Dimensional analysis means to obtain results by analyzing the units in question, etc. DO NOT USE THIS TAG if your question is about degrees of freedom or spatial dimensions.

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Dimensional analysis

I was recently introduced to dimensional analysis and I wanted good references for learning the ideas behind it and representation of the natural world. I'm a grad student in biology. I don't have ...
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Why do we set $x^0 = ct$ instead of $x^0 = t$?

When we deal with Special Relativity and we start considering spacetime instead of space and time each at once, we usually see books saying that we consider a space with four coordinate $x^\alpha$ ...
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What does really mean by- power of a number or an exponential function is dimensionless? [duplicate]

Is power of only a number or an exponential function is dimensionless? If power of any other thing can also be dimensionless then please explain with examples.
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55 views

Dimensional Analysis to Determine a Formula

The kinetic energy of a particle confined to a spherical region with a uniform internal potential depends on its mass, the radius of the sphere, and the Planck constant. An electron, confined to such ...
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Justifying order of magnitude reasoning

So in the context of a set of notes I am reading about acoustics I get to equation (23) in this paper. Basically it comes down to showing that (note the dots above the a's meaning time derivative!) ...
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Why dimensionality of the Electric Charge varies with the spacetime dimensions?

The point is: We can find via dimensional analysis that the electric charge dimensionality varies with the dimension of space-time. $$[\text{charge}] = eV^{(3-D)/2}$$(You can see below the way I did ...
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Order of magnitude estimation for some intriguing questions

The physics TA showed us a few examples in which one can estimate many things from first principles and sound logic based and scaling arguments. This led usually to understanding of why some numbers ...
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56 views

How can Planck units be consistent with conflicting dimensions of mass?

I suspect I'm missing something obvious, but I'm coming up blank. I've gotten pretty comfortable with so-called natural units over the years: in doing quantum mechanics/QFT, it's common to set $c = ...
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65 views

What is dimensional units/quantity and dimensional state

First, I am not a native English-speaking student so I am not good at physics definitions in English. I participated in the MIT e-learning course on classical physics. The 1st lesson is about 3 ...
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69 views

Units of the Stokes-Einstein rotational diffusion coefficient

The Stokes-Einstein rotational diffusion relation tells us that we can write down a rotational diffusion coefficient for a sphere as: $$D_r \approx \frac{k_B T}{\zeta_f} \approx \frac{k_B T}{(8 \pi ...
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Definition of Ohm in SI basic units in words

One way Wikipedia defines Ohm is (this is also teached in school): $$1\Omega =1{\dfrac {{\mbox{V}}}{{\mbox{A}}}}$$ They describe this definition in words, too: The ohm is defined as a resistance ...
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What justifies dimensional analysis?

Dimensional analysis, and the notion that quantities with different units cannot be equal, is often used to justify very specific arguments, for example, you might use it to argue that a particular ...
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123 views

Is there a physical quantity which is the reciprocal/multiplicative inverse of time?

Is there a physical quantity which is the reciprocal/multiplicative inverse of time? If time =distance/speed what is speed/distance. Please forgive my ignorance if there is a really simple ...
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Dimensional Analysis : Thermodynamics

I was coming across some notes online for phase transitions. In one of the places, the author has written the Claussius-Clayperon equation in this form, $$ \frac{d(ln P)}{d(ln T)} = \frac{T\Delta ...
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157 views

What prediction led to the vacuum catastrophe?

The disagreement between predicted and measured energy density of the vacuum is one of the great unsolved problems of science. According to this book the predicted energy density was obtained as ...
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580 views

Why does Coulomb's constant have units?

I think of Coulomb's constant as a conversion factor (not sure if this is correct). Kind of like how you would do calculations in kg and then times it by the conversion constant to convert your answer ...
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What does the decay constant mean?

