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
votes
3answers
520 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
911 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
935 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
83 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
80 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
413 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
510 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
313 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
210 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
138 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
6k 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
109 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
269 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
465 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
370 views

Has a human ever perished in space?

Apollo 13 returned safely. The Challenger was leaving when it exploded. The Columbia was coming back when it burned up, as was that Russian guy who was profiled on National Public Radio (NPR) and that ...
0
votes
2answers
303 views

Physics Equivalent of Physical Chemistry (P-Chem) [closed]

Before I take P-Chem I would like to understand how physicists view the same material. What Physics course(s) should I take and/or books should I read to learn the same material from a physicist's ...
7
votes
3answers
105 views

Do days and months on the Moon have names?

On Earth we have various calendars, for example, Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., etc. Months: January, February, March Does the Moon have names for its "daily" rotations, etc.? It sounds ...
5
votes
2answers
266 views

Advice sought on choosing a camera for a Meade LX10

I have a Meade LX10 and have never done any astrophotography (except with some computerised SBIG ST9s on my university's LX200s). I would like to get started at home, but could do with some advice on ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Study of exoplanets reaching saturation point [closed]

In recent exoplanet meeting The Next 40 Years of Exoplanets, it was mentioned a few times that the field/topic is becoming saturated. In what ways is it becoming saturated, and can you see the effect ...
0
votes
2answers
381 views

How is an arbitrary operator usually denoted in quantum mechanics?

Which symbols are usually used to denote an arbitrary operator in quantum mechanics, such as O in the following example? $O \mbox{ is Hermitian} \Leftrightarrow \Im{\left< O \right>} = 0$
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Popular books on QM

After some discussions with my friend about some "popular" aspects of quantum mechanics, my friend asked me whether there exist any books that could convey the basic ideas in a non-technical way (my ...
7
votes
2answers
54 views

Where to find Lunar Eclipse data

I am wondering whether there's a good resource to find data about upcoming Lunar Eclipses. For example, showing the percentage of the eclipse over time. Such as: 17:23 GMT - 0%, 17:40 GMT - 10%, etc. ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How to convert a FITS file to .xls Excel file?

We are trying to determine the isophots in elliptical galaxies in order to check De-Vaucouleurs law. To do so, we want to convert the data from a FITS file to Excel and analyze it using Excel math ...
8
votes
10answers
204 views

Are there websites or programmes that permit a simulation of the night sky in the past and the future on an ordinary computer?

Are there websites or programs that permit a simulation of the night sky in the past and the future on an ordinary computer? (For the past, I would be content with objects visible to the naked eye.) ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

How to determine what size telescope to buy

A couple of years ago my son showed an interest in astronomy and we bought a 6" reflector telescope. We use it pretty regularly and have enjoyed it immensely. Lately we've both been wishing we had ...
7
votes
2answers
18k views

How much force is in a keystroke? (estimated, of course)?

I'm a software developer, and I need to calculate the estimated amount of force expended typing stored text. Preferrably in some interesting way. (i.e. the force exerted on keys thus far is enough to ...
11
votes
2answers
129 views

Who should I contact if I see an unknown object in the sky?

Who should I contact if I see an unknown object in the sky? Should I contact the nearest observatory? Or is there some official place run by, say, NASA or ESA that take in observations in their ...
2
votes
6answers
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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
859 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
937 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
votes
0answers
201 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
208 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
vote
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
votes
1answer
804 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
314 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?
7
votes
9answers
4k 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
votes
3answers
409 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 ...
3
votes
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
votes
2answers
509 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
634 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
14k 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
526 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
votes
1answer
548 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
vote
2answers
612 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"?
0
votes
2answers
234 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 ...
-3
votes
4answers
976 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
votes
1answer
762 views

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

Can you give me some examples of recreational physics? Thx
7
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...