e' - je''$. The data in literature does not specify the sign. What should I use and does the sign of $e''$ ...
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1answer
46 views

EFE and Local Minkowski

Suppose we view the Einstein Field Equations (EFE) in the context of a boundary value problem with a given stress-energy tensor and boundary conditions. The problem is solved by finding a pseudo-...
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1answer
194 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
47 views

Can velocity be negative? [closed]

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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1answer
129 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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2answers
176 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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1answer
94 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
93 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
102 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 ...
4
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1answer
52 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 $$\text{Tr}[\gamma_5\...
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0answers
42 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 ...
4
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1answer
30 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
31 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
959 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 ...
4
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4answers
549 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
27 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 ...
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1answer
80 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?
3
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1answer
36 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
248 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
193 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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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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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 ...