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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3
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
989 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?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

2-D Ising model temperature of equilibrium [duplicate]

I have simulated 2-D Ising model in C#, but my scatter plot for magnetization versus temperature is an decreasing line (you know that the correct plot decreases quickly in a temperature near 2.3). ...
-1
votes
0answers
39 views

Is curiosity enough as driving force for become a physicist? [closed]

Is curiosity enough or does one need much more than that. Except being good at mathematics what shall be the qualities in a teenager who wants to become a physicist.
-1
votes
1answer
141 views

Affects of static electricity on the heart [closed]

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
2answers
399 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
909 views

Meaning of the word “Moment”?

This question is more of a question about the origin of a physical term moment used in many contexts. My question is about the linguistic or historical meaning of the word "moment". Please don't ...
1
vote
3answers
564 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
1answer
57 views

What is gate symmetry?

I just read this interesting interview with Frank Wilczek and he talks a couple of times about gate symmetry, without ever defining the term. This isn't a term I've come across, and google throws up ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

Sequence of topics for studying quantum theory (Research strategy) [duplicate]

I am trying to learn about the higher level basics of physics. I want to cover up all that is included in particle physics/quantum physics. Now being in high school, I only know partially about ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Sources to learn about Greens functions

For a physics major, what are the best books/references on Greens functions for self-studying? My mathematical background is on the level of Mathematical Methods in the physical sciences by Mary ...
2
votes
1answer
214 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
990 views

Remove salt from dirt [migrated]

I have a mixture that contains out of dirt/sand and salt. I want to extract and measure the salt. What would be the best way to extract the salt from this mixture? P.s not sure if this is the ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Self Learning Quantum Mechanics and QFT, how to? [closed]

I've searched the board and several threads were found, but they all were very old and closed. I'm interested in learning and understanding quantum mechanics, after that possibly also QFT. I have ...
3
votes
2answers
258 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Popular books on QM

After some discussions with my friend about some "popular" aspects of quantum mechanics, my friend asked me whether there exist any books that could convey the basic ideas in a non-technical way (my ...
38
votes
16answers
13k views

Comprehensive book on group theory for physicists?

I am looking for a good source on group theory aimed at physicists. I'd prefer one with a good general introduction to group theory, not just focusing on Lie groups or crystal groups but one that ...
12
votes
1answer
499 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

How to consolidate what you've learned? [closed]

I'm reading through two books right now on the topics on quantum mechanics and particle physics. I'd like to know, how does one generally go back and consolidate what they've learned? There are ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Clear, coherent electromagnetism textbook [duplicate]

I have recently finished a year-long introductory undergraduate course on electromagnetism, but I did not get a very good sense of how everything fits together conceptually. Are there any good ...
16
votes
11answers
3k views

Physics the Why vs. How question?

I've been told that a physicist never asks why and must always ask how. Is this true? Have all discoveries in physics been due to asking how? or have some been discovered by asking why?
7
votes
3answers
491 views

How to learn celestial mechanics?

I'm a PhD student in math and am really excited about celestial mechanics. I was wondering if anyone could give me a roadmap for learning this subject. The amount of information about it on the ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Water maintains equal level in connected vessels. What is this property called? [closed]

How water maintains same level in connected tubes or vessels? Is this a specific property?
0
votes
0answers
41 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

How are unitary matrices and unitary random matrices associated with physics or quantum mechanics? [closed]

Please forgive my ignorance, my back ground is not physics. I am looking for distance measure between two unitary matrix (for my work). So my starting point is where else unitary matrix is ...
-1
votes
2answers
95 views

Disproving the mathematical universe hypothesis [closed]

The mathematical universe hypothesis is claimed by Lee Smolin to be falsifiable: [...] it is easy to disprove the mathematical-universe hypothesis. Simply exhibit one property of the natural world ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

What happens when we cut objects?

