To be used for questions on geometry closely pertaining to physics. Includes differential geometry and euclidean geometry.

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Intersection of two moving objects

There are two objects. The first object moves with speed $U_1$ from known point A to known point B. The second object has speed $U_2$ and starts from known point C. What is the direction the second ...
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0answers
48 views

Is a ball noncompact? [migrated]

A compact manifold usually refers to "a manifold without a boundary", for example the usual 2-sphere $S^2$. What about a manifold with a boundary? Intuitively, I think such an example, e.g. a ball ...
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31 views

Does “$\mathbf r[~t~]$” correctly denote the trajectory of a point particle wrt. a reference system w/o having to decide on a particular origin?

Consider a specific geometric reference system, e.g. a specific inertial frame(1): the suitable set of point particles $\mathcal S := \{ H, J, K, ..., O, P, Q, ... \}$; and consider one other point ...
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9 views

How is the inertia tensor (just diagonal elements) of a quarter disk related to the full disk one?

Let be a disk of radius $R$ and mass $M$ with an uniform distribution of mass $\sigma$, centered in the origin O, laying in the $OXY$ plane. If I know that $$I_x=I_y=\frac{1}{4}MR^2, \qquad ...
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4answers
217 views

Why perpendicular vectors do not share components?

I just can picture it in my mind or on paper. Can someone explain it with examples? This is the key idea behind the uniform circular motion: if the force has a component in direction of the object's ...
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2answers
280 views

Sound source not in a straight line with the sound receiver - does that make a difference?

Hope the graphics will help me explaining my question better. Let's say the box would be a room in the fourth floor, and the sound source would come from cars in the street. It is clear that in ...
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1answer
59 views

Why is the elemental volume of a sphere equal to $4 \pi r^2dr$?

I was doing this question on calculating the electric field at a certain point in a sphere (length $r$ away from the centre), where the charge density is given by an equation. When I checked the ...
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2answers
58 views

Physical Meaning of Cone used in Conic Section for Orbital Mechanics

Does the polar angle (complement of $\theta$ below) of a cone which intersects a plane to yield a conic section have a physical meaning in orbital mechanics? Note that the angle of incident ...
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32 views

Alternative ways of calculating the principal moment of inertia

Let's say I am given 2x2 masses ($m$ and $m'$ have the same mass, just different coordinates): $m_1: (-a,b,0)$ $m_1':(a,-b,0)$ $m_2: (a,b,0)$ $m_2': (-a,-b,0)$ Due to symmetry the center of mass ...
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1answer
103 views

How fast would one have to travel in an airplane in order to experience a continuous sunset?

For the sake of simplifying this problem and removing any guess work on how high the plane is flying, we'll say that our airplane is at 30,000 ft. as this is the average altitude for commercial ...
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1answer
95 views

Trajectory of a swimmer trying to reach the opposite bank [closed]

I came across the following question 2 days ago: $Q$. A swimmer is swimming in a river with a speed $u$ with respect to the speed of water which is $v$. It is assumed that the river has straight ...
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1answer
33 views

Moment of inertia tensor calculation [closed]

If I have a rigid body consists of three uniform rods, each of mass $m$ and length $2a$, held mutually perpendicular at their midpoints choose a coordinate system with the axes along the rod. So I ...
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1answer
42 views

Standardising shadow length on sundials

The sundial is fundamentally flawed in that the length of each hourly shadow changes with the seasons. If the base of the sundial was engineered to move cyclically on an anual basis however, the ...
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2answers
52 views

What should the length of my wire be in order to get a surface area of 10cm^2?

I would like to make a flat coil out of a steel wire that is $1.22 ~\text{mm}$ in thickness (or $1.22~\text{mm}$ in diameter). I wish to make the coil up the wire into a flat disk that has a surface ...
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3answers
32 views

Foci of elliptical path

I have read the Kepler's laws of motion where I came across the term foci of elliptical path. But what is really a focus? Can anyone please explain what is a focus (maybe with a diagram) and why a ...
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1answer
43 views

Why do you seem to go faster as you hug a turn?

