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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0
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2answers
34 views

Books on Quantum Measurement

I have been trying to understand clearly the concept of non locality, hidden variables, quantum measurement etc through research papers. I also read Quantum Theory and measurment by Wheeler and Zurek ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Functions of commuting operators and interactions

The action of a function of an operator $A$ can be determined by the action on the eigenstates of $A$. If I have two commuting operators $A$ and $B$ and $|a,b\rangle$ is a common eigenstate, I get ...
-4
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0answers
28 views

Help! I need to know the category and subcategorie [on hold]

I make a project about how to decrease the tsunami wave.. And the generation of energy from it But they need the project category and sub-category...... I don't know what it should be! Engineering or ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

“Topological” notions in physics

I've been trying to make sense recently of the usage of 'topological' in various fields of physics, and get sort of an intuition for what this means in context. This all boils down to my main question ...
0
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0answers
30 views

What's the best way to protect yourself against a bullet? [on hold]

What's the best way to protect yourself against a bullet other than a ballistic vest?
1
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0answers
30 views

When did the casual definition of the three laws of thermodynamics first appear? [closed]

Who is credited as the source, and when were the laws first stated in this form? (1st Law) You can't win. (2nd Law) You can't break even. (3rd Law) You can't get out of the game.
1
vote
6answers
39 views

Who is said to do Work, me or the body?

If I subject my force to a body and it is displaced then the work is said to be done. What is that work done by? Is it said to be done by me or that body?
0
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0answers
34 views

Correction of arrow of particle direction

I have seen a stamp of Richard Feynman where Feynman hold the famous Feynman diagram. But is there any problem of the direction of arrow?
1
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2answers
31 views

Is a constant transformation still considered a gauge transformation?

I've never even considered the possibility that a constant transformation would not qualify as a gauge transformation. But I'm reading a paper that seems to make exactly this distinction. In ...
35
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

If a cube magnet were a die, how would it be numbered?

I have a number of cube-shaped magnets. If I start with 64 cubes all in one long chain and begin arbitrarily "folding over" groups of them so that I am left with a 4x4x4 cube, I rarely get the same ...
-3
votes
0answers
48 views

Want to be a scientist [closed]

I want to be a scientist. What are the qualifications I need? How much time do it take? Can I become a scientist in the field of electronics? Pls give me an answer.
43
votes
7answers
7k views

What technology can result from such expensive experiment as undertaken in CERN?

I wonder what technology can be obtained from such very expensive experiments/institutes as e.g. undertaken in CERN? I understand that e.g. the discovery of the Higgs Boson confirms our understanding ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

How to read references of the 'Particle Data Group" [closed]

Does someone know how to read the reference of a paper like this: http://pdg.lbl.gov/2014/listings/rpp2014-list-neutrino-prop.pdf For instance: How to get the paper in http://inspirehep.net/ for ...
1
vote
1answer
151 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
257 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Who was the first person to intuitively explain why gravity weakens by the square of the distance? [migrated]

the surface area of a sphere is 4pir^2 and when you increase it the energy disperses by the square. Who was the first person to realize this?
-1
votes
0answers
34 views

What is the difference between 'harmonic motion' and 'simple harmonic motion'? [duplicate]

I want to grasp the above content as soon as possible. I am currently a Physics undergrad. Please help me.
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Role of math in science [closed]

Is it important for a physicist to be good at math? Should he be on par with a mathematician? According to me physics and math are like English and biology we study them in the same language but they ...
-1
votes
1answer
102 views

Why quantum electrodynamics? [duplicate]

Most of the people seem pretty much content with classical electromagnetic theory .And most of the applications use classical EM theory .However, in such situations I would like to know what was the ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of an image on Feynman's shirt

Is there any physical meaning of the image on Feynman's T-shirt?
1
vote
2answers
88 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"), ...
7
votes
1answer
316 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
487 views

Does Newton's third law of motion fail anywhere?

Does Newton's third law of motion fail anywhere, including particle physics and other advanced topics?
3
votes
2answers
899 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

What is the 'normal/standard' formulation of quantum mechanics called?

I know of at least three equivalent formulations of QM: The "normal/standard" one, dealing with Hilbert spaces and state vectors. The Feynman path-integral formulation. The Wigner-Weyl phase space ...
35
votes
8answers
5k views

Will we ever be able to view the past?