In my curriculum, the decay constant is "the probability of decay per unit time" To me, this seems non-sensical, as the decay constant can be greater than one, which would imply that a particle has a ...
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189 views

Integrating equations with units

I was looking through an old copy of Barron's AP Physics and found this problem relating to impulse which I was initially confused about how to integrate. Example 6.1 During a collision with a ...
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152 views

Could velocity be taken as fundamental instead of time?

In physics time and length are taken as fundamental in the SI system and, as it seems, in the thinking of physicists. Could one instead take velocity, with c as its unit, together with length as ...
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58 views

Surface gravity for a rotating charged black hole

I have that the surface gravity (at the outer event horizon) for a Kerr-Newman black hole is $$ K_+ = \frac{r_+-r_-}{2(r_+^2+(J/M)^2)} = ...
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Dimensional analysis to estimate order of magnitude of quantities

In the Coursera course From the Big Bang to Dark Energy on several occasions dimensional analysis was used to estimate the scale of quantities. This almost seems like a contradiction in terms to me, ...
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Problems with dimensions when solving an ODE

I'd like to solve the following differential equation: $$\frac{dQ}{dt}=\frac{k_BT}{m}-\frac{\alpha Q}{m}$$ where $Q$ has units of $\text{m}^2\text{s}^{-1}$, $k_B$ is Boltzmann's constant, $T$ is ...
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Mass dimension of coupling constants in various dimensions

Just a quick question: Suppose I want to consider QED or YM in 4 dimensions we always say that the coupling constants are dimensionless and that the field then has a specific mass dimension. What ...
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Why is it meaningless to speak about changes in a dimensional constant?

Every so often,* we get a question about what would happen should there be a change in a physical constant that contains dimensional information, such as $\hbar$, $c$, $G$, or often "the scale of the ...
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Confusion With How Dimensions Work

Form what I understand if you have an equation such as: $$v = v_0 + at$$ then the dimensions must match on both sides i.e. $L/T = L/T$ (which is true in this case), but I have seen equations such as ...
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Square bracket notation for dimensions and units: usage and conventions

One of the most useful tools in dimensional analysis is the use of square brackets around some physical quantity $q$ to denote its dimension as $$[q].$$ However, the precise meaning of this symbol ...
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Is the number 1 a unit?

In dimensionless analysis, coefficients of quantities which have the same unit for numerator and denominator are said to be dimensionless. I feel the word dimensionless is actually wrong and should be ...
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Scale-invariant differential operator

For example, the differential operator Laplacian is $$\nabla^2 = \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial y^2}.$$ My questions are: Is it scale-invariant? what is ...
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Non-dimensionalized Laplacian of Gaussian

From the perspective of dimensional analysis, in the Laplacian of Gaussian operator $$LoG(x,y,\sigma)=\frac{\partial^2g}{\partial x^2} +\frac{\partial^2g}{\partial y^2}.$$ I think $x,y$ are variables ...
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What are the physical dimensions (units) of the elements in a Hilbert space of a QM system?

In QM, the state vector $|\psi\rangle$ seem to have various dimensions under different representations: (only in space of continuous dimension) $$\langle x|\psi\rangle = [\frac{1}{\sqrt{Length}}]$$ ...
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Dimensional Analysis on Maximum speed of Sailboat [closed]

I'm doing the MIT Physics 1 : Classical Mechanics course, offered by OpenCourseware. I'm watching the first lecture and reviewing the slides, and don't seem to understand this question on Dimensional ...
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582 views

Frequency of small oscillation of particle under gravity constrained to move in curve $y=ax^4$

How to find the frequency of small oscillation of a particle under gravity that moves along curve $y = a x^4$ where $y$ is vertical height and $(a>0)$ is constant? I tried comparing $V(x) = \frac ...
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How to determine that the renormalization constant $Z_3$ must depend only on $g$ and $\Lambda/m$

In Le Bellac's book, Quantum and Statistical Field Theory, the renormalization constant $Z_3$ is introduced with the equation $$ \Gamma^{(2)}_R(k^2, m^2, g) = Z_3 \Gamma^{(2)}(k^2, m_0^2, g_0; ...
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Fundamental question about the Buckingham $\pi$ theorem (dimensional analysis)

I have a rather fundamental question about the Buckingham $\pi$ theorem. They introduce it in my book about fluid mechanics as follows (I state the description of the theorem here, because I noticed ...
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560 views

Does the Lennard-Jones force equation give its answer in Newtons?