I was driving to work this morning when this question occurred to me. I was going up a clover-leaf entrance ramp to the highway. The person in front of me was lazily floating the outside of the curve, ...
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0answers
21 views

Circumference measurement using a capacitive sensor

I have a question which I hope someone in here can help me answer. Background: I’m building a device where I intend to use a stretchable capacitive sensor to define the radius change of an object. ...
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2answers
39 views

How to calculate centre of mass

How do I find the centre of mass with given coordinates? For example if we have four objects with mass $m$ at coordinates of a square $(0,0,0),(0,0,a),(0,a,0),(0,a,a)$ or another example with eight ...
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20 views

Constructing uniform mesh in reciprocal space?

This is a bit of a mental exercise for me to get comfortable with the math of reciprocal spaces since I am going to start doing some research that requires knowledge of reciprocal spaces. Let's say I ...
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1answer
72 views

How to derive path difference ($\Delta l=d\sin \theta$) for double-slit interference?

The Wikipedia page for the double-slit wave interference experiment states that the path difference between waves diffracting from the two slits is equal to: $$ \Delta l=d\sin \theta $$ where $d$ is ...
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3answers
363 views

Are circles stronger than triangles?

I've often herd in engineering that "there is no shape stronger than a triangle". I also recall that arches are very strong shapes as well, which can be crudely described as a ...
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0answers
170 views

Can the universe be round but still infinite?

Can the universe still be infinite in space if its curvature is > 1? Is a manifold of positive curvature necessarily compact? Does the Tarski paradox have any bearing on the finite or infinite ...
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1answer
279 views

Why are three parameters required to express rotation in 3 dimension?

We know that in spherical coordinates angle $\theta$ and $\phi$ (two angles)are enough to express three dimensional rotation of matrix. But to express rotation mathematically as a transformation ...
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26 views

Radian Zeno-version paradox: Can a particle moving in the circular path reach the angular position of non-terminating decimal form radian value?

Consider a particle P moving in a circle of radius r as shown in the figure. Premise 1: Position of the particle can be described by the angle $\theta$. Premise 2: Particle reaches the position ...
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1answer
102 views

Constrained Motion of Connected Particles, Small Calculation Question

I am looking at this sample problem from Meriam Kraige - Engineering Mechanics Dynamics: When I do the differentiation, I end up with $\large -2\dot y+\frac{x}{\sqrt{x^2+h^2}}$ Where is the $\dot ...
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1answer
259 views

Center of mass of equilateral triangle

I'm trying find the center of mass ($R$) of a uniform density equilateral triangle without using symmetries to find the x coordinate of the vector $R$, but I can't get the expected $R_x = ...
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1answer
64 views

Calculating the area of region of the sky

I am given the right ascensions ($\alpha_1$ and $\alpha_2$) and declinations ($\delta_1$ and $\delta_2$) of a specific region of the sky. How can we find the area of this region? I know that there ...
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3answers
1k views

How many times can light revolve around a black hole?

Take a light ray approaching a black hole from infinity which goes out again to infinity. What is the maximum finite rotation it can describe? (I know it can loop around indefinitely in the ...
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0answers
54 views

Justifying the use of real numbers for measuring length

I am not sure if this is the most appropriate place to post this but here goes nothing: Assume we were trying to come up with system of numbers $S$ to model our intuition of length. We want $S$ to ...
18
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4answers
2k views

Distinguishing between solid spheres and hollow spheres (equal mass)

If there are two spheres (hollow and solid) with equal mass and radius and we want to find the hollow sphere without using any equipment. What's the best way(s) to recognize the hollow sphere and ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Quantum physics and constructable numbers [duplicate]

I do not know much about quantum physics. However, I do know it believes the world is discrete ( has quanta). This seems to contradicts the fact that we can create an object of length root 2 since you ...
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0answers
25 views

Is the total length of the inner sheet of a two ply roll of toilet paper shorter than the outer sheet?

If you look at any individual square of two plies, each ply looks the same. But musn't the inner ply be shorter? Wouldn't the inner ply develop kinks if it was the same length as the outer ply? Or ...
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1answer
34 views

Electric Flux - Vector Components

How is $vcos(\theta)$ the perpendicular vector? I think I'm missing something fundamental in my trig and vector knowledge...
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35 views

Why is space 3 dimensional and could it be different? [duplicate]

Is there any particular physical law or property which caused space to be 3 dimensional, and is there theoretical possibility of having more or less dimensions in physical space?
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2answers
152 views

What is the connection between geometry of physical space and Hilbert space?

