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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1
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1answer
73 views

Why are some variables summed infinitesimally and others aren't?

This is something that has been bothering me and I hope the title kind of makes sense. It may be a stupid question but please be gentle. My question is, let's say we have current: $$I=\frac{dq}{dt}$$ ...
1
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1answer
85 views

How far do atoms move in a wire when whirling it horizontally? [on hold]

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 ...
1
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1answer
64 views

Lexical/ontological/semantic knowledge base for physics

(1) Are there lexical/semantic knowledge bases for physics that can be used for automated reasoning and AI (like Princeton's Wordnet and MIT's Conceptnet for common English usage)? (2) If not in ...
7
votes
1answer
239 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
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3answers
124 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 ...
4
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1answer
454 views

What is the meaning of this “let there be light” joke?

A middle school teacher across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it.
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9answers
167 views

Can I throw a stone through my window without breaking the glass?

As far as I know, most of an atom is vacuum. Therefore, in theory, would it be possible for me to throw a tiny stone through my window without breaking it because no matter actually collides?
2
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1answer
168 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 ...
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0answers
42 views

Metaphysics and spacial dimensions [closed]

I'm a philosopher, not a physicist, I've done reading into a lot of disciplines, and have came to a theory that 'perception' (perception isn't such a good word 'cause it implies man) must be the first ...
1
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2answers
67 views

Norsk Hydro and heavy water - what was the perceived threat?

Through various raids and acts of sabotage during WWII, the Allies succeeded in preventing Germany from coming into possession of large quantities of heavy water produced by the Norsk Hydro plant in ...
-2
votes
2answers
63 views

Is the physical design of the human beings the best possible? [closed]

The stature and design of the human body. Is it possible that the best physical structure belongs to a human being? If not. What are the flaws in it and what improvements could be done? Is there ...
16
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6answers
2k views

Why should any physicist know, to some degree, experimental physics?

I've been trying to design a list with reasons why a proper theoretical physicist should understand the methods and the difficulty of doing experimental physics. So far I've only thought of two ...
-1
votes
0answers
19 views

Chemical physics- recommended undergrad classes [closed]

I would like to inquire which classes I should take from specifically the physics department to aid in computational (possibly) chemical physics. I was thinking intro to condensed matter physics, ...
0
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0answers
44 views

Does having a masters from Middle East Technical University in Turkey better or the American University in Cairo? [closed]

I graduated from the American University in Cairo with an Electrical Engineering Bachelor's degree with highest honors. I already applied for the Physics program in there and I am almost definite that ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

The Thermodynamic Limit of Quantum Statistical Mechanics & Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory [closed]

The philosopher of physics Laura Reutsche argues in her book Interpreting Quantum Theories (review/summary here: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/9493/1/ruetsche-review.pdf ) that a "pristine" ...
1
vote
1answer
82 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 ...
2
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2answers
53 views

Quantifier problems of equations in physics

Equations in physics are often written without quantifiers. For instance, from time to time we can see the equation $$E = mc^2$$ is casually written down. I am wondering shouldn't it be written ...
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votes
2answers
34 views

Ideas for high school physics paper, including simulations [closed]

I have to write, with two friends, a simulation based physics paper at school. The problem is, that will I am quite familiar with the concepts of calculus and algebra, my friends aren't. So, we could ...
2
votes
4answers
367 views

Are Lagrangians and Hamiltonians used by Engineers?

Analytical Mechanics (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian) are useful in Physics (e.g. in Quantum Mechanics) but are they also used in application, by engineers? For example, are they used in designing bridges ...
1
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5answers
284 views

Physical applications of matrices and determinants

Other than notation devices, I don't see any direct application of matrices/determinants in physics. For example, they are just a different way to write a partial derivative and determinants find if ...
25
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13answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Im a high school finisher and I want to understand Physics theories [duplicate]

I have finished my A Levels (UK high school exam) , and I have studied Further Mathematics, Mathematics, and Physics in high school. I am really interested in learning about theories of Einstein, ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

Are there two theories that are mathematically identical but ontologically different?

I have no background in physics but there is a question that has been bothering me, so I'm asking you. Are there at least 2 physical theories that are : Mathematically identical, which means that ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Rectifying incomplete popular notions in cosmology

In looking at the answers to this question regarding light from distant galaxies ever being visible to us: Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us? I came across a ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

List of the most fundamental equations of all Physics [closed]

On chapter 18 of "The Feynman Lectures on Physics Volume II: Mainly Electromagnetism and Matter", Richard Feynman presents a table which he says has "all that was known of fundamental classical ...
11
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7answers
1k views

Is physics rigorous in the mathematical sense?

