The definition tag is used in situations where the question is either about how some term or concept is defined or where the validity of an answer depends on a subtle definition of some term or concept used in the question.

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242 views

Differences between eigenstates, bound states and stationary states [closed]

I am not very clear about the differences between eigenstates, bound states and stationary states.
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1answer
123 views

What is the difference between thermodynamic and empirical temperature?

When I've studied Thermodynamics I did so in Callen's book and there the author talks about temperature as a single thing, which mathematically is simply defined as: $$T = \dfrac{\partial U}{\partial ...
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1answer
50 views

Scientific definitions of “moment (of)” and “instant”? [closed]

What are the scientific definitions of "moment (of time)" and "instant"? Are they different with their definitions in everyday language? I also don't know the definitions in everyday language, of ...
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0answers
35 views

What's meant by D dimensional gas?

As Avagadro states: "One mole of an ideal gas at STP occupies 22.4 liters." This doesn't seems counterintuitive since we know that we need a volume to compress the gas. But how can we explain quantum ...
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2answers
97 views

Physicists definition of vectors based on transformation laws

First of all I want to make clear that although I've already asked a related question here, my point in this new question is a little different. On the former question I've considered vector fields on ...
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1answer
67 views

Is there some physical intuition behind Clifford Algebras?

The mathematically rigorous definition of a Clifford Algebra is as follows: Let $V$ be a vector space over a field $\mathbb{K}$ and let $Q : V\to \mathbb{K}$ be a quadratic form on $V$. A Clifford ...
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1answer
29 views

conditions for something being being considered as a system? [closed]

without loss of generality can somebody answer the question in reference to a car being towed by a truck. I am asking this question because the work done by the truck on the car is different at ...
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1answer
91 views

Which came first - definition of wave or wave equation? [closed]

In an interview, I was asked to define what a wave is. I replied that it was a sort of disturbance which propagated. Then he asked how I could identify what a wave would be like. I said that the ...
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0answers
45 views

Is the formula of temperature $ \frac{1}{T}= \left(\frac{\partial S}{\partial U}\right)_{V,N}$ applicable to all type of ensembles?

I have seen multiple posts on this page that explained the statistical definition of Temperature as the derivative of the Entropy to the energy: \begin{equation} \frac{1}{T}\equiv \left(\frac{\...
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2answers
79 views

Is standing wave realy a wave [closed]

We know that at least the waves inside a flute or laser make resonance waves,and simply we know that a standing wave is superposition of two waves that are propagating in oposit direction,for example ...
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1answer
58 views

Definition of Charge [duplicate]

Please give me a definition of charge. A textbook I have defines it to be - "A fundamental property of matter, which determines whether the matter will receive an electric flow or liberate one" I don'...
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3answers
63 views

What is the difference between accelerating and boosting?

My professor claimed in class that there was a difference between an acceleration and a boost. I don't really understand the distinction. If you want to go to a different inertial frame of reference, ...
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1answer
97 views

What defines a physical property? [closed]

The physical world around us has all sorts of properties, shape, color etc. If you move on to more complex systems, there are even more like some emotional properties etc. Why do we deem only ...
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3answers
130 views

What does “fidelity” mean?

In particular I am interested in whether it is more closely related to "precision" or "accuracy". So a somewhat mathematical description might be appropriate. For example the word "fidelity" occurs ...
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2answers
121 views

How mass is determined in dynamics?

Mass is one of the most core and complicated concepts in dynamics. I have tried many books but I still don't have a good idea of how the mass of any object is determined relative to another. In The ...
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1answer
158 views

Rigorous definition of degrees of freedom

According to this Wikipedia article, the definition of degrees of freedom is: The degree of freedom (DOF) of a mechanical system is the number of independent parameters that define its ...
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1answer
82 views

What is capacitance, in general?

