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3
votes
1answer
130 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
39 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
26 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
26 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

MHD stability - boundary conditions

In Freidberg's 'Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy,' ch. 12.4 p 311, right after deriving the Linear Force operator and momentum equation in which it is used $$ -\rho \omega^2 \boldsymbol\xi = ...
14
votes
1answer
188 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?
7
votes
4answers
453 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
30 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
35 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
249 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
140 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
69 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
17 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
167 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

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?
0
votes
0answers
37 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
743 views

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 ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
141 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" ...
0
votes
2answers
100 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 ...
36
votes
8answers
7k views

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?
4
votes
2answers
361 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
votes
4answers
233 views

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 ...
17
votes
11answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
161 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
97 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
632 views

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 ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Why does the weighing balance restore when tilted and released

I'm talking about a Weighing Balance shown in the figure: Press & Hold on onside of the horizontal beam and then release it. It makes some oscillations and comes back to equilibrium like shown ...
2
votes
3answers
115 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
554 views

Why are alpha particles such a prominent form of radiation and not other types of nucleon arrangement?

It is said in many textbooks that alpha decay involves emitting alpha particles, which are very stable. Indeed, the binding energy (~28.3 MeV) is higher than for $Z$-neighboring stable isotopes. But ...
4
votes
2answers
253 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? ...
3
votes
0answers
34 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
141 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
144 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 ...