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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5answers
2k views

Recommended progression with which to learn physics for fun

I enjoy reading up on new topics in physics and astronomy, and learning the concepts and ideas in the major theories, like relativity and quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, one thing that I lack ...
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4answers
776 views

Why do Engineers manipulate coordinate systems? [closed]

When tackling a physics problem, An Engineer will manipulate the axes/coordinate system where a Mathematicians and/or Physicists will use the original coordinate system and math. Why do Engineers ...
1
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0answers
458 views

errata for Morse & Feshbach - Methods of Theoretical Physics [closed]

Anyone knows where I can find an errata (or any related material, such as solution sheets, etc) for this book? Thanks. Note: This is not a physics question, but this book is so popular among ...
12
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4answers
902 views

What does it mean to say that the electron is a near-perfect sphere?

It's announced that researchers at Imperial College London has found that the electron is almost a perfect sphere. The popular articles all have a nice photo of a billiard ball, etc. It is reported ...
3
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0answers
194 views

What is the role of metaphysics in physics? [closed]

Newton's work was related to Enlightenment philosophy. Einstein was influenced by Mach. The founders of quantum mechanics had strong philosophical opinions. What is the role of metaphysics in the ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What programming languages would be helpful for a physicist to know? [closed]

From the vantage point of a physicist and the kind of problems he would like a computer program to solve, what are the essential programming languages that a physicist should know. I know C++ and I ...
0
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1answer
200 views

My computer turns on when it “sees” me [closed]

Before asking, I swear that, for how it may seem strange, this is all true. Very briefly, when my pc is off and I am near it, it turns on. I do not touch anything. Nobody else have the same effect. I ...
1
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0answers
214 views

Physics breakthroughs in the last two decades [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the most important discoveries/breakthroughs in physics recently? The last two decades have seen significant advances in mathematics, where long standing ...
0
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1answer
760 views

Famous physicists' quotations [closed]

I recently watched Sydney Coleman's 'Quantum Mechanics In Your Face,' and very much enjoyed it. (Highly recommended.) In it, Professor Coleman quotes a very clever comment by a philosopher called ...
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2answers
305 views

Any resources to learn how to interpret formulae/diagrams?

Are there any materials exploring intermediate levels (of any sub-subject) which give plain English descriptions along side formulas/equations//diagrams/notations?
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9answers
3k views

Should I begin to study quantum mechanics or wait until I have a stronger base on easier topics? [closed]

I apologize if this is off topic since it does not relate directly to the study of physics, but I could not think of a better place to ask. I am a high school student graduating in a few days and ...
7
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3answers
394 views

Feedback on the paper, 'CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM' by V. G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose [closed]

Ref: CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM To all cosmology / theoretical physics / related or similar researchers and academics, Are there some updates concerning the issue of ...
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3answers
2k views

A professional physics career without a degree?

I learned programming as a child, for fun. Now I am working as a programmer, even though I got a business major degree. I wonder if there are career paths for doing physics other than becoming a ...
4
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2answers
450 views

In what order should the subjects be studied in order to get to String Theory [duplicate]

I know: Quantum Mechanics (Griffiths Level, currently doing Sakurai Level) Mechanics (Newtonian+ Lagrangian/Hamiltonian but at level lower than Goldstein/Landau) Classical Electrodynamics ...
2
votes
1answer
549 views

What is the mathematical nature of space time quantization in string theory/super string theory?

I don't know much about string theory, apart from it being a theory of everything which brings QM, QED and nuclear forces and gravity under one single roof. I am curious to know from a mathematical ...
10
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8answers
12k views

Which Mechanics book is the best for beginner in math major?

I'm a bachelor student majoring in math, and pretty interested in physics. I would like a book to study for classical mechanics, that will prepare me to work through Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. ...
15
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4answers
3k views

What are the best open-access journals in physics?

I would like to support open-access journals by choosing to publish in journals which allow readers free online access. Ideally I would also like to retain copyright instead of signing it over to ...
4
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3answers
513 views

The Superconducting Super Collider: what went wrong?

The Superconducting Super Collider was famously cancelled in 1993 after running enormously over budget. According to the wikipedia page: During the design and the first construction stage, a ...
4
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1answer
535 views

Do Sears Physics and Berkeley Physics Series provide intuition? [closed]

I'm freshman of Math major, because we don't have any physics course. But I'm very interested in Physics. But I'm not very sure which is better or say, more suitable for me. Sears and Zemansky's ...
1
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2answers
545 views

Give me examples of crackpots who were right after all [closed]

I am interested in examples of crackpots coming up with correct results in physics. Why do mainstream physicists look down so much upon "crackpots"?
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2answers
232 views

The future of particle physics [closed]

Eventually, we are going to reach our limits in particle physics, or maybe find the theory of everything. Particle physics isn't easy by any means. It requires at the minimum years of graduate school ...
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4answers
951 views

Who works professionally on reformulation of QFT?

P. Dirac was worried with the infinities and their discarding in QED. He wanted us to reformulate the theory in order to eliminate infinities and renormalizations from the very beginning. Is there ...
0
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1answer
701 views

Can you give me some examples of recreational physics? [closed]

Can you give me some examples of recreational physics? Thx
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2answers
8k views

Is there a good Modern English translation of Newton's “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” available for free viewing or download?

I have found several nice versions available for purchase, but all of the free ones are either Latin, old English, or pixellated. I searched google and was only able to locate the free ones linked to ...
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0answers
227 views

Is the conclusion that the cosmic burst observed in the Draco constellation from gamma rays that are streaming towards a massive black hole correct?

