7
votes
5answers
3k views

Should I heat my room when I'm not here, energy-efficiently speaking?

I was wondering as it's getting cold : is it better for my electricity bill to shut down completely my (electric) heater during day, and to turn it on again when I come home (then it will have to heat ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Solutions of damped oscillator differential equation

I am reading about damped harmonic motion in my Physics book (Gerthsen Physik) and there are two things that irritate me: Stokes friction It says that Stokes friction would be $$F = -m \gamma ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Can the Lorentz force expression be derived from Maxwell's equations?

The electromagnetic force on a charge $e$ is $$F=e(E+v\times B),$$ the Lorentz force. But, is this a separate assumption added to the full Maxwell's equations? (the result of some empirical ...
1
vote
1answer
469 views

Difficulty in visualizing more than three spatial dimension [closed]

Is there is any other way than abstract mathematics to visualize higher dimensions. Physicists working in high energy physics live in higher dimensions (pun intended), with their sophisticated ...
0
votes
3answers
197 views

Lightning Power?

What is the power source of a lightning? It doesn't consume fuel, nor an atomic fission/fusion, but it discharges a large amount of energy. Is it feasible to create an artificial lightning using the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Testing conservation laws experimentally

How conservation laws are tested experimentally independently from each other? what do I mean by that question? It seems that to test one conservation law experimentally, such as conservation of ...
2
votes
6answers
312k views

Gauge pressure vs. absolute pressure? [closed]

What are the key differences between Gauge pressure and absolute pressure? Are there any other forms of pressure?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How are magnetic fields transmitted?

A common analogy for gravity is the ball-on-a-rubber-sheet model. In this model, mass distorts spacetime and creates a 'valley' into which other mass can fall. Is this same principal valid for ...
2
votes
2answers
456 views

Orientation of Magnetic Dipoles

Does a magnetic dipole (in a permanent magnet) tend to align with the B-field or with the H-field? The current loop (Ampère) model of the magnetic dipole suggests the former, while the ...
1
vote
0answers
387 views

Exam review question on thermodynamics [closed]

A cube has a side length of $20\text{ cm}$. An atom in the gas moves around the cube as shown. It continually bounces off the four lateral walls of the cube. The atom has a mass of $6.6\times ...
1
vote
2answers
956 views

Finding coefficients of volumetric expandtion from a know coefficient of linear expandtion

Starting from a homework problem: An aluminum cup of $100 cm^3$ capacity is completely filled with glycerin at $22°C$. How much glycerin, if any, will spill out of the cup if the temperature ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Energy in an EM wave should depend on frequency

I just finished reading Feynman's Lectures on Physics vol.I, §34-9: "The momentum of light". The author explains that there is a relation between the wave 4-vector $k^{\mu}$ and the energy-momentum ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Static plane in an inertial frame of reference

Suppose we are given a mechanical frame consisting of two points. How can we prove that assuming any initial conditions there is an inertial frame of reference in which these points will be in a ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the sun cross over a given meridian line every day at the same time?

Let's say I have an imaginary meridian line over new york going from north to south. I know that the sun will not always be exactly on top of my head here in New York, but every day it will have to ...
29
votes
4answers
9k views

Are matrices and second rank tensors the same thing?

Tensors are mathematical objects that are needed in physics to define certain quantities. I have a couple of questions regarding them that need to be clarified: Are matrices and second rank tensors ...
2
votes
4answers
506 views

Gauss' law - changes in the magnitude of E field inside the closed surface

Gauss's law says that the flux through a closed surface which contains neither a sink nor a source will be zero. It's quite clear that all field lines will have to exit somehow, but the strength of ...
11
votes
1answer
341 views

Introduction to neutron star physics

I enjoy thinking about theoretical astrophysics because I want to understand black holes. Given that no one understands black holes, I like to ponder the nearest thing to a black hole: a neutron star! ...
5
votes
2answers
660 views

Bra-ket notation and linear operators

Let $H$ be a hilbert space and let $\hat{A}$ be a linear operator on $H$. My textbook states that $|\hat{A} \psi\rangle = \hat{A} |\psi\rangle$. My understanding of bra-kets is that $|\psi\rangle$ is ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Does being suspended in air allow you to not be affected by Earth's rotation?

