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36
votes
6answers
1k views

Photons from stars--how do they fill in such large angular distances?

It would seem that far-away stars are at such a distance that I should be able to take a step to the side and not have the star's photons hit my eye. How do stars release so many photons to fill in ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are so many forces explainable using inverse squares when space is three dimensional?

It seems paradoxical that the strength of so many phenomena (Newtonian gravity, Coulomb force) are calculable by the inverse square of distance. However, since volume is determined by three ...
10
votes
0answers
476 views

Why does the moon look bigger at the horizon? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does the moon sometimes appear giant and a orange red color near the horizon? Why does the moon look bigger at horizon or skyline than at other times e.g. at ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Can you completely explain acceleration to me?

I understand what acceleration is, and I know the formula, and I understand it's a vector. I just don't understand how the equation works exactly. I'm kind of picky, I know, but bear with me. ...
5
votes
2answers
266 views

Is length/distance a vector?

I have heard that area is a vector quantity in 3 dimensions, e.g. this Phys.SE post, what about the length/distance? Since area is the product of two lengths, does this mean that length is also a ...
5
votes
1answer
923 views

Most accurate ways to find the average distance between stars in Milky way galaxy

I've already posted here on quora. But, I'm not totally sure if it's the most reasonable method. Would anyone care to elaborate on how to find the average distance between stars in a given galaxy ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Does length contraction affect travel time?

If an astronaut leaves planet $A$ for planet $B$ at speed $v$, will the time (measured by the astronaut's clock) that it takes for the astronaut to reach planet $B$ be less than the distance between ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

When did we learn that stars die?

As we all know, the stars we see in the night sky might already be dead. I was wondering though, when was this fact or conclusion commonly established? Today, most people (let's assume with an above ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you measure distance to stars within the galaxy?

I know that for close by stars (<50 LY) we can use the parallax effect. And for distant galaxies we use red-shift (& hubble's constant). So how do we measure how far is a star lets say 50,000 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How could scientists know how far a star or galaxy is from us?

How do astronomers measure how far a star (or galaxy) is away from the earth? How would they know that it has taken 13 million years for light to travel in space before it reaches us?
4
votes
5answers
418 views

How is distance measured to far away stars and galaxies?

What I need is an accurate description of the methods used to determine the distance to Andromeda. The Parallax method is for nearby objects as I presume. The red shift method applies, but how do you ...
4
votes
3answers
301 views

In relativity, what is the difference between a rod that is perpendicular to direction of motion and a rod parallel to the direction of motion?

In Feynman's Lectures on Physics , chapter 15, page 6 he writes about 2 identical, synchronized light signal clocks. These are clocks that consist of a rod (meter stick) with a mirror at each end, and ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

A problem with a basic thought experiment in Special Relativity

This is for a class on special relativity I am to give to some school children. Moe is moving at 0.9c. At the instant he passed Joe he emits a flash of light. One microsecond later, Joe(at rest) ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

Classical electrodynamics formulated in terms of forces

The Newton's law of universal gravitation is described in terms of a force, which is produced by an action at a distance. It also can be described using the concept of a field, and that would be an ...
3
votes
1answer
411 views

How do I find the initial velocity in this problem?

An X-ray tube gives electrons constant acceleration over a distance of $20\text{ cm}$. If their final speed is $2.0\times 10^7\text{ m/s}$, what are the electrons' acceleration? I know this ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

What is the maximum range of a bullet flying through the sky? [closed]

How far would my bullet fly with the following characteristics? 1.2km/second initial velocity 45 degree angle into the sky 'Normal' atmospheric conditions No wind Typical high-powered rifles have ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Spot of my light on the moon

This is a funny question, but worth answering. The distance between the moon and the Earth is 384,400 km. The speed of light is 299792.458 km/s. It will take 1.3 seconds (Approx.) for my laser beam to ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

Which is smallest distance measurement which makes sense talking about [duplicate]

This might seem a silly question, but here it goes: Of all possible values for a measure of distance, which is the smallest that makes sense talking about? I mean, I could talk about $10^{-100000}$ ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

How far do air particles move when a sound wave passes through them?

