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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0answers
88 views

Doing theoretical physics after an engineering major? [closed]

Some background: I'm majoring in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering, but I want to pursue theoretical physics. I'm currently In my second year of undergrad engineering. I attend some physics ...
3
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2answers
128 views

Why are some variables summed infinitesimally and others aren't?

This is something that has been bothering me and I hope the title kind of makes sense. It may be a stupid question but please be gentle. My question is, let's say we have current: $$I=\frac{dq}{dt}$$ ...
6
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1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of this “let there be light” joke?

Someone across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it. Update Related: What does this quote about the four dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric tensor mean?
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2answers
72 views

Is the physical design of the human beings the best possible? [closed]

The stature and design of the human body. Is it possible that the best physical structure belongs to a human being? If not. What are the flaws in it and what improvements could be done? Is there ...
16
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6answers
2k views

Why should any physicist know, to some degree, experimental physics?

I've been trying to design a list with reasons why a proper theoretical physicist should understand the methods and the difficulty of doing experimental physics. So far I've only thought of two ...
2
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1answer
95 views

The Thermodynamic Limit of Quantum Statistical Mechanics & Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory [closed]

The philosopher of physics Laura Reutsche argues in her book Interpreting Quantum Theories (review/summary here: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/9493/1/ruetsche-review.pdf ) that a "pristine" ...
2
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2answers
63 views

Quantifier problems of equations in physics

Equations in physics are often written without quantifiers. For instance, from time to time we can see the equation $$E = mc^2$$ is casually written down. I am wondering shouldn't it be written ...
-2
votes
2answers
166 views

Ideas for high school physics paper, including simulations [closed]

I have to write, with two friends, a simulation based physics paper at school. The problem is, that will I am quite familiar with the concepts of calculus and algebra, my friends aren't. So, we could ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Norsk Hydro and heavy water - what was the perceived threat?

Through various raids and acts of sabotage during WWII, the Allies succeeded in preventing Germany from coming into possession of large quantities of heavy water produced by the Norsk Hydro plant in ...
1
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5answers
655 views

Physical applications of matrices and determinants

Other than notation devices, I don't see any direct application of matrices/determinants in physics. For example, they are just a different way to write a partial derivative and determinants find if ...
0
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0answers
38 views

Im a high school finisher and I want to understand Physics theories [duplicate]

I have finished my A Levels (UK high school exam) , and I have studied Further Mathematics, Mathematics, and Physics in high school. I am really interested in learning about theories of Einstein, ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

Lexical/ontological/semantic knowledge base for physics

(1) Are there lexical/semantic knowledge bases for physics that can be used for automated reasoning and AI (like Princeton's Wordnet and MIT's Conceptnet for common sense English usage)? (2) If not ...
22
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6answers
3k views

Are there two theories that are mathematically identical but ontologically different?

I have no background in physics but there is a question that has been bothering me, so I'm asking you. Are there at least 2 physical theories that are : Mathematically identical, which means that ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

How can a biochemist become a physicist? [closed]

I am currently 22 years old, I graduated in Biochemistry and am now finishing my Master's in Bioengineering and Nanosystems, both with high grades. I've been thinking of leaving life sciences since ...
3
votes
2answers
596 views

List of the most fundamental equations of all Physics [closed]

On chapter 18 of "The Feynman Lectures on Physics Volume II: Mainly Electromagnetism and Matter", Richard Feynman presents a table which he says has "all that was known of fundamental classical ...
2
votes
0answers
165 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
8
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5answers
2k views

Is 'amp' a technically invalid term?

I've been told to use the term ampere in exams and class (I'm in high school), instead of amp as it's not a valid unit, although I've been using the amp for years along with all of my friends who do ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Rectifying incomplete popular notions in cosmology

In looking at the answers to this question regarding light from distant galaxies ever being visible to us: Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us? I came across a ...
0
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1answer
77 views

Conversion of energy to matter or antimatter?

We all know that matter converts into energy, but will energy convert into matter? Does it form antimatter by converting? Illustrate me with example.
1
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0answers
103 views

Is mechanics needed in order to learn electromagnetism? [closed]

I'm a college student who wants to learn physics. I want to get started with electromagnetism as soon as possible. Is it okay to skip over mechanics, or is mechanics a big requirement before starting ...
1
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0answers
247 views

point-particle vs rigid-body [closed]

As pointed out here point-particle-based modeling can lead to very inaccurate predictions. Could you give an example where point-particle-based model describes reality accurately enough and one where ...
1
vote
0answers
658 views

Physicists: Why do mathematicians insist on doing mathematics in a vaccuum and how do you deal with it [closed]

I'm trying to learn the theory of wavelet transform, a concept which is supposedly filled with enormous physical intuition, diagrams, pictures, things with physical analogies...but after 30 pages of ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

How you call the constant $\alpha$ within the heat equation in general and in terms of electromagnetism?

The heat equation or diffusion equation does contain a constant $\alpha$. $$\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} - \alpha \nabla^2 u=0$$ How is it called? I'm interested in a general name which can be ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Does supercavitation create vacuum?