In circuit analysis software capacitance can be measured between any two nodes of a circuit or of a multiterminal device. In practical terms we take $C_{ij}$, the capacitance between $i$ and $j$ as ...
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1answer
125 views

What is a clear definition of vibrons?

What is a clear definition of vibrons? Vibrons are localized Phonons and I need more information about them. It is somewhat vague to me. Can you give some references, please?
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2answers
78 views

What is a qualitative description of energy? [duplicate]

In elementary physics courses one is taught that energy is a measure of an object's ability to do work (this in itself seems a little flaky as how does one then define exactly what "work" is, other ...
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5answers
2k views

What is a state in physics?

What is a state in physics? While reading physics, I have heard many a times a "___" system is in "____" state but the definition of a state was never provided (and googling brings me totally ...
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1answer
50 views

Fundamentally speaking, what are all the essential factors for waves (of any nature) to exist?

Considering all systems in which waves can exist, from atomic scale (such as DeBroglie Waves for example) to cosmic scale (gravitational waves for example), and those that require media for transport (...
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3answers
141 views

What is the difference between toy models and normal models? [closed]

Here is the short description of scientific model: an imperfect or idealized representation of a physical system And the definition of toy model: a simplified set of objects and equations ...
1
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1answer
79 views

What constitutes a force? [duplicate]

There are a few questions on here about why Gravity is not a force, but I'm having trouble grasping why exactly. It sounds to me that Gravity is not a force because it is simply a by-product of mass ...
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3answers
166 views

Does the work done by a person equal the work done on the object in this situation?

If you applied a constant force over a floor that has friction on an object, would the work done by the person equal to the work done on the object? Assume that the floor is flat and that the object ...
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5answers
236 views

What is the definition of linear momentum?

Every where and book I search I get that the definition of linear momentum is the amount of speed (quantity of motion) contained in it or simply it is mass $\times$velocity? So, what is an ...
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2answers
58 views

I have trouble understanding work

I am just starting out in physics. I study in germany, so excuse me if I get some terms wrong. I am trying to understand why 'Work = Force * Way' and I think I just have some trouble imagining what ...
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0answers
31 views

What exactly is wavefield extrapolation?

I am trying to understand what exactly wavefield extrapolation is. I can understand extrapolation of a function, 'wave' and 'field' as well; but could not understand the meaning or the problem "...
2
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3answers
127 views

Why does Griffiths define the complex inner product differently? [closed]

I have just now noticed that Griffiths (in his book Introduction to Quantum Mechanics) defines the complex inner product as $\big<z,w\big>=\sum_{i=1}^n\overline{z}_iw_i$. In all mathematics ...
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2answers
125 views

Is this circuit a series or parallel circuit?

I saw a definition of a parallel circuit as a circuit with more than one path for current to flow. Is that the definition that's accepted? It seems like a good definition to me, but does that mean ...
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3answers
2k views

What is a mode?

Admittedly, this seems like a very simple question. The word mode pops up in every field of physics, yet I can't remember ever having read what I felt was a precise and sensible definition. After ...
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2answers
150 views

Can I define the term energy in terms of work?

Recently, I'm doing my personal task which is to formalize every definition and concept in physics, by means of formal language and of course with intuitional notes. Because I found myself that the ...
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2answers
447 views

Can pressure exist without a container?

I always hear pressure defined as the force exerted by particles on the walls of the container they're being held in. This makes sense since the mathematical definition of pressure is $ p = \frac{F}{A}...
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1answer
72 views

Einstein space - proper definition [closed]

Excuse, this is my first question at this forum, I try to be clear and short. What is the exact definition of Einstein spaces? It's enough to say $$ G^{\mu\nu}_{;\mu}=0~? $$ Where $$ G_{\mu\nu}=R_{\...
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2answers
57 views

Is the electric current a flow of charges?

Wikipedia defines charge as the fundamental property of forms of matter that exhibits electrostatic attraction or repulsion in the presence of other matter.Strictly speaking, while defining an ...
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1answer
144 views

What is the difference between flow and expansion?

