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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2
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0answers
119 views

Why supra-conductivity became super-conductivity?

The original article by the Kamerlingh Onnes team in Leiden does not give a name to the new effect: Kamerlingh Onnes, H. Further experiments with liquid helium. C. On the change of electric ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Large object is pushed through a small wormhole, what happens?

A simple question about wormholes: What happens if a large object is pushed through a much smaller wormhole? For example, what happens if I push an elephant through a palm-sized wormhole? My intuition ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Have there been more distinctive names suggested for neutrino mass states $\nu_1, \nu_2, \nu_3$?

The different mass states of neutrinos are generally named $\nu_1, \nu_2, \nu_3$. By comparison, the names of quark mass states (up, ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

Why are lab Magnets painted red?

Wy are lab magnets painted red in color? I tried searching everywhere but couldn't get a satisfactory answer.
6
votes
3answers
807 views

Why the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics is 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Negligible Mass String

I've recently been working through a lot of physics problems and a lot of them say to assume that the mass of the string used in a problem involving a pulley, for example, is negligible. Why is this ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Benefits of the sign convention for electrons?

Benjamin Franklin considered electrons to be positive, but J.J. Thompson considered them negative. We obviously went with J.J. Thompson's convention. Why? What were the benefits of moving to J.J. ...
0
votes
3answers
263 views

How do 3D glasses work?

I am really curious as how do 3D glasses work. I know that they uses some kind of circular polarizers but how does this actually make the screen jump right out at you?
6
votes
2answers
148 views

Historical reason behind using $ν$ instead of $f$ to stand for frequency in the equation $E=hν$?

Normally, we use the letter $f$ to stand for frequency in equations. $$T = 1/f$$ $$v = \lambda f$$ $$Φ +E_k = h f$$ So I'm curious as why the letter $ν$ (nu) is used to represent frequency in the ...
0
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0answers
76 views

Why are there no explicit calculations in some articles

I am always baffled how in all the articles (theoretical ones), there is no explicit calculations, or at least some reference how to find it, or where to find it (the calculation). I get that, for ...
-2
votes
1answer
385 views

In truth, only atoms and the void

I have a question about this motto used by Sean Carroll in his blog: In truth, only atoms and the void. Can you explain what this sentence means? My interpretation is that the sentence does ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Obtaining a measurement very indirectly [closed]

While answering a question I came to reflect on the fact that in science experimental setups measure things indirectly. Example: the setup of the Pound-Rebka experiment. The amount of absorption was ...
8
votes
2answers
93 views

Can I use two SI prefexes

Is it ok to say $145\,{\rm k\,MPa}$ for $145\, {\rm GPa}$. We are so used to comparing stresses in ${\rm MPa}$ that I want to keep things relative to this unit. So would it be a no-no to do so.
3
votes
3answers
291 views

Why is gas(oline) in gas stations sold by volume (as opposed to mass)?

Fluids (including natural gasoline/petroleum) have variable volume based on the ambient temperature for the same mass of fluid. So, really, the amount of gas that you're filling your car with depends ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

Beginner projects in NMR quantum computing [closed]

I have applied for a summer project in NMR quantum computing as I want to learn this field, but my professor wants me to tell him the project title. I have no idea about the field and what projects ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Present experimental status of Moffat's Modified theory of Gravity

Modified theories of Gravity have been discussed before in this 2-year old question, Are modified theories of gravity credible? I was going through Moffat's modified gravity, given in ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Studying physics at undergraduate level: Prerequisites [duplicate]

I have been really interested in physics for some time and also take active interest in quantum mechanics. I would like to pursue physics as my undergrad major. What kind of prerequisites does one ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Paper in physics - calculations; rounding or not?

I'm currently a high schooler, and I'm writing my first scientific paper. The result is fairly simple, and it is nothing too special, but I see it as a nice way to prepare myself for the academic ...
7
votes
1answer
198 views

Any open areas to work in non equilibrium thermodynamics for a Phd student? [closed]

I see that many papers written on fundamentals of thermodynamics(theory) nowadays are by some old professors somewhere(there may be exceptions). Most active young faculty don't seem to be seriously ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

What is a good target to aim for when teaching myself quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

I'm interested in teaching myself quantum mechanics, and I'm looking for a good goal to aim for. I've got an undergrad maths degree and a graduate degree in probability theory and stochastic ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Book recommendation [duplicate]

I already learned the Physics' basics like Newton Laws, Electricity, and Optics. Can you recommend me a good book for advancing with my learning of physics(with some math)?
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Is everything in the universe discrete? [duplicate]

When beginning my education, I regarded nearly everything as continuous and analog in nature: Physical objects could have any mass on a continuous scale Light sources could emit any intensity of ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Analyse astronomical data

Recently I was told of a job offer to analyse astronomical data. The job offer states that they want somebody with knowledge of astronomical data analysis software and it will be a plus somebody who ...
4
votes
4answers
478 views

Entropy as an arrow of time

From what I understand, entropy is a concept defined by the experimentalist due to his ignorance of the exact microstate of a system. To say the number of accessible microstates $W$ of the universe is ...
4
votes
1answer
496 views

Way to become a physicist [duplicate]

I am a class 9 student in India. I want to become a physicist. What should I study after class 10? What are my options for colleges and universities? What should I do after my education? What are the ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Chemistry from a physical perspective [duplicate]

I'm currently learning chemistry for the first time, and loving it. I have a reasonably good physics and maths background and it's great to see things like spherical harmonics in quantum mechanics ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

How to deal with the notation of a function $f$ vs its value $f(x)$ in Physics?

