2
votes
2answers
268 views

Why can't you see meteors, but you can see comets from the moon?

Why can't you see meteors from the moon and why can you see comets?
7
votes
2answers
207 views

How to create unusual sundial?

I am considering small "artsy" project. I would like to create sundial by placing gnomon on the window and painting hour lines on the window facing wall. Since this is to be placed in bedroom I am ...
6
votes
3answers
332 views

Is this algorithm for simulating a quantum computer accurate?

I'm very new to quantum mechanics. I'm thinking of writing a quantum computer simulator, would the following work? Each qubit is stored as a single bit, For each operation, the qubits involved are ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Will the night sky eventually be bright?

I have read that the night sky should have been bright because every spot should end up pointing to a star in the infinite universe but this is not the case because the universe is expanding. I am ...
10
votes
1answer
225 views

How many earth-sized planets have been discovered outside the solar system?

How many earth-sized planets have been discovered outside our solar system? Is there a combined registry of them anywhere? Where might I look for more information?
2
votes
4answers
868 views

Can the effects of gravity be broken by jumping?

I was having a debate the other day with a work colleague where I explained that gravity is a weak force because it is easily broken. Then I remembered a lecture by someone, I forget who, that ...
6
votes
3answers
302 views

What frame(s) of reference are used to measure the rotation of the Sun around the galaxy ?

I can find various speeds and estimated durations listed at numerous places but none specifically describe the frame of reference. Possible options as example of kind of answer I expect. Local ...
6
votes
3answers
318 views

Shapes of galaxies

I've heard most of galaxies are spiral or ellipsoid shaped. Is it true? If true, then why they form in such shapes? How did arms of the spiral galaxies form?
19
votes
4answers
9k views

How do astronomers measure the distance to a star or other celestial object?

How do scientists measure the distance between objects in space? For example, Alpha Centauri is 4.3 light years away.
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Can someone explain the physics of a standing jump?

I would like to use something like a kinematic equation to know where the person will be in the jump at a given time. However since I think acceleration is not constant because of the jump force it ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What causes the Pauli exclusion principle (and why does spin 1/2 = fermion)?

It seems to be related to exchange interaction, but I can't penetrate the Wikipedia article. What has the Pauli exclusion principle to do with indistinguishability?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Two spheres (A physics olympiad problem)

Browsing an archive of problems of a local physics olympiad, i stumbled upon a problem which seems not a very trivial. Given two identical metal spheres in vacuum, with mass $m$ and radius $R$. One ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What happen when two galaxies collide?

As the title suggests, I know collision of galaxies happens. Questions are Why do they collide (obviously because of gravity, but in what conditions)? Aftermath of the collision? If there is a super ...
3
votes
2answers
630 views

Commutators and Hermiticity - Exam question

I'm doing old exam questions, and here is one that on first glance seemed rather simple to me, but I just can't get it: Given are two operators $A$ and $B$, and all we know about them is that ...
5
votes
1answer
353 views

Back-action noise vs shot noise

I have recently come across two key concepts in quantum optics: shot noise and back-action noise. This is very important for me to know: first, are shot noise and back-action noise the same? Please ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Will a lighter car have a higher top speed than a heavier car with an equal power engine?

If I have a car (with a particular engine) optimized (shape & weight distribution-wise) for attaining the top speeds possible, and I put that engine into a car which is heavier (but otherwise the ...
2
votes
3answers
810 views

The rotating movement of an asteroid

I almost all movies where you could see an animation about an asteroid, they move in a very distinct way. I don't know how to explain better, but I think what we can see in the movies is that the ...
3
votes
2answers
346 views

Astronaut on a rotating asteroid

This might sound like the silliest question ever, but can someone shed some light on what is actually happening in the following situation: There is an asteroid in outer space what is rotating with ...
4
votes
2answers
810 views

Christoffel symbols and affine connection

What is the difference between the "affine connection" (S. Weinberg, Cosmology) and "Christoffel symbols?"
2
votes
1answer
641 views

Energy produced by a swing?

Please can someone help me with a equation for how much energy a person generates when swinging on a swing?
1
vote
3answers
143 views

Superposition and particle mediated interactions

Suppose particle A interacts with particle B by means of an exchange particle E. Presumably, since this is quantum physics, the exchange particle emission and receipt are just one of many possible ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Work done by gravitational field

To calculate the work done by a gravitational field, the equation is written as $$W=GMm(r_\text{initial}^{-2} - r_\text{final}^{-2})$$ Suppose a small mass has distance $R$ from a big mass. So here ...
13
votes
3answers
235 views

How are newly discovered objects (stars, planets, galaxies…) named?

When a new astronomical object (star, planet, galaxy, comet, etc.) is discovered, what is the official procedure to name it? Who decides about the name of it? Can they be changed in time? Extra ...
2
votes
1answer
299 views

Relation between classical and quantum information

It is known that for a classical system the amount of information needed to store its state is the same as the amount of information that can be stored in that system. This amount is equal to ...
14
votes
1answer
419 views

Are the Voyager probes still sending us a signal ?

This article reported today, a finding from one of the voyager probes. It talks about magnetic structures at the (far) outer edge of our solar system. Does that mean we're still able to pick up a ...
4
votes
1answer
32 views

Are solar physics images of use to the night-time community?