Fluids (both liquids and gases) will move from one point in space to another due to a potential gradient. Some examples may be: 1) horizontal pipe flow, a fluid will move from a region of high ...
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3answers
106 views

Thermal diffusion and the 2nd law of thermodynamics

If we look at the definition of heat flux, $$\stackrel{\to }{J}=-\kappa\stackrel{\to }{\nabla}T \, ,$$ we may notice that it's defined to be a vector showing in the opposite direction of the ...
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1answer
337 views

Is displacement in circular motion a chord or an arc?

When taking the displacement between two points along a circular path to calculate its velocity, do you take the length of a chord connecting the two points or do you take the length of the arc ...
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1answer
70 views

Does the term phase difference apply only for sinusoidal waves?

This question may sound dumb, (it will to me, hopefully, in a day or two!), but does the term phase difference apply only for sinusoidal waves? Wikipedia defines 'phase' as the following: Phase ...
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1answer
59 views

Fermi energy on a “fermion pre-gas model”

I'm having serious trouble while trying to follow an example from Callen's "Thermodynamics and an introduction to Thermostatistics" regarding the definition of the Fermi energy. In said example one ...
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1answer
289 views

Why are the quantum observables defined on opens sets a presheaf and not a sheaf?

In local quantum field theory or AQFT one can mathematically describe over each open set $U$ of a spacetime $M$ the quantum states or observables of the theory. This structure is commonly referred as ...
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4answers
115 views

Does the definition of escape velocity apply strictly to an initial velocity of a ballistic projectile?

In Shivam Sarodia's answer to Escape Velocity question he states: "For a rocket launched exactly at escape velocity" This seems to be a repeated, and unclear way of discussing the matter of escape ...
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1answer
34 views

Definition of a Supercluster

A group of astronomers in September 2014 redefined what classifies a supercluster. Before this, the supercluster where the Milky Way resides was the Virgo Supercluster. Now, the Virgo Supercluster &...
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1answer
60 views

What's the difference between the Fermi level and the electrochemical potential?

I was asked in a Thermostatistics test to compute the electrochemical potential $\mu(T)$ and the Fermi level $\epsilon_F$ for a system of non-interacting fermions, with two possible energetic states ...
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2answers
133 views

How did physicists arrive at conclusion that the product of mass and velocity is equal to momentum?

How did physicists arrive at conclusion that the product of mass and velocity is equal to momentum? What is the intuition behind $p=mv$? I had trouble finding any sources that state the actually ...
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5answers
273 views

What exactly is work?

What exactly is work? My book confuses me: a force can lift an object to a height h, or it can accelerate an object through gravity. In all these cases, a force displaces an object and change the ...
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0answers
41 views

What is the definition of time? [duplicate]

I wanted to know the definition of time just like as we define displacement, current etc. **Note:**There should be no mention of time period or time interval in the definition.
1
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1answer
146 views

What is the defintion of a current-current diagram?

Right now I am facing some Feynman diagram calculations and in the instructions I am reading the phrase current-current diagram appears quite often so I wanted to know: What is the definition of a ...
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1answer
46 views

Beginner wondering about displacement

At the moment I am going to a physics camp. I also do vex robotics. I am trying to use the equations to help me build my robot perfectly. Right now I'm working on how fast the throwing wheels should ...
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1answer
71 views

What is “forward peaking”?

In "Research and Development for a Gadolinium Doped Water Cherenkov Detector" the phrase "forward peaking" is used to describe a signal. This comes up in lots of other contexts too, but I still can't ...
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1answer
60 views

How to implement the form of current density in a Hall Effect related calculation?

Please consider the following; Question. A rectangular plate of semiconducting material has dimensions 10mm x 4mm x 1mm. A current of 3 mA flows along the length and a Hall Voltage of 13.6 mV is ...