This doubt is very silly, but anyway, I think it's worth asking. The problem is: when we work with mathematics, in many situations we want to consider sets $A$ and $B$ and functions $f : A \to B$. ...
5
votes
2answers
447 views

What is the significance of Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ to particle physics?

I was hoping someone could give an overview as to how the Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ and their representations can be applied to describe particle physics? The application of Lie groups and their ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

Orbital motion (Mechanics) [duplicate]

I am a student in Mechanical department and I took today a lesson with a title of Orbital motion. I need a good mechanics reference that discusses this topic.
3
votes
2answers
541 views

Equation of everything

Is this equation in the image true? Can you give some topics that I can cover the equation.
2
votes
0answers
66 views

How would Einstein's later years have been different with modern computers? [closed]

This is a historical question partly, and maybe too broad for this site, but would require some familiarity with modern physics research practice so hopefully appropriate here. Einstein's later ...
-2
votes
1answer
91 views

Do Physics concepts build on top of other concepts?

I am taking a calculus based physics class and I am struggling. I am wondering if I do not understand some concepts, will I be unable to understand future concepts introduced in the same class? In ...
0
votes
1answer
164 views

How to know if something is a primitive concept, a law, a definition or a theorem

Some basic Physics books are often misguiding in the sense that they don't make clear whether something is a primitive concept, a law, a definition or a theorem. This is often a little confusing. I've ...
5
votes
2answers
256 views

Do I need to study the “Standard Model” before studying String Theory?

After this semester, I'll have a background up to a first course in QFT (first 5 or 6 chapters of Peskin and Schroeder). The next step in QFT will be something specific to the Standard Model ...
0
votes
4answers
194 views

Can physics (ever) explain intrinsic properties of nature? [closed]

I may be totally off with this quite abstract (?) question(s). But still, here are some closely related sub-questions: Is there a list of currently "known" intrinsic properties of nature? How ...
3
votes
3answers
577 views

What is the next step beyond quantum computation?

Assuming we develop quantum computers one day, what would be theoretically the next step? Would it be string-theory based computers? How would these computers differ performance-wise (ie what can they ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Key difference between 3D and 4D solutions

In many papers in theoretical physics especially in the more advanced theories, I notice that physicists solve problems in 3 dimensions (2 spatial+ 1 temporal). In some specific papers (I can't seem ...
4
votes
1answer
345 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
197 views

Expansion of the universe and strain

From cosmological models that involve expansion of the universe, can we not say that there are ever increasing tidal forces felt by solid bodies? If so, the material in solid bodies like metal ...
1
vote
1answer
275 views

How widespread is the meme “QM is counterintuitive” in academic physics? [closed]

I have recently entered university — studying CS — and I have spoken to many physics students on campus. Most of these — when propmted — will gladly proclaim that QM is ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What Is The Difference Between The Maths That Physicists Use And The Maths On A Typical Mathematics Degree

Cross-posted to Math.SE here. Physicists are widely respected for using and sometimes even inventing mathematics yet physicists study Physics which is a subject in its own right. So surely someone ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Does physics address the topic of consciousness?

Does physics address the topic of consciousness? For instance, does physics say anything about how it might arise or what might be its qualitative properties? I'm wondering because it's interesting ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Physical structures that trap information

I labeled this question "soft" because it might not make any sense. Anyway, what I'm wondering is if there's a notion in physics that deals with the ability of matter to trap information. For ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Finding a paper about error analysis in DNA sequencing in solid state nanopores using entropy meta-heuristics

I attended a talk at the APS March Meeting in Baltimore with the following abstract: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR13/Event/186412 I have been trying to find a paper that covers the topic of ...
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Why do humans like to break the second law of thermodynamics? [closed]

Roughly speaking, Entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. However as humans, we tend to do the complete opposite. For instance, in a home if a painting that is hanging on the wall is ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Why Counterclockwise starts from East?

In vector lessons, we have counterclockwise angle of rotation of the vector starts from East. "The direction of a vector is often expressed as a counterclockwise angle of rotation of the vector about ...
5
votes
2answers
171 views

How do people historically have come to use the Yang-Mills theory in physics?

There are many books, in which Yang-Mills theory is introduced "just like that". But I didn't find some book with set of historical arguments, which had led people to using it in quantum field theory. ...
-1
votes
1answer
147 views

Does a fundamental principle require specific concepts? [closed]

The angular momentum principle is a fundamental principle. So it can explain a large variety of phenomenon. Doesn't it need concepts like center of mass also for explaining phenomenon? Or just the ...
2
votes
1answer
575 views

How to learn physics? [duplicate]

I am an engineering student (CSE) in India..But recently I have developed a strong love to physics..I want to learn physics and understand it in deep..I know physics is the search of deep fundamental ...
-4
votes
1answer
175 views

A ballpark figure on physicists [closed]

1) Out of the 7 billion+ people alive today, around how many have earned a PhD in physics? 2) Around how many physicists are working today? 3) Around how many physicists are being added to the work ...