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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11
votes
15answers
453 views

How to pour water from a bottle as fast as possible

When one pours water out of a bottle, it first flows smoothly but then a pressure 'blockage' develops and the pouring becomes interrupted and turbulent, so that the water comes out in splashes. This ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What is the minimum math level required to comprehend general relativity? [duplicate]

I am currently working on a B.S. In chemistry and only need to go up to Calculus II, though I like to dabble in physics. What other math classes could I take to gain greater understanding of higher ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Physics without math [on hold]

If anybody could imagine an advanced civilization with advanced knowledge of the universe(s) but without a mathematical language, how would they use their knowledge? How could it be possible to ...
-1
votes
0answers
76 views

Physics Culture and the Attitude Towards Pure Math [on hold]

To preface my question, I think it's important that I explain my experience studying both physics and pure math at the university level. I am American (as I'm sure education in different countries ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

What is the best order of learning mathematics before start Monte Carlo Methods for Physics simulation? [closed]

I doing medical physics masters and hope to start my research in Monte Carlo methods to simulate some particle interaction and hence to calculate some unknown physical quantities ( Stopping power and ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it possible to kill a human with a powerful magnet?

I'm asking in terms of physics. Can powerful magnetic induction rearrange spins of my body in such way I will die? How? Or maybe it can rip all iron from me, which would make my blood cells useless? ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

How can I make my younger brother's interest in physics at home? [closed]

This is a soft question. I have a younger brother who is in 10th standard but he don't like subject of physics at all. When I asked reason for it he says he gets bored in mugging the formulas of ...
0
votes
3answers
327 views

Einstein and vibrational energy of the atom and its way to QM

As suggested by one of the commentators on my last question, I am going through Bohr's Nobel prize lecture in order to understand how quantum mechanics was developed. The lecture describes Planck's ...
-2
votes
1answer
57 views

Reading a Paper on the Cosmological Constant Problem [closed]

My professor wants to give me (and another kid) a problem in quantum cosmology. To that end, he asked me to read through his recent paper that appeared in the Physical Review Letters. He said that I ...
-4
votes
0answers
32 views

General question on the site's mechanism [migrated]

This is my first post. I need to know if I can ask some homework problems on here. Not full problems but after I provide my attempt at the problem.
0
votes
1answer
56 views

How do I differentiate between units and variables on my notebook? [closed]

On computer systems, variables are written in italics, as $m$ or $s$, and the units as $\mathrm{m}$ or $\mathrm{s}$. It is very incovenient to do italics for variables and upright for units while ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

If we were able to manipulate enough energy, could we use the higgs field for any practical application? [closed]

My question is, the fields in the standard model interact with each other, and when we are able to manipulate some of them through different engineered devices, we can transform the energy field into ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Note and homework organization [closed]

I am currently in a mechanics class and have some trouble trying to figure out how I should structure my lecture notes and my homework. I recently began rewriting my notes after class but I am still ...
3
votes
3answers
88 views

What is “normal” about normal frequencies and normal modes in coupled oscillations?

So, my question is what does the "normal" part mean when one talks about normal frequencies and normal modes in coupled oscillations. Does it have to do with the normal coordinates that one uses when ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Four Vectors in SR and QFT

I'm covering both special relativity and quantum field theory in the summer. I'm currently using Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler to cover SR. Since I'm covering SR on the side with QFT, I'm ...
13
votes
1answer
526 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
187 views

Does Bell's inequalities also rule out non-computable local hidden variable theories?

I have beenn reading different articles on Bell's assumptions and interpretations, including superdeterminsm. I always end up dizzy when I try tho think about this specific question, so any hints ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Does the analogous saying: “matter is essentially 'condensed' energy” have any merit?

Einstein in his derivation of special relativity came upon the equivalence of energy and matter, and given the right circumstances, the relation can go either way - matter can become energy, and ...
2
votes
1answer
375 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
1answer
28 views

How are you the special points/critical points in the Brillouin Zone pronounced? [closed]

I know that this isn't exactly physics, but I don't know where to ask. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brillouin_zone#Cubic_lattice_system_CUB.281.29.2C_BCC.281.29.2C_FCC.281.29 The critical points/...
1
vote
2answers
438 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
7k views

Forces on a ball thrown upwards

When a ball is thrown up in upward direction, it is said that force is in downward direction. Why we don't we consider the force given to the ball to throw up in the upward direction? Is there is no ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

renormalization and set theory

I am in high school, thus most of what I know about the topics I ask comes from popular science books, which risks asking some dumb questions, because I rarely understand the math behind. It is my ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do physicists believe that there exist magnetic monopoles?

One thing I've heard stated many times is that "most" or "many" physicists believe that, despite the fact that they have not been observed, there are such things as magnetic monopoles. However, I've ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Fun to read non-Feynman introductory physics book [duplicate]

I am an almost layman in physics, and don't know much in math (only basic knowledge upto trig ), and want to learn physics . . As I am completely inexperienced, and considering most of ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Why are transuranium actinides true elements or are they brief coproducts of man made transmutation?

