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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1answer
204 views

Why are so many things squared in Physics? [closed]

I don't know much about Physics, and I wasn't sure whether to ask here or Mathematics, but I have always wanted to know why when it comes to the physical world/universe, there are so many descriptions ...
2
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1answer
133 views

How to pronounce $\textrm{eV}\!/c^2$

It seems that $\textrm{eV}\!/c^2$ (and its multiples) is commonly used as the unit of mass in particle physics. For example, David Griffiths uses it quite naturally in Introduction to Elementary ...
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1answer
62 views

Phase space appellation

Does anyone know why they called the momentum-position space the phase space in the first place? To clarify what I mean a bit more, I'll give you an example: The name configuration space for the ...
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0answers
146 views

How to design a house to be cooled passively? [closed]

I live in Louisiana these days, in an area that is known for its numerous antebellum plantation homes (circa early 1800s). While touring one of these homes it was clear that almost everything about ...
4
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1answer
161 views

Which is the role of Algebraic Geometry in String Theory? [closed]

Could someone sketch me what algebraic geometry has to do with string theory? Are there other mathematical disciplines that are interwoven with string theory? I'm aware of a similar question on ...
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2answers
114 views

Books for a fresh physics undergraduate [duplicate]

I'm going to start a degree course in physics next year. So far in high school I covered some physics without calculus. I know that I will start everything from the beginning at university, but I ...
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0answers
166 views

Lebesgue integration [closed]

I know this question is probably not adequate to this SE either, but let me explain my situation: I'm civil engineering's college, so, there isn't a SE for civil engineering, and my doubts about ...
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0answers
117 views

Coupled Oscillation Simulation

I'm looking for an online coupled oscillation simulation. The best I have got so far is this --- https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/normal-modes/normal-modes_en.html But I'm looking for something which ...
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0answers
38 views

Who was the R. Dolen behind Dolen-Horn-Schmid duality? [closed]

Can you provide biographical information for R. Dolen, known for Dolen-Horn-Schmid duality?
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1answer
67 views

Why so much geometry in principia and others

I was recently reading 'On the the shoulders of giants' by stephen hawking and looked at many physics(mechanics) problems solved by Copernicus,Newton etc. why is there so much of geometry used by ...
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1answer
58 views

If the axis of rotation is fixed, is it ok to say clockwise torque?

I know that the direction of torque is along the axis of rotation, but would it be acceptable to say, for example considering a vertical thin rod in the x-y plane with a force acting on the bottom end ...
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2answers
348 views

Where does this term “shell” with prefix “on-/off-” come from?

Is there some historical reasons or is there a specific reason behind it? This question is connected to: Why on-shell vs. off-shell matters?
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0answers
31 views

Applications of low-dimensional topology to physics [duplicate]

As a mathematics graduate student whose research area lies in low-dimensional topology (more precisely, invariants of 3-dimensional topological manifolds), I heard that there exist multiple ...
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1answer
280 views

What is the pressure at the top of a sealed tube being drawn out of water?

Is the atmospheric pressure in a closed container the same as that of the surroundings (1 bar at sea level)? Consider a tube with both ends open with one end dipped into water (like a pipette in ...
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1answer
57 views

Concerning Electrogravitics in an inertial frame

Listening to Feynman, He pointed out the fact that if a magnet is in an inertial frame with respect to a coil, there can be no electromotive force and hence no electricity produced. It is only when ...
2
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2answers
184 views

Why “Dark Energy” is called energy instead of force?

The overly simplified explanation I'm giving myself right now is dark energy causes the opposite of what gravity does, that's why the universe is expanding. Now where gravity is a force, why dark ...
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1answer
181 views

Journal for high school physics papers

I am currently a senior in high school. I have spent the past four years participating in physics research at a local lab. Are there any journals in which I as a high schooler can publish my research? ...
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1answer
44 views

Order of magnitude

When finding out the order of magnitude of quantities, as said in my textbook, we compare the numerical part with $3.2$ (approximately $\sqrt{10}$ or rounded off version of $3.162$) Thus, $9.12 ...
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2answers
171 views

What is the gist of the equations on Alejandro Guijarro's “2/14” “Momentum” blackboard?