Let's assume that there was some mechanism by which we could remain suspended in air. By this I mean that our feet is not in contact with the ground. One possible way of doing this would be by means ...
-1
votes
1answer
189 views

Force on pneumatic cylinder [closed]

A pneumatic cylinder is kept vertically straight on a weighing scale, which is set at 0 for the setup. now a force of 1000 N is applied on the cylinder. what is the reading of scale. assume the ...
7
votes
2answers
664 views

Interesting topics to research in mathematical physics for undergraduates

I'm planning on getting into research in mathematical physics and was wondering about interesting topics I can get into and possibly make some progress on. I'm particularity fond of abstract algebra ...
2
votes
1answer
524 views

A simple question about the stationary wave and fundamental frequency

Suppose we have 2 fixed end connected with a wire and now we insert a vibrator in the middle of the wire, and resonance occur. How would the fundamental frequency looks like? I know the case when the ...
6
votes
2answers
372 views

What is known about quantum electrodynamics at finite times?

I'm aware that we can describe the time evolution of states/operators (choose your favourite picture) of non interacting quantum fields and that perturbation theory is very effective in computing S ...
2
votes
1answer
546 views

Potential energy in a gravitational field

I've seen the following formula for the potential energy of a body in a gravitational field ($\rho$ is the density, $g$ is the gravitational acceleration): $$ \rho g \int_E z dV $$ Can you please ...
6
votes
1answer
268 views

Are objects in a gravitational well shortened?

Bob is in a gravitational potential well, he moves a long vertical stick up and down a distance of 1 meters. Alice observes the upper end of the stick, at upper location. There is the phenomenon of ...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

Pair correlation function for a inhomogeneous Laughlin droplet

Pair correlation function for the usual Laughlin droplet is defined as $g(\vec{r})$: $$\rho_0 g(\vec{r})=\frac{1}{N}\langle\sum_i^N \sum_{j \neq i}^N \delta(\vec{r}-\vec{r_i}+\vec{r_j})\rangle$$, ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Superconductors on each side of a flexible membrane what happens?

I have a sheet of flexible Kevlar 16th of an inch thick coated on each side with a high temperature superconductor, what happens when you put hundred amp of current into each side, and then 1000 and ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a world with constant/decreasing entropy theoretically impossible?

I'm not 110% sure exactly what I mean by this question. It was sparked by a friend who said he wished the law of entropy were reversed, so he wouldn't have to worry about cleaning the bathroom. ...
3
votes
2answers
230 views

What are the practical applications of decoherence?

Let me clarify this question somewhat. I know decoherence is ubiquitous in nature and explains the emergence of a classical world from quantum physics. My question is really about how a knowledge of ...
-1
votes
2answers
146 views

Energy required to reach 1 wavelength [closed]

I was curious if there was a forumla to find the energy required to reach 1 wavelength in a given substance. (or a vacumn if that's too hard). I am also wondering if this number can tell us anything ...
10
votes
1answer
424 views

Was the universe a black hole at the beginning?

Big bang cosmology, as far as I understand it, says that the universe was super hot and super dense and super small. It looks like that all the current matter, seen and unseen, were compressed to ...
2
votes
1answer
821 views

Physics of the Internet? [closed]

Is there a way to describe the Internet in terms of a physics theory, like how the atom is described by quantum mechanic? If there is, how is it described by this theory.
12
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it safe to observe the sun through binoculars with welding glass in front? [closed]

I asked this on Reddit but didn't get much of a response. So here goes! I'm looking for low-cost ways to observe the Transit of Venus this summer. Since I'll only be able to see a few hours of it ...
1
vote
1answer
316 views

Peaks on top of Bremsstrahlung

The following is a graph of the intensity of Bremsstrahlung generated by accelerating electrons to hit a target vs. its wavelength. I'm wondering what causes the additional peaks for high energies? ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Incompatibility Between Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

Why does Gravity distort space and time while the electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces do not? Does this have to do with why Quantum Mechanics and Relativity are incompatible?
5
votes
2answers
513 views

Is there any idea why the electric charges of electron and muon are equal?

