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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7
votes
2answers
252 views

Historical reason behind using $ν$ instead of $f$ to stand for frequency in the equation $E=hν$?

Normally, we use the letter $f$ to stand for frequency in equations. $$T = 1/f$$ $$v = \lambda f$$ $$Φ +E_k = h f$$ So I'm curious as why the letter $ν$ (nu) is used to represent frequency in the ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Why are there no explicit calculations in some articles

I am always baffled how in all the articles (theoretical ones), there is no explicit calculations, or at least some reference how to find it, or where to find it (the calculation). I get that, for ...
-1
votes
3answers
741 views

In truth, only atoms and the void

I have a question about this motto used by Sean Carroll in his blog: In truth, only atoms and the void. Can you explain what this sentence means? My interpretation is that the sentence does ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Obtaining a measurement very indirectly [closed]

While answering a question I came to reflect on the fact that in science experimental setups measure things indirectly. Example: the setup of the Pound-Rebka experiment. The amount of absorption was ...
8
votes
2answers
95 views

Can I use two SI prefexes

Is it ok to say $145\,{\rm k\,MPa}$ for $145\, {\rm GPa}$. We are so used to comparing stresses in ${\rm MPa}$ that I want to keep things relative to this unit. So would it be a no-no to do so.
3
votes
3answers
418 views

Why is gas(oline) in gas stations sold by volume (as opposed to mass)?

Fluids (including natural gasoline/petroleum) have variable volume based on the ambient temperature for the same mass of fluid. So, really, the amount of gas that you're filling your car with depends ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

Beginner projects in NMR quantum computing [closed]

I have applied for a summer project in NMR quantum computing as I want to learn this field, but my professor wants me to tell him the project title. I have no idea about the field and what projects ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

Present experimental status of Moffat's Modified theory of Gravity

Modified theories of Gravity have been discussed before in this 2-year old question, Are modified theories of gravity credible? I was going through Moffat's modified gravity, given in ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Studying physics at undergraduate level: Prerequisites [duplicate]

I have been really interested in physics for some time and also take active interest in quantum mechanics. I would like to pursue physics as my undergrad major. What kind of prerequisites does one ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Paper in physics - calculations; rounding or not?

I'm currently a high schooler, and I'm writing my first scientific paper. The result is fairly simple, and it is nothing too special, but I see it as a nice way to prepare myself for the academic ...
7
votes
1answer
254 views

Any open areas to work in non equilibrium thermodynamics for a Phd student? [closed]

I see that many papers written on fundamentals of thermodynamics(theory) nowadays are by some old professors somewhere(there may be exceptions). Most active young faculty don't seem to be seriously ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

What is a good target to aim for when teaching myself quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

I'm interested in teaching myself quantum mechanics, and I'm looking for a good goal to aim for. I've got an undergrad maths degree and a graduate degree in probability theory and stochastic ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

Book recommendation [duplicate]

I already learned the Physics' basics like Newton Laws, Electricity, and Optics. Can you recommend me a good book for advancing with my learning of physics(with some math)?
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Is everything in the universe discrete? [duplicate]

When beginning my education, I regarded nearly everything as continuous and analog in nature: Physical objects could have any mass on a continuous scale Light sources could emit any intensity of ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

Analyse astronomical data

Recently I was told of a job offer to analyse astronomical data. The job offer states that they want somebody with knowledge of astronomical data analysis software and it will be a plus somebody who ...
5
votes
4answers
674 views

Entropy as an arrow of time

From what I understand, entropy is a concept defined by the experimentalist due to his ignorance of the exact microstate of a system. To say the number of accessible microstates $W$ of the universe is ...
4
votes
1answer
556 views

Way to become a physicist [duplicate]

I am a class 9 student in India. I want to become a physicist. What should I study after class 10? What are my options for colleges and universities? What should I do after my education? What are the ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Chemistry from a physical perspective [duplicate]

I'm currently learning chemistry for the first time, and loving it. I have a reasonably good physics and maths background and it's great to see things like spherical harmonics in quantum mechanics ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

How to deal with the notation of a function $f$ vs its value $f(x)$ in Physics?

This doubt is very silly, but anyway, I think it's worth asking. The problem is: when we work with mathematics, in many situations we want to consider sets $A$ and $B$ and functions $f : A \to B$. ...
6
votes
2answers
710 views

What is the significance of Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ to particle physics?

I was hoping someone could give an overview as to how the Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ and their representations can be applied to describe particle physics? The application of Lie groups and their ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

Orbital motion (Mechanics) [duplicate]

I am a student in Mechanical department and I took today a lesson with a title of Orbital motion. I need a good mechanics reference that discusses this topic.
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Equation of everything

Is this equation in the image true? Can you give some topics that I can cover the equation? Similar equation from http://www.preposterousuniverse.com:
2
votes
0answers
73 views

How would Einstein's later years have been different with modern computers? [closed]

This is a historical question partly, and maybe too broad for this site, but would require some familiarity with modern physics research practice so hopefully appropriate here. Einstein's later ...
-1
votes
1answer
154 views

Do Physics concepts build on top of other concepts?