The artist Alejandro Guijarro has an exhibit of photographs of a variety of blackboards with physics equations, drawings and text on them, as covered at Quantum Chaos on Display in Top Physicists’ ...
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1answer
90 views

How far do atoms move in a wire when whirling it horizontally? [closed]

so the question is: I whirl a mass m attached to a wire with length L and diameter d around my head in the horizontal plane. The mass takes t seconds to move around a circle. How far do the ...
1
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1answer
90 views

How big was the first transistor?

The first working point-contact transistor made in 1947 by Bell Labs. I'm looking for specific dimensions, all I've been able to find is "Fits in the palm of your hand".
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1answer
73 views

How quickly does air return to a vacuum chamber?

I know there are a lot of variables that affect how quickly this would occur. Any information on the topic would be highly appreciated. For sake of argument, lets say 1 square foot chamber, lets say ...
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0answers
29 views

Good First year physics lecture notes [duplicate]

My course textbook is Halliday fundamental of physics, this book is huge and since each week, they cover a lot of material in lectures (something about 6 chapters of the textbook), I find it hard to ...
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0answers
228 views

Comparison between Cadabra and other Symbolic Computer Algebra software [closed]

Does anyone has some experience about working with Cadabra and it's (dis)advantage in comparison to other Symbolic Computer Algebra software such as Maple and Mathematica (physics package) in the ...
3
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1answer
260 views

Why have $n$, $\ell$, $m_\ell$, $m_s$ been picked as quantum number symbols $\mathbf{\text{in this order}}$?

I’m learning about electron configurations and don’t quite understand why $n$, $\ell$, $m_\ell$, $m_s$ have been picked as symbols for the quantum numbers. As far as I understand it, the principal ...
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2answers
334 views

Expectation Value of a Dynamical Variable

In quantum mechanics, we generally take about "expectation values of dynamical variables". However, by the postulates of quantum mechanics, every dynamical variable in quantum theory is represented by ...
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0answers
186 views

How did the scientific community receive Einstein's theories when he published them? [closed]

By now, we have had multiple indications through observations and experiments that Einstein's theories on general and special relativity are correct. We recently had our second observation of ...
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3answers
221 views

Can a theory be proven by an experiment (or series of) that sustains it?

This is a question that I've always had but it wasn't until the recent news regarding the BICEP2 experiment that I really gave thought about it (please note that the question is general and not ...
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1answer
158 views

Looking for a projectile motion experiment tool

Is there a name for the device used in physics experiments when one wants to show that (under certain conditions) if two balls are initially at the same height and one is dropped while the other is ...
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3answers
189 views

Motorbike with parachute vs normal skydive

Had a strange discussion in the coffeeroom today. The background was a story about a guy that took his motorcycle to transport himself to the airstrip to do a skydive. Since there is no place to put ...
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1answer
53 views

All matter made up of energy? [closed]

I keep on hearing that behind all matter is just waves of energy. I even hear that it is made up of small energy tornado-like waves. This is theoretical physics right? If so, how strong is the theory. ...
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2answers
84 views

Studying Physics [closed]

I'm preparing for entry into a Physics degree course, and was planning on a double major in Physics (with a specialization in Quantum Information later) but am now considering a minor in ...
0
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1answer
193 views

What is the role of the speed of light in mass-energy equivalency? [duplicate]

Where does $c$ squared come into play in the equation $E=mc^2$. Multiplication obviously but how does energy equal mass times the speed of light?
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2answers
79 views

Should theory be the appropriate term? [duplicate]

Should theory be the appropriate term? I mean, for example, because of the quantum field theory we have been able to find the subatomic particles that it theorized and make the Standard Model. Why ...
17
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5answers
566 views

What does periodicity of $e^{-iHt/\hbar}$ mean in physical terms?

