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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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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3answers
152 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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2answers
53 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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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 ...
2
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1answer
54 views

Equivalency of $Q$ Factor Definitions

The Q factor is defined (seemingly) as $$Q=2\pi\frac{\mathrm{energy \, \, stored}}{\mathrm{energy \, \,dissipated \, \, per \, \, cycle}}$$ however on Wikipedia is says that the Q factor can be ...
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1answer
76 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 ...
1
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1answer
101 views

What does degrees of freedom mean in the context of vibrations?

If you have an $N$ degrees of freedom system what does this mean? What is the difference between a 1 and a 2 degrees of freedom system?
0
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1answer
30 views

CFT conformal weight vs. scaling dimension

I was wondering if anybody could clarify what the difference between the conformal scaling dimension $\Delta$ and the conformal weight $h$ is? Is it correctly understood that $\Delta$ is related to ...
0
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1answer
51 views

What is the difference between the potential difference and potential energy of an electron?

What is the difference between the potential difference and potential energy of an electron? Let's take an example the potential difference (PD) across a resistor. if there's a current flowing, the ...
0
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1answer
30 views

Earth, Sun and beginner's reference frames

In the post-Newton era, where "absolute space" is not absolute, how is the reference frame in which "the Earth moves round the Sun" accurately defined?
0
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1answer
35 views

What is difference among the consepts: bulk free energy, cohesive energy, Gibbs free energy, binding energy?

I am working on size dependent surface energy of metals. I need to know the different energies between the atoms. Different papers use different energies but their meanings seem alike, therefore they ...
0
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1answer
43 views

Work done by a force

What is the difference between work done by a force and work done against that force? Is it true that work by a force = -(work against that force)?
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
224 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 $n=$...
0
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1answer
384 views

Definition of “destructive” interference of waves

What is the commonly accepted precise definition of "destructive" interference of waves. Does it mean: interference with complete cancellation or interference where the amplitude gets smaller (...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

What are Killing spinors?

What are Killing spinors? How can they be motivated? Are they directly related to Killing vectors and Killing tensors and is there an overarching motivation for all three objects? Any answer is ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

Is renormalization associated with a volume scale or with an energy-momentum and length scale?

Given that real-space renormalization blocks together small volume elements to construct larger volume elements, is it more appropriate/helpful to consider the renormalization scale to be a volume ...
2
votes
0answers
150 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 ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Regular initial data

I have a very basic question. What exactly is meant by "regular" initial data in general relativity? Does it mean smooth? at least $C^{2}$? All literature on the subject just uses this term without ...
2
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0answers
124 views

Holonomy twisting

There is Witten's topological twist of standard SUSY QFTs with enough SUSY into Witten-type TQFTs. What is a holonomy twist?
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0answers
26 views

Is there a standard in the manner in which significant figures are used?

I have always understood significant figures to be those figures which we know with certainty. Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Significant_figures) provides a related but less rigid ...
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0answers
62 views

Definition of heat that does not produce a cyclic argument?

If we are going to define (empirical) temperature from the zeroth law, we need a definition of heat that does not depend on the concept of temperature, else this would produce a cyclic argument. ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Definition for a trajectory in phase-space

When we say "a trajectory in phase space", when the parameter is time, do we mean the set of points in phase-space corresponding to a continuous segment in time? Does it have to be continuous? Does it ...
1
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0answers
34 views

What is the general definition of a quench?

I've seen the term "quench" used in many different contexts. It's easy to understand the meaning when the context has a simple physical analogue, such as lowering the temperature of a system to cause ...
1
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0answers
79 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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0answers
44 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{\...
1
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0answers
87 views

Should Brillouin zone be a continuous object rather than a discrete one in the thermodynamic limit?

For example, just consider a 1D atom chain with $N$ sites and lattice constant $a=2\pi$, under periodic boundary conditions, the crystal momentum reads as $k=\frac{n}{N}\frac{2\pi}{a}=\frac{n}{N}$, ...
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0answers
2k views

Definitions in thermodynamics: temperature, thermal equilibrium, heat

I'm currently reading Fermi's "Thermodynamics" and I'm trying to grasp the (possibly different) right definitions for temperature, thermal equilibrium, heat. To clarify, I'm looking for definitions ...
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0answers
569 views

How is the term “Born level” usually defined?

How is the term "Born level" usually defined, e.g. in talking about the $pp\to Z/\gamma^*\to e^+e^-$ cross section at Born level?
0
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0answers
26 views

What does 'fully excited' actually mean?

In statistical mechanics you often hear the phrases such as 'when the degrees of freedom are fully excited then....'. An example would be the validity of the equipartition theorem. But what is the ...
0
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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 ...
0
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0answers
30 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 "...
0
votes
0answers
97 views

What are the Fermi and Debye temperature constants?

What are the Fermi temperature and Debye temperature constants? We were discussing these in class and I don't fully understand what these constants are or why we have them. Can anyone explain?
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0answers
57 views

The relationship between the two statistical mechanical definitions of entropy

It seems like similar questions have been asked here; hopefully my question is not a duplicate. I am reading my textbook on the statistical mechanical definitions of entropy, and I am very confused ...
0
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0answers
157 views

Streamlines tangent to velocity vector

As from the title, I'm not too sure how they are related. Definition is that streamlines are instantaneously tangential to the velocity vector of the field. Why would a streamline that shows direction ...
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0answers
27 views

Classical mechanics: constraints

How to determine a constraint relation of a given system and identity whether the constraint is scleronomic or rheonomic, holonomic or non-holonomic, bilateral or unilateral just by looking at the ...