4
votes
1answer
689 views

Thermodynamics of evaporation

If water is introduced in a container maintained at 20 °C in vacuum conditions, a gaseous phase will appear and the pressure will stabilize at the vapour pressure for the given temperature inside the ...
4
votes
3answers
786 views

Is contextuality required in quantum mechanics?

I still don't really understand what contextuality means in reference to quantum mechanics. If someone could give a clear definition that would be great. It sounds like it means you can't always ...
8
votes
1answer
308 views

Is GR vacuum equation unique?

The title question would be too long if I tried to specify it clearly. So let me be more clear. Consider the class of theories having the following properties: The langrangian density is only ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

What combinations of realism, non-locality, and contextuality are ruled out in quantum theory?

Bell's inequality theorem, along with experimental evidence, shows that we cannot have both realism and locality. While I don't fully understand it, Leggett's inequality takes this a step further and ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

Why is there independent motion of Earth's magnetic poles?

Earth's N and S magnetic poles "wander independently of each other and are not at exactly opposite positions on the globe" [from WIKI's "Earth's magnetic field"]. Can these independent motions be ...
2
votes
0answers
507 views

How much power to keep surface of aluminum plate at given temperature?

I want to heat one side of an aluminum plate enough to hold the other side of that plate $100K$ above ambient. I'm willing to assume that the heated side of the plate is "well" insulated (along with ...
11
votes
3answers
731 views

Light “diode” and 2nd law of thermodynamics

If I had a light "diode" - an object that only allowed light (at least for a range of frequencies) to travel through it in one direction, would this necessarily allow violations of the 2nd Law of ...
4
votes
3answers
623 views

Gravitational lensing or cloud refraction?

My current understanding of gravitational lensing follows When a star or other massive body passes between us and another star, the phenomenon generally labeled 'gravitational lensing' occurs. The ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Light bending surfaces and energy funneling properties

In the last year there has been fuzz regarding metamaterials studied for the purpose of cloaking, and it seem to me they are somewhat glorified 2D waveguides, but in any case it seems a reasonable ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

What are the statistics of three to five bosons?

This should be a very easy question. If you look at the bottom of "Identical Particles" in Wikipedia, you see Table 1, which gives you the two particle statistics for bosons, fermions and ...
4
votes
2answers
787 views

What is energy in string theory?

Facts agreed on by most Physicists - GR: One can't apply Noether's theorem to argue there is a conserved energy. QFT: One can apply Noether's theorem to argue there is a conserved energy. String ...
8
votes
1answer
438 views

Is there a rest frame for the Higgs boson?

If there is a non-zero expectation value for the Higgs boson even in "vacuum", since the Higgs boson has a mass unlike photons, then I would expect it to have a rest frame. So why doesn't a non-zero ...
5
votes
1answer
655 views

Energy in magnetic fields

If I calculate the energy contained in the electric field for an electric dipole p in an electric field E, I get (ignoring the terms independent of orientation): $U = - \vec{p} \cdot \vec{E}$ which ...
13
votes
5answers
807 views

Does GR provide a maximum electric field limit?

Does GR provide a limit to the maximum electric field? I've gotten conflicting information regarding this, and am quite confused. I will try to quote exactly when possible so as not to confuse ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Does Heisenberg's uncertainty under time evolution always grow?

Recently there have been some interesting questions on standard QM and especially on uncertainty principle and I enjoyed reviewing these basic concepts. And I came to realize I have an interesting ...
3
votes
2answers
297 views

Web references for Nelson's “Quantum Fluctuations”?

Edward Nelson's book "Quantum Fluctuations" (Princeton UP, 1985) gives an alternative way to introduce trajectories, quite different to the trajectories of de Broglie-Bohm type approaches. I've read ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How can there be net linear momentum in a static electromagnetic field (not propagating)?

