Hypothetical situation in which, for simplification, only some physical aspects are considered in order to further understand or reveal contradictions between the laws governing them.

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8
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2answers
180 views

Can something (again) ever fall through the event horizon?

Since I am more confused by the answers given in this site to the many variants and duplicates of this question, with some arguing that from the point of view of the falling observer, it happens in ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

Thought experiment on light accumulation

Consider an object which is a spherical one-way mirror, and let's call it the "Sphere". For the needs of the thought experiment, suppose that: the Sphere is perfectly spherical the mirror is ...
0
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1answer
79 views

What's Wrong With This Quantum Analogy?

"Sometimes the idea of the quantum is compared to the units we use for money. A dollar can be divided into smaller units, where the cent is the smallest possible unit." A question I came ...
3
votes
1answer
415 views

Casimir effect for spinning Casimir plates

I recently thought of the following experiment. Let's say I have two plates in vacuum facing each other. Now, due to the Casimir effect, there will be some internal attraction between the plates. Now ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Conservation of momentum in Heisenberg's microscope

In working through Heisenberg's microscope, conservation of momentum for the photon and electron tells us that \begin{align} \frac{h}{\lambda}=\frac{h}{\lambda'}\sin\theta+p_x\,, \end{align} where ...
6
votes
3answers
284 views

Pendulum moving faster than speed of light

In classical mechanics, the period $T$ of a pendulum is given by $$ T = 2\pi\sqrt{\frac{l}{g}},$$ where $g$ is the gravitational field and $l$ the length of the rope attaching the bob to the pivot. ...
4
votes
3answers
103 views

Must we test whether e.g. $A=B$ and $A=C$ implies $B=C$ by experiment?

Chaper 10, conservation of momentum in "The Feynman Lectures on Physics" in the chapter entitled, the authors write that Suppose we know from the foregoing experiment that two pieces of matter, ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Can a mouse rotating a wheel violate conservation of angular momentum?

I have been thinking on the following problem. Part I. Imagine we have a mouse enclosed in a rigid box. We placed the box on a frictionless surface (ice might be a good example). Can the box start ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Feynman Lectures: Why a non-reversible weight lifting machine cannot lift higher that a reversible one?

Consider weight-lifting machines—machines which have the property that they lift one weight by lowering another. Let us also make a hypothesis: that there is no such thing as perpetual motion ...
4
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4answers
269 views

Taking selfies while falling, would you be able to notice a horizon before hitting a singularity?

I am generally interested in the role of "pings"(0a) between participants (a.k.a. "signal roundtrips"(0b), as familiar for instance from Synge's "five point curvature detector") in the determination ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Limits on the information obtained through optical measurements

Consider a Gedankenexperiment shown in the figure below. There are two lasers $S1$ and $S2$ with exactly the same specifications on paper. In practice, they are of course somewhat different but ...
0
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0answers
42 views

Pool full of Jell-O

Imagine I have filled my backyard swimming pool (8 feet deep) with a solid block of Jell-O. What would happen if I tried to swim in it? My understanding is that the viscosity of the "water" doesn't ...
20
votes
6answers
540 views

Black Body Golf Balls

The surface of a golf ball has about 35% more surface area (than a similar sphere) due to its dimples. So my question is simple, given identical radius, ideal black body material, and temperature: ...
1
vote
3answers
57 views

Is the Physics for extremely large and extremely small particles similar in any aspect? [closed]

Do the equations we use to describe natural phenomenon on a very large scale, work as well for describing natural phenomenon on an extremely small scale as well? Is there any correlation at all which ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

is electromagnetic phenomena and particle behavior dependent on dark matter?

Dark matter permeates space and coalesce s in its own gravitational attraction. It neither absorbs or emits light or interacts well with baryonic matter. It deflects light on a path and is the sub ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

Is this a possible monopole setup, or will it cancel out? [duplicate]

Suppose you have a ball that is covered in magnets, in which the North Pole of every magnet faces outward. Is this a monopole? Or at least "functions" as a monopole? And what will happen if you placed ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Simultaneous Decision/Motion

This is just a thought experiment I had and was wondering if any could give there input on it, Imagine we have to machines in the shape of a ball. When these machines are turned on, one machine will ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

How did Lord Rayleigh find the volume fraction of argon to air?