What is the role of the molecular bonds in the process of cutting something? What is the role of the Pauli exclusion principle, responsible for the "hardness" of matter? Moreover, is all the energy ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

Lab equipment - where to start [closed]

I've started to seriously study physics on my own, using various resources such as edX courses etc. However I believe that carrying out experiments will help me gain a deeper understanding of the ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

What is geomagnetic text? [closed]

What is meant by the term "GEOMAGNETIC TEXT"? I googled it but could not find any information about it. My textbook mentioned it as some kind of reference book and tells that calculated magnetic field ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Understanding the mathematical terms in Physics [closed]

I understand well only when I get a physical picture of the concept. Is it good? or should I change.
-2
votes
2answers
90 views

What causes the expansion of space? [closed]

What is causing space to expand? Is it due to some kind of innate property or is it due to some force? I did a google search on this and found lots of articles explaining that space is expanding ...
1
vote
1answer
260 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
84 views

Could I create a banana? [closed]

As I understand it, until such time as stars were formed and heavier elements could be created, there was just hydrogen and helium, plus trace amounts of lithium an beryllium. Question: if everything ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

How to teach/learn physics - reference request

I remember reading a paper (or a transcript of a talk) which describes the process of learning/teaching physics as a landing on a planet. In order to find a suitable place to land, you need to orbit ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Note and homework organization [closed]

this is my first post here so please forgive any errors! I am currently in a mechanics class and having a little trouble trying to figure out how I should structure my lecture notes and my homework. I ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Confusion about the use of the term “Phase Space” in Strogatz text

I've just started learning about Hamiltonian mechanics, and from the definition given in Taylor's classical mechanics, phase space must always have an even dimension. However, I recall from reading ...
1
vote
1answer
102 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
420 views

Is this a valid understanding of Newtonian mechanics?

This is a conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. What the laws mean, how we know they're true, etc. I'm looking for criticism. I know this is really border line on the "don't ask questions ...
5
votes
2answers
747 views

In interferometry, what is the origin of the name “Airy function”?

In interferometry (specifically, in the domain of Fabry-Perot cavities), the function $$f(\phi) = \frac{1}{1 + F \sin^2 \phi},$$ which describes the shape of the resonant structure of the cavity, is ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

Is 'Boltzon' an accepted name for particles following Maxwell-Boltzmann (MB) statistics?

In my curriculum during one of my statistical mechanics visiting lecture classes, our teacher was referring comparatively macro particles following MB statistics as "Boltzon". But I have searched ...
-2
votes
1answer
789 views

Superposition and the Winning Jackpot Numbers

Let's say I buy myself a lottery ticket (Mega-Millions). I have $\frac{1}{175,711,536}$ chance of winning. Before I tune on the tv/radio and listen to the winning numbers (i.e. make an observation), ...
-5
votes
1answer
63 views

Strange equation on notebook [closed]

It could sound like a silly question, but I found this equation written in my notebook and never knew what was the meaning and who wrote it. I think it could be related to some physics equation, and ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

What is the “single equation” in string theory that's an inch long? [duplicate]

Michio Kaku, famous theoretical physicist claims to be one of the founders of string field theory and to have contributed a equation that's "no bigger than your thumb" that ties general relativity and ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

$3$ dimensional representation of Electric Field lines between Two particles

I have seen in many books the $2$ dimensional representation of field lines (between two particles having equal positive charge) as- But I am trying to visualise this $3$ dimensionally as how the ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Am i studying physics too inefficiently? [closed]

I am a 9th standard student and like others on this site, i am highly fascinated by maths and physics. i have planned to study physics and math this way ( probably you will laugh on me when you read ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Controlling the universe through the “Many-worlds” interpretation [closed]

I was reading upon a comic when I found some interesting content concerning the "Many-worlds" interpretation and how it could be used in quite an extreme manner. Imagine we had a "END" machine. When ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How much QFT do I need to get started on String Theory? [closed]

I want to get started learning String Theory (most likely from David Tong's lecture notes) and I would like to know which topics I need to know from QFT. In particular, if I were to follow Peskin, ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

Methodology: how to deal with non-rigorous derivations [closed]

This is a reformulation of Why are non-rigorous derivations in classical mechanics and electromagnetism taught by professors? See below for an example which got closed as off-topic because it was ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Changing from potential to kinetic energy

During a conversation with a friend, I began to wonder if there's is a term for the transformation of potential energy to kinetic energy, and vice versa.Is there a term for the process of converting ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Direction about future [closed]

I am finishing high school this year and i want to be a theoretical physicist. My academic result in mathematics is not good throughout last 5 years. But physics is my dream. I want to overcome every ...