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Initial conditions for second order ODE with complex stiffness

I tried this on Math Stack Exchange. I'm trying to find initial conditions to ensure systems of the form stay bounded $$\ddot{x}_i+\sum_{j=1}^N k_{ij} x_j = 0, \quad k_{ij} \in \mathbb{C}.$$ For ...
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1answer
43 views

Spinning rubber ball with equatorial ridge

I have this rubber ball with something like a very slight equatorial ridge (sort of like Saturn's moon Iapetus) which I often spin around on my desk. I keep noticing that no matter the inclination of ...
3
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0answers
37 views

Bottle stableness optimization

A few days ago me and some friends played a game where you need to upset a bottle with a ball(flunkyball). Then a question occured: "How much water do we need to put into the bottle that its ...
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0answers
13 views

The pressure profile of a static heap of granular substances

The following is the pressure profile of a pile of sand. Note that there is a pressure minimum at the center. A possible explanation for this is: Due to the close packing of the grains, any grain ...
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2answers
53 views

Why are L4 and L5 Lagrange points stable as points and not part of a circle?

I read this Phys.SE thread which is similar Why are L4 and L5 lagrangian points stable? but I did not want to necro that thread. It seems that most discussions of a three body problem are presented ...
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2answers
43 views

Gravity effect on moving bodies

If we imagine two suns of equal mass, and a small object in their combined center of gravity, which is not moving, it will stay there forever. If the object is displaced a little bit towards one of ...
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0answers
44 views

How stable is a tablespoon of neutrons once removed from a neutron star? [duplicate]

I've often heard public lectures describing the degenerate, exotic matter left behind after a star collapses but fails to go supernova; one that has found its way to become a neutron star. The speaker ...
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1answer
51 views

Why should slope of pressure versus volume always be negative?

I read that the slope of the pressure, ($P$), versus volume ($V$) graph should always be negative for thermodynamic stability, but there was no further explanation in the text. Could someone give an ...
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3answers
102 views

What makes an orbit stable or unstable?

I have an assignement, where I have a given central potential $V(x)=-\frac{K}{6r^6}$ and object with an angular momentum $L$. I've calculate the radius of a circular orbit, which I've done by ...
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1answer
85 views

Classifying regions of Van der Waal like gas

Given the equation of state $$p+a\left(\frac{N}{V}\right)=\frac{Nk_BT}{V-bN} \tag 1$$ Taking into account of the fact that a realistic model requires $p \geq 0, V \geq Nb, N>0$ classify the ...
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19 views

why can noise induce multistability, particularly in (bio)chemical systems

There are several instances that people claim that a system is monostable in a deterministic model, but when they consider stochastic models, from either master equations or Fokker-Planck equations, ...
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7answers
11k views

Can we theoretically balance a perfectly symmetrical pencil on its one-atom tip?

I was asked by an undergrad student about this question. I think if we were to take away air molecules around the pencil and cool it to absolute zero, that pencil would theoretically balance. Am I ...
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3answers
5k views

Is it possible that every single isotope is radioactive, and isotopes which we call stable are actually unstable but have an extremely long half-life?

I've read that tellurium-128 has an half-life of $2.2 \times 10^{24}$ years, much bigger than the age of the universe. So I've thought that maybe every single isotope of every single atom are ...
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0answers
11 views

Recursion relations and stability analysis

I have a recursion relation in the form of the following two equations: $X_{t+1} = X_t + V_{t+1} \\ V_{t+1} = wV_t + cy(g-X_t)$ I want to write these two equations into a matrix form so that I can ...
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1answer
115 views

Why is a hexagon such a stable shape for materials?

A hexagonal lattice is famously the shape of graphene, the source of the 2010 Nobel prize. The shape also shows up in beehives and in the basalt columns of Giant's Causeway in County Antrim. ...
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2answers
32 views

Notions of “confined” and “metastable” states?

What is the exact definition of terms "confined state" and "metastable state", in the context of quantum mechanics? Can we also have a "confined metastable state"? Can we somehow easily link these ...
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1answer
44 views

Is an elastic, gravitating object stable?