In order to isolate for pure nitrogen, Lord Rayleigh and his colleagues took some air and removed oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapour, leaving behind what he believed to be pure nitrogen. In ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Special relativity mirror clock experiment inconsistency

Say I set up a relativistic mirror clock experiment in which a spaceship contains a set of mirrors with a photon bouncing between them. Say the photon's motion is parallel to the direction of motion ...
-1
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2answers
206 views

Does the speed of light have a range of speeds due to medium-dependency?

An EM particle-wave propagates in a vacuum at a constant speed $c$, independent of the source/receiver but dependent on most mediums it moves through. Since the vacuum is a medium, and if logically ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Could gravity be repulsive at short distances?

I was wondering if it would be consistent with empirical data if gravity became extremely repulsive at short distances. For example (please bear with my use of classical formulas, I know little of ...
6
votes
3answers
122 views

How does potential energy work out for floating things?

Seeing a ship canal lift in TV spawned the following thought: "Oh my, this sure is a heavy ship and it can be lifted by simply adding water. What a marvellous machinery. After all, I could lift that ...
3
votes
3answers
382 views

What would happen to me if I was in the LHC while it was running? [duplicate]

This is possibly a stupid question, but one I have been always wondering. What would happen to me if I was in the center of the Large hadron Collider while it was running? Would the energy of the beam ...
0
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0answers
62 views

Laplace's demon and spontaneous symmetry breaking

One interpretation of Quantum mechanics is the hidden variable theory. This suggests that if we were to have a complete knowledge of the system at one time then the future states of the system are ...
5
votes
4answers
199 views

How would swimming in low gravity work?

Sorry I know very little of actual physics, I'm not looking for hard and fast numbers just a general idea of how the mechanics would work. For the sake of argument, say you were on a planet or moon ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

What is the exhaustive set of experiments a quantum theory has to satisfy?

Any theory that is to explain the world correctly has to provide a mechanism by which the interesting results of quantum mechanics happen (e.g. diffraction patterns, momentum/position uncertainty, ...
0
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2answers
88 views

Relativity Paradox involving two charged particles

Suppose there are two charged particles separated by some distance $d$ both with an equal positive charge of $q$. The particles also have equal masses of $m$. $m$ and $q$ are chosen so the ...
0
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1answer
151 views

Thought Experiment: An object falling indefinitely under gravity?

So the other day, I devised this thought experiment: Consider an infinite tunnel, and you drop a coin of mass $m$ into it. Considering the effect of gravity to be applicable and neglecting air ...
9
votes
3answers
465 views

Thought Experiment - Poking a stick across a Black Hole's Event Horizon

The classical explanation of a black hole says that if you get to close, you reach a point - the event horizon radius - from which you cannot escape even travelling at the speed of light. Then they ...
5
votes
3answers
143 views

What would happen if you open a bottle of fizzy drink in a weightless environment?

On Earth, pouring a fizzy drink into a glass or opening a bottle, you see the gas start to condense out into bubbles which rise upwards. You can't pour a Coke into a glass on the ISS but you could (I ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you find the length of a pencil without a ruler or clock?

Edit: Assume you do have access to all sorts of instruments, but they are all shrunk in proportion. My real question is: If you are shrunken (or expanded) by a constant factor and put in a room ...
-2
votes
1answer
54 views

Physics Riddle - Know Plant Earth [closed]

I hope it's OK to ask here, because it's pretty much as basic as physics can get. So here it is: I have a hot air balloon that can rise to any altitude I'd like, a precise watch, a sandbag, a weigh ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Subluminal speed when going in a circle around someone

Some time ago I thought about such situation: There are two people in the room. Both have synchronized watches on their wirsts. Then the person A starts running around person B with the speed of ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

What's wrong with this way of thinking about greenhouses?

