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
40 views

Prequisite for the Feynman lectures? [duplicate]

It obviously requires single- and multi-variable calculus and linear algebra, but what else? And where do you suggest to get that background from?this isn't a duplicate because I'm for the math needed ...
2
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0answers
93 views

Differential Equations - Waves (Physics self-study suggestions) [closed]

I apologize ahead of time, in case this post is not allowed. After taking a few courses at a community college, I've taken the fall 2013 semester off (I was accepted into a university for the spring ...
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2answers
169 views

does time exist in space or does space exist in time [duplicate]

Does time exist in space or does space exist in time? Alternatively, perhaps both are independent existences? Another possibility is that this question is beyond the capacities of the human mind.
0
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1answer
174 views

About units and plural form

The plural form of physical units are always confusing me. I asked some senior students, some of them said we need to use plural form of units but some said units are always singular. For example, 1 ...
0
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1answer
91 views

Which physics subjects should a math major follow if s/he's interested in Smart Grid Networks?

I study mathematics and I would like to work on Smart Grid Networks in the (near) future. I would like to do so by applying optimization theory, percolation theory, Markov chains and more to problems ...
2
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5answers
427 views

Why mathematical equations can describe this world? [closed]

Since I want to understand the world, I learn physics from textbooks. But I feel there is a gap between the textbook and the world. I do not know why the equations in the textbook can control the ...
0
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0answers
76 views

What kind of physics topics exist? [duplicate]

The question says everything I want to know, but for more details: I enjoy studying physics but the problem is that I can't find any information with a summary of all physics topics, collected ...
2
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2answers
328 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
99 views

Are there examples of online physics collaboration similar to polymath for mathematicians?

When it comes to maths collaboration online, the mathematicians seem to be very well organised. A recent example is Polymath8 from Terence Tao's blog: The main objectives of the polymath8 project, ...
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2answers
262 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?
3
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3answers
234 views

Physical significance of getting an non-integrable function in an equation

I just found out during my Calculus course in High School, that there exist functions which cannot be integrated. Then I thought that I come across a lot of integrals while solving Physics ...
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0answers
48 views

Helping/explanatory notes for Landau&Lifschitz Physics Course [duplicate]

I've recently restored my interest on theoretical physics (I have a master degree in Electrical Engineering) and began my study with first volume of the Physics Course by Landau and Lifshitz. This is ...
1
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2answers
84 views

Any projects to build a telescope in space?

Like in the title. With E-ELT we are pushing the limit of what we can build on the ground. With JWST we are pushing the limit of what can we launch into space. So instead, why don't we launch tools ...
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0answers
52 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 ...
0
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0answers
39 views

A set of problems for “The Theoretical Minimum” Stanford course [duplicate]

I'm really excited by an opportunity to watch Leonard Susskind's course "The Theoretical Minimum". However, I couldn't find any physics problems on the website, and I'm a little bit wary of just ...
1
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2answers
222 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, ...
4
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1answer
189 views

What do you call the period after sunrise when the sky is bright?

At sunrise, the sky isn't actually up in the sky yet. Twilight occurs before sunrise, then at sunrise the leading part of the sun crosses the horizon. But, the sky isn't bright yet. It takes some time ...
7
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4answers
585 views

Church-Turing hypothesis as a fundamental law of physics

The Church-Turing hypothesis says one can not build a computing device which has more computing power (in terms of computability) than the abstract model of Turing machine. So, there is something in ...
1
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0answers
202 views

Good place/supervisor for PhD in Theory of Condensed matter [closed]

I am currently finishing my undegraduate degree in physics and would like to do PhD in Theory of Condensed Matter field. Could you give advice on which are good groups/supervisors in the field. ...
5
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2answers
173 views

Celestial Time-Keeping and Navigation

Say, for sake of argument, someone was randomly transported in time and space. Would it be possible for them to determine their location on Earth and the current time using just observations of the ...
1
vote
2answers
232 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 $M$?
0
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3answers
395 views

Measuring speed of a vehicle

I'm very primitive with my thought. So please help if you can in layman terms with an answer to this question. Here we go- by using a street power pole as the source responder, is it possible to read ...
19
votes
8answers
2k views

Why is there a size limitation on animals?

Why is there a size limitation on human/animal growth? Assuming the technology exists for man to grow to 200 feet high, it's pretty much a given that the stress on the skeletal structure and joints ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Does magnetism affect corrosion?

Supposing there is an iron nail that is left to rust, if we compare the time it takes to rust with that of a magnetized iron nail, will there be any difference in the time of corrosion (assuming other ...
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1answer
139 views

What cause scientists to study Black Body Radiation?

After spending hours understanding what exactly Black Body radiation and Ultraviolet catastrophe is, I cannot help myself asking what was the reason that make scientists such as Wilhelm Wien and Max ...
7
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2answers
284 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
322 views

Would a sea level rise (on the other side of the Earth) if you would dip your finger into the ocean?

