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

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2
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1answer
101 views

What does “downshear” mean?

I occasionally read descriptions such as "downshear of the vortex" in meteorological publications. What does this mean?
5
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
918 views

History of the names “Feynman-gauge” & “Landau-gauge”. How arised & how settled?

Edit: Use this PO.org question instead. Warning: Students, stay away from antiquities. The aim to learn is to survive. Hi. Today the nomenclatures Feynman gauge and Landau gauge seem established, ...
0
votes
3answers
55 views

Is the light emitted by a laser a 'beam' or a 'ray'? [on hold]

In English, the light generated by a laser is almost always referred to in technical texts as a 'laser beam'. However, in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, forms that correspond to laser beam ...
0
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1answer
45 views

What does it mean to say “internal symmetry”?

What does it mean to say "internal symmetry"? Let me try to express the way I see it, so you can have it as a starting point. There are spacetime symmetries, which are global since any Lorentz ...
3
votes
3answers
87 views

What is “normal” about normal frequencies and normal modes in coupled oscillations?

So, my question is what does the "normal" part mean when one talks about normal frequencies and normal modes in coupled oscillations. Does it have to do with the normal coordinates that one uses when ...
-2
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0answers
20 views

by what factor does the max speed change when the mass is doubled? for spring questions [closed]

i know that when the mass is doubled, the kinetic energy is also doubled. but what factor does the speed AND mechanical energy change by when the mass is doubled? for example, 1/2(2m)(v)^2=mv^2...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

What is the difference between Fermi level and Fermi edge?

Just as in title: What is the difference between Fermi level and Fermi edge? My friend makes some research about XPS and he encountered this term. He knows what is Fermi level, but never heard about ...
1
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1answer
169 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?
2
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0answers
30 views

What is the difference between selection efficiency and acceptance in high energy physics?

Often in papers the product of these two quantities is mentioned, but I'm not sure what exactly they mean separately. My guess would be that one of these is the fraction of the events that you are ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Can anyone please explain the meaning of vector resonances in the scenario of particle physics?

I was reading some material on Particle physics and I came across the sentence: pseudoscalar D and B meson states and the corresponding vector resonances D* and B*. What are vector resonances? ...
3
votes
2answers
498 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 ($\gamma$) ...
0
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0answers
52 views

Does the analogous saying: “matter is essentially 'condensed' energy” have any merit?

Einstein in his derivation of special relativity came upon the equivalence of energy and matter, and given the right circumstances, the relation can go either way - matter can become energy, and ...
1
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1answer
27 views

What do the authors mean by “closing operator”?

I'm reading a paper titled "Luminescence spectra of quantum dots in microcavities II Fermions" (link). In section III, the authors introduce so-called closing operators. I don't have enough background ...
2
votes
1answer
374 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Long/short-range interaction

A potential of the form $r^{-n}$ is often considered long-range, while one that decays exponentially is considered short-range. Is this characterization simply relative/conventional, or is there a ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Are hardness, strength and toughness of materials not the same thing in a way?

I had to look through several videos and re-read Wikipedia statements about these material properties several times before I could even begin to differentiate them. However, now that I have found out ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

How are you the special points/critical points in the Brillouin Zone pronounced? [closed]

I know that this isn't exactly physics, but I don't know where to ask. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brillouin_zone#Cubic_lattice_system_CUB.281.29.2C_BCC.281.29.2C_FCC.281.29 The critical points/...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What do the terms “offline” and “online” refer to in the field of high energy physics data analysis?

The title says it - I've encountered these terms several times but have never found an explanation anywhere. An example of use is this ATLAS note. If I may hazard a guess: Data rate is high at the ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Is 0.1 bar (hydrostatic pressure) equivalent to 0.1 bar vacuum pressure (absolute pressure)?

Suppose we would like to test the ability of an object to withstand the pressure under 1 meter of water. I would like to understand how to simulate this situation using vacuum. Is the 0.1 bar (for 1 ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

Is there a specific name for the highest energy state in quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics, the lowest energy state is called the ground state. I am wondering if there is a name for the highest energy state? Should I call it the top state, or the ceiling state, or the ...
1
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2answers
434 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 ...
0
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3answers
96 views

What is meant by rest in rest-mass?

As far as I know only photons are considered to have no rest-mass. In common words when it doesn't move it 'disappears'. Electrons and quarks should have a rest-mass. But are they really at rest? ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Gruchestein Effect?

I overheard that name in a conversation, but not very clearly. I can't find anything on Google, probably because of my spelling is completely wrong. Does anybody knows about an effect with a similar ...
0
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0answers
30 views

What is the significance of Dirac ortho-normality? [duplicate]

What is the significance of Dirac ortho-normality? We know for momentum eigenfunction $f(p,x)$ for eigenvalue $p$ , $$\langle f(p',x) | f(p,x)\rangle~=~ \delta(p - p') $$ I am not clear why it is ...
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2answers
116 views

Do the matrices $S^{\mu\nu} = \frac{1}{4}[\gamma^\mu, \gamma^\nu]$ have a name?

