The definition tag is used in situations where the question is either about how some term or concept is define 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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Why is the mechanical advantage of a wedge = length of slope/ width?

Mechanical advantage is defined as Force Output/Force Input For a symmetrical wedge with the length of the slopes being equal and the width being the distance between the end points, the articles ...
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273 views

Definition of Entropy in thermodynamics

In most textbooks, the definition of entropy in reversible processes on a system $S$ is given simply as $$d S=\delta Q/T.$$ It seems to me this definition is insufficient since it does not specify ...
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6k views

Difference between angular frequency and angular velocity?

What is the difference between angular frequency and angular velocity? I think one is used for SHM and the other for circular motion? Also can both be used for centreptal accelartion? I think angular ...
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1answer
21 views

What is the definition of 'relative population' in context of partition function?

In statistical mechanics, what is the definition (or mathematical definition) when authors refer to relative population in the case of a classical particle system?
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2answers
40 views

A car is moving in a circular trajectory with radius R=20m. The equation of motion is : x(t) = 15 + 8t – t^2 [closed]

We have to find the distance the car has traveled after 3s. Actually this question came up in an important exam, and the answer was: L=x(3)-x(0) But I think this is the answer for displacement, ...
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58 views

Need help on electric potential definition

I'm having trouble understanding electric potential. In my book it says "an electric force acts on a charge situated in an electric field." I understand this part. Then it goes on to say "If a charge ...
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3answers
200 views

Can we rigorously define force?

I'm looking to get rigorous definitions on which to base the important quantities in classical mechanics. To me a "rigorous" physical definition is an operational definition -- that is one in which ...
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1answer
36 views

The definition of mutual capacitance

I am not sure I completely understand the definition of mutual capacitance. Let's say we have two conductors, $A$ and $B$, so that the following holds: Both conductors are isolated. $A$ is isolated ...
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2answers
97 views

What are global and local gauge invariance defined as they are?

I'm sorry for the triviality of my questions. Why is $\bar{\psi} = e^{i \theta}\bar{\psi}$, where $\theta$ is a real number, used as the global gauge transformation? Why $e^{i \theta}$; what's the ...
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97 views

What is many-body bound state?

Bound state by definition is a state when particles are bounded together, so then "many-body bound state" would be bound state for a system of many bodies. Then I have several puzzles: 1. is the state ...
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2answers
16k views

What is the difference between angular speed and tangential speed in a circular motion?

I was looking a long time for the way the equations of this two speeds are obtained, and i found pretty much nothing important, so can someone explain how are those obtained, and which is the ...
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72 views

Good layman definition of the critical point(phases) and supercriticality

I've heard of this point among others, but never really got what it meant. Wikipedia makes one's head spin. The only thing I picked up is that it occurs between liquid and gas, and displays ...
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What does it mean for a Hamiltonian or system to be gapped or gapless?

I've read some papers recently that talk about gapped Hamiltonians or gapless systems, but what does it mean? Edit: Is an XX spin chain in a magnetic field gapped? Why or why not?
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515 views

Inertia Vs Momentum

At my recent lesson on kinematics, my teacher taught about inertia and momentum. This is what she said. Inertia: a characteristic of an object that resists changes to its state of motion. Momentum: ...
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3answers
5k views

273 + degree Celsius = Kelvin. Why 273?

Temperature conversion: 273 + degree Celsius = Kelvin Actually why is that 273? How does one come up with this? My teacher mentioned Gann's law (not sure if this is the one) but I couldn't find ...
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2answers
245 views

Quantum hadrodynamics

What is quantum hadrodynamics? Can anybody give a proper explanation? What are the standard books and sources of information that can be found on the internet for better understanding?
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1answer
32 views

How can I physically demonstrate potential difference in a circuit to a 14 year old?

Children of this age have a fair idea about current, resistance, and batteries. Potential difference is a thing that cannot be felt or physically visualized. A teenager asked me if he can touch ...
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1answer
361 views

Hamiltonians, density of state, BECs

When working with Bose-Einstein condensates trapped in potentials, how can one tell what the density of state of a system of identical bosons given the Hamiltonian, $H$? (I have been told that it is ...
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3answers
1k views

Which one true in First law of thermodynamics: $Q = \Delta U \pm W = \Delta U \pm p\Delta V$ or $\Delta U= \Delta Q + \Delta W $?

Which one true in First law of thermodynamics: $Q = \Delta U \pm W = \Delta U \pm p\Delta V$? (where $\Delta U$ is change of internal energy, $W$ work made by system and $Q=cm\Delta T $ heat made ...
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1answer
102 views

What exactly is the “coherence” between waves?

I know, by definition, that coherence means that a pair of waves have constant phase difference. What does this mean? Does it mean they always have a 360 degrees, or 0 degrees phase difference? Or ...
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6answers
113 views

Why do we use capacitors when batteries can very well store charges?

Can batteries be used instead of capacitors? I am trying to figure out a basic, superficial and any obvious difference between the two.
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2answers
115 views

Susceptibilities and response functions

It is often confusing whether a susceptibility is the same as a response function, specially that often they are used interchangeably, in the context of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Very ...
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1answer
56 views

Hermitian Adjoint of Spinor

Say we have a four component spinor $\psi$: $$ \psi=\begin{pmatrix}\psi_L\\\psi_R\end{pmatrix} $$ Is the Hermitian adjoint of this: $$ \psi^\dagger =\begin{pmatrix}\psi_L^\dagger ...
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54 views

How is Infinitesimal coordinate transformation related to Lie derivatives?

