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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0
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2answers
102 views

What is an example of something that in theory thought to be impossible but not anymore? [closed]

I usually tell my parents "it's impossible to go faster than light", but they keep telling me "soon" (soon it will be possible to go faster). I know this is impossible in theory, but how much can I ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Which one to learn first: Special or general relativity? [closed]

I am extremely interested in self-learning Einstein's theory of relativity, but I don't know where to start. Can I make general relativity my starting point, and later look at special relativity as ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Is escape velocity really a velocity?

The term escape velocity is quite common to us. But we know velocity is a dimension dependent on the direction. But the escape velocity has same value irrespective of from where it is thrown from the ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Worthington jets explanation: fluid phenomenon

I don't understand the reason behind the formation of Worthington jets I've been reading a bit about Worthington jets Video 1, this phenomenon is caused when something is thrown to the water as we ...
0
votes
0answers
73 views

Is this a good explanation of electron mobility to the layman?

I'm writing an informative paper on graphene for my writing class (layman-oriented), and was describing electron mobility in very simplified terms. Let me know if anything is mistaken, badly ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

Mathematician learning theoretical physics [duplicate]

EDIT: I was aware of the supposed duplicate. But I'm interested in a clear and focused path through the basics to advanced theoretical physics such as string theory - a path that avoids studying ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

What is the meaning of this definition of potential energy?

The isolated system of particles is being observed. In the coursebook, $\vec F_\mu$ is by definition the vector sum of forces of all other particles acting on $\mu$-th particle. Usually, potential ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

A course in Lagrangian Mechanics [duplicate]

I would like to know: what are some of the best introductory books to Lagrangian Mechanics?
0
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0answers
31 views

Can anybody recommend a book on quantum physics for a mathematically minded student? [duplicate]

Basically what the title says. I'm a math/physics double major going into my second year, but I'm much more math oriented. I'll be taking a quantum class in the fall and I'd like a book that ...
2
votes
0answers
14 views

Is there any good literature about conceptual designs of Quantum (Micro-) Black Holes Machines?

I did some research and found this book: Quantum Black Holes, 2014 http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-642-38939-9 It seems good for a repetition of current status of (Quantum) Black Hole ...
1
vote
0answers
177 views

From Civil Engineering undergrad to Physics grad [closed]

I am an undergraduate Civil Engineering student. When I finish my undergraduate studies I want to pursue a masters degree in Physics (my ultimate goal is to get a PhD in Physics). Due to limitations ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Was quantum mechanics made to fit the Bell violations or they just happen to fit them?

Entangled bipartite states can violate the CHSH inequality upto $2\sqrt{2}$ with suitable measurements. Is it that in nature we don't witness violation of CHSH more than this and quantum mechanics ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Piezoelectric effects of naturally shaped quartz crystal for maximium Q?

Background Based on helpful comments and links here and also from my question on the electronics stackexchange, I have learned that the quartz crystals are nature's transducers of energy, allowing ...
0
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0answers
18 views

Need your Kind Recommendations and References Please [duplicate]

I studies Physics in my high school about 5 years back and i have never touched physics after that.I am planning to revise that very soon. I am now planning to do college physics on my own at my home ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

Are Feynman's Six Easy Lectures still relevant today?

I haven't learned anything about modern physics at the university yet, but next year I will, and in the summer before I thought I would read this book, Six easy lectures from Richard Feynman. It was ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

When doing E&M problems, I find the extreme exponents annoying. Could redefining the coulomb change this?

When typing into my calculator things like 9e9 or 8.85419e-12 its rather annoying to write in all those exponents (yeah I know ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Radial excitation and orbital-angular momentum excitation

Sorry. Just want to make sure, but what does radial excitation and orbital-angular excitation mean in the context of bound states? Just higher $n$ and $\ell$ quantum number?
-5
votes
1answer
79 views

Does gravity slow entropy? [closed]

Just got to thinking about why time slows in a gravitational field. It occurred to me that, in a gravitational field, the closer you get to the source the slower time seems to travel. But also, the ...
1
vote
3answers
278 views

Is net work and total work same?

According to my text book Total Work = Delta Kinetic Energy = KEf - KEi But then work is defined to be dot product of Force (vector) and Displacement (vector). Also to my knowledge work is ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Algebraic properties of fundamental physical constants

A few weeks ago I started wondering if there's any reason for a given fundamental physical constant, like Boltzmann's one, to enjoy some algebraic properties, for example being rational/irrational or ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Superscript on density matrix

I have been asked in homework to solve the optical bloch equation for the initial condition of $\rho_{22}=0,\rho_{12}=0$. Professor gave a hint of the general equation and let us carry it from here. ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Is Venus in the habitale zone of a robot (transistor CMOS brain, metal body) ? Any definition by NASA?

So the robot's information-processor works based on CMOS technology, the energy is powered by lithium-ion battery/solar and the body is made of stainless steel. For reference you can think of the ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Learning physics from a strong math background? [closed]

I have a master's degree in operations research and took several PhD level math courses. In particular I'm most familiar with analysis/measure theory, probability theory, and stochastic processes, and ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the difference between a “model” and a “theory”?

In my past questions I have used the terms "model" and "theory" interchangeably. So we have statements along the lines of The Standard Model is our best theory of particle physics but I have also ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Order of index in Lorentz transform

I am reading Schwartz's "QFT and the standard model". On pg 13 he gives the Lorentz transform of a rotation around the x-axis: $ \left( \begin{array}{cccc} 1 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 ...
-1
votes
2answers
67 views

What are the consequences of a non-computable universe?

