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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1
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4answers
174 views

Are physics and philosophy compatible? [closed]

Lately, there has been a war between physicists and philosophers. Some of the exchanges can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/opinion/sunday/what-physics-learns-from-philosophy.html?bl, ...
6
votes
2answers
689 views

Book covering Topology required for physics and applications

I am a physics undergrad, and interested to learn Topology so far as it has use in Physics. Currently I am trying to study Topological solitons but bogged down by some topological concepts. I am not ...
0
votes
1answer
294 views

Fundamentals of Physics vs Classical Mechanics book and physics undergraduate course

There are books like Halliday Fundamental of Physics and there are books titled Classical Mechanics. To me, these two types of books seem to cover the same thing. Is there any difference? (If ...
1
vote
2answers
399 views

Are the laws of physics objective or subjective? [closed]

The laws of physics have often been taken to be objective statements about reality, but are they? Suppose Bob is a smart computer programmer with access to a super-duper-supercomputer. In it, he ...
5
votes
0answers
170 views

Semiclassical QED and long-range interaction

I'm interested in the (very) low energy limit of quantum electrodynamics. I've seen that taking this limit does not yield Maxwell equations, but a quantum corrected non-linear version of them. If ...
3
votes
1answer
623 views

Are these sites reliable?

First off, I am not a physicist, although I would have loved to become one. The simple fact is I lack the mathematical skills needed (and now I'm too old to acquire them to any sufficient level). ...
34
votes
1answer
1k views

What happened to David John Candlin?

This is an ultra-soft question about relatively recent history. While reading some of Mandelstam's papers, I noticed that he cites David John Candlin consistenly whenever he does anything with ...
3
votes
4answers
161 views

Is it possible to have incommensurable but equally valid theories of nature which fits all experimental data?

Is it possible to have mutually incommensurable but equally valid theories of nature which fits all experimental data? The philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend defended this seemingly outrageous ...
52
votes
2answers
7k views

Reading the Feynman lectures in 2012

The Feynman lectures are universally admired, it seems, but also a half-century old. Taking them as a source for self-study, what compensation for their age, if any, should today's reader undertake? ...
3
votes
0answers
172 views

To what extend is theoretical physics done in a non-univeristy setting? [closed]

Maybe it's just me, but in the last weeks or so I noticed a small increas of the number of more theoretical question on this site. I consider myself on this side and I wondered how many, if this is ...
2
votes
2answers
216 views

A database for review literature in theoretical physics

Is there a database somewhere of the review literature (especially the most cited papers) in theoretical physics? I know about Spires but unfortunately it is not working. When I open a page it says ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Are there any connections between James–Stein estimator and quantum mechanics?

Very nice statement from wiki: When three or more unrelated parameters are measured, their total MSE can be reduced by using a combined estimator such as the James–Stein estimator; whereas when ...
8
votes
3answers
319 views

Supersymmetry in Quantum Mechanics

I was reading Supersymmetry in Quantum Mechanics and got stuck in the various mathematical terminology like "Graded-Lie Algebra", "Super Algebra". Is there any good lecture notes concerning these ...
3
votes
5answers
258 views

How do we recognize hardware used in accelerator physics [closed]

When I see a new accelerator in real life or on a picture, I always find it interesting to see how many thing I can recognize. In that way, I can also get a small first idea of how the accelerator is ...
0
votes
3answers
232 views

Why is 'the period' marked as letter T?

I'm not a native English speaker and I was wondering, why 'the period' got the letter $T$. I've asked myself the question when I was thinking about stuff related to the frequency. I.e.: $f$ - ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

Which main physics journals publish the main types of physics papers? [closed]

I'm thinking of writing a paper on a new way of deriving the conservation of energy from symmetry principles and the Galilean transformations, but I'm not sure where to publish. Taking a look at AJP, ...
5
votes
0answers
661 views

10 Big Problems - Condensed Matter [closed]

I think it was Feynman that suggested that you should always carry ten big problems around in your head, and when you encounter a new method, see whether this new method allows you to make progress on ...
1
vote
6answers
4k views

What distinguishes between physics and chemistry? [closed]

What are the major differences between physics and chemistry? I know that they both study atoms, electrons and molecules, but what makes some topics part of one and some part of another?
-1
votes
4answers
349 views

why people choose condense matter physics the most in 2007 and 2008 for their phd? And what are they studying and what is application in this subject? [closed]

Page 11 of this report from the American Institute of Physics shows that condensed matter physics is by far the most common PhD dissertation topic in 2007 and 2008. Can anyone here explain why this ...
2
votes
3answers
288 views

How to distinguish 4D and 3D vectors in handwriting?

Usually vectors are denoted with bold font in printbooks and with arrows above in handwriting. In Thorn's e al. Gravitation, 4D vectors are denoted with bold and 3D vectors with bold italic. How to ...
1
vote
0answers
126 views

What are the prerequisites to study CP violation?

