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
88 views

What does a unit like $C^{1/5}$ or $kg^{1/2}$ physically mean?

I'm more of a math guy than a physics guy so bear with me.... In fractal geometry, fractals are considered to have fractional dimension. For instance an object such as the Koch curve has a fractal ...
2
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2answers
153 views

How are weights and scales used by the public calibrated?

My physics teacher has a set of masses: things from 1 to 10 grams. My chemistry teacher has electronic balances that measures things in grams. In France, there is a block of metal we hope no one ...
2
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1answer
207 views

When was the first time that superconducting quasiparticles were called Majorana fermions?

Since a number of years, the field of superconductivity has a growing obsession with Majorana fermions. I wonder how far back we can go: When was the first time that superconducting quasiparticles ...
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2answers
193 views

What does the “T” stand for in T-duality?

First of all, I am not a physicist. I'm a graduate math student and recently I came across the concept of T-duality. Actually I'm studying generalized complex geometry, which according to this paper ...
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2answers
204 views

Help with high school physics [duplicate]

I am studying high school physics and it seems i have memorize the equation and use it mechanically in doing question and memorize lots of physical phenomena.I know a lot of physical phenomena can be ...
2
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0answers
340 views

What was Feynman's famous formula?

In Welton(1983), Memories of Feynman, Welton mentions two formulas which he denotes as Feynman's Famous Formula (FFF) and FFF #2. Which famous formulas is he talking about? Is he maybe talking about ...
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2answers
234 views

Sign convention for the Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}$

In special relativity, one is confronted with a quadratic form called proper time, which is $c^2t^2-(x^2+y^2+z^2)$, $t$ being time and $x,y,z$ being the space coordinates. One usually introduces a ...
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2answers
154 views

Usage of singular or plural SI base units when written in both symbol as well as name [closed]

I have multiple doubts related to the usage of singular or plural SI base units when written in both symbol as well as name. I have framed this question under two parts, namely, Part (a) and Part ...
6
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1answer
314 views

Physical intuition/interpretation of fractional derivatives/integrals?

Oftentimes, when the derivative and integral operations are introduced within the realm of physics, we are taught some physical interpretation of them: Velocity is the derivative of position ...
21
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4answers
3k views

If the LHC-calculated mass of the Higgs is wrong, how long will it take to determine this with confidence? [closed]

After I watched "Particle Fever"--the movie about Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the successful identification of the Higgs boson--I became a bit concerned with that team's handling of various ...
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1answer
102 views

Requirements prior to Quantum Mechanics [duplicate]

What are the requirements in physics and mathematics that somebody must have in order to start learning Quantum Mechanics by himself?
2
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1answer
190 views

What is the meaning of phenomenology?

From what I understand, phenomenology as it is used in science means talking about the details of a phenomenon without going deep into the fundamental physical processes that lead to the phenomenon. ...
3
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3answers
414 views

What would happen to me if I was in the LHC while it was running? [duplicate]

This is possibly a stupid question, but one I have been always wondering. What would happen to me if I was in the center of the Large hadron Collider while it was running? Would the energy of the beam ...
2
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0answers
32 views

Modern textbooks on quantum mechanics [duplicate]

I'm looking for modern textbooks on quantum mechanics that treat topics such as quantum entanglement , bell's theorem , quantum teleportation , quantum information theory , The Many-world ...
1
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1answer
96 views

What is the relationship between harmonic motion and the harmonics of a wave?

