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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-1
votes
2answers
112 views

Disproving the mathematical universe hypothesis [closed]

The mathematical universe hypothesis is claimed by Lee Smolin to be falsifiable: [...] it is easy to disprove the mathematical-universe hypothesis. Simply exhibit one property of the natural world ...
0
votes
2answers
146 views

How are unitary matrices and unitary random matrices associated with physics or quantum mechanics? [closed]

Please forgive my ignorance, my back ground is not physics. I am looking for distance measure between two unitary matrix (for my work). So my starting point is where else unitary matrix is applicable?...
3
votes
0answers
33 views

Lab equipment - where to start [closed]

I've started to seriously study physics on my own, using various resources such as edX courses etc. However I believe that carrying out experiments will help me gain a deeper understanding of the ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Understanding the mathematical terms in Physics [closed]

I understand well only when I get a physical picture of the concept. Is it good? or should I change.
-2
votes
2answers
101 views

What causes the expansion of space? [closed]

What is causing space to expand? Is it due to some kind of innate property or is it due to some force? I did a google search on this and found lots of articles explaining that space is expanding ...
-2
votes
2answers
86 views

Could I create a banana? [closed]

As I understand it, until such time as stars were formed and heavier elements could be created, there was just hydrogen and helium, plus trace amounts of lithium an beryllium. Question: if everything ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

How to teach/learn physics - reference request

I remember reading a paper (or a transcript of a talk) which describes the process of learning/teaching physics as a landing on a planet. In order to find a suitable place to land, you need to orbit ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Note and homework organization [closed]

I am currently in a mechanics class and have some trouble trying to figure out how I should structure my lecture notes and my homework. I recently began rewriting my notes after class but I am still ...
-5
votes
1answer
68 views

Strange equation on notebook [closed]

It could sound like a silly question, but I found this equation written in my notebook and never knew what was the meaning and who wrote it. I think it could be related to some physics equation, and ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

What is the “single equation” in string theory that's an inch long? [duplicate]

Michio Kaku, famous theoretical physicist claims to be one of the founders of string field theory and to have contributed a equation that's "no bigger than your thumb" that ties general relativity and ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

$3$ dimensional representation of Electric Field lines between Two particles

I have seen in many books the $2$ dimensional representation of field lines (between two particles having equal positive charge) as- But I am trying to visualise this $3$ dimensionally as how the ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Controlling the universe through the “Many-worlds” interpretation [closed]

I was reading upon a comic when I found some interesting content concerning the "Many-worlds" interpretation and how it could be used in quite an extreme manner. Imagine we had a "END" machine. When ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

How much QFT do I need to get started on String Theory? [closed]

I want to get started learning String Theory (most likely from David Tong's lecture notes) and I would like to know which topics I need to know from QFT. In particular, if I were to follow Peskin, ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Methodology: how to deal with non-rigorous derivations [closed]

This is a reformulation of Why are non-rigorous derivations in classical mechanics and electromagnetism taught by professors? See below for an example which got closed as off-topic because it was ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Direction about future [closed]

I am finishing high school this year and i want to be a theoretical physicist. My academic result in mathematics is not good throughout last 5 years. But physics is my dream. I want to overcome every ...
-2
votes
1answer
115 views

What is the meaning of this Feynman's statement? [closed]

Richard Feynman has a strange statement in first lecture of his known book "Feynman Lectures on Physics. He says If a piece of steel or a piece of salt, consisting of atoms one next to the other, ...
11
votes
2answers
465 views

Are derivations of physical laws less important than the laws themselves? [closed]

The proportionality between the kinetic energy of gas molecules and temperature is a well-known result. This is usually shown by considering a cubical box containing an ideal gas, and postulating that ...
-1
votes
1answer
69 views

Where would you go to get feedback, advice and assistance for a new theory of physics? [closed]

I know that crackpots are constantly running down physicists to pitch them on a "new theory" that solves everything. This has understandably led to extreme skepticism for anyone not affiliated with a ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What are some of the best Physics resources online? [duplicate]

Are there any sites similar to (in terms of function and quality) Paul's Online Math Notes, 17Calculus.com, or PatrickJMT.com, for Physics (besides Khan Academy)? I've googled this, but the sites I'...
-8
votes
2answers
192 views

Can Newton's law of gravitation and Einstein's GR be considered true and complete laws of gravitation? [closed]

Newton's law of gravitation and Einstein's general relativity (GR) are empirical laws of gravitation that are strong on description and prediction but lack deterministic and/or causal rigor, which ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Are ergs commonly used in astrophysics? If so, is there a specific reason for it?

I was reading the recent LIGO paper and one passage stuck out to me: The system reached a peak gravitational-wave luminosity of $3.6^{+0.5}_{−0.4}× 10^{56}\:\mathrm{erg/s}$, equivalent to $200^{+...
4
votes
0answers
77 views

Are there any open questions in physics that a layman can analyze? [closed]

In math, there are questions like "What is the minimum number of crosses that this knot has?" which can't fundamentally be solved and simply take a lot of trial and error for an answer. This means ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it too late to study physics? [closed]

I'm 24 year old student and I study Bachelor's degree of information technology. This is my last year there. Before I applied to this school I didn't know (remember) anything about mathematics or ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Do the equations on this piece of art have physical significance

Someone I know owns a piece of art, which is shown in the figure. $$[\varphi_\alpha(x), \varphi_\beta(y)]= -i\Delta_{\alpha\beta}(x-y)$$ and $$U[\sigma,\sigma_0]= I-i\int_{\sigma_0}^\sigma\...
1
vote
4answers
73 views

How to explain to a child why can acceleration be positive or negative? [closed]

I want to find out how can acceleration be negative? I have an answer and this answer is: $$a=\frac{v_f-v_i}{t_f-t_i} < 0$$ because $v_f < v_i$ where $v_f$ is final velocity and $v_i$ is ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

do Significant Figures apply with numbers without units?

say i need to divide a number with a unit to a number without a unit, e.g.: 16.4 meters / 2 Following the rules on significant figures, will the correct answer be 8.2m (since 2 has no unit), or 8 m (...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

What is the opposite of quantization?