I have seen that is is debated if the universe is digital, computable or non-computable. what specific consequence could this have in the format of the laws of physics? Or would that mean that we will ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

“Complete” confusion

The word "complete" seems to be used in several distinct ways. Perhaps my confusion is as much linguistic as mathematical? A basis, by definition, spans the space; some books call this "complete" -- ...
2
votes
0answers
135 views

Why does regularization work in this Bessel function integral?

I encountered some days before an integral representation for a modified Bessel function and should differentiate it. But in this representation : $$K(\omega,a)=\int_0^{\infty} \frac{ds}{s} ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Why can't we precisely define physics? [closed]

While reading a textbook, I came across this statement: "A precise definition of physics is neither possible nor necessary." I was curious why it is not possible but the textbook never ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Quark-gluon plasma: status [closed]

Can we say that a QGP has been observed or is there only suggestive evidence? Is the idea that string theory, through the AdS/CFT correspondence, could help to understand this new state of matter ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Is 'Boltzon' an accepted name for particles following Maxwell-Boltzmann (MB) statistics?

In my curriculum during one of my statistical mechanics visiting lecture classes, our teacher was referring comparatively macro particles following MB statistics as "Boltzon". But I have searched ...
5
votes
3answers
487 views

Explaining a quote by Weinberg about the signifcance of symmetry groups in physics

When skimming through a book, I found this quote: The universe is an enormous direct product of representations of symmetry groups. —Steven Weinberg I am a mathematician (so I know only basic ...
4
votes
1answer
448 views

Does “finite” include zero?

Infinity, is clearly not finite. But there is some dissent on whether or not zero is finite. I have seen authors use "finite" to indicate the value of $0$ is excluded as well as infinity. Is there ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Understand the relation of time and the space dimensions of spacetime?

I assume the relation of the three spacial dimensions and the time dimension is handled purely in the mathematical domain, usually. But is there any intuitive description of this relationship, how ...
0
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0answers
153 views

Exercises with solutions in dimensional analysis - reference request

I am currently trying to brush up on my skills in dimensional analysis, and computing with units. Is there a good source of worked examples, and exercises with solutions? I'd prefer to have solutions ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Programming in physics [closed]

How important is programming in physics? I am studying physics at university and these first years there is actually no approach (as it is understandable) to what working in physics is like. Now, I ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

What physical properties can we measure most accurately?

As far as I am aware, frequency is the most accurate physical property we can currently measure. This has led us to very high standards of experimental verification of e.g QED predictions and the CMB ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Difference between maths in physics degree and maths in a maths degree [closed]

I hope this question belongs on this site. If not, please feel free to recommend another site to move it to. Basically, I was wondering what are the main differences between the maths you learn in a ...
44
votes
6answers
4k views

What physics paper would a high school student be able to read?

I'm looking for a physics paper which a typical high school student who is new to physics would be able to read and grasp the general idea of the purpose, setup and results, if not the details. To be ...
0
votes
1answer
240 views

Laplace-Beltrami vs d'Alembert operators in flat vs curved space-time

I am confused with the difference between Laplace-Beltrami (LB) and d'Alembert operators in flat/curved space-time. d'Alembert operator in flat space-time (Minkowski) is defined as $$\Box= ...
0
votes
0answers
131 views

What is the meaning of symbols $\delta f$ and $\delta^2f$?

Professor was using these symbols to derive the continuity equation. He defined the infinitesimal mass as $\delta^2m=\rho \delta V$ and the mass that leaves some closed boundary $\partial V$ as ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Statistical Mechanics vs Statistics

Just how much of a representation of statistics do we get in a statistical mechanics curriculum. What are some of the useful facets of stat not in stat mech/quantum mech that physicists should really ...
3
votes
3answers
226 views

What is nuclide notation referring to? Only the nucleus or the whole atom?

sorry that this is an easy question but I am just a bit confused about nuclide notation. When you say e.g. $^{240}_{94}\text{Pu}$, are you referring to the atom of $\text{Pu}$ or only its nucleus? It ...
1
vote
2answers
200 views

What does excitation in an atom mean?

This is not regarding the definition of excitation itself. What I'm having trouble with is the difference between "electron excitation" and "atom excitation". When I electron inside the atom gets ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

All I need to know to enter undergraduate studies in pure physics [closed]

I want to pursue pure physics after my secondary high school. I was wondering if I know all I need to know to get into this stream. So please list out all the topics I need to know before my ...
-2
votes
2answers
123 views

Using mega (=10^6) when writing by hand? [closed]

I just solved a problem which had answer 1.7*10^6 m (m=meters) If I wanted to write this using M=10^6 it would be 1.7 Mm, which if I write it by hand would look like "1.7 mm" which is confusing. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Rain system movements and highways?

In my free time I sometimes enjoy watching the weather or radar and trying to predict how a rain system will move. Pretty often I notice that a small rain system or even a large one will congregate or ...
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Are the fundamental constants of nature independent?

Background: I am a layman and I just watched the video "Infinite Worlds: A Journey through Parallel Universes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO4uzgiRHkE) featuring a discussion with Andrei Linde, ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

“Hollow Earth” like Theories for pedagogical porpuses [closed]

I recently encountered the Hollow Earth theory, and I realize that This kind of theories can be used to give a really interesting discussion of a physical law. For example, If we take the ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Are there computerized ontologies for Relativity and (Experimental) Physics? How to contribute?

As machines and automation can generally assist humanity in physical activities, and even exceed mere human capabilities, so, increasingly, also in tasks of reasoning. A basic component of the latter ...