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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2answers
452 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
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2answers
34 views

Physics of exercise/movement [on hold]

I am a Pilates teacher and a student asked me why an exercise (ie the Pilates 100) is more difficult when your legs are suspended off the edge of an apparatus (more distance to the floor)as opposed to ...
1
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1answer
106 views

What is the relationship between harmonic motion and the harmonics of a wave?

I learned about harmonic motion and harmonic oscillators a long time ago in physics, but I can't remember what the relationship between that and and the definition of harmonic in a wave. A harmonic ...
2
votes
2answers
37 views

What cosmic event would have to occur for us to notice gravitational waves in everyday life? [duplicate]

I read that gravitational waves are so tiny that we need extremely precise equipment to detect them. I am no physicist, but GR really intrigues me and I was wondering about two things: How powerful ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Good book to grasp physics [duplicate]

I'll try to be clear. I'd like to ask you if you know some books or chapters in textbooks which explaining the "meaning" of some physical phenomena or entities. I may try to be more specific using ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

How does eating a cold ice cream actually heat up your body? [closed]

The question is the title itself. During winter one of my friend told we'll have an ice cream. And rest of us where like are you nuts. He was like cold ice-cream actually heats up your body. Even I ...
13
votes
1answer
537 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
1answer
28 views

Particle Data Group book

Many PDG data books have 'July' marked on their covers, does this mean they are published (and made available on their website) in July? When is it expected to be available this year? (date or month ...
3
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0answers
39 views

What is the current status of the field of quasicrystal?

So this is a soft question. I am just wondering what is the current status of the field of quasicrystals? Does this kind of material have any real life application? Is it a possible playground for ...
4
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1answer
172 views

Why does math work for describing and solving physics problems? [closed]

The clarified version As far as I understand, Wigner considers a "miracle" the fact that it is even possible to find a mathematical equation that describes a natural phenomenon. It is not exactly ...
1
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1answer
51 views

Resource: Star map which show current actual positions versus current observable positions?

Light travelling from stars and galaxies takes some time to reach us here on Earth - when we observe stars or galaxies in the night sky, we see their positions as they were when the light left on its ...
6
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5answers
9k views

What is a correct and simple definition of quantum physics?

Is it correct to define Quantum Physics as the study of Physics in sub-atomic scale? Does Quantum Physics studies something else other than sub-atomic phenomena?
0
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3answers
209 views

From where should I start in physics? [duplicate]

I'm currently attending Norwegian high school and I'm in a course where we study electricity, automation, electronics, and almost no physics, chemistry etc. So it will be at least 5-6 years before I ...
43
votes
17answers
14k 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
25 views

General and special relativity books [duplicate]

What are some good books on the exact unabridged theory? Please keep in mind, though, that I need a book with digestible mathematics. Many books are available with the full theory but they have higher ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

When doing E&M problems, I find the extreme exponents annoying. Could redefining the coulomb change this?

When typing into my calculator things like $9\space 10^9$ or $8.85419\space 10^{-12}$ its rather annoying to write in all those exponents (yeah I know it sounds dumb), but its much nicer to do ...
1
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3answers
750 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
11k views

Can a scientific theory ever be absolutely proven?

I personally cringe when people talk about scientific theories in the same way we talk about everyday theories. I was under the impression a scientific theory is similar to a mathematical proof; ...
4
votes
3answers
580 views

Is a theory the same as a hypothesis? [duplicate]

“Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it.” Excerpt from Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, iBooks. So does that ...
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votes
2answers
48 views

Reference request: history of models and equations? [closed]

I am looking for an in-depth self-contained text for the layman which covers the historic development of major questions in physics and the models and equations considered to answer them, and their ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Why didn't Newton study electricity and magnetism?

This is a soft question about the history of physics. In Newton's time, electrical and magnetic phenomena (such as amber attracting things or the alignment of compass needles) were well known. Yet I ...
-3
votes
2answers
41 views

Gravity on other planets [closed]

Why we use the word"Earth' pull" while defining gravity when gravity also exist on other planets of solar system?
0
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0answers
25 views

Books recommendations for my theoretical physics library [duplicate]

long story short: I got a big prize from my scholarship, which consists in a lot of money for books, and I mean a lot: almost USD$ 3000. Thus, I am going to buy lots of books, of course! So I'm ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

What's the difference between hypothesis, theory and law? [closed]

What's the difference between hypothesis, theory and law? I think I'm confused now because I exactly learned the misconception one as explained below in high school. According to this university's ...
11
votes
14answers
538 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
31 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
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2answers
135 views

Physics without math [closed]

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
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0answers
41 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
323 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
59 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
67 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
93 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
188 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
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0answers
53 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
383 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
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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
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
45 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
87 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
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0answers
18 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
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3answers
3k 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
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0answers
23 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
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0answers
23 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 ...
0
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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. ...
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votes
2answers
92 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 ...