As I understand, an object can contract under its own gravitantional pull. Then as it does so, different parts of the object must move with some velocity. This in turn means that their relativistic ...
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1answer
33 views

Coexistence at Lagrange points

I was wondering how precise the location of an object in a Lagrange point needs to be to maintain stability, since it seems that several natural objects (asteroids) exists together in some of these ...
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2answers
126 views

Mars and Jupiter colliding [duplicate]

I was going to post a comment on my own theory about Mars and Jupiter colliding, but I just read the rules and it breaks it...badly. I was looking for informal peer review. So my question is, has ...
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1answer
33 views

2D room with electron-point-charges (stability)

Is there a fast way to find out stable #"point charges" & constellation for this kind of Simulation. The 2D repeating itselve in each direction till infinity, so i've a kind of symetrie here. ...
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2answers
200 views

Why are planets in unstable equilibrium in a stable orbit

It is well known that a planet in stable orbit is in unstable equilibrium. If e.g. the moon was just a few m/s slower in velocity, or a few m closer to the earth than it is, the gravity would ...
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0answers
44 views

Measure of stability

Is there a measure of stability of different systems? What I mean by stability is the ability of a system to return to its original position, even when inputted with high amounts of energy. The more ...
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1answer
65 views

Temporal properties of a photon

Naively, one can attempt to consider the (impossible) light-speed inertial frame. From there you arrive at nonsense conclusions like 'the universe is flattened in the direction of travel' which must ...
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1answer
67 views

Earth-Sun Lagrange points L4/L5 existence

Why do Lagrange points L4 and L5 exist at all? Consider the mass of Jupiter equals 320 Earth masses, and distance from Lagrange point to Jupiter is about 4-6 A.U. We get that the gravity of Jupiter ...
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2answers
881 views

How, exactly, does a reaction wheel work?

Reaction wheels, mounted on spacecrafts and satellites, are used for precision attitude control. It is not clear to me how they can do this, though. My best guess is that when a motor accelerates a ...
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0answers
184 views

Calculations to Determine Force Required for Gyroscopic Stabalization

I am currently undertaking a project involving gyroscopes, the aim of which is to stabilize a large object. I have read that gyroscopes work because of conservation of angular momentum, and if you ...
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0answers
36 views

Argument for stability of journal bearing via inertial and viscous forces?

As I understand a journal bearing, a rotor is levitated by hydraulic forces from the lubricant. While these are lots of studies on this subject, I can't manage to find a paper that coherently breaks ...
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1answer
103 views

Classical Mechanics - Potential Energy Function [closed]

Question The potential energy function of a particle of mass $m$ is: $$V(x) = \frac{cx}{x^2+a^2}$$ where c and a are positive constants. Qualitatively sketch $V$ as a function of $x$. Find two ...
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0answers
41 views

Stability of a system

What do we mean by "stability of a system " in a Lagrangian of a model? Let's say that we have a very simple model like this $$L=\frac{1}{2}K_{ij}\dot{q}_i\dot{q}_j-\frac{1}{2}F_{ij}q_iq_j,$$ where ...
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1answer
122 views

Is there always an equilibrium point in space for gravity?

For instance, for a two-body system, there will always be a point in-between the two in which the forces of gravity completely cancel, and if I were there then I would experience no net force. I ...
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1answer
168 views

Why does graphene exist?

I started to read some articles on graphene and almost all say that graphene was discovered late because physicists thought it would be unstable. Despite this, I didn't found a clear explanation of ...
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1answer
286 views

Does anyone know the mechanism behind this double helix cloud formation?

This looks like m=2 swirling instability mode of the axisymmetric jet, but how could an axisymmetric jet form up in the sky like that?
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2answers
140 views

Why is there a limited range of possible soap bubble size?

