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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1answer
3k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
190 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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4answers
5k views

What is a dynamical variable

I see the phrase 'dynamical variable' in several of my texts and they don't really define it. A google search doesn't yield much either. I have gathered that a dynamical variable can be represented ...
0
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2answers
44 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 ...
0
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1answer
140 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 ...
0
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1answer
165 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 ...
1
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1answer
33 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 ...
3
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1answer
85 views

What does “sites” mean in the lattice language?

I acknowledge that this question is quite trivial. But in the lattice jargon, what does a $N$-sites lattice mean? it's a lattice $N\times N$ or it's a lattice with $N$ vertices? another option ...
1
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1answer
882 views

What's the difference between microscopy and spectroscopy?

Both methods collect particles or electromagnetic waves, and in both methods it's possible to reconstruct a 2D image, which may represent morphology (AFM, LEED for example), electronic structure (STM, ...
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2answers
879 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 ...
5
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5answers
465 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
458 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 ...
0
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3answers
53 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, ...
1
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1answer
87 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 ...
1
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3answers
519 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 ...
1
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3answers
62 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 ...
3
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2answers
98 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 ...
3
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1answer
100 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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0answers
44 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 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?
23
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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 ...
6
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4answers
7k 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?
2
votes
2answers
54 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 ...
7
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3answers
494 views

Axioms behind entropy!

The concept of entropy is very ubiquitous, we learn about its uses starting from Information Theory (Shannon entropy) up to its basic definition in statistical mechanics in terms of number of ...
0
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1answer
46 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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2answers
89 views

What is the difference between toy models and normal models?

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 ...
15
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10answers
25k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
60 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 ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Definition of the quality $(Q)$ factor?

According to Wikipedia, the Q factor is defined as: $$Q=2\pi\frac{\mathrm{energy \, \, stored}}{\mathrm{energy \, \,dissipated \, \, per \, \, cycle}}$$ Here are my questions: Does the energy ...
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5answers
124 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is the space-time interval squared?

The space-time interval equation is this: $$\Delta s^2=\Delta x^2+\Delta y^2+\Delta z^2-(c\Delta t)^2$$ Where, $\Delta x, \Delta y, \Delta z$ and $\Delta t$ represent the distances along various ...
2
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2answers
51 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 ...
0
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0answers
21 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
votes
3answers
109 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 ...
3
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2answers
1k views

The definition of entropy in quantum mechanics

I have seen entropy with several different definitions. Like Von Neumann entropy and Rényi entropy, etc. So I am curious why there are so many different definitions in quantum mechanics while only ...
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2answers
13k 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 ...
0
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2answers
96 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 ...
0
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2answers
84 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
972 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 ...
28
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2answers
758 views

Identification of particles and anti-particles

The identification of an electron as a particle and the positron as an antiparticle is a matter of convention. We see lots of electrons around us so they become the normal particle and the rare and ...
4
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2answers
404 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 = ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Two planets in same orbit - not planets?

Let us pretend for a moment that there are two identical planets that are exactly opposite their star from each other and are the same distance from said star. (This would make them, at all times, ...
5
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1answer
258 views

Is a singularity a real thing?

I've heard the work a few times now, the most recent in the star trek film. Is a singularity a real thing? If so what is it?
0
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1answer
60 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 $$ ...
-1
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2answers
44 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 ...
4
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4answers
6k views

Why is 1 AU the distance between the Sun and the Earth?

Why 1 AU is defined as the distance between the Sun and the Earth? (approximately if you like to be precise) An astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU, au, a.u., or ua) is a unit of length ...
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3answers
19k views

Definition of electric charge and proper explanation

Is there a definition of electric charge and proper explanation of it? It is said "Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when close to other ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Definition of “intensive” and “extensive” properties

Today I was asked what does it mean for a physical property of a system to be intensive. My first answer, loosely speaking, was: "It is a property that is local." I was specifically thinking ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
4
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2answers
912 views

What is charge actually? How to define it? [closed]

Is charge of something for (e.g.) an electron related to electromagnetic space if it exists due to energy, due to which it may have mass? I don't know about quantum mechanics or advanced particle ...