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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-2
votes
2answers
70 views

Using mega (=10^6) when writing by hand?

I just solved a problem which had answer 1.7*10^6 m (m=meters) If I wanted to write this using M=10^6 it would be 1.7 Mm, which if I write it by hand would look like "1.7 mm" which is confusing. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Rain system movements and highways?

In my free time I sometimes enjoy watching the weather or radar and trying to predict how a rain system will move. Pretty often I notice that a small rain system or even a large one will congregate or ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Are the fundamental constants of nature independent?

Background: I am a layman and I just watched the video "Infinite Worlds: A Journey through Parallel Universes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO4uzgiRHkE) featuring a discussion with Andrei Linde, ...
16
votes
11answers
31k views

How do you start learning physics by yourself? [closed]

I think this question has its place here because I am sure some of you are "self-taught experts" and can guide me a little through this process. Considering that : I don't have any physics scholar ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

What was Feynman's famous formula?

In Welton(1983), Memories of Feynman, Welton mentions two formulas which he denotes as Feynman's Famous Formula (FFF) and FFF #2. Which famous formulas is he talking about? Is he maybe talking about ...
1
vote
2answers
178 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
42 views

“Hollow Earth” like Theories for pedagogical porpuses [on hold]

I recently encountered the Hollow Earth theory, and I realize that This kind of theories can be used to give a really interesting discussion of a physical law. For example, If we take the ...
-1
votes
0answers
23 views

Topic for research paper in Computational Physics [closed]

I want to write a paper in computational physics. I have some physics and computer knowledge, but I could not come up with any research idea. Also, I have access to supercomputers. Can you give me a ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How does the optimal-gear indicator work? [migrated]

Modern cars like BMW, Ford, Audi come with a system on the panel which tells the driver the next optimal gear to drive. How does it work ? What is the algorithm behind it? What data does it require ...
7
votes
5answers
761 views

Church-Turing hypothesis as a fundamental law of physics

The Church-Turing hypothesis says one can not build a computing device which has more computing power (in terms of computability) than the abstract model of Turing machine. So, there is something in ...
38
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is the harmonic oscillator so important?

I've been wondering what makes the harmonic oscillator such an important model. What I came up with: It is a (relatively) simple system, making it a perfect example for physics students to learn ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Are there computerized ontologies for Relativity and (Experimental) Physics? How to contribute?

As machines and automation can generally assist humanity in physical activities, and even exceed mere human capabilities, so, increasingly, also in tasks of reasoning. A basic component of the latter ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Why isn't all of physics based on other rates of change [duplicate]

Define the jolt/jerk to be $$J(f)={{d^3 f} \over {dt^3}}$$ Why don't we use the concept of jolt more often considering that the change in acceleration is most definitely an important characteristic ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

Naked Time ( Is there such a thing ?) [closed]

I have lately been concerned with time and whether or not it is an illusion. For argument's sake let's assume it is. Then time should stand on its own. Can anyone describe, (or point me to a paper ...
0
votes
1answer
12 views

Affects of static electricity on the heart

I have an electricity problem. I get shocked by just about everything. Metal, plastic, etc. flooring can be wood,tile, carpet,linoleum , it doesn't seem to matter. The ones that go through my ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

What does it mean: “If you scream in Hilbert space, nobody will hear you!” [closed]

This question may not be appropriate for this site and if it so, sorry for that. Today, I have heard the following quote from one of my friends: If you scream in Hilbert space, nobody will hear ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

How do you become a theoretical physicist? [closed]

Is there a specific subject at university called "theoretical physics" or do you get a PhD in Physics and then if your job involves theory you are considered a theoretical physicist?
1
vote
1answer
149 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What is “adjustable constant”?

This is quoted from A.P.French's Vibrations & Waves. Explicit differential form of linear harmonic oscillator is: $$ m\dfrac{d^2x}{dt^2} + kx = 0 \quad \& \quad \dfrac{1}{2} ...
9
votes
2answers
143 views

Why pouring milk from a height makes a chain shape?

I have noticed a chain-like shape when milk is poured from a height into a cup. Actually the chain pattern repeats itself after some distance and again till it reaches the milk in the cup. Any ...
7
votes
3answers
373 views

Why does the lake surface appear darker in some areas?

My question: What causes the surface of the lake to appear darker in some places? My take on the matter: Firstly, I don't dare to say it's fishe which cause it. Secondly, the dark surfaces move ...
3
votes
3answers
361 views

What would happen to me if I was in the LHC while it was running? [duplicate]

This is possibly a stupid question, but one I have been always wondering. What would happen to me if I was in the center of the Large hadron Collider while it was running? Would the energy of the beam ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I find a very old paper by W.L. Bragg from 1913?

I'm often looking for old physics papers that had a big impact on science (Nobel prize, for example). But I can't seem to find a lot of them. Is there a reason why some papers are not digitally ...
8
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

What unit system does Fahrenheit belong to?

Wikipedia's page for Imperial Units does not list Fahrenheit. The corresponding page for SI Units lists Kelvin as an SI unit, and Celcius as a derived SI unit. This leads me to believe that ...
5
votes
4answers
288 views

How to find references from publications in the physics literature?

