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

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What is “adjustable constant”?

This is quoted from A.P.French's Vibrations & Waves. Explicit differential form of linear harmonic oscillator is: $$ m\dfrac{d^2x}{dt^2} + kx = 0 \quad \& \quad \dfrac{1}{2} ...
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1answer
175 views

About field gradient

I read the term field gradient in most of the article about magnetic field. I search it online but most of the explanation is about the math. I wonder in physics, what the gradient field really mean? ...
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1answer
76 views

Simple explanation of Coherent integration radar

I have a physics background, and I'm reading some physics data analysis papers where they keep throwing around the term coherent integration. I've done the google search, but the best answer I could ...
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2answers
37 views

On Elementary Particles

The mass of positron and electron are same. Also their charges are equal in magnitude but opposite in nature. Then why positron is not called one of the elementary particles? Is this only because it ...
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2answers
24 views

What is the formula of power of an optical instrument?

I have searched and found that the power of a lens, with surrounding medium of refractive index $n$, is $n/f$ where $f$ is the focal length, the formula is $$n/f=(n'-n)/R1 + (n-n')/R2.$$ But in my ...
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1answer
37 views

Are the words “coincident” and “simultaneous” considered synonymous? Else, please explain the difference

In discussions, experimental and thought-experimental descriptions (especially concerning the Theory of Relativity) the words "coincident" and "simultaneous" appear, notably for instance in the ...
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2answers
157 views

What exactly is meant by saying that two events had been “simultaneous in an inertial frame”?

In order to address my question based on a concrete example setup let the following two separate events be given: participants $A$ and $J$ encountering each other in passing (additional participants ...
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1answer
44 views

Lorentz invariance vs. covariance

I am a bit confused whether relativistic theory is Lorentz invariant or covariant. And please explain why?
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0answers
39 views

How to get from $E_8 \rightarrow E_7 \rightarrow E_6 \rightarrow …$

I read in section 2 of this paper : "There is a well-defined chain to descent from $E_8$ to smaller groups by chopping off a node of the Dynkin diagram." What exactly is here referring to ...
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1answer
108 views

Vorticity versus Viscosity

For a work project I need to revive my aerodynamics knowledge again. Can somebody help me with the distinction between vorticity and viscosity. If a flow vorticity is not equal to zero, the flow is ...
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1answer
25 views

What is a “Reversed Effective Force”?

I have some confusion about the "Reversed effective force" as it appears in the derivation of D'Alembert's principle. First I have sources that seem to be contradictory. ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the meaning of “site”?

Reading questions, I have come across a recurring notion of "site". Whilst I am able to understand the questions I am unsure as to what a "site" actually is and to what it corresponds physically. I ...
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1answer
56 views

Is Kinetic Theory part of Statistical Mechanics?

Some years ago from now I've seem some basic details about what was then called "kinetic theory of gases" where the study of property of gases was made by statistical considerations about the momentum ...
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2answers
64 views

What unit system does Fahrenheit belong to?

Wikipedia's page for Imperial Units does not list Fahrenheit. The corresponding page for SI Units lists Kelvin as an SI unit, and Celcius as a derived SI unit. This leads me to believe that ...
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2answers
39 views

What is the difference between the potential $V$ and the effective potential $V_{eff}$?

What is the difference between the potential $V$ and the effective potential $V_{eff}$? Some times when solving problems, an effective potential $V_{eff}$ is defined and its usually equal to the ...
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0answers
30 views

Identity and indistinguishability in quantum and statistical mechanics [closed]

My question is on the use of the concept of indistinguishable particles (in quantum mechanics) in a very general context and in particular in statistical mechanics. I have made clear some of my ...
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4answers
419 views

What is a peryton?

It is a bit hard to find an accessible explanation online. I find the word "peryton" in some papers about radio astronomy, here's one example: http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.05245 I don't think they refer ...
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0answers
20 views

What is the difference between mass defect and mass deficit?

Is there any difference between the mass defect and the mass deficit? I have read that the mass defect of a nuclide is never negative and have also been told that the mass defect is the same as the ...
2
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1answer
28 views

Two-component formalism and four-component formalism [closed]

When deriving the Dirac equation for spin-1/2 particles, we realize that the wave function must be four-component. In some works, people use two-component wave function for calculation. So, my ...
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2answers
104 views

Friction force in rolling motion

In rolling without slipping motion we know that the friction acting is static friction and so we treat it as an unknown while solving equations of dynamics. Question: Is the static friction during ...
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1answer
93 views

What is the difference between a parameter, a variable, and an operator in QM?

On the question why time isn't an operator, people will usually say that time is a parameter in QM (Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?) and not a variable. Can someone please distinguish between a ...
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2answers
74 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
77 views

When was the first time that superconducting quasiparticles were called Majorana fermions?

Since a number of years, the field of superconductivity has a growing obsession with Majorana fermions. I wonder how far back we can go: When was the first time that superconducting quasiparticles ...
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2answers
91 views

How to tell the order of a Feynman diagram?

