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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38 views

Confusion about the use of the term “Phase Space” in Strogatz text

I've just started learning about Hamiltonian mechanics, and from the definition given in Taylor's classical mechanics, phase space must always have an even dimension. However, I recall from reading ...
0
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3answers
128 views

Proof in physics

Is 100% proof of a theory possible in physics, or all we can do is to see how well it stacks up against observations and then decide if we accept it or not? If so, isn't there a danger ,however ...
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1answer
134 views

What is this simple mechanism called? [closed]

I often build with Lego and use this mechanism: It converts the rotational movement to linear by making the stick between the two blocks go back and forth. What is this mechanism called?
0
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3answers
57 views

Image angle illusion [closed]

I am not sure whether this question on-topic here. (please suggest to migrate if this is off-topic) What is the phenomenon/illusion (or something else?) known as where in a photo of a person, the ...
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2answers
101 views

Why is a thought experiment a valid way to prove anything?

Isn't a thought experiment as subjective as you could make science be? Is it that since it is impossible with our current methods, we are simply skipping too many hurdles that would have to first be ...
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3answers
87 views

What really is “inertial force”?

In Fluid Mechanics we often see the term inertial force when discussing Reynolds number. The problem is, I didn't really get what's this inertial force. Basically, the notion of inertia I have is that ...
1
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1answer
35 views

Specific scenario involving rotation and inertial frames of reference?

We recently went over some rotational motion in my freshman physics class, I had a question for the professor on your frame of reference, and how that would effect the rotation of the object. Say you ...
2
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1answer
61 views

The spin and weight of a primary field in CFT

A primary field in Conformal Field Theory transforms as $$\phi (z,\bar{z}) =\left(\frac{dz}{dz'} \right)^h \left(\frac{d\bar{z}}{d\bar{z}'} \right)^\bar{h}\phi (z',\bar{z}') $$ under a conformal ...
2
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0answers
124 views

Which field of theoretical physics is most promising? [closed]

I'm about to choose university and I really love physics, but I don't know about use of it. What field is most promising to study? Where could I work with subatomic particles PhD? Or maybe nuclear ...
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0answers
38 views

Will the usage of Exo-Skeleton Gear actually weaken the human body over time? [closed]

As we all know, Exo Skeletons as they exist now are just a series of Force multiplying apparatuses working together, also the human body changes to accommodate environment specific factors in order to ...
3
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2answers
117 views

Are Mathematics the language of the universe? [closed]

I am a high school student and next year i am going to be a physics major, so this year i put all my effort on physics and mathematics, since it a great tool for physicists. But now i wonder, in ...
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0answers
47 views

Good introduction to classical mechanics with math [duplicate]

Right now, I'm reading "Classical Mechanics" by Kibble and Berkshire. Already in chapter 2, I have found a concept being discussed that assumes you have prior knowledge. Specifically, it describes the ...
5
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0answers
107 views

Is Physics really a rigorous subject? [closed]

Though I can't give a precise definition of the term rigor (or better to say mathematical rigor) but intuitively in case of mathematics one may note that when we say that 'the proof is rigorous' we ...
3
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2answers
112 views

Does Bell's inequalities also rule out non-computable local hidden variable theories?

I have beenn reading different articles on Bell's assumptions and interpretations, including superdeterminsm. I always end up dizzy when I try tho think about this specific question, so any hints ...
2
votes
2answers
832 views

Differences between astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology? [closed]

What is the main difference between Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology? I have the impression that astronomy is a subject that runs parallel to physics but it is outside the physics field. This ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Ideas for physics-related simulations to code up as weekend (or monthly) projects [closed]

What are some good ideas for simulations that I could try to implement/code in my spare time just for educational purposes? I'm thinking that it would be a good way for me to delve into the underlying ...
3
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1answer
75 views

Is there a scientific term for star formation?

It might be my stupidity to think that many laymen terms that most people use to describe some physics phenomena usually have a scientifically accepted term or name? The process of star formation, ...
2
votes
2answers
278 views

Is a quark bomb possible?

I am wondering about the possibility of making a bomb out of the binding energy of quarks inside hadrons. I know that about confinement and all that, but I wonder if there is a way to harness this ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

What kind of math is used in QFT? [duplicate]

What branch(es) of math are used in Quantum Field Theory? Or the question, by way of analogy: Tensor Calculus is to General Relativity as What is to Quantum Field Theory?
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0answers
50 views

How big does a natural gas compressor station have to be, so as its possible explosion to produce power equal to that of a nuclear bomb [closed]

I live in Greece and a natural gas compressor station is going to be constructed within a radius of 3km. That got me wondered. Can a possible explosion produce equal power with the little boy, the ...
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2answers
44 views

Non-random observations (regarding physical quantity)?

Are there completely deterministic observations? More detailed: Talking about an observations process for which of the following sentences would you vote: Version 1 (always random): "These ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

What's the relationship between input power and intensity / frequency of radiated EM waves?

I've seen an example of an electric dipole that radiates power proportional to $\ \omega^{4} $. My question is: given a fixed amount of input power to drive the dipole, while varying the driving ...
-2
votes
1answer
82 views

Effects of travel greater than speed of light [closed]

What will happen if a person with say weight of 100 kilograms, starts to travel with, a) equal to speed of light? b) greater than speed of light?
10
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4answers
537 views

What is an interpretation of quantum mechanics?

In the sense of "Copenhagen Interpretation", what exactly is an interpretation? What purpose does an interpretation serve? Can an interpretation be tested or even be correct or incorrect independent ...
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2answers
160 views

A universe of a finite but increasing number of states of motion?

