Use this for questions relating to the proper use of physics terminology or nomenclature.

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2answers
47 views

Definition of a ray?

The typical definition of a ray and the one that I was initially taught was that a ray was a line perpendicular to the wave front. However, when reading up on birefringence it seems as though there ...
4
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1answer
203 views

Regular solution vs irregular solution

My Quantum Mechanics textbook (John S. Townsend's A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics) mentions regular solutions and irregular solutions. It claims that regular solutions (at the origin) to the ...
1
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1answer
22 views

Bifundamental representations [closed]

Can someone give me explicit examples (in matrix form) of bifundamental representations? Illustrative would be for instance: a) SU(3) x SU(2) b) SO(4) x U(1) c) E6 x U(1) but other you may have ready ...
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0answers
34 views

Terminology for 'inferring the current state of a quantum system as it evolves and gets measured out of your control'

Suppose I hand you a quantum computer in an unknown state, but running a known program. You know the program and which part of the program is currently being executed. The program tells the computer ...
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1answer
36 views

Spectroscopy, interferometry and …?

Consider the case of a Michelson 'Interferometer', from what I have read: If you measure the output as a function of mirror separation that's interferometry. If you measure the output as a function ...
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2answers
391 views

Does “normal torque” exist?

Is there any force called normal torque? If a ruler is spinning, and it hits the floor, obviously it will stop. The floor must be exerting a "normal torque" on the ruler. If this exists, please tell ...
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3answers
151 views

“Randomness” versus “uncertainty”

Highly rated PhysicsSE contributor @CuriousOne regularly makes the following claim about quantum mechanics (e.g. here): There is no randomness in quantum mechanics, there is only uncertainty. I ...
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0answers
30 views

Ampere right hand screw rule or Maxwell screw rule is the more correct name of the right hand grip rule?

Wikipedia states ampere right hand screw rule Some textbooks state maxwell screw rule Which one is the more correct name in representing the (colloquial) Right hand grip rule?
5
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4answers
217 views

What is a full cycle in damped oscillation?

Maybe it seems a dumb question, but I can't understand what the cycle in a damped oscillation is? Let's take an example: In harmonic motion, one cycle is the smallest distinguishable part of wave ...
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1answer
41 views

Speed of light in vacuum in special relativity

In special relativity, the speed of visible light is defined as a constant. But visible light is only a small part of the electromagnetism field. So why?
0
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1answer
41 views

Physical meaning of Phase matching

Can anyone help me understand what exactly is meant by phase matching? I want to know whether momentum can be conserved only under phase matching condition or phase matching condition ensures momentum ...
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0answers
40 views

Are there any symbols left? [closed]

I have looked through most of the symbols used in physics and math. It seems like there are none left in the alphabet and the greek alphabet. Are we screwed if we find a new constant? Edit: How do ...
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2answers
46 views

Difference between scattering and refraction?

I while back I learnt that when light is incident on a dipole the dipole will scatter the light, and when it is incident on a material of a different refractive index then the light refracts. From the ...
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2answers
55 views

What is the difference between the meaning of “state space” and “configuration space”?

What is the difference between the meaning of "state space" and "configuration space"? I'm only familiar with the first, and when I look up the second I can't tell the difference.
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3answers
59 views

What are the units for tenths-of-a-millimeter?

I'm seeing all kinds of mixed representations for what is a SI unit that doesn't seem to be easily representable with the Latin prefixes. Generally I stick one of the nominal ones and scale my plots ...
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5answers
5k views

Difference between circular motion and rotational motion

Are rotational motion and circular motion different or the same? If different then when can we say that a body is in circular motion, and when it's in rotational motion? I find several answers where ...
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1answer
14 views

Does the Schottky Barrier only happen at Metal Semiconductor Interfaces?

Most references that I have come across refer to the Schottky Barrier in the setting of Metal and Semiconductor Interface. Would it be correct to use the term Schottky Barrier to refer to the mismatch ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Why is the cut off mass for massive stars 8 solar masses? Why can't it be 10-11 solar masses or so?

I know that stars having a mass greater than or equal to 8 solar masses are termed "massive stars". But why is the cut-off 8 solar masses?
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0answers
18 views

Water maintains equal level in connected vessels. What is this property called? [closed]

How water maintains same level in connected tubes or vessels? Is this a specific property?
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2answers
430 views

What is the difference between “additive” quantum numbers and “multiplicative” quantum numbers?

What is the difference between "additive" quantum numbers and "multiplicative" quantum numbers? I think that this may have something to do with P and C Symmetry groups, but I may be mistaken. I’m ...
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1answer
69 views

What is the difference between the Lorentz force and the ponderomotive force? [closed]

I understand that Lorentz force is due to motion of moving charged particle in a magnetic field, and I imagine that ponderomotive force is mechanical version analogy to a person surfing on a wave ...
0
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1answer
45 views

What is the meaning of 'physical gauge'?

What does it mean for a gauge to be a physical gauge in your gauge choice of the theory, and why is it called the "physical gauge"?
15
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2answers
446 views

What is “Dynamical phase transition”?

What is "Dynamical phase transition"? It is a fancy notion now. But what exactly does it mean? What is the difference between it and the conventional phase transition?
5
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1answer
103 views

What do we exactly mean by a “topological object” in physics?

I have been working on topological defects like monopoles, etc. for some time. One think that I have not been able to understand is the physical meaning of the phrase "topological object". I have ...
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2answers
43 views

Characteristic frequency

Can you please give me shortest possible (bare basic definition) of the characteristic frequency of a spectrum? All that google gives me are books and articles where I don't understand a word.
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2answers
49 views

What is localization length of eigenvectors?