In Quantum Mechanis (QM), the dynamical variables are the (quantized) coordinates $x_j$ and their canonical conjugate $p_j = -i\partial_j$ with the commutation relation $[x_j,p_k]=i\delta_{jk}$ ...
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45 views

What's wrong with this calculation of the center of mass of a triangle?

Find the center of mass $(x_G,y_G)$ of a homogeneous triangle of mass $m$. Divide it into infinitesimal rectangles of width $dy$, length $x$, mass $dm$ and area $dA$. We have $d A = x dy $ ...
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1answer
91 views

Weight of an object at different angles [closed]

I'm trying to either find a calculator online or help with an equation to work out how much weight I'm lifting when I pick up my dirt bike off the floor [edit: when it's lying on it's side on the ...
5
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2answers
106 views

Poisson equation in 2D and 3D: geometrical reason for the difference

The Poisson equation in 3D shows a fundamental solution in 3D which decays with $\sim 1/r$, whilst in 2D it shows a much different decay $\sim -\ln r$. While in 3D not only the solution, but also its ...
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0answers
42 views

Is there a theory that physically explains the origin equivalence principle / explains gravity via acceleration?

I've been thinking about how gravity could arise from a 4th dimensional spinning cylinder with space-time that has pliability like rubber (which I think is a generally accepted analogy). The ...
0
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1answer
126 views

How do you calculate the focal point location of a circular mirror? [closed]

I'm trying to find the focal point and center of curvature of a concave mirror. Just using the radius for the center doesn't seem to work. I know C = 2f, but I'm not sure how to find f or C, given the ...
1
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1answer
120 views

Snell's law demonstration

I'm a bit confused about a Snell's law demonstration. I'm reading Communication Systems from W. Tomasi. In the chapter 11, the author applies the Snell's law to θent, and -here comes my problem- he ...
2
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1answer
98 views

Geometry, Group Theory, and Statistical Mechanics

During the course of my first statistical mechanics course we generally concerned ourselves with a bulk amount of our system and considered it in terms of a set of lattice sites that had a state. How ...
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2answers
576 views

Spacetime geometry around two black holes

For space-time geometry we all know images like he one below. But if I were to take a neutron star and put it right next to but not touching a black hole what effect would that have on the geometry of ...
6
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1answer
127 views

Null Coordinates

I have a very basic question: what are the advantages of writing a metric in the null coordinates? Which extra insight do they provide? I've looked in Caroll's "Spacetime and Geometry" and Wald's ...
4
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2answers
227 views

How were the ratios of distances between planets and the Sun first calculated?

I was reading some literature and I found that long before the actual distances between other planets and Earth or distance between Sun and Earth were known, physicists had calculated the ratios ...
108
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2answers
6k views

Why do sunbeams diverge even though the sun is much more than a few kilometers away?

Consider this picture of sun beams streaming onto the valley through the clouds. Given that the valley is only (at a guess) 3km wide, with simple trigonometry and the angles of the beams, this ...
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2answers
107 views

4- dimensional space geometry, what is the point? [closed]

I just read about the 4 dimensional space. I found a nice article describing how to visualize a 4-D object into our 3-D world. This is really fascinating. However, what's the point of researching in ...
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1answer
59 views

How do I calculate the right ascension of the points along the ecliptic at given elevations?

How do I calculate the right ascension of the point along the ecliptic nearest the sun at sunset and sunrise that is at a given altitude/elevation? For example, I'd like to compute the right ...
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4answers
277 views

Why drops form spheres?

Consider a drop of water floating in an inertial frame in STP air (e.g., the ISS). Intuitively, the equilibrium shape of the drop is a sphere. How would one prove that? Is it equivalent to showing ...
5
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1answer
94 views

Gravity on and inside a planet-sized bi-lobed body

Admittedly, for yet another science-fiction project Say I have a planet-like body shaped like a sphere with a torus subtracted out of it, leaving a sort of "apple core" shape. Firstly, is the ...