DO NOT USE THIS TAG just because the involved physics is based on a model. All physics descriptions are inherently model-based. This tag is reserved specifically for addressing model development, validity, simplification, or other meta-model questions.

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68
votes
7answers
9k views

Why do people categorically dismiss some simple quantum models?

Deterministic models. Clarification of the question: The problem with these blogs is that people are inclined to start yelling at each other. (I admit, I got infected and it's difficult not to raise ...
41
votes
9answers
16k views

Why don't electrons crash into the nuclei they “orbit”?

I'm having trouble understanding the simple "planetary" model of the atom that I'm being taught in my basic chemistry course. In particular, I can't see how a negatively charged electron can stay ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

Floating a ping pong ball in the air just using a pen!

Caution: Apparently this problem is harder than it seems! There is a well known phenomena, which I first learnt about when I was a 10 years old kid. You can levitate a ping pong(or whatever ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Relativistic Cellular Automata

Cellular automata provide interesting models of physics: Google Scholar gives more than 25,000 results when searching for "cellular automata" physics. Google Scholar still gives more than 2.000 ...
14
votes
7answers
463 views

Macroscopic laws which haven't been derived from microscopic laws

Can you think of examples where a macroscopic law coexists with a fully known microscopic law, but the former hasn't been derived from the latter (yet)? Or maybe a rule of thumb, which works but ...
8
votes
2answers
504 views

Do current models of particle physics explain the chemical properties of elements/compounds?

I have a particle system of seven protons and seven (or sometimes eight) neutrons (each formed by their appropriate quarks, etc.) bound together in a state that can be macroscopically described as a ...
8
votes
2answers
232 views

Modeling non-quantum objects (in finance, sociology etc) using fermionic fields?

Please provide (if any) applications of fermionic field theory in non-physics macro contexts (finance, sociology etc). I see only bosonic fields being used mostly. The only (minor) application of ...
8
votes
3answers
273 views

Are there models/simulations of antigravitational antimatter-galaxies?

In the comments to another question's answer, I started wondering: Assuming antimatter possessed negative gravitational mass§ (which is not proven impossible to date, though deemed unlikely), ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

physics of wet hair

I'm curious about the physics behind the clumping of wet hair. More specifically, how the amount of water in hair and distance between hairs affect the clumping process. I know intuitively that when ...
5
votes
1answer
495 views

't Hooft for laypersons

I have looked at some of 't Hooft's recent papers and, unfortunately, they are well beyond my current level of comprehension. The same holds for the discussions that took place on this website. (See, ...
5
votes
0answers
556 views

Interpretation of Stiffness Matrix and Mass Matrix in Finite Element Method

I would like to have a general interpretation of the coefficients of the stiffness matrix that appears in FEM. For instance if we are solving a linear elasticity problem and we modelize the relation ...
4
votes
3answers
310 views

Guessing what a simple partial differential equation is describing physically

Is there an easy way to look at a partial different equation and get a sense of what kind of phenomena it is physically describing? I have an equation that looks like this: ...
4
votes
1answer
495 views

The most challenging physical phenomena [closed]

What are examples of endeavors, in the history of mankind, to understand physical phenomena with models which were proved to be incorrect later, reformed significantly, or are still under ...
4
votes
3answers
389 views

Can anyone estimate what proportion of water remains after I flush a toilet?

Imagine I have a clean toilet with some amount of water in the bowl. When I flush the toilet much of that water will be displaced by the tank's water. I want to work out (or model really) what amount ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Event-by-Event Simulation of Quantum Phenomena

I just recently stumbled over http://rugth30.phys.rug.nl/dlm/ and http://www.sbfisica.org.br/bjp/files/v38_26.pdf As the title suggests these are presentations of mathematical models capable of ...
4
votes
0answers
451 views

Is there any simple quantum model by Gerard 't Hooft which can explain the double slit experiment?

This question is directed to Prof. 't Hooft and anybody who is familiar with his papers. It is a reaction to Prof. 't Hooft's question why nobody is excited about his classical models for quantum ...
3
votes
4answers
367 views

Formulation of general relativity

EDIT: I think I can pinpoint my confusion a bit better. Here comes my updated question (I'm not sure what the standard way of doing things is - please let me know if I should delete the old version). ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Modeling incoming solar radiation

I want to write a model for estimating incoming solar radiation for a specific latitude on earth but I am struggling to find an appropriate source which shows the required equations for doing so. ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Bohr's model of an atom doesn't seem to have overcome the drawback of Rutherford's model

We, as high school students have been taught that-because Bohr's model of an atom assigns specific orbits for electrons-that it is better than Rutherford's model. But what Rutherford failed to explain ...
3
votes
2answers
673 views

Why are continuum fluid mechanics accurate when constituents are discrete objects of finite size?

Suppose we view fluids classically, i.e., as a collection of molecules (with some finite size) interacting via e&m and gravitational forces. Presumably we model fluids as continuous objects that ...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

Olympic games and the local g

As you probably know, the two next Olympic games will take place in London and Rio. Randall, author of xkcd, did an interesting observation (that I had never thought of) in http://xkcd.com/852/ , ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Mathematical approximation to physics

Why is it often said that any mathematical theory is just an approximate theory of the universe? Wouldn't there be accurate mathematical structures repressing the physical entities of the universe ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

A problem of approximation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are continuum fluid mechanics accurate when constituents are discrete objects of finite size? When we apply differentiation on charge being conducted with respect to ...
3
votes
2answers
289 views

Relating the power to weather variables [closed]

Could you please help me in this problem? I have 3 independent variables, (T,H,t) , as inputs and one output P ( I have all data for these inputs and the output, done experimentally measured every ...
3
votes
2answers
755 views

Approximating mean daily and hourly temperature beyond Fourier series

Summary: What "well-known" and short parametrized mathematical function describes daily and hourly temperature for a given location? If you look at the mean daily temperature graph for a given ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

How does a plasma globe work?