I am a student studying Mathematics with no prior knowledge of Physics whatsoever except for very simple equations. I would like to ask, due to my experience with Mathematics: Is there a set of ...
1
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0answers
42 views

How can a biochemist become a physicist? [closed]

I am currently 22 years old, I graduated in Biochemistry and am now finishing my Master's in Bioengineering and Nanosystems, both with high grades. I've been thinking of leaving life sciences since ...
1
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0answers
127 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
8
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5answers
2k views

Is 'amp' a technically invalid term?

I've been told to use the term ampere in exams and class (I'm in high school), instead of amp as it's not a valid unit, although I've been using the amp for years along with all of my friends who do ...
0
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1answer
23 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.
1
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1answer
90 views

Journal for high school physics papers

I am currently a senior in high school. I have spent the past four years participating in physics research at a local lab. Are there any journals in which I as a high schooler can publish my research? ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

point-particle vs rigid-body [closed]

As pointed out here point-particle-based modeling can lead to very inaccurate predictions. Could you give an example where point-particle-based model describes reality accurately enough and one where ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Is mechanics needed in order to learn electromagnetism? [closed]

I'm a college student who wants to learn physics. I want to get started with electromagnetism as soon as possible. Is it okay to skip over mechanics, or is mechanics a big requirement before starting ...
1
vote
0answers
606 views

Physicists: Why do mathematicians insist on doing mathematics in a vaccuum and how do you deal with it [closed]

I'm trying to learn the theory of wavelet transform, a concept which is supposedly filled with enormous physical intuition, diagrams, pictures, things with physical analogies...but after 30 pages of ...
3
votes
1answer
607 views

Need for a side book for E.Soper`s Classical Theory Of Fields.

I am reading now E Soper Classical Theory Of Fields now and sometimes it is very hard to follow the equations.So I need a side book to read it comfortably.Landau`s book is not helping as its content ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

How you call the constant $\alpha$ within the heat equation in general and in terms of electromagnetism?

The heat equation or diffusion equation does contain a constant $\alpha$. $$\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} - \alpha \nabla^2 u=0$$ How is it called? I'm interested in a general name which can be ...
4
votes
4answers
662 views

Is it possible to restart formal higher education in physics at a later age? [closed]

I would begin by apologizing for a soft question. Reading the FAQ, I have tried to formulate my question precisely in the last paragraph and you may skip the following paragraph where I make ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Does supercavitation create vacuum?

While reading the amazing things that the mantis shrimp can do, such as moving two of their limbs so quickly that the water around them 'supercavitates', a friend of mine told me that those limbs were ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Amateur thoughts on QM theory at celestial scale

Some amateur scientist asked me that why can't one just simply apply the entire theory of QM at atomic scale to "quantize" celestial system with a different choice of $\hslash$, which he believed can ...
1
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2answers
31 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

Is the second law of thermodynamics a real law? [duplicate]

Everytime I ask people why the second law of thermodynamics is true, they say because the probability of entropy increasing is very large. This for some reason doesn't seem right for me. Just because ...
1
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2answers
80 views

Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle?

Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle? The principle is often quoted in counting the number of zero energy states localized on the interface between two insulators with distinct band ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Why aren't units with powers, like cm³, surrounded by parentheses?

Since $\renewcommand{\unit}[1]{\,\mathrm{#1}} 1\unit{dm} = 10^{-1}\unit{m}$, it follows that $1\unit{dm^3} = 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \times 10^{-1} \unit{m^3} = 10^{-3} \unit{m^3}$. However, in ...
21
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: I lack an adequate understanding of ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

What is the performance of a silicon crystal that makes it an essential component to computing

I'm on a thread of interest in the precise physics that allow the creation of the computing process. It began as a question posted in search of an understandable explanation of what physical form ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Why are they called “cyclic” coordinates?

In Lagrangian formalism, when $\frac{\partial L}{\partial q} = 0$, the coordinate $q$ is called cyclic and a corresponding conserved quantity exists. But why is it called cyclic?
0
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1answer
93 views

In general, could any ad-hoc relationship of constants be useful?

In general; if one creates an ad-hoc relationship of constants, can we use it to solve equations OR is it just an abstract/artificial math construct? I'm a grad student and as we all know, these ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Development/history of Mesoscopic Physics/quantum transport

I am studying mesoscopic physics/quantum transport. Now I am wondering (out of interest): how did this field emerge and what made it such a huge field? I couldn't find this somewhere clear on the web ...
7
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2answers
346 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
145 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. ...