How far do air particles move when a sound wave passes through them? I know that they don't actually travel, the question is how far do they oscillate or what is the physical amplitude of the ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Need help with the position of a particle in a velocity-versus-time graph

I am having trouble with a velocity-versus-time graph. I recently took a Physics test that asked this question: The graph shows the velocity versus time for a particle moving along the $x$ axis. The ...
2
votes
2answers
41 views

How to calculate error of parallax and sextant based navigation?

First of all, why wasn't the sextant ever used for land navigation? The horizon is easier to see at sea, but land based sextants could be used in conjunction with artificial horizons (as at sea when ...
1
vote
1answer
648 views

Calculate the distance between two points from iPhone Camera

I want to calculate the distance between two objects using an iPhone camera. Suppose I'm standing with my iPhone 10 feet away from the objects. Now, I want to calculate the distance between those ...
1
vote
1answer
356 views

What is the apparent diameter of the sun as seen from earth?

I know this may not be physically accurate. For my purposes, basically 3D renders, I am assuming the sun rays are parallel rays from an infinitely far lamp. If the sky is clear, what size would that ...
1
vote
2answers
192 views

How much more energy would I spend if my bicycle was 2 kilos heavier? [closed]

I have a bicycle weighing 8 kilos. An 10 kilometer ride averaging 20 km/h requires z kWh's of energy. How much more energy would I spend if I added 2 kilos to my ...
1
vote
1answer
916 views

Relation between comoving distance and conformal time?

In cosmology, we have two quantities and I want to understand the physical relation between these two : $\chi = \int_{t_e}^{t_0}c\frac{dt'}{a(t')}$ : the comoving distance with $t_e$ the time at ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Is there a finite unit of distance that we cannot divide past?

If distance could be divided into an infinite no of units or points, then it seems to me that motion would be impossible since a meter for instance, having an infinite no of points within it (and the ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

Distance travelled in spaceship Newton vs Einstein

If you get in the canonical 1G windowless spaceship and accelerate for 5 years as determined by your trusty wristwatch, then decelerate for 5 years, then decide its time to see where you are would the ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Distance to the galaxy which has velocity which is perpendicular to the point of view of the static observer

Let's have the galaxy which has velocity which is perpendicular to the point of view of the static observer in the FLRW universe. It emits the light. There is a given redshift $z_{0}$. It will be easy ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

How do we know that time and distance are not discrete?

I know that it is believed that energy is discrete, in that it travels in quanta. I was wondering if there is any evidence which either proves or disproves something similar with both time and ...
0
votes
1answer
7k views

Finding deceleration and velocity using distance and time

A car is moving down a street with no brakes or gas. The car is slowing due to wind resistance and the effect of friction. The road is flat and straight. The only data I have are timings taken at 100m ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

find distance using a light line

Let's suppose we have a particular light frequency emitter and relative sensor array, and that there is no external source of this light. This emitter has a know angle respect the receiver, and emit ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes?

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes on practice? What is the accuracy of measuring distances using this method compared with distances based on HIPPARCOS ...
0
votes
1answer
227 views

Simple Acceleration Problem throwing me off

I am having trouble with this problem from my homework. I have gone over it many times, and I must have some concept wrong. A rocket is launched from the ground with constant acceleration. After 4 ...
0
votes
1answer
237 views

1D Kinematics - Relative Motion involving non-inertial frames of reference

I recently came across a question involving non-inertial frames of reference. I didn't quite understand the way it had been solved due to some conceptual confusion regarding certain deductions made to ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there any case where one would use, snap, crackle or pop? [duplicate]

As we all know, if you differentiate distance with reference to time, you get speed, and likewise, differentiating speed you get acceleration. However, if you keep differentiating, to the rate of ...
-1
votes
1answer
211 views

Distance and displacement of an object on a straight line [closed]

I had this homework problem, but don't actually know if what I did is right, or that I even read the problem correctly. Can someone please tell me if this is the right interpretation of the problem ...
-1
votes
1answer
54 views

Determine the distance from time-velocity graph [duplicate]

A small car that we made in class was travelling and its time was recorded at 1,2,3, and 4 meters. The points in the form (seconds, meters) are as follows: ...
-2
votes
1answer
132 views

Calculation of 12000 Lunar Orbits/Earth Day [closed]

I am really interested in the calculation of the following speed value in meter-per-second unit: Speed of something that is able to travel in one earth day the distance that it would take for the ...