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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1
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0answers
41 views

Why are some variables summed infinitesimally and others aren't?

This is something that has been bothering me and I hope the title kind of makes sense. It may be a stupid question but please be gentle. My question is, let's say we have current: $$I=\frac{dq}{dt}$$ ...
4
votes
1answer
452 views

What is the meaning of this “let there be light” joke?

A middle school teacher across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it.
1
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9answers
167 views

Can I throw a stone through my window without breaking the glass?

As far as I know, most of an atom is vacuum. Therefore, in theory, would it be possible for me to throw a tiny stone through my window without breaking it because no matter actually collides?
-5
votes
0answers
42 views

Metaphysics and spacial dimensions [closed]

I'm a philosopher, not a physicist, I've done reading into a lot of disciplines, and have came to a theory that 'perception' (perception isn't such a good word 'cause it implies man) must be the first ...
-2
votes
2answers
63 views

Is the physical design of the human beings the best possible? [closed]

The stature and design of the human body. Is it possible that the best physical structure belongs to a human being? If not. What are the flaws in it and what improvements could be done? Is there ...
-1
votes
0answers
19 views

Chemical physics- recommended undergrad classes [closed]

I would like to inquire which classes I should take from specifically the physics department to aid in computational (possibly) chemical physics. I was thinking intro to condensed matter physics, ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Why should any physicist know, to some degree, experimental physics?

I've been trying to design a list with reasons why a proper theoretical physicist should understand the methods and the difficulty of doing experimental physics. So far I've only thought of two ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

The Thermodynamic Limit of Quantum Statistical Mechanics & Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory [closed]

The philosopher of physics Laura Reutsche argues in her book Interpreting Quantum Theories (review/summary here: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/9493/1/ruetsche-review.pdf ) that a "pristine" ...
0
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0answers
44 views

Does having a masters from Middle East Technical University in Turkey better or the American University in Cairo? [closed]

I graduated from the American University in Cairo with an Electrical Engineering Bachelor's degree with highest honors. I already applied for the Physics program in there and I am almost definite that ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Quantifier problems of equations in physics

Equations in physics are often written without quantifiers. For instance, from time to time we can see the equation $$E = mc^2$$ is casually written down. I am wondering shouldn't it be written ...
-2
votes
2answers
34 views

Ideas for high school physics paper, including simulations [closed]

I have to write, with two friends, a simulation based physics paper at school. The problem is, that will I am quite familiar with the concepts of calculus and algebra, my friends aren't. So, we could ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Norsk Hydro and heavy water - what was the perceived threat?

Through various raids and acts of sabotage during WWII, the Allies succeeded in preventing Germany from coming into possession of large quantities of heavy water produced by the Norsk Hydro plant in ...
1
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5answers
283 views

Physical applications of matrices and determinants

Other than notation devices, I don't see any direct application of matrices/determinants in physics. For example, they are just a different way to write a partial derivative and determinants find if ...
0
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0answers
36 views

Im a high school finisher and I want to understand Physics theories [duplicate]

I have finished my A Levels (UK high school exam) , and I have studied Further Mathematics, Mathematics, and Physics in high school. I am really interested in learning about theories of Einstein, ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Lexical/ontological/semantic knowledge base for physics

(1) Are there lexical/semantic knowledge bases for physics that can be used for automated reasoning and AI (like Princeton's Wordnet and MIT's Conceptnet for common English usage)? (2) If not in ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

Are there two theories that are mathematically identical but ontologically different?

I have no background in physics but there is a question that has been bothering me, so I'm asking you. Are there at least 2 physical theories that are : Mathematically identical, which means that ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

How can a biochemist become a physicist? [closed]

I am currently 22 years old, I graduated in Biochemistry and am now finishing my Master's in Bioengineering and Nanosystems, both with high grades. I've been thinking of leaving life sciences since ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

List of the most fundamental equations of all Physics [closed]

On chapter 18 of "The Feynman Lectures on Physics Volume II: Mainly Electromagnetism and Matter", Richard Feynman presents a table which he says has "all that was known of fundamental classical ...
1
vote
0answers
127 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is 'amp' a technically invalid term?

I've been told to use the term ampere in exams and class (I'm in high school), instead of amp as it's not a valid unit, although I've been using the amp for years along with all of my friends who do ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Rectifying incomplete popular notions in cosmology

In looking at the answers to this question regarding light from distant galaxies ever being visible to us: Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us? I came across a ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Conversion of energy to matter or antimatter?

We all know that matter converts into energy, but will energy convert into matter? Does it form antimatter by converting? Illustrate me with example.
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Is mechanics needed in order to learn electromagnetism? [closed]

I'm a college student who wants to learn physics. I want to get started with electromagnetism as soon as possible. Is it okay to skip over mechanics, or is mechanics a big requirement before starting ...
1
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0answers
43 views

point-particle vs rigid-body [closed]

As pointed out here point-particle-based modeling can lead to very inaccurate predictions. Could you give an example where point-particle-based model describes reality accurately enough and one where ...
1
vote
0answers
606 views

Physicists: Why do mathematicians insist on doing mathematics in a vaccuum and how do you deal with it [closed]

I'm trying to learn the theory of wavelet transform, a concept which is supposedly filled with enormous physical intuition, diagrams, pictures, things with physical analogies...but after 30 pages of ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

How you call the constant $\alpha$ within the heat equation in general and in terms of electromagnetism?