I learned about harmonic motion and harmonic oscillators a long time ago in physics, but I can't remember what the relationship between that and and the definition of harmonic in a wave. A harmonic ...
2
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0answers
63 views

Have any prominent physicists been 'scooped'? [closed]

I'm really curious as to whether any prominent physicists have had a major breakthrough, only to have another scientist publish the achievement before they managed to, and whether the credit was given ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Production of electric field [closed]

How does varying magnetic field produce an electric field? Is it a natural phenomenon having no reason? i want the process/steps of producing of an electric field by a varying magnetic field.
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3answers
6k views

Forces on a ball thrown upwards

When a ball is thrown up in upward direction, it is said that force is in downward direction. Why we don't we consider the force given to the ball to throw up in the upward direction? Is there is no ...
0
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0answers
45 views

What level of mathematics would I need to understand the physics of a black hole? [duplicate]

I recently went to go see the movie Interstellar and was awed by the visualizations of the wormhole and the black hole Gargantua. I read that noted physicist Kip Thorne was a consulting producer on ...
2
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1answer
55 views

What is the difference between a measurement and an experiment?

For example, say I want to determine the atomic structure of a bio molecule. I purify the molecule, get it to crystallize (probably though trial and error), shoot it with X-rays, observe the scatter ...
3
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2answers
116 views

Ion-propelled vs. Ion Thruster

I am fifteen and an aspiring Mechanical Engineer. I read about ion-propelled aircraft, and was fascinated. On NASA's YouTube channels they outlined Ion Thrusters as a potential way to reach greater ...
0
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2answers
96 views

Name for Earth?

What is the proper word for 'Earth', as in 'Solar' and 'Lunar'? I cannot find this anywhere; I am guessing there is a word that starts with geo?
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2answers
201 views

Is the intuition of “absolute simultaneity” necessarily wrong?

I read about Einstein’s theories of relativity with all the interesting stuff like time dilation, mass increase and whatnot. And also about the relativity or conventionality of simultaneity. The ...
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2answers
121 views

An attempt to understand Quantum mechanics [closed]

Can I learn quantum mechanics just by knowing basic calculus and algebra? I know basic differential calculus and integral calculus. I am willing to study to understand what quantum mechanics means. ...
3
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0answers
221 views

Why is imaginary time “outdated”? [closed]

I was looking at reviews for Sakurai's Quantum Mechanics textbook, and some mentioned it being outdated, specifically mentioning his use of imaginary time. Is this idea deliberately avoided in modern ...
2
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0answers
102 views

As an older student, is it better to finish my degree or go straight into studying physics now? [closed]

I'm a 23 year old going through a very early mid-life crisis, and considering a career change to physics. I would be very greatful for any advice :) I'm currently studying medicine, but I've realized ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Quantum physics and constructable numbers [duplicate]

I do not know much about quantum physics. However, I do know it believes the world is discrete ( has quanta). This seems to contradicts the fact that we can create an object of length root 2 since you ...
1
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2answers
135 views

What are $\mu$ and $\nu$ in $g_{\mu\nu}$ metric?

What are $\mu$ and $\nu$ in $g_{\mu\nu}$ metric? Consider the metric $g_{\mu\nu} = \begin{pmatrix} 1 & 0 &0 \\ 0 & r^2 & 0\\ 0 & 0 & r^2\sin^2\theta \end{pmatrix}$
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2answers
96 views

Books on Quantum Measurement

I have been trying to understand clearly the concept of non locality, hidden variables, quantum measurement etc through research papers. I also read Quantum Theory and measurment by Wheeler and Zurek ...
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0answers
58 views

Correction of arrow of particle direction

I have seen a stamp of Richard Feynman where Feynman hold the famous Feynman diagram. But is there any problem of the direction of arrow?
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2answers
73 views

Is a constant transformation still considered a gauge transformation?

I've never even considered the possibility that a constant transformation would not qualify as a gauge transformation. But I'm reading a paper that seems to make exactly this distinction. In ...
0
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4answers
65 views

Who is said to do Work, me or the body?

If I subject my force to a body and it is displaced then the work is said to be done. What is that work done by? Is it said to be done by me or that body?
0
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1answer
87 views

If a cube magnet were a die, how would it be numbered?

