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
vote
2answers
73 views

Hot bullets and shot cowboys [closed]

Please excuse the title of the question, there is physics involved here, but I can't think of a way of writing the title without it being more to the point of the question. A cowboy film is pure ...
-2
votes
1answer
78 views

Popular books on cutting-edge physics [closed]

I watched this video, in which different types of topics are discussed like Quantum Information, Quantum Computation, Universe as hologram, Hidden information, Quantum Entanglement, Black holes and ...
-4
votes
1answer
125 views

How much pure mathematics do theoretical physicists know? [closed]

I'll be precise: how much mathematics (in terms of courses in a university mathematics department or mathematics textbooks) can a very good theoretical physicist be expected to know? If this depends ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

State of academic fields of analytic mechanics and Multi Body Dynamics (MBD)

My question essentially contains two parts: one practical question and one philosophical question. Background I am an engineering student working in the field of Multi Body Dynamics (MBD). My ...
1
vote
1answer
245 views

What is meant by 'probability of transition per unit time'?

Today I came across a term used by Feynman in his thirteenth lecture: 'probability per unit time' to go from $| 1\rangle$ to $|2\rangle$ while initially being at $|1\rangle$. This is the excerpt fom ...
0
votes
3answers
192 views

Should these be called “weights” or “masses”? [closed]

Yeah, those circular metal disks. Weights or masses? I call them weights because when I attach them to a spring I'm interested in their weight, but it feels odd saying a "Pick up the 100g weight". ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Can the Earth be seen to transit the sun from the outer planets?

Transit of Mercury as seen from Mars The Curiosity rover on the planet Mars observed the planet Mercury transiting the Sun, marking the first time a planetary transit has been observed from a ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Doubly magic isotopes

I understand the definition of a magic number in nuclear physics to mean a number of either protons or neutrons to completely fill a nuclear shell. I see here the term "doubly magic" used for 78Ni: ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Reading ensdf files

I understand that this is more of a computing question, but I still think the appropriate place to ask it is here. The Evaluated Nuclear Structure Data Files are on the internet, available for ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

How do physicists develop theories? [closed]

I'm wondering about the way physicists develop "unified theories" and models about the universe, like string theory, or quantum mechanics. People (on this forum for example) often say things like "at ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Reasons for doing handwritten notes in physics (junior) labs [closed]

It seems to be a common practice in universities that students in physics labs have to maintain a hand written lab notebook. Using this as a base they should prepare a (often computer written) lab ...
0
votes
1answer
168 views

Is string theory really science? [closed]

According to Karl Popper's theory of demarcation, science should be falsifiable but string theory is yet to be tested experimentally as It will require at least 19 TeV of energy to prove it which is ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Has Dirac ever co-authored a paper? [closed]

Just curious. Not counting PhD theses, books, and review papers, but regular research papers with original ideas.
0
votes
1answer
466 views

What is the recommended symbol for Volumetric flow rate? [closed]

I'm currently working on a paper with a mathematician. He always writes $\dot Q$ as well as $\dot V$ for volumetric flow rate and claims both are standard notations. Till now I always used $Q$ ...
4
votes
1answer
197 views

Using a laser to overhear a room conversation

Movies with science based tricks and gimmicks are generally silly and sometimes even annoying. The science based trick that I don't know enough about to judge is the following (and I have seen it in a ...
-3
votes
1answer
149 views

Are time and space interchangeable? [closed]

Mass and energy are interchangeable. Does that mean time and space are interchangeable too? Reason for question: The only difference I can comprehend between matter and energy is that energy has no ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

What S means in S-duality?

As I know, there are many dualities related to S-duality. For example, Montonen-Olive duality, Seiberg duality. and so on. so, I wonder that what "S" means in the term "S-duality". If this is a stupid ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Formula relating sum of values of a function to its integral

I came across the above formula in some quantum mechanics lecture notes explaining the Casimir effect. Anyone seen it before if so could you please tell me its 'name'. B refers to the Bernoulli ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

How relevant is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I was originally surprised to see that, $$\Delta x \cdot \Delta p \gt {{\hbar} \over 2}$$ But, then I realized that $\hbar/2=5.27 \cdot 10^{-35}$. According to this other question, the smallest ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Does energy exist? [closed]

None of this is going to be rigorous or have a right answer, so please don't take it as though I'm demanding one. I'm just interested in everyone's thoughts. It feels to me (and possibly you) that ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Can avg. Vel. be zero in uniformly accelerated straight line motion?

