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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-7
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1answer
191 views

Why search for theoretical particle? [closed]

Just out of curiosity, is there any special purpose in human life, the search for some theoretical particle for its uncertain benefit, to prove theory of everything which doesn't serve any advancement ...
9
votes
3answers
169 views

What do the various journals and publications bodies offer for their subscriptions? [closed]

I would like to abide by the site policies on not asking open-ended/chatty questions so if someone feels there is a better location or wording for this question, please feel free to modify it as ...
0
votes
1answer
217 views

Is reflection just a particular case of scattering?

I was talking to a colleague about optical scattering from a metallic nanoparticle, and we had a very simple doubt. If you have a particle that's small compared to the illuminated area, you can use ...
0
votes
1answer
480 views

What experiment would show water and ice to be the same thing without transitioning one to another?

Yes, they are different phases of the same thing, but suppose a scenario where the ice must remain solid and water must stay in it's the liquid form. This is more of a philosophical question than a ...
4
votes
2answers
104 views

What videos should everyone watch?

Similar to this cstheory question "What videos should everyone watch?" What conferences, workshops or lectures have recordings that researchers in theoretical physics should watch?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do formulas get figured out?

Many of the formulas I learn in school are derived from more basic formulas — as long you your math is right and assuming the more basic formulas you used are correct, you are bound to get to a ...
2
votes
2answers
945 views

Who first realized the uncertainty principle allows for virtual particle pair production?

For all I've read about Quantum Field Theory I've never seen the concept of the living vacuum accredited to someone in particular. Given the importance of this very application of the uncertainty ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Is PHD in Theoretical Physics(Quantum Mechanics) on my own possible? [closed]

Do you think it is possible to earn a PHD degree in Theoretical Physics on your own? I have a M. Sc. in Applied Computer Science but I really want to go in the direction of Physics. Is there a way one ...
1
vote
4answers
889 views

Why is geometry mathematics and not physics? [closed]

This has always bothered me: it would seem that the concept of Euclidean space and real numbers themselves arose out of necessity for describing the physical universe that we live in. Mathematics, on ...
12
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9answers
976 views

What objective criteria distinguish between valid science, fringe science and pseudoscience in physics?

Plenty of research activity in physics have been vigorously opposed by their opponents as pseudoscience or fringe science, while other research are mainstream. It is possible some topic is ...
1
vote
2answers
628 views

Length of publication cycle for peer-reviewed journals [closed]

Is there any data of the expected length of publication cycle with respect to different peer-reviewed journals in theoretical physics? I know that the length depends on many things, including the ...
16
votes
5answers
37k views

What is the math knowledge necessary for starting Quantum Mechanics?

Could someone experienced in the field tell me what the minimal math knowledge one must obtain in order to grasp the introductory Quantum Mechanics book/course? I do have math knowledge but I must ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Use of advanced mathematics in astronomy, like topology, abstract algebra, or others

I know that topology, abstract algebra, K-theory, Riemannian geometry and others, can be used in physics. Are some of these areas used in astronomy, and are some astronomical theories based on them? ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

For a theoretical (not mathematical) physicist, is there a need to learn pure mathematics?

For a theoretical physicist (not a mathematical physicist), is there a need to learn pure mathematics ?
1
vote
1answer
281 views

Are there any good audio recordings of educational physics material?

I am studying to return to school in physics and would like to start spending as much time as possible on that task. Most of my small amount of free time, however, I am either doing house work or ...
4
votes
3answers
362 views

returning to physics research?

What the the most realistic and practical ways for a PhD in physics who has left the fold to return to a career of research in physics? The traditional employer of choice, universities won't hire such ...
2
votes
3answers
43 views

Where can I find a list of when I can see something in the sky?

My son is very keen on Astronomy but I don't know when there are meteor showers or something else that would be worth going out to the country to see. Last year we went to see a meteor shower, but I ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Proofs that every professional physicist should know

There's been a lot of questions about books that every physicist should read, or what are the most important papers in physics. I would say there are also proofs in physics that have that wow factor ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

Can particle physics be represented as an algebra?

Possibly the most useful thing anyone could tell me about particle physics: Naively, one could try and make an algebra by enumerating all the types of particles and defining equivalence relationships ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Why don't experimental physics groups have statisticians in it?

Perhaps someone can clear up a bit a cognitive dissonance I am experiencing. Pollsters are under constant scrutiny of statisticians for even the most mundane of survey topics. With so much riding on ...
1
vote
2answers
947 views

What is a good introductory text to astronomy [closed]

What is a good and easy to read introductory text for an adult with limited basic scientific knowledge to astronomy for someone without a telescope and lives in a big city and why do you think that ...
5
votes
1answer
506 views

Chance of “macro tunneling”?

We know that subatomic particles can and do tunnel through barriers, so it is theoretically "possible" somewhat that a grain of sand could tunnel through a paper, but Id like to get some perspective ...
5
votes
5answers
419 views

Which subjects in physics should I choose if I want to help tackling today's energy and environment related problems? [closed]

I was wondering what subjects a freshman in mathematics ought to choose in the future if s/he wanted to help working on energy and environment-related issues we are currently facing, and will very ...
4
votes
4answers
9k views

What is a correct and simple definition of quantum physics?

Is it correct to define Quantum Physics as the study of Physics in sub-atomic scale? Does Quantum Physics studies something else other than sub-atomic phenomena? This may be a very stupid question ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

How to write a paper in physics?

