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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4
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3answers
355 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
42 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
292 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
809 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
478 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
418 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
8k 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 ...
32
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

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
132 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
282 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
49 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
402 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
508 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
11k 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
472 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
695 views

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

What's the physics behind this joke?
2
votes
1answer
183 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 ...
19
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
390 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
695 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
27k 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
592 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
489 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
448 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
194 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
213 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
25k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
509 views

“Seeing” the solution

I often hear people say that so-and-so [some famous physicist] can see the solution without calculation. What exactly does this mean? Is it an intuition? But how does one have intuition when it comes ...
3
votes
2answers
885 views

References for real life applications on advanced EM

For EM (freshman level physics) and advanced EM (Junior/Senior level) to help students appreciate the material, I am looking for books/websites that contain: 1-applications of electricity and ...
6
votes
2answers
879 views

Prerequisites to start the study of noncommutative geometry in physics

What are prerequisites (in mathematics and physics), that one should know about for getting into use of ideas from noncommutative geometry in physics?
2
votes
1answer
79 views

What interpretive difference is there between defining a function with or without a differential as a postfactor?

I have thought about this and looked for answers for a long time now, but I do not have any name or label for this problem, which is the reason for the long title of this question. I have come across ...
2
votes
6answers
75 views

Amateur Stargazing (30 degrees N)

When I look at the sky I easily recognize Orion, The Big Dipper, and the North Star (in relation to the Big Dipper). Besides these (and the moon^^), what easily identifiable (unaided eye) astronomical ...
5
votes
7answers
410 views

Embrace Physics

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is a good topic for a short talk on theoretical physics to a bunch of Math and Physics undergrads that might make them "embrace" theoretical physics? ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Physics Equations for Grad School / Physics GRE Prep

Motivation for asking question: I am planning to take the GRE subject test for Physics. Question: Can somebody please tell me what are the most important equations I should definitely know and ...
4
votes
2answers
477 views

How to calculate the highest theoretical artificial hill?

The biggest peak in the world is Mount Everest. Imagine someone starting to make an artificial hill (like pyramide) from soil (earth). So, when starting with an 200x200 Km base area, with 45degree ...
0
votes
2answers
303 views

Next crescent moon?

How do I find the date of next crescent moon on Wolframalpha or any other site which tells the appearance date time of next crescent on a specific location? I am searching for it to look for 1st of ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

Did classical applications of density functional theory precede its use as an electronic structure method?

Density Functional Theory (DFT) is usually considered an electronic structure method, however a paper by Argaman and Makov highlights the applicability of the DFT formalism to classical systems, such ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Possible career paths [closed]

I currently hold a Bachelors in Computer Science and a Minor in Physics. As far as that goes, I've taken courses in the basic things (University Physics 1 and 2), Thermodynamics, Circuitry and Modern ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

How useful is programming in physics? [closed]

I have been wondering recently how useful programming is to a physicist. It seems fairly useful (simulations are a lot cheaper than the actual thing in many cases) in some areas (say space programs), ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

Which citizen-science astrophysics and astronomy projects currently exist?

Most of you probably know of Galaxy Zoo, a citizen-science project to classify galaxies with help of untrained hobby-researchers. In mathematics, the Polymath Project is well known for its success. ...
8
votes
2answers
248 views

Funding opportunities for an independent researcher

In one of my questions I asked about the career paths to become a professional astronomer. Now let's consider the next logical step. What if a person has gained his/her PhD in Astronomy and had an ...
4
votes
4answers
452 views

'Getting in' to research physics?

I'm going to be choosing a university course soon, and I want to go into a branch of physics. A dream job for me would be to work in research, however, I do realise that this isn't for everyone and is ...