The unitary time evolution operator $U(t)=e^{-iHt/\hbar}$ has some distinct flavour of periodicity to it because of $e^{x+2\pi i}=e^x$. Is this periodicity reflected in any way in physical systems? ...
3
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2answers
169 views

Quantum Philosophy a la John Bell

I recently discovered this website http://www.quantumphil.org/ and wondering whether Quantum Philosophy is an actual field, or just an aspect of QM? Apologies if this is in the wrong place.
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2answers
236 views

What does library number 539 mean in physics books? [closed]

Every book I borrow have have this number in them. Even my library categorizes them with this number. Is it a universal particle physics book number?
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1answer
80 views

Info request on studying QIT/QIS or QM with a Computer Science background [closed]

I've been considering a career change for a long time and recently discovered the Two-Slit Experiment, which, to put it frankly, blew my mind. I then started some hefty reading and investigation into ...
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1answer
162 views

Pathria's “Statistical Mechanics” first edition [closed]

Does anyone know where I could find and purchase the book "Statistical Mechanics" by R. Pathria, in 1st edition (the 2nd and the 3rd are readily available, but I really need the first). I believe the ...
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2answers
648 views

Good ways for learning and cramming formulas? [duplicate]

I got an exam coming up and its numerical based (its pre-university level exam) but really tough. I want to know about various ways and methods to learn formulas. I know how can I derive them but its ...
2
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0answers
59 views

Prerequsites for Zee's QFT [duplicate]

What would be a good book or books for a sufficient prerequisite for Zee's book QFT in a nutshell? I have had a course in QM and relativistic QM, but I think there are some gaps that needs to be ...
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2answers
482 views

What is an effective and efficient way to read research papers? [duplicate]

I will be a grad student in condensed matter theory starting this fall. As an undergrad, I did the basic physics and math courses as well as a few grad classes (qft, analysis, solid state physics ...
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0answers
59 views

To all experienced theoretical physicists out there, what is the step by step process in your math education? [duplicate]

I am not doing a physics degree but an engineering degree but i am planning using my free time to self study all the math in preparing myself to self study subjects in theoretical physics. (I've ...
2
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1answer
690 views

Can someone be too late for being a great physicist? [duplicate]

I am a first year physics student, but I am 20 years old (pretty old for my country, average starting age is 18), because I started after leaving med school, which I find extremely jailed in ...
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0answers
66 views

How to study physics as a first year student? [duplicate]

I firstly apologise if this question is off the topic. I am a first year undergraduate student and the required textbook for the course Advanced Physics is Fundemental of physics by Halliday. This ...
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0answers
100 views

Humour: Noble Gases, Music, Feynman diagrams [closed]

Google found these lyrics: I love the morn, to see the first Radon, When the stars Argon, As the night Krypton, And, if it’s cloudy, you won’t Xenon. Years ago, ...
6
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1answer
266 views

Physical intuition for deformation quantization of Poisson manifolds

First of all, I know almost nothing about physics. I was reading Kontsevich´s paper on Deformation quantization of Poisson manifolds, however I could not figure out what´s the intuition for such ...
2
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2answers
122 views

What might be a satisfying criterion to qualify something as having physical existence?

I'm a philosophy undergraduate student who has an interest in, and respect for (as most people do) what physicists know about the world. In philosophy, the traditional criterion of physical ...
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0answers
64 views

Quantum Field Theory and Lie Theory [duplicate]

I am reading Vol.1 of "The Quantum Theory Of Fields" by S. Weinberg. However I have come to a halt when connected Lie groups were introduced. I have solid knowledge in elementary group theory and ...
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3answers
246 views

$1.7\cdot 10^{-24}$ mole apples a day

As the title suggests I was wondering why the International Bureau of Weights and Measures decided a mole to be a standard (SI-)unit. After some research I found I was not alone with this problem. ...