(I'm not a physicist & I hope this question isn't too basic/lame) The question says it all & assuming: No atmosphere No Earth rotation Not a single object in the ocean(s) Ignore all other ...
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0answers
36 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Education : Students devising and solving their own problems [closed]

I apologize in advance for the nature of this question. I have been thinking lately of methods to increase the quality of my self-study. I have been meaning, but never actually got to, in addition ...
7
votes
1answer
647 views

Educational physics stories with a funny punchline [closed]

As a physicist, when I'm giving lectures or during colloquiums, I usually find it necessary to have some appropriate and related jokes in hand. All of the best teachers have some, and they use them ...
0
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2answers
188 views

What is the required prerequisite knowledge of QM, for starting QFT?

As a physics bsc student, I have a very limited knowledge of QM: Dirac formalism, Schrodinger equation and simple solutions (oscillators, particle in a given potential, hydrogen-like atom etc). There ...
25
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6answers
2k views

Canonical everyday-life example of a technology that could not work without humans mastering QM in analogy to the application of GR in GPS?

The GPS is a very handy example in explaining to a broad audience why it is useful for humanity to know the laws of general relativity. It nicely bridges the abstract theory with daily life ...
2
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4answers
367 views

Are Lagrangians and Hamiltonians used by Engineers?

Analytical Mechanics (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian) are useful in Physics (e.g. in Quantum Mechanics) but are they also used in application, by engineers? For example, are they used in designing bridges ...
2
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4answers
140 views

Suggestions of a non-linear example for a small research project on numerical solution of ODEs?

I'm a first year undergrad and I'm doing a small research extension on numerically solving ODEs. I have done the main ODE course at my university, as well as physics. The second part of the project ...
7
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1answer
115 views

An approachable example of a field with a “mass gap”

Preamble: I have come to believe that alot of difficulties in explaining physics to people of all levels comes from the relatively mundane idea of a wave equation with a mass gap $$\left(-\partial^2_t ...
0
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3answers
151 views

Clarity in Electric field Definition?

The electric field at a point is defined as q/$r^2$. How does this definition take the nature of source and test charge into consideration. If I bring any positive/negative charge around the source ...
3
votes
2answers
450 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?
2
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1answer
219 views

Online physics diagram tool

What is a suitable tool for drawing physics diagrams online? I would love to know if there is a program like the excellent schematic drawing tool that is integrated into the electrical engineering ...
3
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1answer
158 views

Where did the concept of energy come from?

Energy seems to me to be a very abstract thing, and while it clearly works out very nicely, I don't understand how anyone would have thought to come up with it. Where does the concept of energy find ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Do I think or listen - physics talks [closed]

I am just a student, still I have already listened to a few talks on physics. In my study program everyone has to give a talk of about 45 minutes what he did in his about 1-2 month reach project ...
0
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3answers
178 views

What is the name of the equation which led to the Schrödinger one?

What is the name of this equation: $$\frac {d^2\psi}{dr^2}+k^2\psi=0?$$ (I want a Wikipedia link for this equation, but I don't know what its name is.) Point: In this equation, the wave function ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

How is everything a field

I've heard before that everything in physics can be thought of as either a field, or its excitation. Is there some intuitive explanation of how I can look at gravity, light, electromagnetism, etc as a ...
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votes
1answer
102 views

Superposition and the Winning Jackpot Numbers

Let's say I buy myself a lottery ticket (Mega-Millions). I have $\frac{1}{175,711,536}$ chance of winning. Before I tune on the tv/radio and listen to the winning numbers (i.e. make an observation), ...
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votes
1answer
135 views

why no derivation in scientific papers? [closed]

Is there a reason why scientific papers rarely show derivation of an equation? I fail to see the any advantages ( besides savings latex hours for the authors) of this approach which is the standard ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Application of Calculus in Physics

Why do we apply Calculus in Physics when most of the quantities are not continuous and are not symmetrical at all levels of magnification? Aren't most, if not all, forms of Matter and Energy discrete? ...
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0answers
49 views

Why are polymer representations called “polymer representations”?

Why are polymer representations called "polymer representations"? Polymer representations deal with non-continuous unitary representations of groups acting on nonseparable Hilbert spaces (see e.g. ...
2
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2answers
348 views

Human power on treadmill

On an elliptical treadmill a regular person can easily burn 1000 calories in one hour (treadmill reports calories burnt). This translates into: $$(1\times 10^3\mathrm{cal/hr}\times ...
0
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1answer
111 views

Is everything in the physical world composite?

In philosophy there is a principle that anything composite cannot have existed eternally, since it is preceded by its parts and whatever forces assembled it. Is everything in the physical world ...
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0answers
143 views

Does a point exist in the real world [duplicate]

In mathematics we can have an infinite number of points between two integers. This is really circular logic since a point is defined as infinitely small. Does a point exist anywhere in the physical ...
2
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1answer
118 views

English/German translation of Latin scientific texts in general, “Principia Generalia Theoriae Figurae Fluidorum in Statu Aequilibrii” in particular

I am trying to get my hands on an English or German translation of the seminal work by Gauss on fluid shapes in equilibrium: "Principia generalia Theoriae Figurae Fluidorum in statu Aequilibrii ...