6
votes
2answers
977 views

Equation of motion for the reduced density matrix

The equation of motion for the density matrix of a many body isolated quantum system is the von Neumann's equation: $\dot{\rho }(t)=i[\rho (t),H]$. How about the equation of motion for the reduced ...
8
votes
1answer
983 views

Ping-pong ball pontoon

Imagine a vertical pipe (both ends opened) in the water. Drop several ping-pong balls into pipe and cover them with a cylinder. When you have enough balls, the cylinder will float. Now start adding ...
1
vote
4answers
933 views

Non-computable numbers in Physics

It is known that there are real numbers that can't be calculated (non-computable numbers). Quite probably that some physical phenomena (it is possible still undetected) depend on this numbers. Whether ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Inertial frames of reference

I'm struggling with the notion of an inertial frame of reference. I suspect my difficulty lies with the difference between Newtonian and relativistic inertial frames, but I can't see it. I've read ...
2
votes
1answer
768 views

Simplified partial trace of two operators

If I have two operators A and B living in the Composite Hilbert Space $H_I \bigotimes H_{II} $ and I want to take the partial trace of $C=AB$ over the subspace $H_I$, i.e., $Tr_I[AB]$, is there any ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

Quantum mechanical gravitational bound states

The quantum mechanics of Coloumb-force bound states of atomic nuclei and electrons lead to the extremely rich theory of molecules. In particular, I think the richness of the theory is related to the ...
4
votes
1answer
255 views

Lifetime of a quasiparticle

I'm having a rather technical question concerning the calculation of the lifetime of a quasiparticle. The reference I use is: ...
10
votes
1answer
407 views

False vacuum in axiomatic QFT

There is an elegant way to define the concept of an unstable particle in axiomatic QFT (let's use the Haag-Kastler axioms for definiteness), namely as complex poles in scattering amplitudes. Stable ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Phase diagram of simplified QCD

Consider QCD with a single generation of massless quarks (u, d). This is probably the simplest variant of QCD which bears some relation to the real world. The theory has the following exact global ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Chiral anomaly and decay of the pion

I am told that if all classical symmetries were reflected as quantum symmetries, the decay of the neutral pion $$\pi^0 ~\longrightarrow~ \gamma\gamma$$ would not happen. Why would the conservation of ...
2
votes
1answer
274 views

Additional accelerating force during take off of a rocket?

During the take off of a rocket, the exhaust produces some pressure below the rocket, which gives an additional force. How large is this force in comparison to the force produced directly by the ...
0
votes
1answer
199 views

Red shift and time distortion

Superman throws a light emitting object away from himself fast enough to notice a red-shift. The object passes through a region in which time runs more slowly. From Superman's perspective, does the ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Resources for current thought on time/spacetime?

Are any of the big-name physicists associated with the time in the same way that Hawking and Penrose are associated with black holes? I'm interested in some good books that focus on the topic.
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Question regarding escape velocity

Haliday-Resnick-Walker state that the escape velocity will cause a projectile to move upward forever, theoretically coming to rest only at infinity. I was wondering what the forces forcing the body ...
0
votes
1answer
527 views

Where to find experimental/theoretical value of (charge) radius of particles?

Where to find experimental/theoretical value of (charge) radius of particles like proton, neutron, $pi^+$, etc. ?
4
votes
1answer
540 views

A physical understanding of fractionalization

all! Is there a physical understanding of fractionalization in condensed matter physics? The textbook approach is theoretical, not physical. I'm thinking of spin-charge separation for electrons, the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Generating Pink Noise

I've generated some white noise in Excel by using the formula $$2*\mathrm{Math.RAND}()-1$$ I would now like to create some pink noise. I believe this is done by applying some sort of filter to the ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Is the force between solitons with same charge always repulsive?

I know the one-dimensional case in which the force is proportional to $e^{-R}$ and the force is attractive for solitons with opposite charge and repulsive for solitons with same charge. I was ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Where are the ice rings in X-ray crystallography located?

I threw this image of one of my protein crystal's diffraction pattern (not the greatest) on a poster, and was wondering where (what reciprocal dimension) the ice rings are located as it might be a ...
5
votes
3answers
327 views

Is the equivalence principle strictly fulfilled by general relativity?

The equivalence principle states The outcome of any local experiment in a freely falling laboratory is independent of the velocity of the laboratory and its location in spacetime. Any real local ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is 4-velocity normalized to -1 even for non-geodesic timelike curves?

In Hartle's General Relativity book ("Gravity"), one of the problems (chapter 8 problem 6) is to prove that $g_{\mu\nu}u^\mu u^\nu$ is conserved along geodesics (really not hard to show), where ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

In layman's terms, what is a quantum fluctuation?

What causes it and how does it occur? If you do post some mathematics, please explain what each term means too please.
5
votes
2answers
680 views

Is (0,0,0) an undefined vector?

I'm not sure what to make of the direction of a vector with components (0,0,0). Is it an undefined vector?
4
votes
2answers
350 views

Lorentz Transformation via Geometry

Today, I was tutoring and explained the space-time. I explained how one can convert North-South into West-East by rotating, and how you can convert time into space with velocity. Below the ...
4
votes
2answers
553 views

Why is the Dirac operator so important - in both physics and mathematics?

Why is the Dirac operator considered so important - in both physics and (pure) mathematics?
12
votes
10answers
883 views

What objective criteria distinguish between valid science, fringe science and pseudoscience in physics?