I'm trying to do the dimensional analysis of the Lennard-Jones force to work out what units are being used in my MD simulation. The lennard Jones force is given as the negative derivative of the ...
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Functional derivative and units

The both sides of below equation don't give the same units, e.g. $$ \frac{\delta}{\delta \phi (\tau)}\int_a^b \phi (\tau') d\tau'=1\;. $$ where $a<\tau<b$. To show this assume that the field ...
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Mass of empty AdS$_5$

Five dimensional empty AdS$_5$ space has mass $$ E = \frac{3 \pi \ell^2}{32 G}. $$ Is the above equation correct? Let's do some dimensional analysis to confirm. In natural units, in 5 dimensions ...
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Unit analysis of a Fourier transform

This is an extension of a Phys.SE question I asked earlier, Fourier transform of two pulses of light. I start with 2 Gaussians, represented by the equation $e^{-(t/a)^2}\times e^{2\pi i d ...
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Understanding units manipulation (speed of falling coconut after 20m)

When I was on holidays, I was told a story about how someone passing under a palmtree and almost got a coconut fall on his head. Given that these palmtrees where about $20m$ high, we wondered at what ...
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Dimensional analysis of magnetic energy: dimensions of µ0 and H

When calculating the energy difference between the normal and the superconducting state in a superconductor at zero magnetic field, the result is as follows: Now I'm quite confident of this result, ...
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Dimensions in lagrangian potential

According to Mankowski flat space dimensions We can write, $$L= \int \text{dt} \text d^d{x} \left[ \frac{1}{2} \dot\phi^2 - \frac{1}{2} \left(\frac{\partial \phi}{\partial r} \right)^2 ...
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Non-dimensionalization for spatially varying material parameters

For a homogeneous material of length $L$, we can write the heat equation as $$\rho c\frac{dT}{dt}=k\frac{du^2}{dx^2}, \text{ } x\in (O,L)$$ where $T$ is the temperature, $\rho$ is the thermal ...
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Scaling in Vlasov equations

This question is in reference to the paper, http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.7182 What exactly is the argument being made on page 6 and 7? One deduces that the function $\Delta$ has to be such that, ...
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Physical representation of volume to surface area

I was looking at this XKCD what-if question (the gas mileage part), and started to wonder about the concept of unit cancellation. If we have a shape and try to figure out the ratio between the volume ...
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82 views

The units of gain and number of atoms in population inversion in a laser

I am following my university course notes on amplification in laser media, and have come across expressions for the gain of a medium, but the notes are not exactly rigorous... The expression given for ...
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230 views

What are units actually?

This question is about the concept of units in physics. Firstly - do units have a formal mathematical definition? How are they different from pure numbers? Are pure numbers defined to be ratios of ...
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Why Planck scale is so important?

I know that Planck scale is the scale where both, gravity and quantum effects are relevant simultaneously. Are there more reasons?
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What does the Reynolds Number of a flow represent physically?

What does the Reynolds Number of a flow represent physically? I am having trouble understanding the meaning and the utility of the Reynolds number for a certain flow, could someone please tell me how ...
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Suggestions contents for soliton theory [closed]

I have been studying solitons theory to make a note on dimension analysis for solitons At first I have derived one space dimensional kink solution for soliton theory. I want to go to higher ...
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Interaction photons-matter and dimensional analysis

I know that when photons pass through matter, the law that describes the intensity in function of the thickness is: $$I(x)=I_0 e^{-\mu x}$$ where $\mu = \rho \frac{N_a}{A} \sigma$ and ...