It's a clear day, the sun is shining, warming the ground to 29°. The air is at 26°; a breeze is blowing mixing the air so the temperature is fairly uniform: Now I section a bit of this scene off ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Viewing a Time-Dilated Space

I'm fascinated by space and physics but not exactly well-versed in them, so I'll try to keep this question as simple as possible. Imagine a person acting as an observer in a room with two large ...
0
votes
2answers
119 views

Why is a thought experiment a valid way to prove anything?

Isn't a thought experiment as subjective as you could make science be? Is it that since it is impossible with our current methods, we are simply skipping too many hurdles that would have to first be ...
3
votes
0answers
192 views

Testing Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) with a causality-violating configuration of “superluminal cables”

Suppose we managed to arrange a causality-violating transmission of data with hypothetical “superluminal cables” (SLC; see both links for respective descriptions) and expect, similarly to ideas ...
4
votes
2answers
80 views

Charge orbiting gravitational body [duplicate]

I am currently rather uneducated on the subject, but I was thinking of a general relativity thought experiment. Say I take a charge from infinity and give it velocity to orbit a planet in a circle. ...
1
vote
3answers
107 views

Thought experiment about wavelength of light through a medium [duplicate]

Though the physical concepts and mathematics are highly rudimentary, I often try to comprehend exactly why light wants to keep it's frequency, yet alter it's wavelength as it travels through a medium, ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Does a mass gain inertia against movement in all directions as it approaches the speed of light?

If a mass moves along the x axis at near the speed of light, does it take as much energy to additionally accelerate the mass along the y axis as it does to accelerate it along the x axis by the same ...
0
votes
3answers
866 views

On boiling, does 1 kg of water give rise to 1 kg of steam?

I understand that by conservation of mass, it implies that 1 kg of water will give rise to 1 kg of steam. But when I consider the fact that there is phase change which is an abrupt and discontinuous ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Having trouble reconciling Newtonian-derived earth mass with direct calculation [closed]

Our calculation of Earth's mass as $M_E=5.97\times 10^{24} \:\mathrm{kg}$ is made by observing the gravitational interaction between the moon and the earth and then solving the relation ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

Does a conducting wire give off measurable radiation?

In the Drude model (semiclassical, but should still apply here I think), the conducting electrons are in a constant electric field, and, in between collisions with the lattice ions (that happen, on ...
29
votes
6answers
2k views

How to determine your position underground?

Crossed my mind after random rant on wikipedia that lead me to articles about chronometers and measuring position. Let's assume I were trapped in the underground laboratory with lots of equipment ...
3
votes
0answers
125 views

How would water drain out of a sealed pipe?

While hiking through the Grand Canyon, I started wondering. Say we have a pipe for the purpose of transporting water across a canyon, with the bottom submerged in a pool of water. Like the blue line ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Special Relativity Question: Doppler shift

Imagine an observer watching a moving rocket carrying on it both, a light source and a clock. If on the rocket the clock is synchronized with the frequency of the light being emitted then will not a ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Trapping an electron

Imagine that one could theoretically trap a single electron in a small box, with walls that somehow prevent the electron from passing through and out of the box. Now, the box begins to move in on ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

The mass of the photon will decrease with reduced velocity?

Since photon has zero rest mass, it will has zero mass when the velocity is zero. We are now being able to slower down the photon in experiment. Is the mass of photon reduced with the decreased ...
2
votes
3answers
250 views

How fast can fire spread?

You can build a home-made flamethrower by using a spray and a lighter: (from this YouTube video) But this can be dangerous if the fire gets in the can and the can explodes. So I guess the speed at ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Bug riding on a ball moving at almost the speed of light [closed]

A ball with a bug on it is thrown at almost the speed of light. The bug looks back and observes the thrower throwing the ball. In the context of special relativity, what is the weight and the height ...