Apology if this question is not appropriate. I was looking to associate entropy to eigenvectors for some of my work and I found the link http://chaos.if.uj.edu.pl/~karol/pdf/ZK94.pdf . This leads to ...
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1answer
17 views

What is the difference between 'Illumination' and 'Illuminance', if any?

What is the difference between 'Illumination' and 'Illuminance', if any? From my knowledge, both of them have the same unit, the lux. So are the two words used to refer to the same parameter or are ...
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0answers
20 views

Zeeman splitting of $xcm^{-1}$

I am working through some practice problems and one question says a for the ground state of hydrogen there is a Zeeman splitting of $x cm^{-1}$. There is no other helpful information in the question. ...
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0answers
33 views

Non-local cosmology

Does anyone know what exactly non-local cosmology mean? Does it have anything to do with the scale we are dealing with or is it just the idea of objects interacting with each other despite having very ...
2
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1answer
161 views

The Einstein-Cartan equation as the “living heart of gravity”?

I recently read in A Journey into Gravity by Wheeler that "The Einstein-Cartan equation gives us the most vivid image that mankind has ever won of the living heart of gravity" (P.118) ...
3
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1answer
69 views

Uses of effective action and effective potential

Effective potential allows us to answer the question that whether there will be spontaneous symmetry breaking induced by quantum corrections. Is there any other information that can be extracted from ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the resistance force of a ramp?

I know that the effort force is what you exert on the object, the effort distance is the length you walk on the ramp, and the resistance distance is the height that I traveled (or height of the ramp), ...
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2answers
232 views
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1answer
70 views

Confusion about the use of the term “Phase Space” in Strogatz text

I've just started learning about Hamiltonian mechanics, and from the definition given in Taylor's classical mechanics, phase space must always have an even dimension. However, I recall from reading ...
3
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2answers
363 views

What is a self adjusting force?

What is a self adjusting force? I searched it everywhere on internet but not got my answer and I have no other source to get its answer except this site so please help me.
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2answers
287 views

Second law of thermodynamics (in terms of entropy)

Is the second law of thermodynamics (in terms of entropy) for closed systems or isolated systems? I thought it must be valid for isolated systems, such as the Universe. But the book Fundamentals of ...
1
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1answer
40 views

Scientific definitions of “moment (of)” and “instant”? [closed]

What are the scientific definitions of "moment (of time)" and "instant"? Are they different with their definitions in everyday language? I also don't know the definitions in everyday language, of ...
0
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1answer
45 views

STU-model for Black holes

In string theory in the realm of black holes, what does the acronym STU stands for when we talk about the STU model?
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0answers
161 views

Instrumental function vs. instrumental line profile?

I am reading into spectroscopy and the terms instrumental function and instrumental line profile come up regularly. I have reason to believe that they are not equivalent but cannot find any clear ...
1
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3answers
76 views

What is reactive power?

I am trying to understand what is reactive power. I have read that it has a relation with voltage, that is has a relation with the creation of a magnetic field in a motor, that it is coming and going ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What is “Quantum Levitation”?

I just found this video Controlled Quantum Levitation on a WipeOut Track and I'm having a hard time finding the term "Quantum Levitation" used except in reference to the video. What is the proper ...
0
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3answers
322 views

A force's magnitude

In this question I asked about gravity and in the answers it came up that the magnitude is equal (of the gravity acting on the Sun and the of the gravity acting on the Earth) Does magnitude simply ...
5
votes
2answers
756 views

In interferometry, what is the origin of the name “Airy function”?

In interferometry (specifically, in the domain of Fabry-Perot cavities), the function $$f(\phi) = \frac{1}{1 + F \sin^2 \phi},$$ which describes the shape of the resonant structure of the cavity, is ...
11
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3answers
282 views

Group representations as vectors and isomorphism between weights and matrix generators

This might be something basic, but it is unclear to me. So I am used to work with representations of groups as matrices. These matrices represent the structure of the Lie algebra by satisfying the ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Why does Wikipedia equate hidden symmetry with broken symmetry for the standard model?

I have recently started studying the basic ideas of symmetry and group representation in order to understand the basic principles behind the standard model. I do follow the difference between a global ...
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1answer
237 views

Is 'Boltzon' an accepted name for particles following Maxwell-Boltzmann (MB) statistics?

In my curriculum during one of my statistical mechanics visiting lecture classes, our teacher was referring comparatively macro particles following MB statistics as "Boltzon". But I have searched ...
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0answers
46 views

What is the difference between the pressure and “pressure force”?

I am in the process of going through a question pertaining to inviscid flow over a cylinder. The velocity field is, in polar co-ordinates: $$\vec{u} = U_{\infty}(1 - (\frac{a}{r})^2\cos2\theta,- ...
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1answer
33 views

Why there are reduced properties?

In physics we frequently encounter with quantities that are 'reduced'. But why? Why there are reduced Planck constant, temperature, pressure etc?
2
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1answer
81 views

Quantum Gravity vs. Quantum Field Theory in Curved Space-time [closed]

I'm a freshman on Physics course, espite of this fact I have a quite interest on Gravitation. My question is: What is the difference between Quantum Gravity and QFT in curved space-time? The great ...
0
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1answer
60 views

What are some of the differences between (the fields of) quantum computation and quantum information theory? [closed]

I have just started self-learning quantum information theory, and have a sub-trivial question: what is the difference between that field of study and quantum computation? I have some understanding ...