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

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4
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4answers
12k views

What is the difference between Raman scattering and fluorescence?

What is the difference between Raman scattering and fluorescence? Both phenomena involve the emission of photons shifted in frequency relative to the incident light, because of some energetic ...
2
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4answers
489 views

Conversion of ideal gas to real gas via $Z$ compression factor

The ideal gas equation $PV=nRT$ can be converted into real gas equation by compression factor $Z$ i.e $PV=Z~ nRT)$. My question is what is $Z$ and how does it arise? Is $PV/nRT$ a compression ratio of ...
1
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2answers
393 views

Correct terminology for combined kinematic and dynamic state

The kinematic state is defined as the position and orientation in space. The dynamic state is defined as the associated velocities. What is the correct terminology for the combined kinematic and ...
3
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1answer
262 views

What is the meaning of “moment”?

What is the meaning of moment? I'm little confused about the word as there are some terms like moment of momentum, moment of mass, moment of force, etc. I want to know what exactly is meant by the ...
7
votes
1answer
907 views

Meaning of the word “Moment”?

This question is more of a question about the origin of a physical term moment used in many contexts. My question is about the linguistic or historical meaning of the word "moment". Please don't ...
9
votes
2answers
269 views

What is meant by the term “completeness relation”

From my humble (physicist) mathematics training, I have a vague notion of what a Hilbert space actually is mathematically, i.e. an inner product space that is complete, with completeness in this sense ...
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1answer
17 views

Semiconductor nanostructure and heterostructure

What is the difference between compositional superlattice and doping superlattice?
1
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1answer
30 views

What is the word describing the pairs: temperature and energy, chemical potential and particle number?

I keep forgetting the word describing the pairs of coupled quantities in stat. mech. e.g. inverse temperature $\beta$ and internal energy $E$ or chemical potential $\mu$ and particle number $N$. I ...
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3answers
549 views

Is net work and total work same?

According to my text book Total Work = Delta Kinetic Energy = KEf - KEi But then work is defined to be dot product of Force (vector) and Displacement (vector). Also to my knowledge work is ...
0
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0answers
14 views

Inertial force of fluids [duplicate]

Reynold's number is the ratio of inertial force to viscous force.I also know the definition of inertial force.but where does a fluid get this force from?what are the factors responsible for this ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What is gate symmetry?

I just read this interesting interview with Frank Wilczek and he talks a couple of times about gate symmetry, without ever defining the term. This isn't a term I've come across, and google throws up ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Difference between sudden force and impulsive force? [duplicate]

What is the difference between a sudden force which continues to act on the body, and an impulsive force? What would be respective speeds of the body just after time= 0?
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0answers
33 views

What is the general definition of a quench?

I've seen the term "quench" used in many different contexts. It's easy to understand the meaning when the context has a simple physical analogue, such as lowering the temperature of a system to cause ...
3
votes
2answers
183 views

Is it better to call the doppler effect a change in wavelength or frequency?

Why is it preferable to say that the doppler effect causes a shift in frequency rather than a shift in wavelength? I often read on websites that they define the doppler effect as a change in ...
2
votes
2answers
428 views

Locally flat coordinate and Locally inertial frame

I am having some doubts on myself regarding the above concepts in General Relativity. First, I want to point out how I understand them so far. A male observer follows a timelike worldline ($\gamma$) ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

Definitions: 'locality' vs 'causality'

I'm having trouble unambiguously interpreting many answers here due to the fact that the terms locality and causality are sometimes used interchangeably, while other times seem to mean very different ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What is $bfr$ in this expression?

I am reading 'Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics' by Sakir Erokoc and came across this expression in relation to transition probabilities: $$\vec p=e \langle \psi_b |bfr|\psi_a \rangle$$ Which can be ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Why are photonics fibers called band gap fiber?

Why are photonics fibers called band gap fibers? Do the photonic fibers guide light inside the band gap or outside? What creates the band structure?
1
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1answer
160 views

Is putting a charged balloon up to a neutral wall polarization AND temporary induction, or just polarization?

Is putting a balloon that is charged up against a wall and having it stick polarization AND charging by temporary induction, or just polarization?
4
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1answer
12k views

What is Convective acceleration of flow velocity?

I know that $\frac {dv}{dt}=a$ is acceleration, but: What is convective acceleration of a flow velocity? What is difference between $(v\cdot \nabla) v$ and $v\cdot (\nabla v)$?
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votes
4answers
62k views

What exactly is the difference between radiation, conduction, and convection?

Okay, so everywhere I've read, I hear the main difference is the requirement of a medium. But for example, if you take the case of heat 'radiating' from a red-hot iron, isn't that actually convection ...
-1
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1answer
34 views

Symbol $p^{0}$ of particle [closed]

This is a very trivial question, but I cannot seem to find the answer anywhere in a textbook or the internet. My question is, what particle is represented by this symbol? $$p^{0}$$
2
votes
2answers
765 views

Holonomic constraints and degrees of freedom?

Can we see that a constraint can decrease the degrees of freedom of a system if and only if it is holonomic. Either way please can you explain why?
0
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2answers
45 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 ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Difference between inorganic and organic semiconductors: electronic structure or configuration, or?

Organic semiconductors differ from inorganic semiconductors. In organic semiconductors the molecules are held together by weak van der Waals interactions and in inorganic semiconductors by covalent ...
4
votes
1answer
194 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
20 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
35 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
371 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
120 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
25 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?
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0answers
31 views

What's the difference between the diffeomorphism invariance and reparametrization invariance?

Can somebody tell me what's the difference between the diffeomorphism invariance and reparametrization invariance?
5
votes
4answers
204 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 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
33 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
39 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 ...
0
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2answers
32 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
44 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.
0
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3answers
43 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
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?
7
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2answers
420 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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votes
1answer
64 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
votes
1answer
41 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"?
13
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2answers
409 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
99 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 ...
0
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2answers
40 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.