How can we know the order of a Feynman diagram just from the pictorial representation? Is it the number of vertices divided by 2? For example, I know that electnro-positron annihilaiton is first ...
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4answers
207 views

Is Parity really violated? (Even though neutrinos are massive)

The weak force couples only to left-chiral fields, which is expressed mathematically by a chiral projection operator $P_L = \frac{1-\gamma_5}{2}$ in the corresponding coupling terms in the Lagrangian. ...
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1answer
13 views

What are pressure threshold patches called in professional terminology?

I am making a small combustion chamber, and need to measure the pressure when a combustion occurs. This is a hobby project, so I don't have enough money to buy a dP cell with a remote membrane for ...
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2answers
42 views

What does it mean to “contract” a tensor identity?

I'm taking a GR course at the moment, completely stumped on this step here: starting from the Bianchi identity: Then it says "Contracting the Bianchi identity..." How does this work and what ...
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2answers
118 views

Why is static electricity called static?

They called it "static" because "it doesn’t go anywhere". In order to create static electricity, you have to rub two different materials. When you rub them, the electrons move. So, why is it called ...
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2answers
52 views

What does the “UV” in “UV completion” stand for? [closed]

What does the "UV" in "UV completion" stand for? Also, I'm not sure which tags I should tag this question with.
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1answer
128 views

Does graphene have a honeycomb lattice?

In my grand ignorance I would state that graphene has a honeycomb lattice. Some tend to agree with me and some others do not. I'm curious to know what members of the SE community think is the right ...
3
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2answers
109 views

Rigorous distinction between quasiparticles and collective excitations

I would like to hear your opinion on the question whether there is an accepted distinction between both concepts in condensed matter physics. I would tend to use the word quasiparticle for dressed ...
3
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1answer
5k views

Difference between steady state and equilibrium?

In semiconductor physics, what is the difference between steady state and equilibrium. How analysis of devices varies in these processes?
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0answers
14 views

What is Switch Contact Rating? [migrated]

If Contact Rating of switch is 5A 240V AC & 0.25A 240 DC, Then is this switch can be used for contact rating of 220V (+10, -15% voltage variation) AC & 127V (+10, -15% voltage variation)
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0answers
56 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) ...
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1answer
37 views

What does $\bar{x}_{\textrm{el}}$ represent?

In the context of centroids and moments, what do $\bar{x}_{\textrm{el}}$ and $\bar{y}_{\textrm{el}}$ represent? For example: $$\bar{x}L = \int \bar{x}_{\textrm{el}}dL$$ Some references that use ...
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1answer
57 views

What is a point transformation?

This problem comes from Goldstein. What does $s=e^{\gamma t}q$ mean? Do I just put $q=e^{-\gamma t}s$ into the Lagrangian? But I don't know what that means. I think the point transformation may ...
3
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1answer
42 views

What is the difference between a magnon and a spinon?

For a long time, I thought the terms "magnon" and "spinon" were equivalent, describing the collective spin excitation in a system. Lately, I have seen remarks in the literature that they indeed do ...
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3answers
137 views

Is my conceptual understanding pertaining to heat & temperature correct?

From what I've understood: Heat is the total sum of translational energy possessed by individual atoms in an object. Temperature is the average translational energy possessed by individual atoms ...
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1answer
75 views

Difference between a “source dipole” and a “force dipole”

I know quite well what a dipole is and in general what multipole moments are (in the context of, for instance, electrodynamics). What I find myself confused by is something called a "force dipole" in ...
2
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1answer
133 views

What was Feynman's famous formula?

In Welton(1983), Memories of Feynman, Welton mentions two formulas which he denotes as Feynman's Famous Formula (FFF) and FFF #2. Which famous formulas is he talking about? Is he maybe talking about ...
6
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1answer
160 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 ...
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2answers
119 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 ($\gamma$) ...
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3answers
207 views

What is actually a conservation law?

Though in his lectures, Feynman didn't define conservation law, he did use it while explaining divergence theorem: [...] heat is conserved. That is, no heat is generated inside the material and ...
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5answers
112 views

A reference frame is any coordinate system or just a set of Cartesian axes?

In Physics the idea of a reference frame is one important idea. In many texts I've seem, a reference frame is not defined explicitly, but rather there seems to be one implicit definition that a ...
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1answer
41 views

Metric in Lagrangian and the minimum total potential energy principle

I was wondering why physical systems "like" to go to the minimum of potential energy and I found this question, that tries to justify the minumum total potential energy principle. I was also reading ...
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2answers
84 views

What does the “T” stand for in T-duality?

First of all, I am not a physicist. I'm a graduate math student and recently I came across the concept of T-duality. Actually I'm studying generalized complex geometry, which according to this paper ...
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2answers
169 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 ...
4
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1answer
73 views

Why “colours” of light are given in wavelength not frequency?

If I understand correctly, when a beam of (monochromatic) light passes through media of different refractive indices, its wavelength changes but frequency remains constant. Why, then, are colours of ...
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1answer
17 views

Difference between hydrostatic and uniaxial pressure

I'm confused with these two terminologies. Does 'hydrostatic' means every direction while 'uniaxial' means one direction? What're they usually used for?
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28 views

Usage of singular or plural SI base units when written in both symbol as well as name [closed]

I have multiple doubts related to the usage of singular or plural SI base units when written in both symbol as well as name. I have framed this question under two parts, namely, Part (a) and Part ...