Soap bubbles are never "too small" or "too large". What defines the range of possible diameters of a soap bubble? Related questions: Why do steam bubbles increase in size as they rise, Why is the ...
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1answer
204 views

Importance of periodic orbits

In the study of dynamical systems, one often talks about solutions that repeat themselves after a certain time, hence their name of "periodic orbits". Then one moves to the distinction of "stable" ...
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2answers
755 views

Understanding the Jacobian Matrix

Taking the example of a two dimensional system, desribred by the following ODE's: \begin{align} \frac{dx_1}{dt}&=f_1(x_1,x_2)\\ \frac{dx_2}{dt}&=f_2(x_1,x_2) \end{align} The Jacobian Matrix ...
2
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1answer
81 views

Why is plasma confinement on the NIF called inertial confinement when it appears to be confined by pressure?

I've heard that unlike Tokamaks that use magnetic confinement of the plasma, the NIF project uses 'inertial' confinement. What's inertial about it? Do they spin the plasma to use angular momentum like ...
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2answers
104 views

Stability of planet-enclosing shell supported by atmosphere

I understand that a hollow spherical shell of uniform density gives net zero gravitational attraction to objects inside it. So in vacuum, a ball at the centre of a spherical shell would not be stable ...
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3answers
226 views

Unstable equilibrium in a pendulum

Consider a pendulum with a bob and a massless, rigid, hinged rod attached to the bob. The bob is at rest at the bottom most position. Neglecting friction, is it possible to impart such a velocity ...
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2answers
189 views

Stable muon density inside a white dwarf star?

It occurs to me (though I'm hardly the first) that the decay $$ \mu^- \to e^- + \bar \nu_e + \nu_\mu $$ should be forbidden in electron-degenerate matter, since there must be an empty state available ...
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3answers
152 views

How to do linear stability analysis on this system of ODEs?

I was trying to do linear stability analysis of spring pendulum. I arrived at the differential equations which describe the system. But I am unable to proceed to linear stability analysis. Is it ...
7
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1answer
170 views

Why Are Normal Shock Waves Unstable in a Converging Channel?

While learning about shock waves in an introductory Gas Dynamics course, it was revealed that normal shocks are unstable if formed in a converging channel. Even if the local conditions ostensibly ...
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1answer
139 views

Deducing instability growth rates from the Hamiltonian for the nonlinear schrodinger equation

Consider the following nonlinear Schrodinger equation (NLSE): $$A_t+iA_{xx}+i|A|^2A = 0$$ where $A$ is a complex valued function of $(x,t)$. A solution to this equation is $A=a_oe^{-ia_o^2t}$. We ...
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1answer
238 views

Vacuum stability in quantum field theory

What exactly do people mean when they talk about the scale dependence of the effective potential ($V$)? I explain the motivation for my question (and hence my confusion) below. Please correct me as ...
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2answers
466 views

Changes in planetary orbit?

Forgive a novice and her naive curiosity, but I was wondering about planetary orbit and the aging of planets. As a planet ages, does its transit around its sun/star decrease or increase in speed? ...
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0answers
40 views

Stability of D-Branes and Coupling to Fields

I've been brushing up on my string theory using Becker, Becker, Schwarz (p. 208 in particular). They state that some D-branes can couple to R-R fields from closed string excitations. They then go on ...
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2answers
153 views

How “unnatural” is the universe? [closed]

Looking to read up on the impact the discovery of Higgs boson has on the String Theory I came upon these two paragraphs in an article about the Higgs boson Nobel Prize: One possibility has been ...
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1answer
285 views

How to simulate rotational instability?

I'm trying to simulate (for an educational game) the well-known effect that rotating objects with three nonequal moments of inertia are unstable when rotated around the middle axis. Some explanations ...
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3answers
246 views

Why doesn't an orbiting body keep accelerating?

As a physics newbie I'm trying to get a grip on basic orbital mechanics. I think I'm beginning to get grasp on how bodies interact with each other. When a body approaches another body it accelerates ...
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0answers
29 views

Stability condition for AdS background (when gravity coupled to matter fields)

In finding the stability condition for AdS background (when gravity coupled to matter fields), why the conserved energy should be positive?
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3answers
2k views

Why do all elements above $\require{mhchem}\ce{Fe}$ not decay to $\ce{Fe}$?

OK, so $\ce{Fe}$ is the most 'stable element'. As such, why do all elements above it not decay into $\ce{Fe}$? In all cases, would it not lead to an increase in binding energy and therefore energy ...