Is the opposite of quantization just taking the limit $h \rightarrow 0$ ? Or are there more steps involved (maybe related to bosons and fermions?)? How would one call the the opposite of quantization? ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

If you play more than one music track at once on a computer, does the sound heard get louder?

Say you are using a computer and have multiple Youtube videos playing music (or any other video) at the same time, does the sound produced by the computer's speakers (or a pair of headphones) become ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Why is Bohr's explanation called Bohr's model and not Bohr's theory?

I have seen an answer which tells the difference between model (specific) and a theory (general). And it makes sense 'coz Bohr explained it for the hydrogen atom only. But did he not make a set of ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Understanding this metaphor involving e-mails, chaos and phase transitions [closed]

I asked this question on the English Stack Exchange and people advised to try get the answer here. I can’t get the idea of metaphor in the last sentence of the following quote: Instead, email ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Will an Electrical Engineering Minor give me a significant advantage in experimental physics? [closed]

I'm currently choosing courses to complete in my university degree (science) and thought completing some basic electrical engineering may be useful if I go into academic experimental physics research. ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Why is there empirical evidence in physics more than an analytic evidence? [closed]

In case of mathematics, you can make your own rules and play with them. For example, Euclied made his own rule of Eucledian geometry, and Reiman (or other Non-Eucledian geometers) made their own rule ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

How do we call in English scientific terms the Fermat's principle about back and forth light traversal?

We know that the path followed by the light from point A to point B is independent of the direction of propagation of light. This is what is called in French "le principe de retour inverse de la ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Can we tell when an established theory is wrong?

I was reading the following answer from this question: In physics, you cannot ask / answer why without ambiguity. Now, we observe that the speed of light is finite and that it seems to be the ...
-2
votes
1answer
88 views

Dot product and divergence [closed]

Divergence is represented by dot product. How is the divergence related to dot product? And curl is represented by cross product. How is the curl related to cross product?
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What type of physicist studies quantum physics the most? [closed]

I want to become a physicist, and I am particularly interested in quantum physics. I know quantum physics has applications in many branches of physics. Condensed matter physicists use it among others. ...
0
votes
0answers
93 views

Which scientist is this?

Okay so I was watching discovery channel, in that i saw a man cleaning live electric wires of 10k volts in the air, he was not touching the ground. They said he was able to do this because of the "law"...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

My bathroom door stays open in summer [closed]

My bathroom door remains open in summer, but in the winter it stays about halfway between fully open (90 degree angle, against a window) and closed. The door is between bedroom and bathroom and it is ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Computational advantages of various notations for electromagnetism [closed]

Most undergraduate electromagnetism classes and textbooks use vector notation to describe Maxwell's equations. However, there are other notations like differential geometry and geometric calculus ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Classical Mechanics Resources [duplicate]

I hope that my question doesn't violate the posting rules. I was wondering if any of you have any resources (websites, books, etc.) for classical mechanics. My first week of classical mechanics has ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

What defines a physical property? [closed]

The physical world around us has all sorts of properties, shape, color etc. If you move on to more complex systems, there are even more like some emotional properties etc. Why do we deem only ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

How exactly are the relative strengths of gravity and electromagnetism quantified? [duplicate]

I've often heard it said that gravity is much weaker than electromagnetism, and after looking at several questions on SE, I feel that I've got at least a qualitative handle on the concept -- gravity ...
5
votes
4answers
829 views

Physics after a Theory of Everything [closed]

There is a lot of controversy over the existence of a Theory of Everything (ToE), and as far as I know, we are a long way from having a possible candidate. But what interests me is, what after that? ...
0
votes
2answers
118 views

What are some “I wish someone had parted that wisdom onto me” tips for beginning a bachelor's degree in Physics? [closed]

I start classes next Monday for Physics and I am beyond nervous. I don't really know what to expect in the big world of upper-level science. Granted, I'm only going for an Undergrad right now, but I'm ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Good book to self learn physics from beginner level [duplicate]

I am looking for a book that is similar to the Gelfand books on Algebra or Trigonometry. These really help the reader understand the material. Any recommendations for a similar book for physics?
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Why do many equations need squared powers? [duplicate]

It seems that an equation factor must be “squared” as a convenient approximation to balance out some other series of factors invisibly . Might $E=mc^{1.95}$ work as well as $E=mc^2$? Might $A^2+B^2=C^...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

How do hotel peepholes only work in one direction?

Basically the title. Light can go into my room through some lenses so that I can see it, but light can't escape my room so that people outside? The article about peepholes on Wikipedia doesn't ...
-2
votes
1answer
126 views

Why does the symbol have an arrow? [closed]

What does the arrow in the symbol mean? Does it mean that it is a variable voltmeter and ammeter?
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Difference between escape velocity and speed [duplicate]

What is the difference between escape velocity and escape speed , is their any error if we use them interchangeably?