Questions that ask about some aspect of physics research or study which doesn't involve the actual physics. In general, soft questions can be answered without using physical reasoning.

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2answers
34 views

Physics of exercise/movement [on hold]

I am a Pilates teacher and a student asked me why an exercise (ie the Pilates 100) is more difficult when your legs are suspended off the edge of an apparatus (more distance to the floor)as opposed to ...
2
votes
2answers
35 views

What cosmic event would have to occur for us to notice gravitational waves in everyday life? [duplicate]

I read that gravitational waves are so tiny that we need extremely precise equipment to detect them. I am no physicist, but GR really intrigues me and I was wondering about two things: How powerful ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

How does eating a cold ice cream actually heat up your body? [closed]

The question is the title itself. During winter one of my friend told we'll have an ice cream. And rest of us where like are you nuts. He was like cold ice-cream actually heats up your body. Even I ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Particle Data Group book

Many PDG data books have 'July' marked on their covers, does this mean they are published (and made available on their website) in July? When is it expected to be available this year? (date or month ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

What is the current status of the field of quasicrystal?

So this is a soft question. I am just wondering what is the current status of the field of quasicrystals? Does this kind of material have any real life application? Is it a possible playground for ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Why does math work for describing and solving physics problems? [closed]

The clarified version As far as I understand, Wigner considers a "miracle" the fact that it is even possible to find a mathematical equation that describes a natural phenomenon. It is not exactly ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Resource: Star map which show current actual positions versus current observable positions?

Light travelling from stars and galaxies takes some time to reach us here on Earth - when we observe stars or galaxies in the night sky, we see their positions as they were when the light left on its ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Good book to grasp physics [duplicate]

I'll try to be clear. I'd like to ask you if you know some books or chapters in textbooks which explaining the "meaning" of some physical phenomena or entities. I may try to be more specific using ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

General and special relativity books [duplicate]

What are some good books on the exact unabridged theory? Please keep in mind, though, that I need a book with digestible mathematics. Many books are available with the full theory but they have higher ...
4
votes
3answers
580 views

Is a theory the same as a hypothesis? [duplicate]

“Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it.” Excerpt from Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, iBooks. So does that ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Why didn't Newton study electricity and magnetism?

This is a soft question about the history of physics. In Newton's time, electrical and magnetic phenomena (such as amber attracting things or the alignment of compass needles) were well known. Yet I ...
-2
votes
2answers
48 views

Reference request: history of models and equations? [closed]

I am looking for an in-depth self-contained text for the layman which covers the historic development of major questions in physics and the models and equations considered to answer them, and their ...
-3
votes
2answers
41 views

Gravity on other planets [closed]

Why we use the word"Earth' pull" while defining gravity when gravity also exist on other planets of solar system?
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Books recommendations for my theoretical physics library [duplicate]

long story short: I got a big prize from my scholarship, which consists in a lot of money for books, and I mean a lot: almost USD$ 3000. Thus, I am going to buy lots of books, of course! So I'm ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

What's the difference between hypothesis, theory and law? [closed]

What's the difference between hypothesis, theory and law? I think I'm confused now because I exactly learned the misconception one as explained below in high school. According to this university's ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

What is the minimum math level required to comprehend general relativity? [duplicate]

I am currently working on a B.S. In chemistry and only need to go up to Calculus II, though I like to dabble in physics. What other math classes could I take to gain greater understanding of higher ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Physics without math [closed]

If anybody could imagine an advanced civilization with advanced knowledge of the universe(s) but without a mathematical language, how would they use their knowledge? How could it be possible to ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

What is the best order of learning mathematics before start Monte Carlo Methods for Physics simulation? [closed]

I doing medical physics masters and hope to start my research in Monte Carlo methods to simulate some particle interaction and hence to calculate some unknown physical quantities ( Stopping power and ...
1
vote
2answers
323 views

How can I make my younger brother's interest in physics at home? [closed]

This is a soft question. I have a younger brother who is in 10th standard but he don't like subject of physics at all. When I asked reason for it he says he gets bored in mugging the formulas of ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

How do I differentiate between units and variables on my notebook? [closed]

On computer systems, variables are written in italics, as $m$ or $s$, and the units as $\mathrm{m}$ or $\mathrm{s}$. It is very incovenient to do italics for variables and upright for units while ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

If we were able to manipulate enough energy, could we use the higgs field for any practical application? [closed]

My question is, the fields in the standard model interact with each other, and when we are able to manipulate some of them through different engineered devices, we can transform the energy field into ...
3
votes
3answers
93 views

What is “normal” about normal frequencies and normal modes in coupled oscillations?

So, my question is what does the "normal" part mean when one talks about normal frequencies and normal modes in coupled oscillations. Does it have to do with the normal coordinates that one uses when ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

How are you the special points/critical points in the Brillouin Zone pronounced? [closed]

I know that this isn't exactly physics, but I don't know where to ask. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brillouin_zone#Cubic_lattice_system_CUB.281.29.2C_BCC.281.29.2C_FCC.281.29 The critical points/...
11
votes
14answers
531 views

How to pour water from a bottle as fast as possible

When one pours water out of a bottle, it first flows smoothly but then a pressure 'blockage' develops and the pouring becomes interrupted and turbulent, so that the water comes out in splashes. This ...
-2
votes
1answer
45 views

renormalization and set theory

I am in high school, thus most of what I know about the topics I ask comes from popular science books, which risks asking some dumb questions, because I rarely understand the math behind. It is my ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

Fun to read non-Feynman introductory physics book [duplicate]

I am an almost layman in physics, and don't know much in math (only basic knowledge upto trig ), and want to learn physics . . As I am completely inexperienced, and considering most of ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Why are transuranium actinides true elements or are they brief coproducts of man made transmutation?