I am taking a calculus based physics class and I am struggling. I am wondering if I do not understand some concepts, will I be unable to understand future concepts introduced in the same class? In ...
1
vote
1answer
255 views

How to know if something is a primitive concept, a law, a definition or a theorem

Some basic Physics books are often misguiding in the sense that they don't make clear whether something is a primitive concept, a law, a definition or a theorem. This is often a little confusing. I've ...
5
votes
2answers
328 views

Do I need to study the “Standard Model” before studying String Theory?

After this semester, I'll have a background up to a first course in QFT (first 5 or 6 chapters of Peskin and Schroeder). The next step in QFT will be something specific to the Standard Model ...
1
vote
4answers
303 views

Can physics (ever) explain intrinsic properties of nature? [closed]

I may be totally off with this quite abstract (?) question(s). But still, here are some closely related sub-questions: Is there a list of currently "known" intrinsic properties of nature? How ...
4
votes
3answers
968 views

What is the next step beyond quantum computation?

Assuming we develop quantum computers one day, what would be theoretically the next step? Would it be string-theory based computers? How would these computers differ performance-wise (ie what can they ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Key difference between 3D and 4D solutions

In many papers in theoretical physics especially in the more advanced theories, I notice that physicists solve problems in 3 dimensions (2 spatial+ 1 temporal). In some specific papers (I can't seem ...
4
votes
1answer
796 views

How many oxygen molecules touch you in your lifetime?

Following up on a comment by BlueRaja to this beautiful answer of Ilmari Karonen, I would like to phrase this follow up question: How many air molecules hit your average human's skin during their ...
2
votes
4answers
221 views

Expansion of the universe and strain

From cosmological models that involve expansion of the universe, can we not say that there are ever increasing tidal forces felt by solid bodies? If so, the material in solid bodies like metal ...
1
vote
1answer
329 views

How widespread is the meme “QM is counterintuitive” in academic physics? [closed]

I have recently entered university — studying CS — and I have spoken to many physics students on campus. Most of these — when propmted — will gladly proclaim that QM is ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What Is The Difference Between The Maths That Physicists Use And The Maths On A Typical Mathematics Degree [closed]

Cross-posted to Math.SE here. Physicists are widely respected for using and sometimes even inventing mathematics yet physicists study Physics which is a subject in its own right. So surely someone ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Does physics address the topic of consciousness?

Does physics address the topic of consciousness? For instance, does physics say anything about how it might arise or what might be its qualitative properties? I'm wondering because it's interesting ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

Physical structures that trap information

I labeled this question "soft" because it might not make any sense. Anyway, what I'm wondering is if there's a notion in physics that deals with the ability of matter to trap information. For ...
1
vote
1answer
360 views

Why do humans like to break the second law of thermodynamics? [closed]

Roughly speaking, Entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. However as humans, we tend to do the complete opposite. For instance, in a home if a painting that is hanging on the wall is ...
-1
votes
1answer
278 views

Why Counterclockwise starts from East?

In vector lessons, we have counterclockwise angle of rotation of the vector starts from East. "The direction of a vector is often expressed as a counterclockwise angle of rotation of the vector about ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

How do people historically have come to use the Yang-Mills theory in physics?

There are many books, in which Yang-Mills theory is introduced "just like that". But I didn't find some book with set of historical arguments, which had led people to using it in quantum field theory. ...
0
votes
1answer
152 views

Does a fundamental principle require specific concepts? [closed]

The angular momentum principle is a fundamental principle. So it can explain a large variety of phenomenon. Doesn't it need concepts like center of mass also for explaining phenomenon? Or just the ...
3
votes
1answer
972 views

How to learn physics? [duplicate]

I am an engineering student (CSE) in India..But recently I have developed a strong love to physics..I want to learn physics and understand it in deep..I know physics is the search of deep fundamental ...
-3
votes
1answer
201 views

A ballpark figure on physicists [closed]

1) Out of the 7 billion+ people alive today, around how many have earned a PhD in physics? 2) Around how many physicists are working today? 3) Around how many physicists are being added to the work ...
1
vote
0answers
47 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
votes
0answers
97 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
192 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
votes
1answer
291 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
votes
1answer
116 views

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

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
votes
5answers
589 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
votes
0answers
77 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Eddington-Weinberg relation

The numerical coincidence that triggered Dirac to postulate his Large Number Hypothesis can be summarized by expressing the proton-electron gravitational angular momentum in units $\hbar c$: ...
2
votes
2answers
628 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 ...