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14
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1answer
2k views

What is the definition of how to count degrees of freedom?

This question resulted, rather as by-product, the discussion on how to count degrees of freedom (DOF). I extend that question here: Are necessary1 derivatives such as velocities counted as ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Counting degrees of freedom of gauge bosons

Gauge bosons are represented by $A_{\mu}$, where $\mu = 0,1,2,3$. So in general there are 4 degrees of freedom. But in reality, a photon (gauge boson) has two degrees of freedom (two polarization ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Degree of freedom paradox for a rigid body

Suppose we consider a rigid body, which has $N$ particles. Then the number of degrees of freedom is $3N - (\mbox{# of constraints})$. As the distance between any two points in a rigid body is fixed, ...
7
votes
1answer
930 views

Counting degrees of freedom for gravitational waves as a gauge field

Sean Carroll has a new popularization about the Higgs, The Particle at the End of the Universe. Carroll is a relativist, and I enjoyed seeing how he presented the four forces of nature synoptically, ...
4
votes
2answers
293 views

How many physical degrees of freedom does the $\mathrm{SU(N)}$ Yang-Mills theory have?

The $\mathrm{U(1)}$ QED case has two physical degrees of freedom, which is easy to understand because the free electromagnetic field must be transverse to the direction of propagation. But what are ...
9
votes
2answers
368 views

Why isn't in counting the no. of degrees of freedom, rotation about the axis running down the length of the molecule counted?

I was reading about the Equipartition Theorem. Then I got the following quotations from my books: A diatomic molecule like oxygen can rotate about two different axes. But rotation about the axis ...
3
votes
2answers
280 views

$E=kT$ or $\frac32kT$?

Basically, which is the correct formula for thermal energy, and is this the same as kinetic energy? My notes are pretty conflicting on this topic, and I'm getting pretty confused.
2
votes
1answer
365 views

Degrees of freedom in the infinite momentum frame

Lenny Susskind explains in this video at about 40min, as an extended object (for example a relativistic string) is boosted to the infinite momentum frame (sometimes called light cone frame), it has no ...
9
votes
1answer
899 views

Gauge fixing and degrees of freedom

Today, my friend (@Will) posed a very intriguing question - Consider a complex scalar field theory with a $U(1)$ gauge field $(A_\mu, \phi, \phi^*)$. The idea of gauge freedom is that two solutions ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the six degrees of freedom of the atoms in a solid?

A monoatomic ideal gas has heat capacity $C_v=1.5$ which comes from the three translational degrees of freedom. For solids at high temperature, $C_v=3$, implying six degrees of freedom. What are ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Independent components in a 4-vector representing massless fields

In Ryder Page141, it is written "the electromagnetic field, like any massless field, possesses only two independent components, but is covariantly described by a 4-vector $A_{\mu}$". Why are there ...
2
votes
3answers
279 views

Natural units of information

In physics entropy is usually measured in nats. I wonder is there a possible model of a physical system which has entropy of discrete number of nats? How particles and degrees of freedom should be ...