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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1answer
77 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
52 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
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1answer
78 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
33 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
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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
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1answer
76 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
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0answers
44 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
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0answers
92 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 ...
3
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0answers
96 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
67 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
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0answers
22 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
94 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
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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
820 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
111 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
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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?
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0answers
46 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
116 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
112 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
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1answer
54 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?
3
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0answers
94 views

What depth of learning must be achieved to sufficently understand advanced physics topics? [closed]

I was recently asked the following question by a friend of mine who is an undergraduate mathematics student, and I thought it would be beneficial to see what the members here have to say about it, as ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

How can I properly learn relativity with an electrical engineering background? [closed]

I want to properly learn the theory of relativity, purely for self-interest. When I say relativity, I mean both flavours: special and general. Are there any good books which go into both the ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Frozen water cooler bottle [closed]

My water bottle for my water cooler is frozen. Should I place it onto the water cooler while it is frozen, wait till it thaws a bit, or wait till it thaws completely?
0
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1answer
44 views

Is there a name for leptons that are not neutrinos?

Is there a name for leptons that are not neutrinos? Not sure if its exists, its not particularly easy to search for. Is there a name for the set of charged leptons (or leptons that are not neutrinos)? ...
4
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0answers
77 views

Why are so many relationships in physics described by equations? [closed]

Consider $f$, some mapping between two ordered subsets of the natural numbers, $A$ and $B$. I see two ways $f$ can be expressed. The first way is an equation that defines $f$ (i.e. $f(A) = 2A$). ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

What exactly is an arbitrary parameter?

I was reading the article Turning Points: A meeting with Enrico Fermi by Freeman Dyson (available e.g. here), and I had a question about Dyson's use of the term 'arbitrary parameter'. More ...
3
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0answers
60 views

Why isn't $G=1$ as common as $c=\hbar=1$? [closed]

It is standard practice in theoretical physics to use a system of units in which $c=\hbar=1$. However, even though you could also set $G=1$, most physicists prefer not to. For example, in my cosmology ...
1
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3answers
202 views

What does “the fabric of space and time” actually mean? [closed]

I've heard the term "the fabric of space and time" in both physics and science fiction, and although I know it has something to do with general relativity, I don't understand what, specifically, ...
0
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1answer
58 views

Does gravity affects on electrons in a noticeable way? [closed]

Is there a way to force a free electron move in a low speed in order to observe it actually hitting 'on the floor'?
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votes
1answer
55 views

Is there a way to study mechanics without having to rely on free body diagrams?

For example, consider a very simple situation often used as example in teaching: a horse pulling a stone through a rope attaching them. The analysis goes something like this: There is a force ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Feynman's question on the mathematical machinery underlying nature [duplicate]

Physicist Richard Feynman said in his lectures "It always bothers me that according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical ...
1
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0answers
30 views

Approximating Gallons of Gas Needed for Trip (read: physics grad. with too much free time)

My departure from college has left me with an itch for physics-y problems to solve, and my boredom and free time gave way to this approximation of the gallons of gas I use for the trip to my ...
2
votes
3answers
249 views

Confusion about the concept of cosmological horizon

This question was inspired by this one By definition we cannot see any event happening beyond the cosmological horizon. Let us assume that the expansion rate of the universe is such that the radius ...
0
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0answers
20 views

Hiccup in frequency domain

Main question: What would the Fourier transform of hiccup look like? This question is too general so let me elaborate a few possible approaches. Hiccup just as a series of pulses (of no matter what ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

Why do astronomers call all elements heavier than helium “metals”?

I understand that a scientific term need not be constrained by its etymology. But is there some significant reason why astronomers choose to call all elements heavier than helium "metals"? Are ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Does it make sense for physics to predict the unphysical? [closed]

I hear people say things like "inside a black hole the laws of physics are not valid" or "there can be parallel universes with different physical laws" or "before the big bang there was nothing". ...
7
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0answers
104 views

Real world applications of post-1950s High Energy Physics [closed]

Imagine a world where people knew everything we know today except for high energy physics, where their knowledge ends at our ~1950s level. Is there any real world application, any particular piece of ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Sticky physics of pasta mixture [duplicate]

When you mix cooked noodles or other "prevailing 1D pasta" like spaghetti with other ingredients like olives, pieces of meat (not minced) etc. you will probably experience the fact, that the mixture ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Do physicists subscribe to Occam's razor? If so, how do you define 'all things being equal'? [closed]

The question here is the title: Do physicists subscribe to Occam's razor? If so, how do you define 'all things being equal'?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

How Does Rotational and Turbulent Motion Contribute to the Pressures of Dynamical Systems?

Rotational and turbulent motion can deepen a gravity well in a galaxy or galaxy cluster. In an analysis of the mass components of a large body, this would appear to be one of the components. Does it ...
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0answers
26 views

What exactly is wavefield extrapolation?

I am trying to understand what exactly wavefield extrapolation is. I can understand extrapolation of a function, 'wave' and 'field' as well; but could not understand the meaning or the problem ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Why did the inflation era not produce decompactification of the extra dimensions of string theory?

My question is undoubtedly naive, due to lack of background, but any answers, or simply comments with short explanations of my incorrect assumptions, would be appreciated. I must point out this ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Book for quantum field theory similar to Ballentine's quantum mechanics book [duplicate]

I have been studying quantum mechanics from Ballentine's book. I enjoy such books. I want somebody here to recommendation a book for qft with similar approach.
2
votes
0answers
102 views

Undergrad in QFT/GR looking to do string theory Ph.D [closed]

I am currently a third year undergrad in physics who is currently taking QFT and GR. I took these classes just out of pure interest in the subjects but I find that my mind is being blown almost every ...
2
votes
4answers
175 views

Quantum entanglement and information transfer: Does particle separation process set speed limit?

Background I recently read that a group had managed to overcome both the communication loophole and the detection loophole for Bell's theorem. In reading the article, I started to think about another ...
2
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0answers
137 views

Which problem is Oppenheimer working on in this picture? [closed]

Does anybody recognize the equations on the blackboard? Above his hand, with the $\gamma_k$ term and its complex conjugate, it looks like a written out matrix representation of a Hamiltonian $U$, ...
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0answers
14 views

Which are some good books to learn about quantum states? [duplicate]

I am aware of the book Geometry of Quantum states: An introduction to Quantum Entanglement by Bengtsson & Zyczkowski. I have read the book Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development by Ballentine.
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Can someone explain this joke about the fine-structure constant and Pauli? [closed]

I was once told this joke: In Dec 1989 Physics Today ,page 9, David Gross wrote "...One of the best of the many Pauli jokes tells of Pauli's arriving in Heaven and being given, as befits a ...
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1answer
105 views

If this were possible, would it count as a modification of quantum mechanics? [closed]

This question will be re elaborated to meet the standards of this site in shot