I am reading the book "Gravitaion and Cosmology" by S. Weinberg. In section 10.9, while discussing Lie derivatives of tensors of different ranks, he makes a general comment: The effect of an ...
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13 views

Reference for the Definition of Magnetic Properties [duplicate]

I am writing a report on a piece of software I have made as part of my final year assessments. The software models the flux density of arbitrary arrangements of permanent magnets. The readers of my ...
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3answers
150 views

Is my conceptual understanding pertaining to heat & temperature correct?

From what I've understood: Heat is the total sum of translational energy possessed by individual atoms in an object. Temperature is the average translational energy possessed by individual atoms ...
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20 views

What are non-local charges?

In integrable systems, for example in the XXX spin chain, one encounters non-local charges (that form a Yangian). They are fine since the Yangian generate an infinite number of them, which gives us ...
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1answer
35 views

Definition of “nonlinear” in the context of perturbation of gravity

What exactly is the definition of a nonlinear perturbation when applied to a background spacetime metric? I have seen so called "linear perturbations" which look like $$ds^2 = -(1+2\Phi)dt^2 ...
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3answers
223 views

What is actually a conservation law?

Though in his lectures, Feynman didn't define conservation law, he did use it while explaining divergence theorem: [...] heat is conserved. That is, no heat is generated inside the material and ...
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6answers
27k views

What is the difference between stress and pressure?

What is the difference between stress and pressure? Are there any intuitive examples that explain the difference between the two? How about an example of when pressure and stress are not equal?
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276 views

Why is moment of inertia dependent on $r^2$ and not on $r$ ? (physical reason)

Moment of inertia is the mass equivalent in rotational dynamics. I know , by mathematical arguments, moment of inertia of a particle is $$ I = \text{mass} \cdot r^2$$ . But what is the physical ...
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3answers
78 views

Definition of non-degenerate metric tensor

We know that a metric has a property which is called non-degeneracy. I was searching for what does that mean and saw it associated with the fact that $det(g_{\mu\nu})\neq0$. How does this relate to ...
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2answers
67 views

When momentum coincides with impulse

If an object is pushed for some time by some force from a resting state, can I say that at the exact moment the force is removed, impulse equals momentum?
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60 views

How this formula for work follows from the definition?

If a particle moves along a path $\gamma : I\subset \mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}^3$ then the work done by a force $\mathbf{F}$ is defined by $$W = \int_{\gamma} \mathbf{F} = ...
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2answers
177 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
58 views

What are the “generations of matter”?

After a series of clicks on New Scientist and Wikipedia, I ended up on the Wiki article for "generations of matter", and I didn't quite understand it. I believe (and this may be wrong) that different ...
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2answers
49 views

What is the theoretical instantaneous temperature of a gas?

When we measure the temperature of a gas we typically integrate the molecular collisions and wind up with an 'average' temperature due to the sensor comprising a relatively large thermal mass. And ...
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1answer
35 views

Integral limits when calculating the work

If I integrate $$dW= \vec{ F} \cdot d\vec{\ell}$$ which are the limits? In $$\int\limits_{W_{inf}}^{W_{sup}}dW= \int\limits_{\vec{\ell}_{1}}^{\vec{\ell}_{2}} \vec{ F} \cdot d\vec{\ell}$$ it is ...
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1answer
79 views

Transpose of (1,1) tensor

When we transpose a (1,1) tensor, shall we simply switch the two indices while keeping their upper/lower positions or switch them and also switch their upper/lower positions? In general, would the ...
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1answer
39 views

Degrees of freedom in double Atwood machine?

Why the degree of freedom in double Atwood machine (one block on one side and a pulley with one block in its each side on other side) is 2 and not 1? According to the formula $s=3*n-m$; where ...
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1answer
59 views

Difference between Higgs mechanism and Higgs decay

What is the difference between Higgs Mechanism and Higgs decay? I know that Higgs mechanism is a process which provide the mass to gauge boson. In general, many literature explain Higgs mechanism ...
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1answer
73 views

When is an object at rest?

When is an object considered to be at rest?
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3answers
135 views

What is a photon? [duplicate]

I'm trying to get a definitive and clear answer to the question of what a photon actually is. Textbooks seem to give quite vague explanations, all starting with Einstein's idea that a quanta is a form ...
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3answers
318 views

What is the exact difference between diffusion, convection and advection?

I have tried to explore the information but still not very clear on the exact difference between diffusion, convection and advection. Can anyone help me out to clear my concept?
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1answer
101 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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45 views

Who is said to do Work, me or the body?

If I subject my force to a body and it is displaced then the work is said to be done. What is that work done by? Is it said to be done by me or that body?
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3answers
100 views

Bounded operator - definition?

As mentioned also in Bounded and Unbounded Operator, an operator $A$ is said to be bounded, if $$\|Af\|\leq k \|f\|,$$ where the constant $k$ does not depend on the choice of $f$ (let us consider a ...
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35 views

Transverse Trace-less quadrupole

In Gravitational radiation, it is convenient to work with "transverse traceless quadrupole tensor". However there are three terms: "quadrupole moments" , "reduced quadrupole moment" and "transverse ...
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1answer
62 views

What is the difference between the diffusion equation and the heat equation?

I know that the diffusion equation is a more general version of the heat equation. But what is the exact difference informally?
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What do people actually mean by “rolling without slipping”?

I have never understood what's the meaning of the sentence "rolling without slipping". Let me explain. I'll give an example. Yesterday my mechanics professor introduced some concepts of rotational ...