The heat equation or diffusion equation does contain a constant $\alpha$. $$\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} - \alpha \nabla^2 u=0$$ How is it called? I'm interested in a general name which can be ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Does supercavitation create vacuum?

While reading the amazing things that the mantis shrimp can do, such as moving two of their limbs so quickly that the water around them 'supercavitates', a friend of mine told me that those limbs were ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Amateur thoughts on QM theory at celestial scale

Some amateur scientist asked me that why can't one just simply apply the entire theory of QM at atomic scale to "quantize" celestial system with a different choice of $\hslash$, which he believed can ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

Is the second law of thermodynamics a real law? [duplicate]

Everytime I ask people why the second law of thermodynamics is true, they say because the probability of entropy increasing is very large. This for some reason doesn't seem right for me. Just because ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

What is the performance of a silicon crystal that makes it an essential component to computing

I'm on a thread of interest in the precise physics that allow the creation of the computing process. It began as a question posted in search of an understandable explanation of what physical form ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Why aren't units with powers, like cm³, surrounded by parentheses?

Since $\renewcommand{\unit}[1]{\,\mathrm{#1}} 1\unit{dm} = 10^{-1}\unit{m}$, it follows that $1\unit{dm^3} = 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \unit{m^3} = 10^{-3} \unit{m^3}$. However, in ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle?

Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle? The principle is often quoted in counting the number of zero energy states localized on the interface between two insulators with distinct band ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

In general, could any ad-hoc relationship of constants be useful?

In general; if one creates an ad-hoc relationship of constants, can we use it to solve equations OR is it just an abstract/artificial math construct? I'm a grad student and as we all know, these ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Why does smashing a TV remote load its batteries?

Many times I had the same problem: my TV remote's batteries were too weak for it to operate, but then, when I shook the remote a bit and smashed it on my palm, somehow the remote regained its ability. ...
1
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0answers
73 views

How should a math undergrad student prepare himself to study GR and QM? [duplicate]

I'm quite sure that similar questions like this have been asked for more than thousands of times on here but since each person's background and interests are unique I believe questions like this ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Are there any applications of elementary number theory to science? [duplicate]

I've taken a class on elementary number theory (for fun), but now I wonder: was it at all useful to learn number theory for my future career in physics? More to the point, are there any applications ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Why the original BB84 paper “Quantum cryptography: Public key distribution and coin tossing” has 'withdrawn' status?

The original paper proposing quantum key distribution protocol (now known as BB84): Charles H. Bennett, Gilles Brassard, Quantum cryptography: Public key distribution and coin tossing seems to ...
3
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4answers
449 views

In which field of mathematics do I learn path integrals?

I don't mean line integrals, I am talking about path integrals or functional integrals like the ones that Feynman introduced to quantum mechanics. And what are the prerequisites to this field of ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Changing from potential to kinetic energy

During a conversation with a friend, I began to wonder if there's is a term for the transformation of potential energy to kinetic energy, and vice versa.Is there a term for the process of converting ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Doing numerics in physics [closed]

Soon, I am going to write my master thesis in theoretical physics. I assume there, and later on in my career, I will have to do more serious numerics than I did up to this point. That's why I want to ...
6
votes
1answer
362 views

BBC radiation: What is it?

I'm reading articles about blazars, and in a discussion about models concerning Blazar SEDs (Spectral Energy Densities) there are mentions of different processes: Sychrotron scattering, inverse ...
0
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1answer
70 views
1
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0answers
45 views

On becoming theoretical physicist [duplicate]

I'm a high school student. I'll start self learning of physics and maths. I want to be theoretical physicist. I'm especially interested in gravitational physics. I wonder which website advice below is ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Required skills for a scientist [duplicate]

I wanna become a scientist, so wanna improve my skill like problem solving etc. Could you suggest me some more skills which I need to improve.
2
votes
3answers
83 views

Drake's equation

Some years ago i read about this equation that helps us estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. Now, i am wondering if there are results ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

How do I develop a deeper understanding of physics? [closed]

I'm thinking about majoring in physics, but I don't think my background is really strong at the moment. I've completed the standard first year math and physics sequence (multivariable ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Is it possible to do a PhD in theoretical physics after a BSc in Mathematics [closed]

I would like to ask if it is useful to have a solid maths background (but only 2 courses of "general physics" and 2 of "mathematical physics") as BSc in order to be a successful researcher in ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

Most useful maths for theoretical and mathematical physics [closed]

I am going to apply for a programme of mathematical and theoretical physics for graduate studies and I'm currently studying maths. What is a good area to do a thesis (that is to say, considerable ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Is there a name for a substance that is a gas at room temperature?

Is there a name for a substance that is a gas at room temperature, such as Hydrogen, Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Chlorine, Fluorine, Bromine, Nitrogen, and Oxygen. I am writing a paper where ...
5
votes
4answers
459 views

How does the research in theoretical physics differ from mathematics

I would like to know what is the difference between research in theoretical physics and pure mathematics. In particular, what does a theoretical physicist actually do all day long for his research? In ...