# Tagged Questions

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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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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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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### Is it possible that black holes are also neutron stars, but so dark that we cannot see them?

Since the concept of the singularity in a black hole leads to infinite densities, I wonder if it is really certain that black holes exist? Is there a possibility that massive objects (which are ...
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### What is the criterion of stability of thick-walled spherical shell?

Is there the formula (if someone already has discovered it) or what is the algorithm (if a particular formula was not deduced), to calculate the critical pressure of thick-walled spherical shell $−$ ...
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### Centre of mass and objects tipping [closed]

In this picture if the only parts of an object in contact with a surface are the lines AB and CD am I right in saying that the centre of mass has to be in the area enclosed by ABCD (as shown). I think ...
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### Why a mono-atomic crystal layer (2D) can't be stable?

According to Peierls and Landau, 2D crystals were thermodynamically unstable. They can't exist! Of course, this theory was disapproved in 2004 (example: graphene). What is the general definition of ...
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### Why does the heaviest point on a spinning ball tend to become the topmost pole? [duplicate]

I have a mostly hollow, small clear plastic ball. Inside the ball is a weight stuck to the edge but the weight is smaller than the ball so the ball will always come to rest with the weight at the ...
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### Why aren't there more natural satellites orbiting the Earth than just the Moon?

Considering that there's a lot of debris in space and that impacts fling out rocks into space all the time, why do we only have one large natural satellite - the Moon? Shouldn't there be all kinds of ...
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### What will change if we have another Earth in the space near Earth? [duplicate]

If a new Earth came and orbit our Earth within 300,000 km to Earth? I just did not know. thanks.
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### How does particles gain electrical charges and repel each others? (electrostatic stabilization)

When I study electrostatic stabilization, I understand that the particles have same charge and thus repel others, this is how colloid is stabilize. But how does particles gain electrical charges and ...
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### The most stable way of standing in a bus

Here's what's bugging me for quite a long time. Imagine the every day situation, that you are standing in a bus with your back on wall having only limited space on the floor and no handle to hold. You ...
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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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### Why is the orbital resonance of the Galilean moons stable?

It is well known that the orbits of Ganymede, Europa and Io are in a 4:2:1 resonance. Most online sources (including but not limited to Wikipedia) say that such an orbital resonance, along with the 3:...
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### Stability of square of masses on strings under rotation

Imagine we have a square of masses, $m$, connected by light inextensible strings, length $l$, rotating around it's centre at angular speed, $\omega$. It's easy enough to show that there must be a ...
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### Rayleigh-Taylor Instability dependence on acceleration direction

I'm trying to bolster my understanding of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and I've gotten stuck on the point of which fluid (more or less dense) is being accelerated into the other. Cases of uniform ...