The first 92 elements, accept technetium 43, on the periodic table can be found in nature and they are considered stable elements. The actinide series of elements which are artificially generated ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the lake surface appear darker in some areas?

What causes the surface of the lake to appear darker in some places? Firstly, I know that it's not fishes that cause it. Secondly, the dark surfaces move from time to time and thus are not ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Spivak for a soon to be undergrad. physics student [duplicate]

I'll soon start my undergrad. studies in physics and because of that I picked up Spivak's Calculus a while ago to get a solid foundation in single-variable calculus before I start my studies. However, ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What are Pre-requisites for General Relativity [duplicate]

I have a background in Electrical engineering. However, I have a passion for physics and want to do my Masters in Physics. I was hoping to do some sort of self - study in topics that I have not ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Causal networks and “local” entanglement

On his Opus Maximus, a new kind of Science, Stephen Wolfram suggests that causal networks can create behaviour similar to entanglement because the local structure of space is only an averaged ...
-2
votes
0answers
27 views

Book on thermodynamics for International Physics Olympiad? [duplicate]

I'm a junior in high school studying for the IPhO and I've started learning thermodynamics as part of my preparation. I have a guide to the exam that says things like this will be tested: Carnot ...
-3
votes
0answers
21 views

Books for students [duplicate]

Can any one please suggest me books for physics. I need a book for good theory and concept . And a book for practice , it should contain some solved questions. The both the books should contain ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

High School Physics What to Do [duplicate]

I am an aspiring physicist in high school and I would like to know ways to get involved. Of course, it would look great for potential physics colleges, but I really want to understand physics better. ...
-5
votes
2answers
88 views

Soft question - Why do theoretical physics ? and what is its motivation? [closed]

Okay some background - I am a Theoretical physics graduate student (and i would go even further calling myself a math person) and quite recently I have been into this question and am finding it hard ...
1
vote
3answers
704 views

Is net work and total work same?

According to my text book Total Work = Delta Kinetic Energy = KEf - KEi But then work is defined to be dot product of Force (vector) and Displacement (vector). Also to my knowledge work is ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

What is the name of basis states of bulk k.p Hamiltonian?

A k.p Hamiltonian for a bulk material can be represented by 8x8 matrix in basis of $|S\uparrow\rangle$, $|S\downarrow\rangle$, $|X\uparrow\rangle$, $|Y\uparrow\rangle$, $|Z\uparrow\rangle$, $|X\...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Notation of integrals

Hi I am relatively new to quantum mechanics. I encountered a certain use of notation which I am curious about, I will provide the context and question now: We have the basis $\{ | \vec{r} \rangle \} ...
3
votes
1answer
259 views

What causes charge buildup in a cloud before a lightning storm?

I am curious what causes the charge build up in a cloud before lightning occurs. I have seen in a few places such as this, that the process is not fully understood. Is this some form of static ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

How to convert from overtone to harmonics and vice versa?

I was given this question: If the pipe length in a tube is 1.9 m, at the air temperature inside the tube is 28 °C, determine the fundamental frequency of the note played, fourth harmonic and the ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

Linear Algebra for Quantum Physics

A week ago I asked people on this site what mathematical background was needed for understanding Quantum Physics, and most of you mentioned Linear Algebra, so I decided to conduct a self-study of ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

Physical Interpretation of the Graph of the Legendre Transform?

See Making Sense of the Legendre Transform and Legendre Transforms for Dummies. Look at the following diagram from the first link: I was trying to think of the simplest example to interpret this ...
-1
votes
2answers
86 views

Is electromotive force really a force? [duplicate]

As far the definition goes emf of electromotive force is basically potential difference. It even has dimensions of potential. Then why is it called a force?
3
votes
0answers
129 views

How are these modern, sexy physics figures made? [closed]

I am curious to know how the figures in these popular introductory physics textbooks are made. As examples of what I mean, see the posted figures and my comments, all from various editions of Serway ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

What S means in S-duality?

As I know, there are many dualities related to S-duality. For example, Montonen-Olive duality, Seiberg duality. and so on. so, I wonder that what "S" means in the term "S-duality". If this is a stupid ...
-2
votes
1answer
245 views

Why there are constant numbers in the universe? [closed]

Why the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is always the constant $\pi$? Moreover many of you know better about golden ratio $\phi$, Euler's number e, and many other constants. How ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

The scope of physics, as taught in modern times

I am asking this question based on my recent experience as a physics major at a well-known school of science and engineering. My basic question is, Why does the field of physics (at least at an ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

What is beyond Gamma Rays and Radiowaves in the Electromagnetic Spectrum?

The electromagnetic spectrum is commonly refered to as consisting of; Radio-waves, Microwaves, Infrared, Visible Light, Ultraviolet, X-rays, Gamma Rays - of increasing frequency from left to right. ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Quantum teleportation and macroscopic objects

Purely speculative. If not allowed, I'll delete. If quantum teleportation was scalable to macroscopic objects, I assume it would require an amount of matter at the destination, equal to the amount of ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Physical intuition for higher order derivatives

Could somebody give me an intuitive physical interpretation of higher order derivatives (from 2 and so on), that is not related to position - velocity - acceleration - jerk - etc?