By analogy with the sun, whose light is apparently reaching us in 8 minutes, it means that we are only viewing the sun 8 minutes ago when we look up at it. However, what if we were eventually able to ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Statistical mechanics vs. many-body theory

Where is the basic difference of statistical mechanics with many-body physics? What are the systems which cannot be studied in statistical mechanics but in many body theory? After all we know ...
0
votes
3answers
43 views

Electric warning signs question

I've always wandered why do the warning signs show the voltage, not the current. I mean, it's the current that kills you.
0
votes
1answer
52 views

In what ways is Tolman's book on statistical mechanics out-of-date?

I am considering purchasing Tolman's The Principles of Statistical Mehcanics (not to be confused with his Statistical Mechanics with Applications to Physics and Chemistry), but I was wondering if, and ...
3
votes
2answers
94 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Conversion of energy to matter or antimatter?

We all know that matter converts into energy, but will energy convert into matter? Does it form antimatter by converting? Illustrate me with example.
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Model Selection in Physics [closed]

My high-level understanding of the scientific method is that it can be summarized in the following steps, in no particular order: Make conjectures & hypotheses (theory) Make predictions ...
2
votes
4answers
118 views

Drake's equation

Some years ago i read about this equation that helps us estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. Now, i am wondering if there are results ...
1
vote
4answers
121 views

Why does the mathematical constant $e$ enter into quantum mechanics so much?

In A. Zee's book Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, he mentions on pages 11-12 the following formula which he assumes reader had encountered before: \begin{equation} \langle q | p \rangle ~=~ ...
2
votes
6answers
191 views

Is $∣1 \rangle$ an abuse of notation?

In introductory quantum mechanics it is always said that $∣ \rangle$ is nothing but a notation. For example, we can denote the state $\vec \psi$ as $∣\psi \rangle$. In other words, the little arrow ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Do unmeasured particles function the same as when measured?

If there are particles that we are uncertain of are in a state of superposition, do they still function as they would when they are measured? For instance say there is a mechanical clock, and the ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

What's the best GR book for recreational study? [closed]

I currently have four books. Hartle Schutz Cheng Carroll (lecture notes) Which one is best for me to read easily? (especially, for foreigners) Or Do you guys can give good recommendations that ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between a pulse and a wave?

I wanted to ask what is the difference between a pulse and a wave? According to the definitions of them, they are almost the same. In the websites I looked at, the difference between them was ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Intuitive model to show difference between photon energy and light intensity?

What would be a good (intuitive, easily comprehensible) model to explain the quantum nature of light insofar as there is a fundamental difference between intensity and photon energy? One example (not ...
2
votes
3answers
18k views

Uses of vectors in real life [closed]

I always wonder how vectors are used in real life.Vectors and decomposition of vectors,dot and cross products are taught in the early stage in every undergraduate physics course and in every ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Semantics: alternative word for long-ranged interaction? [closed]

I am working on wording for a report. I need to a word to describe long ranged interaction that is constant in strength. But I am aware that people sometimes use 'long-ranged' to mean decaying ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Why is an Ampere an SI unit? [duplicate]

It has always annoyed me that an Ampere is an SI unit, rather than a Coulomb. Why is this the case? Was current discovered first historically? I believe that the standards were published in the 1960s, ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Why doesn't a glass french press shatter when boiling water is poured in?

When I was little, I accidentally shattered a glass cooking instrument due to applying far too drastic a temperature change to it. Since then, I've been a bit afraid of doing it again. Of late, I've ...
1
vote
3answers
127 views

Prerequisites for classical mechanics by Susskind

So I am an undergraduate in Electrical Engineering. We had a course on Physics in our freshman year which is equivalent to Classical Mechanics I as taught in MIT. I am interested in studying advanced ...
1
vote
3answers
72 views

What really is “inertial force”?

In Fluid Mechanics we often see the term inertial force when discussing Reynolds number. The problem is, I didn't really get what's this inertial force. Basically, the notion of inertia I have is that ...
4
votes
0answers
66 views

Is Differential Geometry used in Solid State?

I'm an undergraduate in physics interested in a career in solid state. While I know that any additional math is helpful--I am on time constraints, and can only take a few supplemental classes. That ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are grams usually only expressed as milligrams, grams or kilograms?

I'm a physics (and electronics and astronomy, etc.) enthusiast. As I learn and research topics, I notice that many SI units are often expressed using a variety of prefixes, such as in electronics ...
2
votes
2answers
255 views

Examples of applications of real-valued closed 1-forms in physics [closed]

Closed 1-forms are well-studied in foliation topology, algebraic geometry, and theory of manifolds. What are examples of their most typical or most interesting applications in physics? I do not mean ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Realistic Potential Wells

What is meant by the term "realistic" potential wells? I got stuck into the term as I don't know what are the limitations of the word realistic in this case. For example mentioned in line We ...