I am trying to simulate a plasma globe using computer. But I do not know how to model the motion of its filaments. My first guess is to construct a potential field. And the filaments are the paths ...
3
votes
0answers
238 views

Simple model of the solar system. Parameters? Accuracy?

I was thinking of making a simple 2D model of the solar system, with planets moving along ellipses like $$x(t) = k_x \sin(t + k_t) (\sin(k_\phi) + \cos(k_\phi))$$ $$y(t) = k_y \cos(t + k_t) ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Are there microscopic theories, which work, but which wrongly predict macroscopic behaviour?

Motivated by this question (and the P. W. Anderson article linked in that question, which I came across here somewhere today and just read) I wonder about something, which is somewhat bordering an ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Identifying an optics equation in a code refactoring project

I apologise if this a somewhat naive post. My knowledge of optics is limited, and I am learning on the job, so to speak. I'm a computational biologist, dabbling in a bit of physics. I'm currently ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Why do we consider the electric field of an infinite plane? [closed]

I never understood why one would calculate the electric field surrounding an infinite plane, if such thing does not exist. Is there physical motivation for using this model? Are the results applicable ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Sampling a distribution (from a galaxy model)

I am reading the following article: http://www.kof.zcu.cz/st/dis/schwarzmeier/galaxy_models.html and am currently at section 5.6 (positions of bodies in a galaxy). I am trying to redo the simulations ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Can all theories of theoretical physics be generalized to any (arbitrary) number of dimensions?

Please explain from: mathematical point of view "laws of mathematics", and, physical point of view "laws of physics"? Or is there any bound on number of dimensions?
2
votes
4answers
188 views

What is the simplest system that has both, discontinous and continous phase transitions?

I am looking the simplest system that has both discontinous phase transition and a continous phase transition between the same phases (you can change one parameter). discontinous transition: first ...
2
votes
2answers
275 views

Is it meaningful to imagine a sphere uniformly charged with 2e?

If the charge is large, considering charge density is usually meaningful despite the discrete nature of electrical charge. The following sentence is part of a problem in a textbook on ...
2
votes
1answer
375 views

Modelling noise with distance

I was wondering about the relation between noise with distance, assuming a point source, using sound as the method for communication and air as the medium of communication. Obviously as the distance ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Model to convert radiation data from one tilted surface to a different one?

I have measuring data of global radiation on a tilted surface (a solar collector surface). Now I need to do 2 things: split the tilted global radiation into its diffuse and beam parts calculate ...
2
votes
1answer
333 views

Is energy always proportional to frequency?

Google has no results found for "energy not proportional to frequency" and many results for E=hf. Is there an example of an energy that is not proportional to frequency?
2
votes
2answers
450 views

Software for simulating 3D Newtonian dynamics of simple geometric objects (with force fields)

I'm looking for something short of a molecular dynamics package, where I can build up simple geometric shapes with flexible linkages/etc and simulate the consequences of electrostatic repulsion ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Balloon tethering cable tension model (catenary tether)

If a moving balloon (let's say it's a blimp system with some rotors for movement) is connected to the ground by a cable that describes a catenary curve, how can we model the tension being applied on ...
2
votes
0answers
152 views

Turboshaft Turbine Mathematical Model

Are there any simplified mathematical models for how two gas coupled turbines (also called a free power turbine) should interact with one another as the speed of the driving turbine changes. (i.e.) ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

Elimination of the node

Recently I have been reading a lot of astronomy papers on reductions in models of the solar system. A reoccurring concept is the elimination of the node. However, they never explain what the node is ...
1
vote
2answers
197 views

Does a scale model with 1/2 the linear length have 1/8 the mass?

If a scale model has 0.5x the original length in all directions, should its mass be 1/8th of the original mass?
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Is metric tensor invariant under rotation?

It is said that metric tensor depend on the local coordinate system and therefore are not intrinsic to the surface of an 3d-object? How is it possible, kindly provide any proof or discussion. Also is ...
1
vote
4answers
427 views

How long does it take for an electric car to go from 0 to 60 mph?

I found the freefall motion equation which describes terminal velocity of a falling body, but I can't find a similar equation for a vehicle subject to constant traction force, so I tried determining ...
1
vote
1answer
524 views

Physics of the electric hot plate

For an electronics experiment, I began wondering about the electric hot-plates (specifically the temperature dependence over time). If I were to measure the given temperature over time, I assume that ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

How can I validate a numerical model using an analytical solution of the same scenario?

In the course of my research project I have been tasked with validating an acoustic model, however I am having trouble conceptualising what I am supposed to do. I have found an analytical solution for ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Fitting a circuit scheme to a simpler model

I have to simulate the electric field within a gas filled discharge gap generated by a radio frequency voltage generator. The circuit, provided to me by the experimenters somewhat far away, is given ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

If a cart hits a wall, does the weight of it affect how it moves, when the center of gravity is constant?

I have a model that represents a bicycle (a wood block with wheels), and I'm balancing the center of gravity so it's the same as a real bike. However, when the center of mass is kept constant, does ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Any noise slowly starting to take effects?

I am studying a system subject to random noise, or a system driven by some noise, for example, heat flow or wave propagation perturbed by noise. I would like to know if there is a real system where ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

SDE for particle, PDE for the density

Given a particle on the plane we can assume that it follows 2D Brownian motion. On the other hand if there is a lot of such a Brownian particles one can be interested in the evolution of the density ...