I have a number of cube-shaped magnets. If I start with 64 cubes all in one long chain and begin arbitrarily "folding over" groups of them so that I am left with a 4x4x4 cube, I rarely get the same ...
5
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5answers
376 views

How to find references from publications in the physics literature?

Coming from Computer Science, I'm a bit puzzled about the format of references in physics publications. They usually lack a title, which I'm usually using to locate a publication online (for obtaining ...
1
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1answer
52 views

Role of math in science [closed]

Is it important for a physicist to be good at math? Should he be on par with a mathematician? According to me physics and math are like English and biology we study them in the same language but they ...
0
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1answer
521 views

Why quantum electrodynamics? [duplicate]

Most of the people seem pretty much content with classical electromagnetic theory .And most of the applications use classical EM theory .However, in such situations I would like to know what was the ...
1
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2answers
131 views

Statistical mechanics vs. many-body theory

Where is the basic difference of statistical mechanics with many-body physics? What are the systems which cannot be studied in statistical mechanics but in many body theory? After all we know ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of an image on Feynman's shirt

Is there any physical meaning of the image on Feynman's T-shirt?
0
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3answers
131 views

Electric warning signs question

I've always wandered why do the warning signs show the voltage, not the current. I mean, it's the current that kills you.
5
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6answers
298 views

Explain the notion of light/electromagnetic waves/photons to a non-physicist

A non-physicist asked me about special relativity. My explanations naturally were based on gedankenexperiments involving light. This forced the question: "What is light? It is particles, isn't? Or is ...
34
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8answers
6k views

Will we ever be able to view the past?

By analogy with the sun, whose light is apparently reaching us in 8 minutes, it means that we are only viewing the sun 8 minutes ago when we look up at it. However, what if we were eventually able to ...
2
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6answers
243 views

Is $∣1 \rangle$ an abuse of notation?

In introductory quantum mechanics it is always said that $∣ \rangle$ is nothing but a notation. For example, we can denote the state $\vec \psi$ as $∣\psi \rangle$. In other words, the little arrow ...
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4answers
135 views

Why does the mathematical constant $e$ enter into quantum mechanics so much?

In A. Zee's book Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, he mentions on pages 11-12 the following formula which he assumes reader had encountered before: \begin{equation} \langle q | p \rangle ~=~ ...
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0answers
113 views

What's the best GR book for recreational study? [closed]

I currently have four books. Hartle Schutz Cheng Carroll (lecture notes) Which one is best for me to read easily? (especially, for foreigners) Or Do you guys can give good recommendations that ...
0
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0answers
75 views

Intuitive model to show difference between photon energy and light intensity?

What would be a good (intuitive, easily comprehensible) model to explain the quantum nature of light insofar as there is a fundamental difference between intensity and photon energy? One example (not ...
0
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4answers
136 views

What is the 'normal/standard' formulation of quantum mechanics called?

I know of at least three equivalent formulations of QM: The "normal/standard" one, dealing with Hilbert spaces and state vectors. The Feynman path-integral formulation. The Wigner-Weyl phase space ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Semantics: alternative word for long-ranged interaction? [closed]

I am working on wording for a report. I need to a word to describe long ranged interaction that is constant in strength. But I am aware that people sometimes use 'long-ranged' to mean decaying ...
4
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0answers
55 views

Why is an Ampere an SI unit? [duplicate]

It has always annoyed me that an Ampere is an SI unit, rather than a Coulomb. Why is this the case? Was current discovered first historically? I believe that the standards were published in the 1960s, ...
3
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2answers
278 views

Why doesn't a glass french press shatter when boiling water is poured in?

When I was little, I accidentally shattered a glass cooking instrument due to applying far too drastic a temperature change to it. Since then, I've been a bit afraid of doing it again. Of late, I've ...
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3answers
826 views

Prerequisites for classical mechanics by Susskind

So I am an undergraduate in Electrical Engineering. We had a course on Physics in our freshman year which is equivalent to Classical Mechanics I as taught in MIT. I am interested in studying advanced ...