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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3
votes
3answers
344 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 ...
1
vote
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
118 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
739 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
votes
2answers
191 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
votes
6answers
3k 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
votes
4answers
378 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
votes
4answers
147 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
votes
1answer
116 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
votes
3answers
153 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
462 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
votes
1answer
236 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
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Correct terminology for combined kinematic and dynamic state

The kinematic state is defined as the position and orientation in space. The dynamic state is defined as the associated velocities. What is the correct terminology for the combined kinematic and ...
0
votes
3answers
181 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
144 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
105 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), ...
-4
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
5
votes
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? ...
1
vote
0answers
50 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
votes
2answers
383 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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
161 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
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are they called “cyclic” coordinates?

In Lagrangian formalism, when $\frac{\partial L}{\partial q} = 0$, the coordinate $q$ is called cyclic and a corresponding conserved quantity exists. But why is it called cyclic?
-3
votes
2answers
149 views

Do physics laws really apply to anything? [closed]

My professor said that a law was stated and announced as a law because it happens in our everyday life. He gave us an example of Newton's 3 laws. He said that walking possess 3 laws of Newton's. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Incompatibility of GR and QM [duplicate]

I am told that the theories of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are fundamentally incompatible... Why is that? Someone explained that it had to do with the fact that quantum particles such As ...
-1
votes
2answers
256 views

Is electronics a core topic in physics? [closed]

I thought electronics is mainly discussed in engineering majors. But in my university Electronics and Digital Electronics is also compulsory for physics majors.I searched other's syllabus, but I ...
1
vote
0answers
151 views

Problems related to Green's function? [closed]

My teacher told me to do a research studying some physics problems that has connection with Green's function on solving differential equations (with programmed numerical solutions) in my final year ...
1
vote
2answers
982 views

Getting started with Landau Physics course [closed]

I want to learn Physics in my own time. I am an electrical engineer, working in the same field and am tremendously interested in Physics. I have heard a lot about the 10 book series of Landau ...
12
votes
3answers
520 views

Is classical electromagnetism a dead research field?

Is classical electromagnetism a dead research field? Are there any phenomena within classical electromagnetism that we have no explanation for?
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Does the slip-stick phenomenon have any application?

The slip-stick phenomenon is present all around us, be it the noise of car breaks or in earthquakes. But does it have any real-life application?
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Doubts about the definition of mass

I'm having some problems understanding what are the possible definitons of mass and how they are related to each other. In Classical Mechanics, we can distinguish between inertial and gravitational ...
-3
votes
1answer
150 views

How do we simulate Nuclear explosion? [closed]

I am interested in PC simulation, i use physics equations to simulate rain, fire, wind, cloud and lightning. it is a kind of VR (virtual reality). what equation is able to simulate a virtual nuclear ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why metric system uses kilogram as a basic SI unit?

SI system uses all (that I know) measurement basic units as 1 (single) instance: meter, second, ampere, etc, except the KILOgram. It already defined with 1000 multiplier (kilo). It prevents from ...
-5
votes
1answer
130 views

Describing physical constants in alternate wording; c = there can only be 671million miles of space for every second of time [closed]

This spawns from part of an answer to a question I asked. All sorts of things go to 0 and/or ∞ if you start boosting at c, and so you cannot boost into and out of a photon's frame. It ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Highest naturally occuring binding energy of electrons

I was wondering which element has the highest binding energy of an electron. Is it simply the 1s electron of the heaviest stable element? If so, can somebody tell me where I can find a table of ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Maxwell's Equations-Relativity

How did Maxwell develop the magnetic field without relativity? Was it purely experimental? I don't see how else he would have developed any understanding for the magnetic field.
1
vote
5answers
365 views

Theoretical physics and education: Does it really matter a great deal about what happens inside a black hole, or about Hawking radiation? [closed]

I stumbled across this article http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2010/12/21/science-faction-is-theoretical-physics-becoming-softer-than-anthropology/ It got me thinking. Why do we ...
2
votes
0answers
191 views

Topological band theory [closed]

Why topological insulators were discovered so late? While the band theory was known long time ago! I mean why the topological properties of electronic bands were not noticed in the past?
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Studying QM without math and physics background [duplicate]

I rode all posted answers about this topic but i need to ask you another information. I have done a semester course called "Principle of Physics" (i am studying Biotechnology) and one called ...
-2
votes
1answer
161 views

Why there are constant numbers in the universe? [closed]

Why the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is always the constant $\pi$? Moreover many of you know better than me about golden ratio $\phi$, Euler's number e, and many other constants. ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Are there real life applications for Hausdorff dimensions, specifically crack formations?

I was curios about Hausdorff dimensions. They seem to neatly describe rough surfaces. So I was wondering if there are common applications of Hausdorff dimensions in things like complicated friction ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Is symplectic form in Hamiltonian mechanics a physical quantity?

Is symplectic form $dp_i \wedge dq_i$ in Hamiltonian mechanics a physical quantity? It feels to me to be something different than say energy, momentum or mass. Like just certain structure. The real ...
0
votes
1answer
188 views

Can thought experiments qualify as actual research?

I wondered whether thought experiments actually can be substituted for actual experimentation. I understand that in some cases it might be necessary, but can it be unnecessary over thinking sometimes? ...
-1
votes
2answers
177 views

What Physical Quantity has SI Unit $kg \cdot m$,? [duplicate]

What is the physical quantity that has SI (System International) unit of $kg \cdot m$ (kilogram meters)?
4
votes
3answers
959 views

Is “Witten's Dog” from a Futurama episode an actual physics concept? [closed]

In an old episode ("Mars University") of Futurama which is a TV show, a character named Professor Farnsworth was trying to lecture "Superdupersymmetric String Theory" and "Witten's Dog" to some ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Why not assimilate nuclear waste into “igneous” rock?

I was reading a question about why not to drop nuclear waste into volcanoes; the short answer is it would come back out and not be rendered safe. Ignoring the cost and energy requirements, why can't ...
-2
votes
1answer
147 views

Based on what does Hawking give 1000 years of time for humans to escape the planet earth? [closed]

I read it news that: Hawking Gives Humans 1,000 Years to Escape Earth How did he arrive at this figure? Whats gonna make human race extinct in 1,000 years?