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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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
146 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
88 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
244 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
145 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
876 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
486 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
149 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
170 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
147 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
999 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
129 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
131 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
363 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
187 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
58 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
160 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
93 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
100 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
143 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
171 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
909 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
105 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
145 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?
4
votes
3answers
595 views

Are Mathematical Physics and Occam's Razor compatible?

Occam's Razor and mathematical beauty appear to be compatible when reviewing Michael Atiyah's video. But are the high levels of complexity associated with mathematical physics compatible with ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

How hot would space feel?

I read that the temperature of the space around the earth can vary greatly depending on whether or not it is in direct sunlight. Space, however, is not very dense, so I imagine that heat would not ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) And Earthquake Myth or Reality? [duplicate]

Could HAARP (or any other secret device) really trigger an earthquake? For example I've heard that U.S Trigger 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Kaki near Bushehr to destroy Iran's nuclear power plant!? ...
2
votes
2answers
429 views

The meaning of 'postulate' in physics? [duplicate]

What does postulate mean in physics? What is its role in physical theories? Is it possible to break physical postulates?
-1
votes
4answers
1k views

Why there is no “Edison” unit in physics? [closed]

In the popular culture the XIX-XX century competition between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla is well-known. The example could be the Prestige movie, where there are some "Edison's agents" who sabotage ...
0
votes
2answers
662 views

How to teach myself physics needed at undergraduate electrical engineer level? [closed]

I want to learn electrical engineering on my own, specifically because I'm interested in loudspeaker design, more specifically how to design active dipole loudspeakers using DSP crossovers. I have ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Is time a Scalar or a Vector?

In Wikipedia it's said that time is a scalar quantity. But its hard to understand that how? As stated that we consider only the magnitude of time then its a scalar. But on basis of time we define ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How deep can my knowledge of particle physics go without the maths?

By no means do I have the mathematical background to understand most of the math used in elementary particle physics. My current knowledge is of all the elementary particles and how they interact ...
7
votes
1answer
232 views

Reference Request: Classical Mechanics with Symplectic Reduction

I am trying to find a supplement to appendix of Cushman & Bates' book on Global aspects of Classical Integrable Systems, that is less terse and explains mechanics with Lie groups (with dual of Lie ...
1
vote
2answers
652 views

How much pure math should a physics/microelectronics person know [duplicate]

I do condensed matter physics modeling in my phd and I was struck up learning quite an amount of physics. But while having done lot of physics courses, I see that if I learn pure math I would ...
-1
votes
1answer
188 views

How is gravitational force is compared to flow of water?

I listened to a lecture. The professor said that the gravitational field around the particle (spherical in shape) can be compared to a pond having a constant height and depth and water is constantly ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

QFT in Quantum Computing and Control Theory?

Is QFT being applied to quantum computing and control theory? I took yesteryear a basic course on quantum computing and if I remember correctly we didn't touch on any QFT (though I think that if it ...
4
votes
1answer
348 views

From Freshman Mechanics to String Theory: A Comprehensive Textbook Sequence in Physics [duplicate]

If a student with no background in physics and an understanding of only single variable calculus wanted to learn string theory, what sequence of textbooks would most succinctly, clearly, and ...
39
votes
3answers
2k views
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Does the method of an experiment always have to be numbered? [closed]

When writing a method for an experiment, does it always have to be set out in orderly numbered steps? Can it not also be a paragraph of text that outlines the method? A mundane example: Place a ...
-4
votes
1answer
236 views

maybe the universe has already 'ended'? [closed]

I aks you if this reasoning has a base in what we know of universe. There are many articles about so called "vacuum metastability event". As I understand this happens (can happen) with an enormous low ...
3
votes
3answers
338 views

Results of Statistical Mechanics first obtained by formal mathematical methods

I have a question that seems natural in Physics and Mathematics mainly in Statistical Mechanics of Equilibrium. Results that are proven by formal mathematical methods that were already seem intuitive ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Did Planck said that his theory is distinct from Zeno's paradoxes?

I remember once reading that Planck or some other prominent figure in quantum physics said that the theory (probably Planck length or Planck time in particular) is not about the thing what Zeno's ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

List of all past comet passes and area it was visible?

Is there a database/website which shows all comets which have passed Earth and have been viewed? Is there any country specific viewing database as well? I would like to do a search on the lines of : ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Difference between theoretical physics and mathematical physics?

I'm a huge fan of mathematical physics and I know what the formal definitions of those two areas are, I've seen them. But I still get completely baffled when someone asks me to explain it simply. The ...
4
votes
1answer
215 views

A treatment of basic Kaluza-Klein theory [closed]

I'm looking for a treatment of the original basic Kaluza-Klein theory. Can someone recommend a review article or something?
3
votes
1answer
133 views

A Book about the Bohr-Einstein debate?

A book about the Bohr-Einstein debate? Is there any book that details the correspondence between the two? The only books I could find are popular science books, I wonder if there is a book that lists ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Reading Paul Dirac's “Principles of Quantum Mechanics”

I have a similair question to the question here, but regarding a different book. "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" is a 1930 work by British Nobel laureate Paul Dirac. The wikipedia article on this ...
1
vote
0answers
110 views

Wormholes and the illusion of time?

I was watching a video on Youtube by Brian Greene, "the illusion of time."http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-u1aaltiq4 In that video, he introduces to me the idea of a "brane," or a slice of the ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

Supplements for Kittel's Solid State Physics? [duplicate]

I think by supplement I really mean replace. I spent a lot of time agonizing over the first chapter of Kittel as he introduces a bunch of concepts such as Bravais lattice and he doesn't clearly define ...