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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5
votes
2answers
325 views

Understanding Cherns-Simons-Witten Theory

I want to read about Wittens work, on Cherns-Simons theory, and relations to knots and jones polynomials. I am extremely motivated to read his paper: Quantum Field Theory and Jones polynomial. What ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

Why does smashing a TV remote load its batteries?

Many times I had the same problem: my TV remote's batteries were too weak for it to operate, but then, when I shook the remote a bit and smashed it on my palm, somehow the remote regained its ability. ...
10
votes
3answers
173 views

$1.7\cdot 10^{-24}$ mole apples a day

As the title suggests I was wondering why the International Bureau of Weights and Measures decided a mole to be a standard (SI-)unit. After some research I found I was not alone with this problem. ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How should a math undergrad student prepare himself to study GR and QM? [duplicate]

I'm quite sure that similar questions like this have been asked for more than thousands of times on here but since each person's background and interests are unique I believe questions like this ...
2
votes
0answers
111 views

Why supra-conductivity became super-conductivity?

The original article by the Kamerlingh Onnes team in Leiden does not give a name to the new effect: Kamerlingh Onnes, H. Further experiments with liquid helium. C. On the change of electric ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Are there any applications of elementary number theory to science? [duplicate]

I've taken a class on elementary number theory (for fun), but now I wonder: was it at all useful to learn number theory for my future career in physics? More to the point, are there any applications ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Analyse astronomical data

Recently I was told of a job offer to analyse astronomical data. The job offer states that they want somebody with knowledge of astronomical data analysis software and it will be a plus somebody who ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Is it possible to go to graduate school in physics with a different undergrad degree? [on hold]

Specifically, a major in mathematics or applied math, while self studying the undergraduate physics curriculum, as I also want to major in computational biology. A triple major would make it difficult ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Are there any odd fields of mathematics with physics? [closed]

Every body knows that calculus,geometry,algebra,topology..etc are used in physics. But is there any fields of mathematics that are seemingly unrelated to physics ( like number theory ) that show any ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Queries regarding the peer review process and examples of where it has not worked out [migrated]

I was watching this video on YouTube (this is the second part of it) and it motivated me to ask this question. From the videos: "....that's the good aspect of peer review. It should work to sift out ...
12
votes
3answers
281 views

Can a web community write papers? [closed]

the internet has changed science drastically. Not only in terms of distributing knowledge e.g. via online encyclopedias as wikipedia and freely available sources of publications as arXiv but also as a ...
5
votes
2answers
336 views

Which is the “roundest man-made object”: Gravity probe B rotor or the Avogadro project sphere?

The Avogadro project is part of the efforts to replace the artefact-based standard kilogram with a definition based on naturally reproducible objects. The main challenge is to make a very precise ...
3
votes
4answers
418 views

In which field of mathematics do I learn path integrals?

I don't mean line integrals, I am talking about path integrals or functional integrals like the ones that Feynman introduced to quantum mechanics. And what are the prerequisites to this field of ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Doing numerics in physics [closed]

Soon, I am going to write my master thesis in theoretical physics. I assume there, and later on in my career, I will have to do more serious numerics than I did up to this point. That's why I want to ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Why the original BB84 paper “Quantum cryptography: Public key distribution and coin tossing” has 'withdrawn' status?

The original paper proposing quantum key distribution protocol (now known as BB84): Charles H. Bennett, Gilles Brassard, Quantum cryptography: Public key distribution and coin tossing seems to ...
0
votes
2answers
57 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
372 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Book called The Trouble with Physics and current status of superstring theories [closed]

In the book called The Trouble with Physics, Lee Smolin argues that string theory is becoming a dead end. What is your opinion on the book if anyone read the book and what is your opinion regarding ...
6
votes
1answer
359 views

BBC radiation: What is it?