Coming from Computer Science, I'm a bit puzzled about the format of references in physics publications. They usually lack a title, which I'm usually using to locate a publication online (for obtaining ...
8
votes
3answers
857 views

Current scope of Chaos theory and non-linear dynamics? [closed]

I am a physics undergrad interested in stuff like dynamical systems, chaos theory etc. Is there ongoing research in these fields? I am talking about pure research and not applications to things like ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Differential operators in curvilinear coordinates

In the appendix A of Griffith's Electrodynamics text, he cites Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds as a reference more a more complete treatment of taking the gradient, curl, divergence, and Laplacian in ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

How are weights and scales used by the public calibrated?

My physics teacher has a set of masses: things from 1 to 10 grams. My chemistry teacher has electronic balances that measures things in grams. In France, there is a block of metal we hope no one ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

What does a unit like $C^{1/5}$ or $kg^{1/2}$ physically mean?

I'm more of a math guy than a physics guy so bear with me.... In fractal geometry, fractals are considered to have fractional dimension. For instance an object such as the Koch curve has a fractal ...
20
votes
11answers
3k views

Books that develop interest & critical thinking among high school students

I heard about Yakov Perelman and his books. I just finished reading his two volumes of Physics for Entertainment. What a delightful read! What a splendid author. This is the exact book I've been ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

When was the first time that superconducting quasiparticles were called Majorana fermions?

Since a number of years, the field of superconductivity has a growing obsession with Majorana fermions. I wonder how far back we can go: When was the first time that superconducting quasiparticles ...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

Physical intuition/interpretation of fractional derivatives/integrals?

Oftentimes, when the derivative and integral operations are introduced within the realm of physics, we are taught some physical interpretation of them: Velocity is the derivative of position ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

If the LHC-calculated mass of the Higgs is wrong, how long will it take to determine this with confidence? [closed]

After I watched "Particle Fever"--the movie about Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the successful identification of the Higgs boson--I became a bit concerned with that team's handling of various ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Physicists who were criticised for their works but later celebrated by the people [migrated]

"Life of Galileo Galilei was not simple, predictable, or rational. Being as great as he was, Galileo, for example, did not accept Kepler's laws of planetary motion. At the same time, he believed with ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Explain the notion of light/electromagnetic waves/photons to a non-physicist

A non-physicist asked me about special relativity. My explanations naturally were based on gedankenexperiments involving light. This forced the question: "What is light? It is particles, isn't? Or is ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Newton's Principia: Astronomical prerequisites?

I am planning to read the Principia but I currently have no knowledge about Astronomy. What astronomy prerequisites do I need to understand the Principia? I would prefer older books (or "treatises"), ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

What is the next step in math education after taking the last undergrad math course? [closed]

Currently I successfully completed the 3rd semester of my B.Sc. in Physics. Since the upcoming summer semester is starting soon and I'm going to have some spare time I can spend, I want to expand and ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

What does the “T” stand for in T-duality?

First of all, I am not a physicist. I'm a graduate math student and recently I came across the concept of T-duality. Actually I'm studying generalized complex geometry, which according to this paper ...
-1
votes
2answers
98 views

Help with high school physics [duplicate]

I am studying high school physics and it seems i have memorize the equation and use it mechanically in doing question and memorize lots of physical phenomena.I know a lot of physical phenomena can be ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

Sign convention for the Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}$

In special relativity, one is confronted with a quadratic form called proper time, which is $c^2t^2-(x^2+y^2+z^2)$, $t$ being time and $x,y,z$ being the space coordinates. One usually introduces a ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Usage of singular or plural SI base units when written in both symbol as well as name [closed]

I have multiple doubts related to the usage of singular or plural SI base units when written in both symbol as well as name. I have framed this question under two parts, namely, Part (a) and Part ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

How to write a paper in physics?

I really like to do research in physics and like to calculate to see what happen. However, I really find it hard to write a paper, to explain the results I obtained and to put them in order. One of ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Searching for a good summer opportunity [closed]

Where's a good place in Europe that offers a summer research job for interested students in Theoretical physics? For example, there is CERN that gives undergraduate students the chance to enroll for ...
2
votes
3answers
693 views

Mathematics for Quantum Mechanics [duplicate]

What math should I study if I want to get a basic understanding of quantum mechanics and especially to be able to use the Schrodinger's equation.
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Requirements prior to Quantum Mechanics [duplicate]

What are the requirements in physics and mathematics that somebody must have in order to start learning Quantum Mechanics by himself?
-2
votes
1answer
62 views

Production of electric field [closed]

How does varying magnetic field produce an electric field? Is it a natural phenomenon having no reason? i want the process/steps of producing of an electric field by a varying magnetic field.
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Is Physics being formally documented somewhere?

Physics is an extremely diverse subject, with new phenomenon being mapped by the second. So, is it all being formally documented somewhere? I'm specifically looking for a centralized, formal ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

What is the meaning of phenomenology?

From what I understand, phenomenology as it is used in science means talking about the details of a phenomenon without going deep into the fundamental physical processes that lead to the phenomenon. ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Modern textbooks on quantum mechanics [duplicate]

I'm looking for modern textbooks on quantum mechanics that treat topics such as quantum entanglement , bell's theorem , quantum teleportation , quantum information theory , The Many-world ...