While reading the amazing things that the mantis shrimp can do, such as moving two of their limbs so quickly that the water around them 'supercavitates', a friend of mine told me that those limbs were ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Amateur thoughts on QM theory at celestial scale

Some amateur scientist asked me that why can't one just simply apply the entire theory of QM at atomic scale to "quantize" celestial system with a different choice of $\hslash$, which he believed can ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Is the second law of thermodynamics a real law? [duplicate]

Everytime I ask people why the second law of thermodynamics is true, they say because the probability of entropy increasing is very large. This for some reason doesn't seem right for me. Just because ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

What is the performance of a silicon crystal that makes it an essential component to computing

I'm on a thread of interest in the precise physics that allow the creation of the computing process. It began as a question posted in search of an understandable explanation of what physical form ...
3
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5answers
1k views

Why aren't units with powers, like cm³, surrounded by parentheses?

Since $\renewcommand{\unit}[1]{\,\mathrm{#1}} 1\unit{dm} = 10^{-1}\unit{m}$, it follows that $1\unit{dm^3} = 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \unit{m^3} = 10^{-3} \unit{m^3}$. However, in ...
2
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2answers
268 views

Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle?

Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle? The principle is often quoted in counting the number of zero energy states localized on the interface between two insulators with distinct band ...
0
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1answer
108 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
131 views

How to get funding for research on something that can revolutionize the quantum world! [closed]

I think this can revolutionize the quantum world! Any ideas on how to impress physicists to get a full fledged funding for research?
3
votes
2answers
218 views

Why does smashing a TV remote load its batteries?

Many times I had the same problem: my TV remote's batteries were too weak for it to operate, but then, when I shook the remote a bit and smashed it on my palm, somehow the remote regained its ability. ...
1
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0answers
166 views

How should a math undergrad student prepare himself to study GR and QM? [duplicate]

I'm quite sure that similar questions like this have been asked for more than thousands of times on here but since each person's background and interests are unique I believe questions like this ...
2
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0answers
40 views

Are there any applications of elementary number theory to science? [duplicate]

I've taken a class on elementary number theory (for fun), but now I wonder: was it at all useful to learn number theory for my future career in physics? More to the point, are there any applications ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

Why does the BB84 paper “Quantum cryptography: Public key distribution and coin tossing” have a 'withdrawn' status?

The original paper proposing quantum key distribution protocol (now known as BB84): Charles H. Bennett, Gilles Brassard, Quantum cryptography: Public key distribution and coin tossing seems to ...
3
votes
4answers
768 views

In which field of mathematics do I learn path integrals?

I don't mean line integrals, I am talking about path integrals or functional integrals like the ones that Feynman introduced to quantum mechanics. And what are the prerequisites to this field of ...
0
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2answers
77 views

Changing from potential to kinetic energy

During a conversation with a friend, I began to wonder if there's is a term for the transformation of potential energy to kinetic energy, and vice versa.Is there a term for the process of converting ...
2
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0answers
93 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
371 views

BBC radiation: What is it?

I'm reading articles about blazars, and in a discussion about models concerning Blazar SEDs (Spectral Energy Densities) there are mentions of different processes: Sychrotron scattering, inverse ...
0
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1answer
207 views
1
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0answers
53 views

On becoming theoretical physicist [duplicate]

I'm a high school student. I'll start self learning of physics and maths. I want to be theoretical physicist. I'm especially interested in gravitational physics. I wonder which website advice below is ...
0
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0answers
31 views

Required skills for a scientist [duplicate]

I wanna become a scientist, so wanna improve my skill like problem solving etc. Could you suggest me some more skills which I need to improve.
2
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4answers
128 views

Drake's equation

Some years ago i read about this equation that helps us estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. Now, i am wondering if there are results ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

How do I develop a deeper understanding of physics? [closed]

I'm thinking about majoring in physics, but I don't think my background is really strong at the moment. I've completed the standard first year math and physics sequence (multivariable ...
1
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0answers
147 views

Is it possible to do a PhD in theoretical physics after a BSc in Mathematics [closed]

I would like to ask if it is useful to have a solid maths background (but only 2 courses of "general physics" and 2 of "mathematical physics") as BSc in order to be a successful researcher in ...
1
vote
0answers
198 views

Most useful maths for theoretical and mathematical physics [closed]

I am going to apply for a programme of mathematical and theoretical physics for graduate studies and I'm currently studying maths. What is a good area to do a thesis (that is to say, considerable ...
0
votes
1answer
599 views

Is there a name for a substance that is a gas at room temperature?

Is there a name for a substance that is a gas at room temperature, such as Hydrogen, Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Chlorine, Fluorine, Bromine, Nitrogen, and Oxygen. I am writing a paper where ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How does the research in theoretical physics differ from mathematics

I would like to know what is the difference between research in theoretical physics and pure mathematics. In particular, what does a theoretical physicist actually do all day long for his research? In ...
4
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2answers
93 views

Different equivalent representations for same physics

I want to expand my understanding of physics and just watched a Feynman lecture where he said "every theoretical physicist who is any good knows six or seven different theoretical representations for ...
28
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4answers
3k views

Which is more fundamental, Fields or Particles?

I hope that I am using appropriate terminology. My confusion about quantum theory (beyond my obvious unfamiliarity with its terminology) is basically twofold: I lack an adequate understanding of ...