If one would like to study CP violation, what would be the prerequisites for it? For example, until now I have not studied quantum field theory and have done very little classical field theory, but ...
6
votes
7answers
16k views

What jobs can you get after Studying Physics at University? [closed]

What types of jobs can you get after a degree in Physics? My sister is choosing her course and thinking of doing physics but isn't sure what she can do after it.
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Program for radiation and toxic hazards

I worked in my masters thesis with $^{87}Rb$ and $^{40}K$, really small beta emitters. But there are so many other things around in the lab, that I want to keep track on all the things I might get in ...
2
votes
3answers
506 views

Textbook on group theory to be able to start QFT

I am very enthusiastic about learning QFT. How much group theory would I need to master? Please could you recommend me a textbook on group theory, which would help me to start QFT?
0
votes
1answer
247 views

Question Based On Direct And Alternating Current

A Wikipedia article on Power engineering reads, Most refrigerators, air conditioners, pumps and industrial machinery use AC power whereas most computers and digital equipment use DC power. As ...
1
vote
1answer
872 views

Classical Mechanics for Mathematician [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which Mechanics book is the best for beginner in math major? I am looking for suitable ways to learn mechanics in mathematician's perspective. I went through: ...
3
votes
1answer
413 views

The most challenging physical phenomena [closed]

What are examples of endeavors, in the history of mankind, to understand physical phenomena with models which were proved to be incorrect later, reformed significantly, or are still under ...
1
vote
2answers
749 views

Abstract Algebra in Relativity and Cosmology?

Is Abstract Algebra useful in theoretical Relativity and/or Cosmology? If so can anyone give me some examples or point me towards a good book with that emphasis if it is one? Thanks in advance.
6
votes
1answer
185 views

Areas of research and their transferable skills

I've noticed that ads for postdoctoral positions emphasize the skill set that one must have for a particular position. That said, what are the areas of research to avoid because they give you few ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the best astronomy blogs and podcasts? [closed]

For someone who likes learning about astronomy what are the blogs and/or podcasts that I should be following?
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Best physics olympiad resources [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Book recommendations I am looking for good book recommendations at the level of high-school physics. I am having in mind to find out as to what are the typical books ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Are quantum mechanics calculations useful for engineering?

I heard it's is pretty tough to get results for more than a few quantum particles. Are quantum mechanical calculations useful at all for any technology that is being sold? Or do they use ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

What chemistry course to take for a physics undergraduate [closed]

This question is mainly aimed at people who know about the science market in the UK, but any suggestions would be much appreciated. I am a third year physics undergraduate, studding for an MSci ...
3
votes
2answers
552 views

Connections between classical and quantum mechanics?

I've done basic or introductory mechanics at the level of Resnick and Halliday. I'm currently studying calculus of variations and the Lagrangian formulation of mechanics on my own. I read somewhere ...
5
votes
4answers
292 views

Is there a recognised standard for typesetting quantum mechanical operators?

Firstly, I wasn't sure exactly where to put this. It's a typesetting query but the scope is greater than $\TeX$; however it's specific also to physics and even more specific to this site. I've ...
5
votes
3answers
298 views

What is a “measure equation” as mentioned by this TeX Users Group guide?

In this TeX Users Group (TUG) document, Typesetting mathematics for science and technology according to ISO 31/XI by Claudio Beccari, the author makes various typesetting recommendations including: ...
-3
votes
3answers
189 views

New theories and publications [closed]

When someone develops a new theory on physics, which is barely on schetch (so there are no measurements, nor simulations) with just a mathematical and conceptual description, in which scientific ...
-2
votes
1answer
311 views

Which areas of physics are most demanding of good intuition or physical insight? [closed]

I'm a beginning graduate student, and I have 2 years before I have to pick a specialization. I would like to know which areas of physics call for the most intuition or physical insight. If this sounds ...
3
votes
4answers
315 views

Why was PACER abandoned?

The PACER project is described in this question: How much of the energy from 1 megaton H Bomb explosion could we capture to do useful work? Why was it abandoned? It seems that it is the only readily ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Statistics software for basic undergrad lab

I'll have to perform some simple experiments, like measuring the period and damping of a pendulum, focal length of a lens, … As a result I will end up with some X, Y data points and need to calculate ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What math do I need for mathematical physics? In what manner should I learn math? [closed]

I'm a freshman undergraduate. I've got my sight on mathematical physics. I love math but I don't have the talent nor the inclination for purely abstract mathematics. I also love physics. The only ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

If I move a long solid stick can I send message fastest than light? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light? I mean by using a perfect solid stick long enough and moving it forward and backward can I send ...
3
votes
2answers
278 views

Proposed Closing of Alcator C-Mod Fusion Tokamak

So I have friends at school who are petitioning against the proposed closing of the tokamak (refer to the recently released FY 2013 Administration Budget). I told said friends that before I signed the ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Looking for the name of a particular device [closed]

Please move this if it's not in the right location. I'm looking for the name of a device that I frequently see in many scenarios, specifically that of an office/library which can be described as ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a physics Puzzles site like Project Euler?

I am looking for a site that publishing riddles and problems such as Project Euler publishes problems in computer science. Is there any similar site that is hardcore in the area of physics? This ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

The maths/physics in “The Amazing Spider Man” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does Peter Parkers formula represent? I just saw the trailer for the new Spider Man movie and couldn't help but notice the image after the guy says "How did you ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What does Peter Parkers formula represent?

Okay, so the trailer for the new Spider Man movie is out and appearently our friendly physicist from the neightborhood came up with something. However I can't find out what this is. ...
2
votes
4answers
296 views

Books on Hilbert space and phase space?

Can you recommend books or papers that highlight or discuss extensively, or at least more than average, the similarites/differences between phase space and Hilbert space? I am primarily interested in ...
0
votes
0answers
100 views

Book for learning about constructing correct physical modeling [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: List of good classical physics books I know physics. At least I thought so until I tried to make a model of the system of scales by myself. It was confusing. For example ...
7
votes
2answers
392 views

Interesting topics to research in mathematical physics for undergraduates

I'm planning on getting into research in mathematical physics and was wondering about interesting topics I can get into and possibly make some progress on. I'm particularity fond of abstract algebra ...