I'm reading articles about blazars, and in a discussion about models concerning Blazar SEDs (Spectral Energy Densities) there are mentions of different processes: Sychrotron scattering, inverse ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views
12
votes
11answers
18k views

How do you start self-learning physics [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 ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

On becoming theoretical physicist [duplicate]

I'm a high school student. I'll start self learning of physics and maths. I want to be theoretical physicist. I'm especially interested in gravitational physics. I wonder which website advice below is ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Required skills for a scientist [duplicate]

I wanna become a scientist, so wanna improve my skill like problem solving etc. Could you suggest me some more skills which I need to improve.
2
votes
3answers
78 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

How do I develop a deeper understanding of physics? [closed]

I'm thinking about majoring in physics, but I don't think my background is really strong at the moment. I've completed the standard first year math and physics sequence (multivariable ...
4
votes
0answers
206 views

To what extent 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Is it possible to do a PhD in theoretical physics after a BSc in Mathematics [closed]

I would like to ask if it is useful to have a solid maths background (but only 2 courses of "general physics" and 2 of "mathematical physics") as BSc in order to be a successful researcher in ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Most useful maths for theoretical and mathematical physics [closed]

I am going to apply for a programme of mathematical and theoretical physics for graduate studies and I'm currently studying maths. What is a good area to do a thesis (that is to say, considerable ...
3
votes
3answers
275 views

Why is gas(oline) in gas stations sold by volume (as opposed to mass)?

Fluids (including natural gasoline/petroleum) have variable volume based on the ambient temperature for the same mass of fluid. So, really, the amount of gas that you're filling your car with depends ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Walter Lewin Lectures in HD

I like the lectures by Walter Lewin 8.0x. However the quality of the videos is pretty bad. Is there any way (DVD, web,...) to get the lecture videos in a good quality, best in HD?
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Is there a name for a substance that is a gas at room temperature?

Is there a name for a substance that is a gas at room temperature, such as Hydrogen, Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Chlorine, Fluorine, Bromine, Nitrogen, and Oxygen. I am writing a paper where ...
5
votes
4answers
418 views

How does the research in theoretical physics differ from mathematics

I would like to know what is the difference between research in theoretical physics and pure mathematics. In particular, what does a theoretical physicist actually do all day long for his research? In ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Which Is More Fundamental, Fields or Particles?

I hope that I am using appropriate terminology. My confusion about Quantum Theory (beyond my obvious unfamiliarity with its terminology) is basically twofold: 1) I lack an adequate understanding of ...
4
votes
2answers
63 views

Different equivalent representations for same physics

I want to expand my understanding of physics and just watched a Feynman lecture where he said "every theoretical physicist who is any good knows six or seven different theoretical representations for ...
1
vote
2answers
27 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
1answer
49 views

How far do atoms move in a wire when whirling it horizontally?

so the question is: I whirl a mass m attached to a wire with length L and diameter d around my head in the horizontal plane. The mass takes t seconds to move around a circle. How far do the ...
0
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
159 views

The boundary for quantum mechanical behavior and classical mechanical behavior

To what size and how does "quantum weirdness" such as entanglement and superposition stop applying to larger objects (mere unions of these quantum particles). How do these macro objects that behave as ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

Quantum Mechanics and Entanglement

I'm hearing a guy ( Tom Cassidy ), which supposedly has a master in physics, saying that what we expect in a physical experiment ( for example, observing some particle ) can actually interefere with ...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

Meaning of invariable

Invariable means which is not variable i.e. can't be changed. Recently I have seen a sentence when reading a chapter based on measurement: The accepted standards must be accessible to those who ...
7
votes
1answer
220 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
0answers
54 views

What is the right way to learn quantum physics? [closed]

So I have a question about what i should do with my path to learning quantum physics. I just have no idea where to start or to continue from where I left off. I have been studying quantum mechanics ...
25
votes
13answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
21 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Prerequisites for Halliday Resnick Walker

I am in grade 10. I have developed an interest in physics but unfortunately I do not know/ have not studied calculus yet as my school board does not recommend it in grade 10. I have a copy of ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Significance of mc/h constant in Klein-Gordon equaiton

The are several ways, in which one can write the Klein-Gordon equation, the most straightforward being probably the following: $$ \hbar^2 \partial_t^2 \psi(x) = (\hbar^2 c^2 \Delta + m^2c^4) \psi(x) ...
7
votes
1answer
241 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? ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

What is a good place to ask more opinion-based questions instead of Physics SE? [migrated]

I recently created a question on Physics SE and learned that this site is not suited for questions that could be more opinion based. Since this is the case, could you suggest other places where people ...
7
votes
1answer
115 views

An approachable example of a field with a “mass gap”

Preamble: I have come to believe that alot of difficulties in explaining physics to people of all levels comes from the relatively mundane idea of a wave equation with a mass gap $$\left(-\partial^2_t ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

What kind of physics research can a high-schooler get involved in and form new discoveries in? [closed]

I am a high school student with a strong background in physics, engineering, and computer science. I am very interested in research and formulating my own discoveries in order to learn more about ...