I'm actually interested in cases of cross-discipline data re-use. I know that the SOHO/LASCO coronographs are used for comet finding, that solar telescopes were used to get information about Venus's ...
3
votes
1answer
695 views

Selection rule used in singlet/triplet recombination in LEDs

In organic light emitting diodes, only singlet excitons contribute to the light emission (this is flouresence). Everything I read, say that triplet excitons cannot recombine on the same timescale as ...
5
votes
4answers
732 views

How is the path integral for light explained, or how does it arise?

In a question titled How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)? Marek talked about the probability amplitude for photons of a given path. He said that it was $\exp(iKL)$, and ...
5
votes
0answers
264 views

Lattice QCD and the 5th dimension

I was digging into Nielson-Ninomiya Theorem and doubler fermions, as well as solutions to these problems using Domain Wall Fermions and overlap lattice fermions, both of which make effective use of a ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

Why does a thermometer in wind not show a lower temperature than one shielded from it?

I'm a little familiar with the physics and thermodynamics of the wind chill effect, but this question seems to come up from time to time: Why, given two temperature sensors or thermometers in the ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is quantum discord?

What is quantum discord? I stumbled upon this term on Quantum Computing: The power of discord, but have never heard of it before. Can you give a bit more mathematical explanation of the term here?
10
votes
3answers
952 views

Does gravity require strings?

OK, before I ask my question, let me frame it with a few (uncontroversial?) statements: The low-field-limit plane-wave solution to Einstein's equations is helicity-2. In the early days of string ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Loss of Power at high frequencies

One of my work colleagues told me that a cable he is sending a signal through is losing power at high frequencies. So he recommends the signal should be amplified before being sent. The explanation ...
6
votes
4answers
210 views

Mixing and matching across eyepiece designs / manufacturers?

Right now, I am considering moving from 1.25" eyepieces to 2". While I'm convinced of the quality of the premium eyepieces, it would take me years to afford a complete set and, if I go that route, I ...
11
votes
2answers
565 views

Number density of LO and LA phonons as a function of temperature?

I'd like to know the how the number density of longitudinal optical (LO) and longitudinal acoustic (LA) phonons varies as a function of temperature of the material. Is there a simple expression for ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you clean a dusty lens?

The lenses of my telescope and binoculars are dusty. What is the best way to clean them without damaging the optic coating?
12
votes
1answer
6k views

How does a comet form?

As the title explains, How does a comet form? What are the elements, what is a comet composed of? Why didn't they become part of planets, moons or asteroids?
12
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the most distant object from the Earth that a spacecraft has visited to date?

What is the most distant object from the earth that a spacecraft visited has visited so far? What was the mission and when did it happen?
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How to convert a FITS file to .xls Excel file?

We are trying to determine the isophots in elliptical galaxies in order to check De-Vaucouleurs law. To do so, we want to convert the data from a FITS file to Excel and analyze it using Excel math ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

A light flickers at a fast rate why do humans only see light on?

A light switches on and off at a fast rate, with equal time off and on, why do we see a light that appears only on rather than only off?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Calculations of apparent magnitude

I was attempting to do some calculations of apparent magnitude to help solidify my understanding of the topic, but have been running into some confusion. According to Wikipedia, the apparent ...
27
votes
14answers
8k views

Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun?

In history we are taught that the Catholic Church was wrong, because the Sun does not move around the Earth, instead the Earth moves around the Sun. But then in physics we learn that movement is ...
81
votes
0answers
4k views

Superfields and the Inconsistency of regularization by dimensional reduction

Question: How can you show the inconsistency of regularization by dimensional reduction in the $\mathcal{N}=1$ superfield approach (without reducing to components)? Background and some references: ...
7
votes
2answers
83 views

What latitude is needed before you can reliably see Omega Centauri?

What latitude is needed before you can reliably see the globular cluster Omega Centauri, say it reaches 20 degrees above the horizon? What about if you are up on a hill looking down, what's the ...
8
votes
3answers
135 views

What's dark matter and who discovered it?

I have heard about dark matter that's called the Master Of The Universe. What's this and is the dark matter the reason galaxies exist?
6
votes
3answers
689 views

Binary stars' apparent magnitude

If you plot the apparent magnitude of a binary system (so you are unable to see 2 distinct stars) against time, it gives a repeating 'M' effect. (from http://accessscience.com/) Assuming one star ...
4
votes
1answer
496 views

Transverse current equivalence in Coulomb gauge

I have a question concerning transverse (solenoidal) current in the Coulomb gauge. This current is the one that enables the radiation, since we have a wave equation for the vector potential: ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the sky look like to human eyes from orbit?

There are numerous pictures, obviously, of the blackness of space from the shuttle, the space station, and even the moon. But they all suffer from being from the perspective of a camera, which is not ...
11
votes
5answers
10k views

What is an asterism compared to a constellation?

I'm doing an astronomy exam tomorrow and in the practice paper it asks for the difference between constellation and asterism. It seems asterism is a group of recognizable stars; however I thought that ...
11
votes
4answers
408 views

What is the name of our Galaxy?

I was told that the name 'Milky Way' first came about when people observered the milky looking stretch of sky; that is, before telescopes came about and we realised it wasn't a milky cloud, but rather ...

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