I understand from basic conservation of energy and momentum considerations, it is clear in classical electrodynamics that the fields should be able to have energy and momentum. This leads to the usual ...
4
votes
3answers
434 views

Young's experiment or why the light can't be described as a particle [closed]

Who hasn't heard about the double-slit experiment? It figures in any book of quantum physics. But there is something no one can explain to me : I understand why the light cannot be described only as a ...
3
votes
3answers
844 views

Velocity of Voyager 1

I was reading Wikipedia which stated ....Voyager 1's current relative velocity is 17.062 km/s, or 61,452 kilometres per hour (38,185 mph)..... It travels away from sun. So sun's gravity must ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Can T-duality resolve spacelike singularities?

Schwarzschild singularities are described by the Kantowski-Sachs metric with a contracting S2. Of course, T-duality doesn't apply to S2. But what about a Kasner-type singularity with two contracting ...
8
votes
0answers
732 views

Why is the AdS/CFT approach to superconductors rarely cited in condensed matter publications?

Let me put things into perspective by comparing with other applications of string theory. Nowadays review papers written by cosmologists about inflation models often discuss string theory scenarios ...
0
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the most energy efficient way to boil an egg?

Starting with a pot of cold tap water, I want to cook a hard-boiled egg using the minimum amount of energy. Is it more energy efficient to bring a pot to boil first and then put the egg in it, or to ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Statics question: When do I need to find support reactions?

We're finding forces (and whether they're in tension or compression) using the Method of Joints and Method of Sections. I don't understand why sometimes it's necessary to find the support reactions, ...
2
votes
1answer
341 views

3D Minimum uncertainty wavepackets

Based on the 1D case mentioned in Griffiths, I decided to try looking at the features of 3D Gaussian wavefunctions, i.e. (position basis) wavefunctions of the form $\psi(\mathbf{r}) = ...
6
votes
3answers
921 views

Why is tunneling not a classical idea?

There is no tunneling in the case of infinite potential barrier, but there is when we have a finite well. In the classical analog, in the first case we have a particle bouncing between to infinitely ...
3
votes
3answers
622 views

Gravitation as the source of redshift of light beams

According to Hubble's law, light and other kinds of electromagnetic radiation emitted from distant objects are redshifted. The more distant the source, the more intense is the redshift. Now, the ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Since radioactive material decays how is it possible that there is any left after 4.5 billion years?

I was not able to find an answer for this question... Some radioactive elements have half-life measured in thousands of years and some others even in millions, but over 4.5 billion years all the ...
2
votes
3answers
759 views

Unstable energy levels

Well, reading about "Raman Effect" I saw that when the electron absorb some energy, with frequency $ \omega_{abs} $, that is different from $ \omega_{n} - \omega_{n-1} \neq \omega_{abs1} $, it go to ...
2
votes
0answers
352 views

A question about Dirac operator

The Dirac operator at 2 dimension can be written as $$ D=\sum_{k=1,2}\sigma^{k}D_{k}=\left( \begin{array}{cc} 0 & \partial_{x}-i\partial_{y}-i(A_x-iA_y)\\ ...
9
votes
4answers
978 views

By what mechanism do quantum effects become observable in normal life at the macroscopic level?

By what mechanism do quantum effects become observable in normal life at the macroscopic level? For instance, when two molecules "collide" is the momentum a probabilistic event wherein the end state ...
-2
votes
2answers
408 views

Chaos and quantum physics: How many ways can a bonfire burn?

I'm interested in the extent to which quantum physical effects are seen at a macroscopic level. I might get some of the physics wrong, but I think I'll get it close enough that I can ask the ...
3
votes
1answer
411 views

Band offset and strain-induced valence band splitting in semiconductor compounds

My aim is to draw a plot of $GaAs_{1-x}Sb_{x}$/InP (GaAsSb on InP substrate) band offset as a function of As/Sb composition. The first part is easy if I'm doing this correctly: I found VBO (valence ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Why does nuclear fuel not form a critical mass in the course of a meltdown?