Referencing this news article: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/cosmic-burst-in-far-away-galaxy-puzzles-nasa-20110408-1d6kz.html It also references an event id: (GRB) 110328A The article ...
8
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5answers
224 views

How to communicate institutional knowledge in a big physics collaboration?

I am a graduate student in a large experimental physics collaboration. Newcomers to the collaboration invariably complain about excessive use of jargon and insufficient documentation as barriers to ...
13
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5answers
726 views

Online physics collaboration tools

I.e. online discussion with your friends. A forum is probably too overkill in this case. Yet so far nothing can beat direct communication. Important feature: the ability to archive discussions. We ...
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2answers
231 views

How to find 'good' literature on a phenomenon?

With this being a potentially subjective question I know I'm threading on thin ice, but this is an actual "physics" problem I face from time to time: The situation is this: I hear about some ...
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1answer
1k views

How to validate a new physics theory and keep the credit for it [closed]

For the last few years, My friend worked on figuring out the "theory of everything". She is afraid of sharing her theory with well known physicists, because she doesn't want other people to take ...
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3answers
590 views

Where can I find pirated copies of journals? [closed]

As you all know, journal subscriptions are extremely expensive, and many colleges and libraries don't subscribe to them. Many important articles aren't available on the preprint server arxiv. My ...
6
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6answers
2k views

List of physics paradoxes [closed]

What are some important examples of paradoxes in physics which are still currently unresolved?
8
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5answers
703 views

How would I go about detecting monopoles?

A question needed for a "solid" sci-fi author: How to detect a strong magnetic monopole? (yes, I know no such thing is to be found on Earth). Think of basic construction details, principles of ...
6
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4answers
557 views

Going Beyond Introductory Physics [closed]

Due to certain reasons, I don't have the chance for going to college for under-graduation, but that doesn't mean I can't choose to walk the hard path and learn. Over the past month or so a lot of ...
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8answers
2k views

Is it possible to work on physics independently outside academia?

The traditional physics career is an academic job at some university, with the eventual goal of becoming a tenured professor. Is it possible for a mostly self-educated outsider working outside ...
2
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0answers
231 views

Is there any reason to major in physics if you're certain you will never do a Ph.D? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What sort of jobs do physics graduates with B.Sc/M.Sc get? I've been told over and over again..."I would not major in physics unless you are looking to get a Ph.D." What ...
7
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0answers
555 views

Julian Schwinger videos, is there any? [closed]

I googled in vain and found nothing. I am surprised. Maybe somebody knows about videos of Julian Schwinger available on Internet?
4
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4answers
762 views

Is it possible to restart formal higher education in physics at a later age? [closed]

I would begin by apologizing for a soft question. Reading the FAQ, I have tried to formulate my question precisely in the last paragraph and you may skip the following paragraph where I make ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Is it Possible to Determine Radiation Levels Using Satelites?

Given recent events in Japan, this got me wondering. Is it possible to determine radiation levels reliably not having Geiger counters near the possible radiation contaminated zone? According to ...
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5answers
1k views

Uses of the 'Golden Ratio' in Physics

What are some physics applications of the golden ratio? $$\varphi~=~ \frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}~\approx~ 1.6180339887\ldots$$ Does it ever function specifically as a constant in any formulas or theorems? ...
4
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6answers
3k views

Are Zeppelins still not feasible?

As far as i know Zeppelins were abandoned because they were not safe, back in time. Is it still the case in 2011 though? In my opinion it is more economical to operate a Zeppelin than a plane and they ...
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3answers
569 views

What are the modern marvels in Physics that seem crazy but true? [closed]

What are the modern marvels in Physics which are crazy but true? Ideas which are ridiculed and dismissed in the beginning but passed the test of time?
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3answers
1k views

How to write units?

In a scientific article, should I write "3m", "3 m", "3 meters", or "3 [meters]" ?
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3answers
1k views

What sort of jobs do physics graduates with B.Sc/M.Sc get? [closed]

I've been told that in countries like Israel the truth of the matter is that the only available work for B.Sc./M.Sc. in physics/math is only to be high school teacher. To do serious stuff you need to ...
4
votes
2answers
160 views

Knotted token-ring network

Suppose we have a rigid token-ring network. An observer at any node can seemingly determine the angular momentum of the network by measuring the time it takes for a packet to travel around the ring ...
1
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2answers
339 views

What happens to internal energy in high-density materials?

Normal-density materials have internal energy, which is the sum of the average energies associated to each of the degrees of freedom. Degrees of freedom can be described as vibrational, translational, ...
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3answers
479 views

Should physicists abandon Popperian falsification criterion? [closed]

Many of the most brilliant ideas of modern physics are very much unpopperian. In view of this, it has become more and more difficult to hold an orthodox Popperian attitude in physics. It simply looks ...
4
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5answers
901 views

Laws and theories

What is a physical law, a theory, and what is the relationship among them? I know this is a very basic question, so any reference to epistemology will be greatly appreciated :)
17
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6answers
4k views

Where should a physicist go to learn chemistry?

I took an introductory chemistry course long ago, but the rules seemed arbitrary, and I've forgotten most of what I learned. Now that I have an undergraduate education in physics, I should be able to ...
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15answers
9k views

Comprehensive book on group theory for physicists?

I am looking for a good source on group theory aimed at physicists. I'd prefer one with a good general introduction to group theory, not just focusing on Lie groups or crystal groups but one that ...
21
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8answers
4k views

Starting a physics Ph.D. at 60?

Decades ago I was in a physics Ph.D. program, made a hash of things, and quite rightly was dropped from the program. Since then I've had a very satisfying career as a computer programmer, and picked ...