A particle moves in a straight line with constant acceleration. The average velocity of this particle in an interval is zero. According to me it may become possible when velocity of particle is in ...
9
votes
3answers
275 views

Why is the $dx$ right next to the integral sign in QFT literature?

I've noticed that in QFT literature, integrals are usually written as $\int \!dx ~f(x)$ instead of $\int f(x) dx$. Why?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

I'm interested in the use of self-similarity in physics. Is this a reputable subject? [closed]

I'm interested in fractals, self-similarity, and chaos. Many physicists disregard these phenomena as candidates to explain the fundamental properties of the universe. However, when I read about ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Does the randomness of QM do much in everyday life? How much? [closed]

My apologies if in its current state this question isn't squarely suited here; I've worked it until it seemed reasonably articulate. Feel free to move it if it'd be better received elsewhere. ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Do chemical bonds abide by widely accepted geometric principles?

To elaborate, it is mathematically proven that triangles are the strongest shape. I don't know what strong materials there are in the world but I have heard of carbon nanotubes. In the case of ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

What is the first topic on mathematics,that an undergraduate physics student must study? [duplicate]

I aspire to become a theoretical physicist. I like to understand about infinite series and so on. Could you please recommend me any book?
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Meaning of the term 'bulk'

I have recently started reading literature on 2 dimensional systems in Condensed matter. While reading, I frequently came across the word 'bulk'. Sometimes it referred to 2-D and sometimes to 3-D. I ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Can photons accelerate? [duplicate]

I was just wondering if there's a (hypothetical) situation where a photon could accelerate and what the consequences of this might be?
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Necessity, significance of Spinors

This is an area I am researching at my own pace, general rotations in 3D. I've known about the plate trick for a while as well, and have a very rough understanding of the concept of ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

Does this analogy with matter and energy hold? [duplicate]

Matter is to energy as dark matter is to dark energy. Is that statement correct? If not, is there any relationship, that we know of, between dark matter and dark energy? When I say there is an ...
-2
votes
1answer
44 views

Spin-resolved current [closed]

What is spin-revolved current? Is it the spin current?
4
votes
1answer
144 views

How is classical information put into and retrieved from a quantum computer?

How, if you had to find the factors of say a 256 digit number, would you go about inputting the data and how do the proper answers "drop out" of a quantum computer. Other than terms such as qubits, ...
4
votes
2answers
56 views

Pointwise and uniform convergence. Examples from physics

I am a first-year mathematical student, and from a mathematical perspective I understand the difference between pointwise and uniform convergence of sequences and series of functions. However, I have ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

What is high energy physics?

Is high energy physics the same as particle physics? Does research in high-energy physics include things like quantum gravity, string theory and quantum field theory? Is unifying the four ...
-2
votes
0answers
48 views

Subject is Maths that would complement Physics? [closed]

Suppose Math has 5 sub parts- Analysis: Analysis, Complex Analysis, Measure theory and integration,Functional Analysis Algebra: Group Theory, Vectors space-rings-modules, Galois, Algebra Number ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Prepare for HEP-th graduate application: books, research opportunities,etc [closed]

I want to specialise in high-energy physics theory. I feel quiet unconfident because the I just knew that the field is insanely competitive, so I really need your advice to guide me a bit, and any ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Unification of Weak and Electromagnetic forces

I'm curious how the weak and em forces relate to one another. My knowledge in this area is weak (ha) but I am interested in an explanation for how these two forces relate to one another, and how / why ...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Mathematics needed for string theory [duplicate]

I'm interested in cutting edge string theory studied by research physicist. I'm wonder what mathematics is needed and how far am I in terms of mathematics background needed and how much more ...
1
vote
4answers
813 views

What exactly is meant by infinity?

What exactly is meant by infinity when I see it in a physics equation (always something wrong?)? And in experiment how many orders of magnitude can be treated as infinity (say, if infinity is ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Solid Mechanics book recommendations

I'm searching for a book on Solid Mechanics that explains the topics intuitively (similar to Kline explanations on Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach). Also the book should have the ...
0
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
128 views

Is escape velocity really a velocity (rather than a speed)?

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
194 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
79 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
89 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
67 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
151 views

A course in Lagrangian Mechanics [duplicate]

I would like to know: what are some of the best introductory books to Lagrangian Mechanics?
0
votes
0answers
33 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 ...