Do the matrices $S^{\mu\nu}$ defined by $$ S^{\mu\nu} = \frac{1}{4}[\gamma^\mu, \gamma^\nu] $$ have a name ($\gamma^\mu$ are the gamma matrices)? They feel very important to me since they form a ...
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0answers
26 views

Classical mechanics: constraints

How to determine a constraint relation of a given system and identity whether the constraint is scleronomic or rheonomic, holonomic or non-holonomic, bilateral or unilateral just by looking at the ...
43
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12answers
83k views

What is the difference between “kinematics” and “dynamics”?

I have noticed that authors in the literature sometimes divide characteristics of some phenomenon into "kinematics" and "dynamics". I first encountered this in Jackson's E&M book, where, in ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Ground state metric?

In kaluza-klein theory, there's a notion of a "ground state metric" after compactification. What is the meaning of the term "ground state metric"?
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What is an incoherent state?

I am reading through a recent paper which speaks frequently of "incoherent states" without ever defining what such a state is. I gather from the context of the paper that it has something to do with ...
2
votes
4answers
494 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Space-like and time-like: where do the names come from?

Space-like separated events are events that, in a well-chosen reference frame, can take place at the same time but never happen at the same location. On the other hand for time-like events, one can ...
-3
votes
1answer
58 views

Why can´t we call the energy released after the annihilation of a particle and its antiparticle `pure` energy? [closed]

As a particle and its antiparticle annihilate each other a huge amount of energy is released, and no mass is left. This energy always comes in the form of force mediating particles (photons, gluons). ...
1
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3answers
694 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
30 views

Are general coordinate transformations and diffeomorphisms the same? [duplicate]

Infinitesimal diffeomorphisms $x{}^\mu \rightarrow x{}^\mu + \xi{}^\mu$ (with $\xi{}^\mu \ll 1$) change geometric objects by means of the Lie derivative, that is, $X \rightarrow X + \mathcal{L}_\xi \, ...
0
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0answers
22 views

What is the name of basis states of bulk k.p Hamiltonian?

A k.p Hamiltonian for a bulk material can be represented by 8x8 matrix in basis of $|S\uparrow\rangle$, $|S\downarrow\rangle$, $|X\uparrow\rangle$, $|Y\uparrow\rangle$, $|Z\uparrow\rangle$, $|X\...
1
vote
4answers
6k views

What is the difference between electromagnet and solenoid?

What is the difference between electromagnet and solenoid? Both these terms seem as the same thing to me. The only difference that I can find seems to be that an electromagnet contains a soft iron ...
-3
votes
1answer
33 views

Do we mean with 'pure energy' the force-carrying particles? [closed]

I often read, hear and talk about pure energy. What is meant by this? Does pure energy consists of the forces between matter, or the force mediating particles, like the massless photons and gluon? I ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What kind of damping is this $F = -ax|x'|$?

From Applied Mathematics by Logan: A mass hanging on a spring is <...> governed by $$mx'' = -ax|x'| - kx$$ where $-ax|x'|$ is a nonlinear damping force. I looked up "nonlinear damping" ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

What is meant by the term “value” of a scalar quantum field?

During the slow roll of a scalar field, the scalar field is changing its value over time. But what is meant by the term "value" of a scalar field? Since the scalar field is quantized, I don't ...
0
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0answers
26 views

What does 'fully excited' actually mean?

In statistical mechanics you often hear the phrases such as 'when the degrees of freedom are fully excited then....'. An example would be the validity of the equipartition theorem. But what is the ...
-1
votes
2answers
86 views

Is electromotive force really a force? [duplicate]

As far the definition goes emf of electromotive force is basically potential difference. It even has dimensions of potential. Then why is it called a force?
7
votes
1answer
11k views

What is the difference between the words transparent and translucent?

Merriam Webster defines transparent as: Having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly. And translucent as: ...
4
votes
2answers
413 views

Why is it called “annihilation”?

The term "annihilate" literally means "turn into nothing". However, when a particle and antiparticle collide, they clearly do not turn into nothing; they simply transform into different particles. ...
0
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2answers
41 views

Gravitation and gravity

Are gravity and gravitation the same thing? Actually I have 2 teachers at my school. One of the said that gravitation is the force of attraction between any two bodies in the universe due to their ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Is there a difference between the adjoint and conjugate?

Is there a difference between the adjoint and conjugate? I have recently started some work for a quantum field theory module and I'm wondering if there is a difference between the adjoint or conjugate ...
1
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0answers
53 views

Found a weird piece of lab equipment?

My physics teacher found a weird piece of equipment in his classroom that was dated to the 70's. The item in question has no identifying marker except for "Carolina Biological". He has contacted the ...
0
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1answer
99 views

What's the difference between frequency, spectral and cepstral domains?

I have a hard time teasing apart the conceptual difference between these three domains, and constantly mix them up in my head. I've been reading up on it, but I can't wrap my head around it. a time-...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

What S means in S-duality?

As I know, there are many dualities related to S-duality. For example, Montonen-Olive duality, Seiberg duality. and so on. so, I wonder that what "S" means in the term "S-duality". If this is a stupid ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the difference between habitable and Goldilocks zone?

If I am right, Habitable Zone means that a planet is on such a distance from its Star which makes it good candidate for supporting some sort of life. But then what is Goldilocks zone and how is it ...