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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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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173 views

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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1answer
75 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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2answers
128 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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2answers
201 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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4answers
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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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1answer
161 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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1answer
100 views

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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279 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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8answers
1k 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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3answers
250 views

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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2answers
691 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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5answers
261 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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1answer
87 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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0answers
236 views

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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1answer
84 views

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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2answers
515 views

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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1answer
155 views

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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2answers
170 views

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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2answers
2k views

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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5answers
357 views

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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0answers
141 views

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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1answer
63 views

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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258 views

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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2answers
303 views

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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3answers
965 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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46 views

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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1answer
691 views

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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2answers
959 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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1answer
260 views

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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1answer
476 views

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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1answer
171 views

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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237 views

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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145 views

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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228 views

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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85 views

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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44 views

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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314 views

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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1answer
129 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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1answer
268 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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1answer
143 views

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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3k views

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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67 views

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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3answers
78 views

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 ...
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5answers
4k views

Does the unit of a quantity change if you take square root of it?

For example, I have a mass, m = 0.1kg and I square root it, giving me m = 0.316 (3s.f.) does the unit still stay as kg, or does it change?
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143 views

Units for physical constants

Someone told me that units for $G$ and $\epsilon_0$ (gravitational constant and Coulomb's constant) are placed there simply to make equations work dimensionally and that there is no real physical ...
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112 views

Dimensional analysis - the argument of functions

Suppose we have some function of time and space (1-D for simplicity) $G(x, t)$ which, by considering some equation relating $G$ to other quantities we know to be dimensionless. We now conclude that ...
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183 views

Curious relation between the dependance in ℏ of Planck units and units dimensions

Looking at Planck units, there seems to be a curious rule between the dependance in $\hbar$ of a Planck unit and the unit dimensions of the corresponding physical quantity. Let the dimensions of the ...
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Temperature in CGS (Gaussian) units

I've been struggling with conversion from Gaussian to SI units for sometime, trying to figure out how derived units in CGS (current, charge etc) relate to the SI units. But I couldn't find any ...