I really like to do research in physics and like to calculate to see what happen. However, I really find it hard to write a paper, to explain the results I obtained and to put them in order. One of ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Graduate School for Theoretical Physics [closed]

First off, let me just say that I am unsure if this question is appropriate for this site, and if the community deems it necessary, the question should be closed. So right now I am a fourth year ...
-1
votes
2answers
139 views

Telescope “blue book” [closed]

I have a telescope that I may be in the market to sell in the near future and am wondering if there is a good source to find its value in the used market. Although it's never been out of the box, it ...
2
votes
1answer
296 views

Extra help in Optics

I am in an optics class, and we are using the text "Introduction to Optics" third edition by Pedrotti. The book is completely useless in the course. The questions in the review section of the chapter ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Did physical models of galaxies come before they were actually observed?

Black holes were first predicted by astrophysics, then observed. Was the existence of galaxies first predicted by astrophysics, or first observed by astronomers?
4
votes
2answers
226 views

Physics talk with an emphasis on Mathematics [closed]

I have to give a 10 minute physics talk that have to involve a fair bit of mathematics -- i.e. not just qualitative/handwaving material to some undergrads. I have wasted the last 3 hours looking for ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

What is the importance of studying degeneration on $M_g$

Let $M_g$ be the moduli space of smooth curves of genus $g$. Let $\overline{M_g}$ be its compactification; the moduli space of stable curves of genus $g$. It seems to be important in physics to study ...
9
votes
5answers
438 views

Where do theta functions and canonical Green functions appear in physics

In the beginning of Section 5 in his article, Wentworth mentions a result of Bost and proves it using the spin-1 bosonization formula. This result provides a link between theta functions, canonical ...
0
votes
2answers
519 views

Inertial and non inertial frames of references

I've heard from a physics professor that there's no stationary platform to observe and analyze a body in motion.Why did he mention that? Is it because even seemingly stationary objects like a parked ...
15
votes
7answers
12k views

What does it take to understand Maxwell's equations?

Assume I want to learn math and physics enough to reach a level where I understand Maxwell's equations (The terms and reasoning in the equations I.e. why they "work"). What would I have to learn in ...
4
votes
1answer
27 views

What demonstrations for a five-hour optical and radio astronomy workshop? [closed]

I volunteer at a group that has restored the oldest German radio telescope. We are now at a point where we want to invite interested amateur astronomers and school children to workshops. I'm currently ...
2
votes
4answers
474 views

Laws of Atomic Theory - how is this possible? [duplicate]

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but how is it possible to have laws of a theory? A theory is not able to be a law, since it's just an explanation that can always be disproven. So how is ...
7
votes
1answer
721 views

The bar tender says we don't serve Tachyons around here?

What's the physics behind this joke?
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Probablistic problems in physics?

So I have an opportunity to do math research with a probabilist. I would like to propose to him a project that relates to physics, as it would be a good way to learn about another field. What are some ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?

I recently co-authored a paper (not online yet unfortunately) with some chemists that essentially provided answers to the question, "What do chemists need from computer scientists?" This included the ...
21
votes
2answers
398 views

Post-doc advice for a low publication grad student

As a grad student, I have a single publication, a conference proceeding, to my name. So, my question is what do I need to do to obtain a post-doc position? Obviously, my references are going to be ...
3
votes
1answer
722 views

Are the collected papers of A. Einstein, entirely translated into English?

I need some Einstein's papers translated into English. There is one complete collection of his papers but only a few of them have been translated in English. The rest are in their original language -- ...
2
votes
3answers
29k views

Uses of vectors in real life [closed]

I always wonder how vectors are used in real life.Vectors and decomposition of vectors,dot and cross products are taught in the early stage in every undergraduate physics course and in every ...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

How to calculate 2D soft-body Physics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 2d soft body physics mathematics The definition of rigid body in Box2d is A chunk of matter that is so strong that the distance between any two bits of matter on ...
5
votes
4answers
607 views

Why isn't V. A. Fabricant given the credit for the discovery of the laser?

In another question here I asked for help in finding old Russian papers in physics and as an example I gave the founding papers on the laser by Basov and Prokhorov (from 1945 and 1954). In an answer ...
11
votes
2answers
516 views

Old Russian Physics Papers?

Where can one find old Russian scientific papers in physics, say, in the Proceedings of the Russian Academy of Sciences or Zhurnal Eksperimentalnoy i Teoreticheskoy Fiziki? Can they be found online ...
5
votes
1answer
471 views

How and why will the Milky way collide with the Andromeda?

Hubble's law says that the universe is expanding.How come the milky way and the andromeda are on a collision course?How will they end up colliding with each other?
3
votes
3answers
196 views

What widely recognized organizations set standards used by physics?

I recently answered a question about the meaning of the word "dimension" as used in physics. In that response, I provided the definition given in the International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM) and ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Natural phenomenon which inspired science? [closed]

I'm looking for a list of natural phenomenon which inspired science and technology like how bat inspired the radar concept....Any idea ? Thx for helping, Stephane
2
votes
0answers
218 views

false false beliefs in physics [closed]

Reading Common false beliefs in Physics I feel that there are also "fake false beliefs", ie, that the "false belief" does not actually exists, it is a rhetorical argument or just a basis for ...
30
votes
8answers
29k views

What are the prerequisites to studying general relativity? [closed]

This question recently appeared on Slashdot: Slashdot posts a fair number of physics stories. Many of us, myself included, don't have the background to understand them. So I'd like to ask the ...