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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6
votes
4answers
220 views

Is differential geometry used in solid state?

I'm an undergraduate in physics interested in a career in solid state. While I know that any additional math is helpful--I am on time constraints, and can only take a few supplemental classes. That ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Newton's Principia: Astronomical prerequisites?

I am planning to read the Principia but I currently have no knowledge about Astronomy. What astronomy prerequisites do I need to understand the Principia? I would prefer older books (or "treatises"), ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are grams usually only expressed as milligrams, grams or kilograms?

I'm a physics (and electronics and astronomy, etc.) enthusiast. As I learn and research topics, I notice that many SI units are often expressed using a variety of prefixes, such as in electronics ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Realistic Potential Wells

What is meant by the term "realistic" potential wells? I got stuck into the term as I don't know what are the limitations of the word realistic in this case. For example mentioned in line We ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Using theater lamp for heating [duplicate]

I'm asking myself a question about how to warm my house up, and the efficiency of such a thing : I live in a theater, and we got plenty of 1000W lighting fixture, mostly Tungsten incandescence ...
3
votes
0answers
83 views

When did people start to regard “time” as a physical quantity? [closed]

I was trying to figure out how people came to know about time then I realized that people started keeping track of time to know about sunset and sunrise. But I can't figure out how did time came into ...
2
votes
2answers
190 views

Is Physics being formally documented somewhere?

Physics is an extremely diverse subject, with new phenomenon being mapped by the second. So, is it all being formally documented somewhere? I'm specifically looking for a centralized, formal ...
1
vote
2answers
297 views

Examples of applications of real-valued closed 1-forms in physics [closed]

Closed 1-forms are well-studied in foliation topology, algebraic geometry, and theory of manifolds. What are examples of their most typical or most interesting applications in physics? I do not mean ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

GRE subject exam advice [duplicate]

So, I would like to ask those of you who have had this experience for some advice. What book is best for GRE subject exam? I have noticed that some books online have mistakes, so I would like if you ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Advice on Major Selection [closed]

I need a bit of an advice in deciding my major. My university allows only one major (along with minors) and I'm having a little bit of trouble in deciding what to do. Here's the thing. I want to go ...
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Model Selection in Physics [closed]

My high-level understanding of the scientific method is that it can be summarized in the following steps, in no particular order: Make conjectures & hypotheses (theory) Make predictions ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Good Resource for Classifying Statistical Mechanics Problems [closed]

I've grown very interested in statistical mechanics ever since I took my first course in it. However, it feels like it is just overflowing with many types of problems and plenty of categories to ...
2
votes
0answers
137 views

If tachyons were real, where would they originate from? [closed]

If the hypothetical tachyon existed, where would it possibly originate from? or is this question off the realms within the current state of physics. Also what are some ways physicist have tried to ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
750 views

Maths behind gravity assist

What kind of maths is behind gravity assists and in general the theory of orbits, and how deep does it go? I am just wondering if I know enough prerequisites!
2
votes
0answers
219 views

What is the difference between a philosopher of science and a theoretical physicist? [closed]

What is the characteristic objective difference in objectively observable attitudes and research styles between a philosopher of physics and a theoretical physicist? Was Ernst Mach more of a ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

What topics do I need to study electromagnetism on the quantum scale? [closed]

What topics do I need to study (in order) so that I can study electromagnetics on the quantum scale? What is the name of the discipline studying electromagnetism on the quantum scale? Do I need to ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

What are some good physics websites for learning in general? [duplicate]

As a 17-year-old who is interested in physics and especially in the laws of the universe, what are some good websites that are clear explanations and straight to the point?
0
votes
3answers
122 views

Is it acceptable to base a physical theory on a philosophical idea?

Are theories that are based on the philosophy acceptable in Physics? If the theory is based on the philosophy that obtained from laboratory experiments, can it be accepted?
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Relativistic non-linear Walecka model

What is meant by a relativistic non-linear Walecka model? What are some various sources to study it? [And why cannot Google show a satisfactory result to such a simple question?]
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between “numerical methods” & “mathematical analysis” as said by Feynman in his lectures?

While reading his lectures, I came to these lines: On the basis of Newton's second law of motion,which gives the relation between the acceleration of any body & the force acting on it,any ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Practical Book on Hamiltonian and Lagrangians? [duplicate]

Are there any terse, accessible books that are geared specifically at learning these two formalisms and how to effectively use them? So far I've only see either topic introduced as a part of another ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Why Penrose's conjecture that consciousness is affected by quantum phenomenon too much of a stretch for Hawking [closed]

Why did Stephen Hawking feels that Penrose's statement on quantum consciousness is too much of a stretch? This is a classical reductionist argument. Humans are made by atoms, atoms are made by ...
1
vote
2answers
314 views

How “fundamental” is quantum information/computation?