A BWR reactor core may contain up to 146 tons of uranium. Why does it not form a critical mass when molten? Are there any estimates of the critical mass of the resulting zirconium alloy, steel, ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

Evaporating water in -30ºC

I don't really know anything about physics even though I pretended studying it for years. How is this explained?: ...
1
vote
0answers
150 views

Will earth rotation be slowed down? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are tidal power plants slowing down Earth's rotation? Since we have various energy acquiring facilities that harvest energy from earth rotation. (e.g. wind, tidal ...
17
votes
3answers
884 views

How does uranium from supernovae explosions end up in mineral veins in a planet?

The reply to a question about nucleosynthesis, that heavier than iron elements are produced in supernovae explosions, raised for me the following question which I could not answer by googling. ...
3
votes
1answer
689 views

Minimum Uncertainty Wavefunction derivation

Can anyone point me to a reference (preferably either something online or something a small liberal arts school would be likely to have in its library) that goes through a derivation of the minimum ...
1
vote
2answers
252 views

What is the possible potential?

The professor asked us to do this one: "..Determine all potentials $V(r,\theta, \phi)$ for which it is possible for find solutions of the time independent Schrodinger equation which are also ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Origin of elements heavier than Iron (Fe)

In all the discussions about how the heavy elements in the universe are forged in the guts of stars and especially during a stars death, I usually hear that once the star begins fusing lighter atoms ...
12
votes
3answers
990 views

Phonons in non-crystalline media

Do sound waves in a gas consist of phonons? What about a glass? Or other non-crystalline materials such as quasicrystals? How does the lack of translational symmetry affect the quantization of the ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Find velocity and displacement from force equation

How to find velocity and displacement equations from a given force equation? For instance, it was given the following 1-D equation: $$F = b_1(v_1-v) - b_2 v$$ $v_1$, $b_1$ and $b_2$ are constants. ...
0
votes
1answer
880 views

Conceptual problems in nuclear physics for students?

Is there any good reference for conceptual problems for students which learn nuclear physics first time? I am not searching problems that involve difficult calculations. Quite the converse, they ...
2
votes
2answers
529 views

If there is a meltdown at the Fukushima reactors, would the control rods melt also?

According to the reports, the shutdown procedures at all the Fukushima reactors were successful, and all the control rods were fully inserted. So - if there was a meltdown, would the control rods ...
10
votes
8answers
8k views

Is Gravity Energy?

This might be stupid, but is gravity a form of energy? And, if so, couldn't we use it for power?
18
votes
7answers
4k views

Why do people still talk about bohmian mechanics/hidden variables [closed]

I was reading the Feynman lectures in physics and after thinking about it for a while it seems particularly unreasonable to talk about hidden variables. Let us say that the electron has some internal ...
2
votes
1answer
766 views

Effective mass in Aluminium lattice?

How do we calculate the effective mass of an electron in an Aluminium lattice? Is there any simple analytical way to work it out?
2
votes
1answer
574 views

Why did the Hydrogen in Fukushima explode *outside* the reactor vessel?

As pointed out before, it orginated inside the reactor vessel but exploded outside: how did it get there? Did it pass the shell by diffusion or was it released by the engineers?
2
votes
3answers
767 views

Why is a hot air balloon “stiff”?

1) Why is a hot air balloon stiff? 2) Is the pressure inside the balloon higher than the pressure outside (atmospheric pressure)? 3) If the pressure inside is higher than the outside, how is it ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Alpha Beta Gamma Biological Impact

Assume that alpha & beta particles and gamma photons each reach skin at the same energy. It's known that they penetrate most deeply in order by gamma, beta and alpha. How would they compare in ...
2
votes
1answer
272 views

A particular notation about fermions

I am not sure that this notation is specific to supersymmetry theories but I ran into this while studying that. I see people talking of component fields of a chiral superfield as $\phi$ and ...

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