The first 92 elements, accept technetium 43, on the periodic table can be found in nature and they are considered stable elements. The actinide series of elements which are artificially generated ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Spivak for a soon to be undergrad. physics student [duplicate]

I'll soon start my undergrad. studies in physics and because of that I picked up Spivak's Calculus a while ago to get a solid foundation in single-variable calculus before I start my studies. However, ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What are Pre-requisites for General Relativity [duplicate]

I have a background in Electrical engineering. However, I have a passion for physics and want to do my Masters in Physics. I was hoping to do some sort of self - study in topics that I have not ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Causal networks and “local” entanglement

On his Opus Maximus, a new kind of Science, Stephen Wolfram suggests that causal networks can create behaviour similar to entanglement because the local structure of space is only an averaged ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

High School Physics What to Do [duplicate]

I am an aspiring physicist in high school and I would like to know ways to get involved. Of course, it would look great for potential physics colleges, but I really want to understand physics better. ...
-5
votes
2answers
92 views

Soft question - Why do theoretical physics ? and what is its motivation? [closed]

Okay some background - I am a Theoretical physics graduate student (and i would go even further calling myself a math person) and quite recently I have been into this question and am finding it hard ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

What is the name of basis states of bulk k.p Hamiltonian?

A k.p Hamiltonian for a bulk material can be represented by 8x8 matrix in basis of $|S\uparrow\rangle$, $|S\downarrow\rangle$, $|X\uparrow\rangle$, $|Y\uparrow\rangle$, $|Z\uparrow\rangle$, $|X\...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Notation of integrals

Hi I am relatively new to quantum mechanics. I encountered a certain use of notation which I am curious about, I will provide the context and question now: We have the basis $\{ | \vec{r} \rangle \} ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

How to convert from overtone to harmonics and vice versa?

I was given this question: If the pipe length in a tube is 1.9 m, at the air temperature inside the tube is 28 °C, determine the fundamental frequency of the note played, fourth harmonic and the ...
-1
votes
2answers
94 views

Is electromotive force really a force? [duplicate]

As far the definition goes emf of electromotive force is basically potential difference. It even has dimensions of potential. Then why is it called a force?
3
votes
0answers
134 views

How are these modern, sexy physics figures made? [closed]

I am curious to know how the figures in these popular introductory physics textbooks are made. As examples of what I mean, see the posted figures and my comments, all from various editions of Serway ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

What is beyond Gamma Rays and Radiowaves in the Electromagnetic Spectrum?

The electromagnetic spectrum is commonly refered to as consisting of; Radio-waves, Microwaves, Infrared, Visible Light, Ultraviolet, X-rays, Gamma Rays - of increasing frequency from left to right. ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Quantum teleportation and macroscopic objects

Purely speculative. If not allowed, I'll delete. If quantum teleportation was scalable to macroscopic objects, I assume it would require an amount of matter at the destination, equal to the amount of ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

The scope of physics, as taught in modern times

I am asking this question based on my recent experience as a physics major at a well-known school of science and engineering. My basic question is, Why does the field of physics (at least at an ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

2-D Ising model temperature of equilibrium [duplicate]

I have simulated 2-D Ising model in C#, but my scatter plot for magnetization versus temperature is an decreasing line (you know that the correct plot decreases quickly in a temperature near 2.3). I'...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

What is gate symmetry?

I just read this interesting interview with Frank Wilczek and he talks a couple of times about gate symmetry, without ever defining the term. This isn't a term I've come across, and google throws up ...
-1
votes
1answer
55 views

Sequence of topics for studying quantum theory (Research strategy) [duplicate]

I am trying to learn about the higher level basics of physics. I want to cover up all that is included in particle physics/quantum physics. Now being in high school, I only know partially about ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Self Learning Quantum Mechanics and QFT, how to? [closed]

I've searched the board and several threads were found, but they all were very old and closed. I'm interested in learning and understanding quantum mechanics, after that possibly also QFT. I have ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How to consolidate what you've learned? [closed]

I'm reading through two books right now on the topics on quantum mechanics and particle physics. I'd like to know, how does one generally go back and consolidate what they've learned? There are ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Clear, coherent electromagnetism textbook [duplicate]

I have recently finished a year-long introductory undergraduate course on electromagnetism, but I did not get a very good sense of how everything fits together conceptually. Are there any good ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Water maintains equal level in connected vessels. What is this property called? [closed]

How water maintains same level in connected tubes or vessels? Is this a specific property?
0
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0answers
53 views

Does the analogous saying: “matter is essentially 'condensed' energy” have any merit?

Einstein in his derivation of special relativity came upon the equivalence of energy and matter, and given the right circumstances, the relation can go either way - matter can become energy, and ...
-1
votes
2answers
111 views

Disproving the mathematical universe hypothesis [closed]

The mathematical universe hypothesis is claimed by Lee Smolin to be falsifiable: [...] it is easy to disprove the mathematical-universe hypothesis. Simply exhibit one property of the natural world ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

How are unitary matrices and unitary random matrices associated with physics or quantum mechanics? [closed]

Please forgive my ignorance, my back ground is not physics. I am looking for distance measure between two unitary matrix (for my work). So my starting point is where else unitary matrix is applicable?...