A limitation of the geometric models of universe is that space locally is considered as a volume, whilst volume is a part of a selected system of inertia. Wouldn't it be more adequate to consider (the ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Prerequisites for Ptolemy's Almagest

I hope this is a valid question to ask on this website (since it's astronomy and not e.g. mechanics, I wasn't so sure). What prerequisites are needed for fully understanding Ptolemy's Almagest. Fully ...
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0answers
79 views

A-level electromagnetism experiments? [closed]

Does anybody know any A-level experiments investigating electromagnetism that can produce good data relatively simply?
29
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2answers
5k views

What are Stephen Hawking's main contributions to research-level physics?

Without a doubt, Stephen Hawking is the most famous living scientist; indeed, his public visibility in all of history seems to be rivaled only by Einstein and easily eclipses giants of physics such as ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

“Topological” notions in physics

I've been trying to make sense recently of the usage of 'topological' in various fields of physics, and get sort of an intuition for what this means in context. This all boils down to my main question ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ and $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$? [closed]

I'm French. I would like to know: How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ : "A scalar B" or "A dot B" ? How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$ : "A vectorial B", "A vector B", "A cross ...
1
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0answers
50 views

Some books to bridge the gap before GR [duplicate]

I am extremely interested in GR, but somehow feel that the books I read are not really enough. Frankly, I find many question on this site and elsewhere completely bewildering, which makes me think ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Resources to learn about the Higgs theory at undergraduate level

As part of my studies at university, I am doing a project that aims to understand the foundations of the Higgs Mechanism and to ultimately attempt to convey it to an audience in a non technical ...
1
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1answer
109 views

Defining creation and annihilation operators

Creation and annihilation operators can be defined in several different ways, some more general than others. We usually choose to denote by $a$ the annihilation operator and by $a^\dagger$ the ...
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2answers
105 views

How to understand “always create before we annihilate, not the other way around”?

On the book QFT in a Nutshell by A.Zee page 61 writes Always create before we annihilate, not the other way around. —Anonymous But in this Phys.SE question we are doing it the other way ...
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0answers
24 views

Limit Of Temperature [duplicate]

The last couple of days i have been thinking about temperature and heat and i thought : What happens to temperature if i continually supply a particle with energy? Then i thought at sometime i ...
2
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0answers
43 views

What topics should I develop complete concepts in before I begin the derivation of GR? [duplicate]

I had just been trying to understand GR but i just cannot understand where some of the formula of field came from. Apparently all those initial formula are from Newtonian physics so please anyone ...
2
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0answers
53 views

Which scientists have managed to name their laws/terms after themselves? [closed]

It would be pretty vain for someone to name a scientific law, unit, or term after themselves. "Newtons" as the name for the measurement of force, for example, was adopted in 1948, so I don't expect ...
0
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1answer
78 views

What is the best way to understand Physics? [closed]

What is the best way to understand Physics?
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0answers
67 views

Learning Roadmap to Mathematical Physics [duplicate]

Currently, I am a graduate student specializing in algebraic geometry. On the other hand, I have also become extremely interested in the mathematical physics. However, I am not sure what steps I ...
7
votes
1answer
130 views

Has the Nobel committee mixed up this years prizes for Physics and Chemistry? [closed]

The title of the question is tongue-in-cheek but the question remains: How does the Nobel committee delineate the fields when awarding work which is of such an inter-disciplinary nature. The chemistry ...
2
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4answers
126 views

Should I always include units at every step?

I've seen some controversy when solving physical equations on whether to put units all the time after I insert a numerical value to a variable with dimensions or to put the final unit at the last ...
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

dark energy and expansion definition [closed]

I am trying to get a few key points correct regarding expansion and dark energy... Expansion: the Universe has been expanding continuously at different rates since the singularity that caused the ...
2
votes
4answers
382 views

Two soft questions about spin and the particle nature of electrons

How can we define spin as the spin of an electron around it's own axis if an electron is described by a probability cloud of finding an electron in a point in space? How does that probability cloud ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Electron/positron annihilation lines in astrophysics

I have a reasonable understanding of electron/positron annihilation, in that it is a collision between a pair of particles, one matter and one antimatter, that generally produces gamma radiation. ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Simple modelling of seasonal variation of temperature?

I'm really curious about this: What is the simplest (or most simplified) differential equation that accounts for the variations of temperature throughout the year at some point on the northern ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Appearance of the recomposition of a given spectrum? [duplicate]

Given a visible spectrum, i.e. a function from the set of visible wavelengths into the set of intensities, I would like to see the color having this spectrum decomposition. Question: How can I do ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

Mathematical approximation to physics

Why is it often said that any mathematical theory is just an approximate theory of the universe? Wouldn't there be accurate mathematical structures repressing the physical entities of the universe ...
0
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1answer
60 views

Upcoming 'things to watch' in physics [closed]

What are the 'things to watch' in physics happening in the next year or so? E.g. A big astronomical event that happens only every n thousand years, or an experiment in particle physics which will ...
42
votes
7answers
7k views

What technology can result from such expensive experiment as undertaken in CERN?

I wonder what technology can be obtained from such very expensive experiments/institutes as e.g. undertaken in CERN? I understand that e.g. the discovery of the Higgs Boson confirms our understanding ...
2
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1answer
44 views

Acceleration format and interstellar units

Calculating with m/s$^2$ is very helpful when dealing with acceleration on the human range, as accelerating from rest at 4 m/s$^2$ for 3 seconds will give a velocity of 12 m/s. g is also a very ...