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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2answers
2k views

Math and Theoretical Physics Topics & Textbook for Self-Study [duplicate]

I am from Singapore, a civil engineering graduate and I've graduated from university in 2009. Throughout my school days I've been interested in Physics, unfortunately I was not accepted into the ...
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2answers
328 views

How much physics a mathematician needs to know to study GR? [duplicate]

I'm intending to study General Relativity on my own. The thing is, my physics background is not very strong. I know classical mechanics and I know some electromagnetism. I'm familiar with Gauss' law, ...
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4answers
551 views

Matrix mechanics for those with wave mechanics background

Just curious: Is there any book or resource that teaches matrix mechanics (quantum mechanics) only without wave mechanics stuff - meaning that the book assumes wave mechanics background.
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1answer
101 views

Square-Cube Law?

I've heard about something called the square-cube law. What is it? All I know of it is that it has something to do with mass of large objects and their gravitational influence.
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1answer
303 views

How to express $ds$?(when we know expression for $ds^{2}$) [closed]

We know that $$ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu},$$ Can you say how to calculate $ds$?
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4answers
2k views

Why is the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics the most widely accepted one?

I've been digging a lot into quantum physics in the last few weeks. I didn't care much about the maths, just about what empirically happens to get a conceptual idea about quantum phenomena. The most ...
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7answers
7k views

Can a scientific theory ever be absolutely proven?

I personally cringe when people talk about scientific theories in the same way we talk about everyday theories. I was under the impression a scientific theory is similar to a mathematical proof; ...
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2answers
349 views

Etymology of “Renormalisation”

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know why "renormalisation" is so named? Who first came up with the term, and why was it used? I did a mathematics undergraduate so to me "normalisation" means ...
7
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1answer
418 views

Mathematical concept of supersymmetry

I wish to study supersymmetry in field theory(sometime in december). However, I am quite not sure what is needed for its study. In supersymmetry, I just want to get the mathematical idea, such as its ...
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0answers
128 views

What kind of physics research can a high-schooler get involved in and form new discoveries in? [closed]

I am a high school student with a strong background in physics, engineering, and computer science. I am very interested in research and formulating my own discoveries in order to learn more about ...
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4answers
5k views

What is meant by “Nothing” in Physics/Quantum Mechanics(QM)?

I am not a phycisist, so please forgive my ignorance. This is related to my posts and this. I am trying to undertand what is meant by the term "Nothing" in physics or Quantum Mechanics since it seems ...
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1answer
838 views

How many oxygen molecules touch you in your lifetime?

Following up on a comment by BlueRaja to this beautiful answer of Ilmari Karonen, I would like to phrase this follow up question: How many air molecules hit your average human's skin during their ...
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1answer
815 views

“And God said…and there was light.” What does these equations mean? [duplicate]

Today while I was on the Internet I came across an interesting picture, that caught my eye. It's : I don't have to explain why this picture seems interesting to someone who knows the meaning and ...
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2answers
723 views

Is Hubble's constant really constant? [duplicate]

How does Hubble's constant resembles age of universe? Isn't universe getting old each day? How can a constant be a reciprocal of age of universe? Hubble's value must be variable, isn't it?
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3answers
191 views

What widely recognized organizations set standards used by physics?

I recently answered a question about the meaning of the word "dimension" as used in physics. In that response, I provided the definition given in the International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM) and ...
2
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0answers
96 views

Doing numerics in physics [closed]

Soon, I am going to write my master thesis in theoretical physics. I assume there, and later on in my career, I will have to do more serious numerics than I did up to this point. That's why I want to ...
2
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1answer
170 views

Why are there equations in physics with factors of 2, 3 and 5, but there aren't any with factors of 7 or 11?