I am wondering how fundamental the study of quantum information theory and computation is, in the sense of contributing to our understanding of the basic laws of nature. Will quantum information ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Research papers readable by first years? [closed]

This coming Spring I'll be running a Mechanics I lab for freshman (as a teaching assistant) and I'll have some say as to the way I do it. So I was thinking it would be nice if I could find some ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Where did the Word 'Physics' Come From? [closed]

As the title suggests, where did the name for the discipline 'Physics' come from? - does it mean something in Greek?
1
vote
0answers
119 views

Is multiverse generally accepted among cosmologists? [closed]

Is it consensus among cosmologist that there is probably at least one type of multiverse? Is there any renowned physicist who rejects the idea of multiverse? I'm not talking about those who claim it's ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Greiner or Landau for Math major student? [closed]

For textbook series by Greiner or Landau, is it recommended to start reading for math major students, who have no serious physics background, but comfortable with maths ? It seems that both Greiner ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Confusion about the use of the term “Phase Space” in Strogatz text

I've just started learning about Hamiltonian mechanics, and from the definition given in Taylor's classical mechanics, phase space must always have an even dimension. However, I recall from reading ...
0
votes
3answers
143 views

Proof in physics

Is 100% proof of a theory possible in physics, or all we can do is to see how well it stacks up against observations and then decide if we accept it or not? If so, isn't there a danger ,however ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

What is this simple mechanism called? [closed]

I often build with Lego and use this mechanism: It converts the rotational movement to linear by making the stick between the two blocks go back and forth. What is this mechanism called?
0
votes
3answers
66 views

Image angle illusion [closed]

I am not sure whether this question on-topic here. (please suggest to migrate if this is off-topic) What is the phenomenon/illusion (or something else?) known as where in a photo of a person, the ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

Why is a thought experiment a valid way to prove anything?

Isn't a thought experiment as subjective as you could make science be? Is it that since it is impossible with our current methods, we are simply skipping too many hurdles that would have to first be ...
1
vote
3answers
174 views

What really is “inertial force”?

In Fluid Mechanics we often see the term inertial force when discussing Reynolds number. The problem is, I didn't really get what's this inertial force. Basically, the notion of inertia I have is that ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Specific scenario involving rotation and inertial frames of reference?

We recently went over some rotational motion in my freshman physics class, I had a question for the professor on your frame of reference, and how that would effect the rotation of the object. Say you ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

The spin and weight of a primary field in CFT

A primary field in Conformal Field Theory transforms as $$\phi (z,\bar{z}) =\left(\frac{dz}{dz'} \right)^h \left(\frac{d\bar{z}}{d\bar{z}'} \right)^\bar{h}\phi (z',\bar{z}') $$ under a conformal ...
1
vote
0answers
304 views

Which field of theoretical physics is most promising? [closed]

I'm about to choose university and I really love physics, but I don't know about use of it. What field is most promising to study? Where could I work with subatomic particles PhD? Or maybe nuclear ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Will the usage of Exo-Skeleton Gear actually weaken the human body over time? [closed]

As we all know, Exo Skeletons as they exist now are just a series of Force multiplying apparatuses working together, also the human body changes to accommodate environment specific factors in order to ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Are Mathematics the language of the universe? [closed]

I am a high school student and next year i am going to be a physics major, so this year i put all my effort on physics and mathematics, since it a great tool for physicists. But now i wonder, in ...
5
votes
0answers
125 views

Is Physics really a rigorous subject? [closed]

Though I can't give a precise definition of the term rigor (or better to say mathematical rigor) but intuitively in case of mathematics one may note that when we say that 'the proof is rigorous' we ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Does Bell's inequalities also rule out non-computable local hidden variable theories?

I have beenn reading different articles on Bell's assumptions and interpretations, including superdeterminsm. I always end up dizzy when I try tho think about this specific question, so any hints ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Differences between astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology? [closed]

What is the main difference between Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology? I have the impression that astronomy is a subject that runs parallel to physics but it is outside the physics field. This ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Ideas for physics-related simulations to code up as weekend (or monthly) projects [closed]

What are some good ideas for simulations that I could try to implement/code in my spare time just for educational purposes? I'm thinking that it would be a good way for me to delve into the underlying ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

Is there a scientific term for star formation?

It might be my stupidity to think that many laymen terms that most people use to describe some physics phenomena usually have a scientifically accepted term or name? The process of star formation, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a quark bomb possible?

I am wondering about the possibility of making a bomb out of the binding energy of quarks inside hadrons. I know that about confinement and all that, but I wonder if there is a way to harness this ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

What kind of math is used in QFT? [duplicate]

What branch(es) of math are used in Quantum Field Theory? Or the question, by way of analogy: Tensor Calculus is to General Relativity as What is to Quantum Field Theory?
1
vote
0answers
95 views

How big does a natural gas compressor station have to be, so as its possible explosion to produce power equal to that of a nuclear bomb [closed]

I live in Greece and a natural gas compressor station is going to be constructed within a radius of 3km. That got me wondered. Can a possible explosion produce equal power with the little boy, the ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Non-random observations (regarding physical quantity)?

Are there completely deterministic observations? More detailed: Talking about an observations process for which of the following sentences would you vote: Version 1 (always random): "These ...
0
votes
1answer
664 views

What's the relationship between input power and intensity / frequency of radiated EM waves?

I've seen an example of an electric dipole that radiates power proportional to $\ \omega^{4} $. My question is: given a fixed amount of input power to drive the dipole, while varying the driving ...
-2
votes
1answer
99 views

Effects of travel greater than speed of light [closed]

What will happen if a person with say weight of 100 kilograms, starts to travel with, a) equal to speed of light? b) greater than speed of light?