Plenty of research activity in physics have been vigorously opposed by their opponents as pseudoscience or fringe science, while other research are mainstream. It is possible some topic is ...
1
vote
2answers
331 views

What does transport equation represent in terms of physical quantities?

In my math course we're taught to solve PDE (partial derivative equations) like transport equation: $$ c\frac{\partial u}{\partial x} +\frac{\partial u}{\partial t}~=~0. $$ If $u(x,t)$ is the ...
4
votes
3answers
905 views

Planetary model of atom still valid?

When I was in school, I learned (from Democritus) that an atom was similar to a solar system, with the nucleus being the sun, and the electrons being the planets. Of course, there are some ...
2
votes
1answer
413 views

given the infinitesimal generator can we deduce the symmetry?

for example given the differential operator $ \partial _{x} $ we know that it belong to the translation $ y=x+a $ for some 'a' given the differential operator $ x\partial _{x} $ we know that we are ...
0
votes
2answers
422 views

Length of publication cycle for peer-reviewed journals [closed]

Is there any data of the expected length of publication cycle with respect to different peer-reviewed journals in theoretical physics? I know that the length depends on many things, including the ...
3
votes
0answers
288 views

Does a thermally expanding torus experience internal stress?

I'm trying to learn continuum mechanics and thermo-mechanics. As we know, heating an object increases the mean atomic distance $a_0$ of the atoms in a rigid body. Let's assume it is a linear elastic ...
0
votes
2answers
251 views

Electromagnetic Radiation

If there was a way to see the electromagnetic waves that is all around us, i.e. see the electric and magnetic fields spreading away from an antenna say, how would it look? I mean if we were to freeze ...
0
votes
2answers
213 views

Speed Distribution of The Particles

I want to know the distribution of the particles's speed. The particles what I mean are nucleons and electrons of element. Consume there is 1kg of iron on room temperature and it's shape is sphere. ...
10
votes
1answer
432 views

Some questions about the spectral function

If you think that this question is likely to get closed then please do not answer and only say that in the comments since this system doesn't let me delete the question once it has answers. ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there an intuitive reason the brachistochrone and the tautochrone are the same curve?

The brachistochrone problem asks what shape a hill should be so a ball slides down in the least time. The tautochrone problem asks what shape yields an oscillation frequency that is independent of ...
9
votes
1answer
851 views

Quivers in String Theory

Why do a physicist, particularly a string theorist care about Quivers ? Essentially what I'm interested to know is the origin of quivers in string theory and why studying quivers is a natural thing ...
2
votes
1answer
397 views

Transparent boundary condition [closed]

I am interested in the finite-difference beam propagation method and its applications. I try to solve the Helmholtz equation. At first, i would like to solve numerically it for the easiest case, ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Penetration of armor plate

Is there a simple mathematical expression for the stopping power of a given thickness of armor, given the thickness of armor plate, the radius of a cannon ball, the density of the cannonball and the ...
13
votes
5answers
22k views

What is the math knowledge necessary for starting Quantum Mechanics?

Could someone experienced in the field tell me what the minimal math knowledge one must obtain in order to grasp the introductory Quantum Mechanics book/course? I do have math knowledge but I must ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time?

By comparatively examining the operators a student concludes that `Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time.' Is this student right? Could he be wrong?
4
votes
3answers
984 views

How to concisely explain apparent retrograde motions of planets?

Some planetary orbits occasionally can appear to move backwards to an observer on the Earth? Does anyone know concise, clear, web-based visualizations, animations or tutorials that clearly show how ...
1
vote
2answers
561 views

What happens to body chemistry at the speed of light? [duplicate]

Assume that I'm traveling at the speed of light in one direction. My brain is also traveling at the speed of light in that direction. Presumably there is at least one receptor site in my brain that is ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

WKB approximation to loop diagrams

I'm a bit confused with the terminology here. This paper claimed to use WKB method to calculate the usual loop diagrams. Notice that the vertex is approximated by expanding around the classical ...
6
votes
1answer
423 views

Motivation for maximum Renyi/Tsallis entropy

The Conditional limit theorem of Van Campenhout and Cover gives a physical reason for maximizing (Shannon) entropy. Nowadays, in statistical mechanics, people talk about maximum Renyi/Tsallis entropy ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is instantaneous velocity an abstraction?

In introductory analysis, the discussion the derivative emphasizes that while average rates of change are measurable, instantaneous rates of change are a "limiting abstraction". While this makes ...
-1
votes
1answer
106 views

Mathematical Modelling for Efficiency of PV thermal technology

As the efficiency of PV thermal or wind energy decreases with time(from the installment). Is there any mathematical model that gives its relation with time. i.e., whether it is a linear decrease or ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Reflected optical rotation of polarised light

Assume polarised light travels through an optically active medium (e.g. water with lots of sugar) with the specific angle $\alpha_s$ of depth $d$ at which end it is reflected (so in total it travels ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Definition of “localized state”

Is there a definition of a localized state in quantum mechanics? I've seen that some textbooks use this term, but they don't give a definition. Thanks
2
votes
2answers
181 views

How do I find the time for Pleiades to be at Zenith today

I am looking for a way find the time when: Pleiades will be at the Zenith today (11th November 2011) Pleiades will conjunct with the Moon The Moon will be at the Zenith today How do I find those ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Which low energy SUSY models are compatible with LHC and tevatron data so far?

The LHC data has eliminated huge swaths of permissible low energy SUSY breaking models. But not all. Which regions of parameter space are still open?

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