I noticed that there are a lot of equations in physics with factors of 2, 3 and 5 (either in the numerator or in the denominator), but there aren't any with factors of 7 or any prime number greater ...
2
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1answer
134 views

How to pronounce $\textrm{eV}\!/c^2$

It seems that $\textrm{eV}\!/c^2$ (and its multiples) is commonly used as the unit of mass in particle physics. For example, David Griffiths uses it quite naturally in Introduction to Elementary ...
2
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1answer
317 views

What is the pressure at the top of a sealed tube being drawn out of water?

Is the atmospheric pressure in a closed container the same as that of the surroundings (1 bar at sea level)? Consider a tube with both ends open with one end dipped into water (like a pipette in ...
2
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2answers
686 views

What does one need to learn to become a experimental particles physicist? [closed]

I know one needs E&M, classical, quantum, statmech at the graduate level. But what more does one need? Are quantum field theory, relativistic QM, advanced math needed? or just an advanced course ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Download only physics and maths wikipedia pages for offline use [closed]

There are tools for downloading the entire wikipedia database (above 8 Gb without pictures), but I would like to download only physics and maths pages, to view them offline. Wikipedia pages have a ...
2
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3answers
596 views

Explanation for classic mechanics puzzle

I'm trying to figure out a nice way to describe to a kid the physics behind these experiments: Assuming ideal conditions, we have a small boat with a sale, close to a lake's shore and a fan fixed on ...
2
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1answer
551 views

What is the mathematical nature of space time quantization in string theory/super string theory?

I don't know much about string theory, apart from it being a theory of everything which brings QM, QED and nuclear forces and gravity under one single roof. I am curious to know from a mathematical ...
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0answers
41 views

Prerequisites and introduction to string theory [duplicate]

Can someone please give me the prerequisites and mathematics required for string theory? Are there some good references to study it, both online and in a book? Please consider I am a newbie in string ...
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2answers
445 views

Why are diffraction gratings not called interference gratings?

It seems to me that diffraction gratings are completely described by the double slit experiment-why then is it called a diffraction grating?
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2answers
352 views

Should we necessarily express the dimensions of a physical quantity within square brackets? [duplicate]

For example, should we write the dimension of mass, e.g. $\mathrm{kg}$ as $[M]$ or is it enough to write it as $M$?
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0answers
38 views

Material to read before taking College Physics 1? [duplicate]

I'm transferring to a 4-year university from a 2-year college. I earned a Computer Science A.S., but must now combine Computer Science with Advanced Physics for my B.S. I'm actually very excited for ...
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1answer
332 views

Would someone who is only interested in string theory benefit from working out the problems in Jackson electrodynamics?

This is a soft question. I'm not sure if it is appropriate for this site. Would someone who is only interested in string theory benefit from working out the problems in Jackson electrodynamics? I ...
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4answers
264 views

How to correctly show units with a vector

Supposed I have an position vector $$\vec{r}=\begin{pmatrix} 10.0 & -30.0 & 25.0\end{pmatrix}$$ expressed in $\mathrm{millimeters}$. What is the correct notation to display $\vec{r}$ ...
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1answer
111 views

In general, could any ad-hoc relationship of constants be useful?

In general; if one creates an ad-hoc relationship of constants, can we use it to solve equations OR is it just an abstract/artificial math construct? I'm a grad student and as we all know, these ...
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2answers
79 views

Should theory be the appropriate term? [duplicate]

Should theory be the appropriate term? I mean, for example, because of the quantum field theory we have been able to find the subatomic particles that it theorized and make the Standard Model. Why ...
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0answers
65 views

Books for learning Mathematics in Physics? [duplicate]

Currently I'm doing Advanced Classical Mechanics courses. I'm finding it hard to understand due to the lack of knowledge in linear algebra, multi variable calculus and other chapters. Can anyone ...
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1answer
180 views

What would be the requirement to learn matrix mechanics? [duplicate]

What would be the requirement to learn matrix mechanics? More specifically, what math do I need? Can anyone recommend me a book that covers all maths needed for matrix mechanics?