# Tagged Questions

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### Stability and Laplace's equation

Consider four positive charges of magnitude $q$ at four corners of a square and another charge $Q$ placed at the origin. What can we say about the stability at this point? My attempt goes like this. ...
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### A particles lifetime in relation to the speed it travels with

Is it possible for a particles or any matter's lifetime in the universe to depend on it's speed?
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Why are L4 and L5 lagrangian points stable?

This diagram from wikipedia shows the gravitational potential energy of the sun-earth two body system, and demonstrates clearly the semi-stability of the L1, L2, and L3 lagrangian points. The blue ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Why doesn't a bike/bicycle fall if going with a high speed?

Why does a bike/bicycle fall when its speed is very low or close to zero and is balanced when going with a high speed?
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Countersteering a motorcycle

Everyone knows the story about countersteering. For those who don't I will explain it below and after the explanation i will ask my question. You can watch this short video as a beginning: http://www....
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### Is Dyson Sphere a stable construction?

Suppose that a star is encompassed by a Dyson Sphere. Do we need a position control system for the Dyson Sphere to keep its origin always aligned with the center of the star? Will it stay aligned ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Stability of rotation of a rectangular prism

I've noticed something curious about the rotation of a rectangular prism. If I take a box with height $\neq$ width $\neq$ depth and flip it into the air around different axes of rotation, some motions ...
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### 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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### 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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### Question on the stability of the solar system

One of the pertinent questions about many body systems that causes me much wonder is why the solar system is so stable for billions of years. I came across the idea of "resonance" and albeit an useful ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Earnshaw's theorem and springs

Earnshaw's theorem states that the Laplacian of the potential energy of a small charge moving through a landscape full of static negative and/or positive charges (and gravity) is zero. Thus you can't ...
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### 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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### Linearized equations

What is $V_{\alpha\beta}$? And what is a symmetric, positive definite potential energy matrix? And why is there a linearized equation like this?
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### Is it possible that 5 planets can revolve around a single star in a single orbit?

I'm writing a novel and I'm quite confused if this system could be possible in the real universe. Is it possible that a system exist, where 5 identical planets which could be of same characteristics (...
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### Does leaning (banking) help cause turning on a bicycle?

I think it's clear enough that if you turn your bicycle's steering wheel left, while moving, and you don't lean left, the bike will fall over (to the right) as you turn. I figure this is because the ...
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### 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" (e....
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### How does the position of lift affect the stability of the lifted object?

Consider this example: Treat G as 10. The blue blocks provide lift of 10N, or -1KG. The red block has a weight of 20N, or 2KG. The black bar has no weight. All have their center of gravity in ...
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### Where did Schrödinger solve the radiating problem of Bohr's model?

One of the problems with Bohr's theory to describe the hydrogen atom, was that the electron orbiting around the nucleus has an acceleration. Therefore it radiates and loses energy, until it would ...
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### 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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### Examining the presence of persistent domain from time series data

There are three variables, $X_t$, $Y_t$, and $Z_t$ that are dependent of each other, and I have the time series data of those variables from replicated experiments. The stochastic dynamics look quite ...
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### 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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### 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 ...