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45
votes
7answers
4k views

Do Maxwell's Equations overdetermine the electric and magnetic fields?

Maxwell's equations specify two vector and two scalar (differential) equations. That implies 8 components in the equations. But between vector fields $\vec{E}=(E_x,E_y,E_z)$ and ...
33
votes
6answers
889 views

Motion described by $m \frac{\mathrm{d}^2 x}{\mathrm{d}t^2}=-k\frac{\mathrm{d}^{\frac12 }x}{\mathrm{d}t^{\frac12}}$

What kind of motion would a (preferably dimensionless for simplicity) body do if the force acted on it was proportional to the semi-derivative of displacement, i.e. $$m \frac{\mathrm{d}^2 ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

First-order wave equation: Why is its presence not common?

The (one-dimensional) wave equation is the second-order linear partial differential equation $$\frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial x^2}=\frac{1}{v^2}\frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial t^2}\tag{second order PDE}$$ ...
5
votes
1answer
210 views

Why is the wave equation so pervasive?

The homogenous wave equation can be expressed in covariant form as $$ \Box^2 \varphi = 0 $$ where $\Box^2$ is the D'Alembert operator and $\varphi$ is some physical field. The acoustic wave ...
2
votes
1answer
458 views

Help with Modeling a Liquid Vortex. (Related to General Fusion)

I want to model liquid lead swirling in a sphere. This is connected to General Fusion’s fusion machine. A 55 million dollar, Jeff Bezos funded, 60 person company trying to change the world with ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

What exactly is the meaning of weak formulations and what is its purpose?

What is the purpose behind weak formulation of PDEs? I have read in the book by Zienkiewicz and Taylor that a weak formulation is more "permissive" that the original problem in the sense that it ...
8
votes
1answer
963 views

Relation between Black-Scholes equation and quantum mechanics

I am interested in the link between the Black & Scholes equation and quantum mechanics. I start from the Black & Scholes PDE $$ \frac{\partial C}{\partial t} = -\frac{1}{2}\sigma^2 S^2 ...
4
votes
3answers
424 views

Heat equation with strange boundary condition

I've attempted a few different solutions to this math methods problem from an old qualifying exam, but I can't seem to hack it. The setup for the problem is that the temperature sand in the Australian ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the heat equation violate causality?

I've ran across the idea that, besides simply writing partial differential equations in covariant form, they need to be hyperbolic with all characteristic speeds less than the speed of light. A ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Non-deterministic particle system

This question is in the spirit of Norton's dome, an example of an apparently non-deterministic system in Newtonian mechanics. Under certain restrictions, the Picard–Lindelöf theorem guarantees the ...
4
votes
3answers
662 views

Bessel vs. modified Bessel in radial equation of hydrogen

I am trying to understand the difference between Bessel functions and modified Bessel functions (simply googling is yielding complicated, non-intuitive answers). I was under the impression that one ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Why fundamentally does classical mechanics lead to second order dynamics? [duplicate]

What's so special about second order equations in classical mechanics? I have a basic understanding of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics, so I'm not looking for ...
1
vote
3answers
64 views

General solution to the wave equation proving dependence on $x \pm vt$

I am trying to solve for a general solution to the wave function and demonstrate any solution has the form $f(x,t) = f_L (x+vt) + f_R (x-vt)$ I have used separation of variables f(x,t)=X(x)T(t) to ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is it natural to look for solutions involving dimensionless quantities?

While studying the Heat Equation, I got stuck in a statement in my book. It says: We have seen that the combination of variables $\displaystyle \frac{x}{\sqrt{Dt}}$ is not only invariant with ...
8
votes
1answer
774 views

Modification of Newton's Law of Cooling

Yesterday I randomly started thinking about Newton's Law of Cooling. The problem I realized is that it assumes the ambient temperature stays constant over time, which is obviously not true. So what I ...
5
votes
2answers
390 views

Time-dependent Schrödinger equation with $V=V(x,t)$

I was wondering about the following: If you have the time-dependent Schrödinger equation such that $$i \hbar \frac{\partial\psi(x,t)}{\partial t} = - \frac{\hbar^2}{2m} ...
4
votes
1answer
334 views

How to determine sign of coefficients in simple spring, damper, mass system?

For a system of the sort shown below: I have come to realize that I continuously make mistakes when it comes to determining the signs (or specifically the direction of the forces) of the ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Heat equation with heat radiation and heat transfer

If I want to calculate steady temperature distribution on a one-dimensional stick, and I need to consider both the heat radiation and heat transfer, then my equation will be in the form: $$ ...
1
vote
0answers
105 views

coordinate change differential equation polar

I noticed that v [in step (2.5)] is not the same as the terms from the first formula, even if they are related.. I tried to understand how did he reach to this ...