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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0answers
33 views

Can beamer presentation can be used at APS meetings? [on hold]

I am asking this question because I couldn't find the answer in the APS site. Can we use a presentation created with latex beamer at the APS (American Physical Society) meeting?
1
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0answers
20 views

Electron/positron annihilation lines in astrophysics

I have a reasonable understanding of electron/positron annihilation, in that it is a collision between a pair of particles, one matter and one antimatter, that generally produces gamma radiation. ...
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0answers
20 views

Pronunciation of “Luttinger” [on hold]

What is the correct pronunciation of "Luttinger" (Joaquin Mazdak Luttinger). Although he was born and died in New York City, I often hear the German pronunciation (since it's a German name). Can ...
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0answers
6 views

Are there any potential pitfalls of deferring admission to a PhD program? [migrated]

I'm currently in my final year of undergraduate study, and will be applying to physics PhD programs (for condensed matter theory) soon. Without going into details, I am convinced that deferring my ...
1
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1answer
21 views

Simple modelling of seasonal variation of temperature?

I'm really curious about this: What is the simplest (or most simplified) differential equation that accounts for the variations of temperature throughout the year at some point on the northern ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Appearance of the recomposition of a given spectrum? [duplicate]

Given a visible spectrum, i.e. a function from the set of visible wavelengths into the set of intensities, I would like to see the color having this spectrum decomposition. Question: How can I do ...
2
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2answers
55 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 ...
0
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1answer
55 views

Upcoming 'things to watch' in physics [closed]

What are the 'things to watch' in physics happening in the next year or so? E.g. A big astronomical event that happens only every n thousand years, or an experiment in particle physics which will ...
40
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6answers
7k views

What technology can result from such expensive experiment as undertaken in CERN?

I wonder what technology can be obtained from such very expensive experiments/institutes as e.g. undertaken in CERN? I understand that e.g. the discovery of the Higgs Boson confirms our understanding ...
2
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1answer
31 views

Acceleration format and interstellar units

Calculating with m/s$^2$ is very helpful when dealing with acceleration on the human range, as accelerating from rest at 4 m/s$^2$ for 3 seconds will give a velocity of 12 m/s. g is also a very ...
2
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0answers
100 views

Mathematical Prerequisites for QFT [closed]

I am curious about which areas of mathematics one should be comfortable with before learning QFT. I am familiar with the "learn-it-as-you-go" approach often advocated in physics, but would like to ...
0
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1answer
20 views

Mie theory “upper limit”?

I have read most often that objects experimented with in Mie theory are on a scale not much larger than the incident wavelength (usually a fiber of diameter $5$ microns with an incident wavelength of ...
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0answers
26 views

Resources on Solar Neutrino Physics

For a project I'm doing for an introductory Astrophysics course, I'm trying to understand the nuances of solar neutrino physics. However, most of what is said while explaining neutrino oscillations ...
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4answers
43 views

Can the term «shadow» pertain to anything else than light? [closed]

Can the term shadow pertain to anything else than light? Feel free to interpret this question in the widest sense possible.
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3answers
63 views

The study of the physical universe [closed]

If physics is the study of the physical universe, wouldn't that mean chemistry, biology, neuroscience, zoology, history, economics, sociology, etc, wouldn't they all be subfields of physics? I believe ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Really Struggling in electronics. What to do? [closed]

This is my first post so please go easy on me. Okay. Let me introduce myself. I am a first year undergrad CS student who has to study basic electronic course for one semester. As the title says, I am ...
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0answers
31 views

Doing theoretical physics after an engineering major? [closed]

Some background: I'm majoring in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering, but I want to pursue theoretical physics. I'm currently In my second year of undergrad engineering. I attend some physics ...
1
vote
1answer
85 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
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1answer
476 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.
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9answers
187 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?
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2answers
65 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 ...
15
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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
72 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" ...
2
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2answers
56 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 ...
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votes
2answers
39 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
69 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
312 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, ...
3
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2answers
136 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 sense English usage)? (2) If not ...
22
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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
43 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
204 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
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0answers
133 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
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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
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2answers
70 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
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1answer
38 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.
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0answers
61 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
47 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
610 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
54 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
72 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
50 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
81 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
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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
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2answers
87 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
156 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. ...
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0answers
79 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
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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 ...