Is there any idea explaining why the electric charges of electron and muon are equal? Edit: The total charge of a particle is proportional to the integral of its own electric field flow through the ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Statics software for structural engineering [closed]

I'm attempting to expand my knowledge of engineering software. I've found comsol and ansys for acoustics and thermodynamics/fluid dynamics (not necessarily in that order), now I'd like to see if I can ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do we need 12 atoms to store 1 bit of data?

Recent research at IBM has found a way to store 1 bit of data in 12 atoms. While that is a big accomplishment compared to what we have today, it does seem like a waste to a non-physics eye like me. ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Does the Banach-Tarski paradox contradict our understanding of nature?

Since the Banach-Tarski paradox makes a statement about domains defined in terms of real numbers, it would appear to invalidate statements about nature that we derived by applying real analysis. My ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

What is a strain gauge and how do I use one?

As the title says, I have no idea what these things are or how to get or use one. Can I receive a simple explanation or links to one? I'm a computer engineer so I have very little physics/mechanical ...
0
votes
2answers
584 views

Statistical interpretation of Entropy

I'm preparing my statistical physics course, and while writing the lecture notes it says that a system with non distinguishable particles has much less microstates asociated with a particular ...
2
votes
1answer
300 views

Is there symmetry in 2d stress tensor in linear elastic fracture mechanics?

Assumptions: Cross terms in strain tensor are defined as equal $\varepsilon_{xy} = \varepsilon_{yx}$. pure mode I crack. Far from crack tip, material is purely elastic and we are way below yield ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

How do we explain the phase change between high and low star formation rates?

During a recent talk I was at, someone, who models galaxy characteristics from dust amounts and spectral energy distributions (SEDs), quoted a fairly prompt change from 'high' to 'low' stellar ...
4
votes
3answers
464 views

Calculating lagrangian density from first principle

In most of the field theory text they will start with lagrangian density for spin 1 and spin 1/2 particles. But i could find any text where this lagrangian density is derived from first principle.
7
votes
4answers
160 views

Automated telescope system

I am living up north in Norway, 300 km above the Arctic Circle, which gives me six months per year of darkness and cold. I used to have a starter telescope when I was living in Spain, but I gave it ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Synchronising the Earth's rotation via mass redistribution

How much material would have to be moved per year from mountain-tops to valleys in order to keep the Earth's rotation synchronised with UTC, thus removing the need for leap seconds to be periodically ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What did Hawking mean? 'Time started at the big bang'. Book suggestions please [closed]

After writing down this question, I have come to realize that. What I really want is reading materials on the questions below. Before the big bang there was no such thing as 'time' (Steven Hawking on ...
2
votes
1answer
742 views

Wave function of hydrogen atom including spin of nucleus

How do I write the wave function of hydrogen atom taking into consideration of nucleus spin? For example consider $2S_{\frac{1}{2}}$ state with nucleus spin $I$, then wave function ...
0
votes
1answer
310 views

When to use Heat Diffusivity eqn and when to use Fourier's law to find temperature distribution?

Let's say that there is a circular conical section that has diameter $D=.25x$ without any heat generation and I need to find the temperature distribution. Originially I thought I could use the heat ...
2
votes
2answers
578 views

Can an ungrounded conductive cavity provide electrostatic shielding?

This comes from Electromagnetic Fields and Waves by Lorrain et al, page 77 on a Hollow, ungrounded conductor enclosing a charged body: The surface charge density at a given point on the outside ...

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