1
vote
1answer
458 views

Can the Universe create itself?--Is Gott's Use of CTC in Planck time or less valid?

My question is the title of a 1991 paper by Richard Gott and Li-Xin Li: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9712344 and is also a subject of his popular book, "Time Travel in Einstein's Universe" Ultimately ...
2
votes
3answers
594 views

Local measurement of entangled particle pairs and interpretation of state

This just started to bother me after reading yet another entangled particle question, so I hate to ask one myself, but... If we have two entangled particles and take a measurement of one, we know, ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Are W & Z bosons virtual or not?

W and Z bosons are observed/discovered. But as force carrying bosons they should be virtual particles, unobservable? And also they require to have mass, but if they are virtual they may be off-shell, ...
4
votes
3answers
511 views

Entangled particles

So we have two particles (A and B) that are entangled. From what I understand, entanglement isn't destroyed, it is only obscured by subsequent interactions with the environment. Particle A goes ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I calculate Vapor Pressure Deficit from Temperature and Relative Humidity?

I have a series of measurements of temperature and relative humidity (RH), together with mosquito capture data. Because mosquitoes are sensitive to desiccation, it's reasonable that RH may be useful ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Other possible theories (other than string theory) which are generalizations of the standard model with incorporation of gravity

The only finite mathematical framework that incorporates both the standard model of particle physics and gravity under one umbrella that I am aware of is string theory. I would like to know whether ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Could life survive a pole shift caused by an asteroid collision?

Could life on earth survive a large pole shift caused by an asteroid collision? I became aware that there are people who believe that the earth's pole suddenly shifts. That is, its rotational ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Is the S-Matrix the only quantum field observable?

If the S-Matrix is the only observable, that rules out both generalized free fields and Wick-ordered polynomials of generalized free fields as interesting Physical models, because both result in a ...
4
votes
1answer
296 views

What are the current (popular(ish)) approaches to modelling the quantum nature of spacetime at the Planck scale?

My guess at a list of them would be: spin foams, casual sets, non-commutative geometry, Machian theories, twistor theory or strings and membranes existing in some higher-dimensional geometry... ...
2
votes
2answers
608 views

Is there an intuitive geometric view of the effects of Lorentz transformations?

Is there a time + two spatial dimension representation of a Minkowski-space surface which could be constructed within our own (assumed Euclidean) 3D space such that geometric movement within the ...
6
votes
1answer
539 views

Modes of a QFT and irreducible representation of the gauge group

This is in reference to the calculation in section 3.3 starting page 20 of this paper. I came across an argument which seems to say that the "constraint of Gauss's law" enforces gauge theory on ...
-1
votes
2answers
3k views

Homework Help - Physics / Calculus III / Force-Work Problem [closed]

I have tried to answer the problem correctly, and I have found similar (and even an identical) problem in my textbook, yet I still can't seem to yield the correct answer with this specific problem. ...
2
votes
2answers
897 views

Studying electrodynamics problems

Suppose an advanced undergraduate student has reached a moderate level of understanding on electrodynamics. Where should he focus on, to sharpen his problem-solving skills? Practicing integrals ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Are we living in a false vacuum? Is there any way to tell?

I was thinking of the noted 1980 paper by Sidney Coleman and Frank de Luccia--"Gravitational effects of and on vacuum decay"-- about metastable vacuum states that could tunnel to a lower energy "true ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Does boundedness of observables in the Haag-Kastler axiomatization rule out interactions?

In an interacting theory I expect there to be caustics, resonances, and other situations in which some observables would give an infinite experimental result. Of course, these are idealized states and ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

Resonance modes of a cubic box of water which we shake

I don't know hydrodynamics, but I wonder how one would compute resonance modes of a cubic box of water which we shake. I believe the waves would directly depend on the height of water and the width ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Newton's rings: What causes the other rings?

This is from an experiment we did in physics class. We shone a sodium light at a convex lens on top of a sheet of glass - and this image was captured by a USB microscope. I know what causes the main ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Is Gravity an entropic force after all?

Recently, there was a rapid communication published in Phys.Rev.D (PRD 83, 021502), titled "Gravity is not an entropic force", that claimed that an experiment performed in 2002 with ultra cold ...
1
vote
1answer
338 views

How is the mass of black hole at the center of our galaxy measured?

I've been watching a video about dark mater and a lot of the mass is missing in our universe. Astronomers got to this by measuring the speed that stars orbit the center of the galaxy and when they did ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

A tutorial explanation of decoherence?

Is there a tutorial explanation as to how decoherence transforms a wavefunction (with a superposition of possible observable values) into a set of well-defined specific "classical" observable values ...
1
vote
2answers
547 views

What kind of invariants are proper time and proper length?

Under the Lorentz transformations, quantities are classed as four-vectors, Lorentz scalars etc depending upon how their measurement in one coordinate system transforms as a measurement in another ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Obtain oxidation numbers from looking at electron configuration?

Suppose I know that Selenium has electron configuration $[Ar] 4s^2 3d^{10} 4p^4$. How can I use this information to then come to the conclusion that its possible oxidation states are 6, 4, 2, 1 and ...
0
votes
2answers
758 views

Determining Maximum Velocity of an object traveling horizontally

I'm in the process of working on a physics related game. I'm looking to find the maximum velocity of an object given it's mass and the force acting on it when it is traveling horizontally. I believe ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Why are the noble metals inert?

I am wondering: The noble 'gases' are inert because they have closed shells and don't want to give that up. But the noble metals, such as Copper, Silver, Rhodium, Gold, don't seem to have this. For ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Solving a Young Laplace equation for a meniscus against a flat plate

This is more of a math question and one, furthermore, that I know the final answer to. What I am asking is more of a "how do I get there" question as this question was generated during a self study ...
0
votes
2answers
340 views

Why are the alkali and alkaline earth metals present in the ashes of burnt wood? [closed]

The alkali earth metals form the two left-most column of the periodic table of the elements, other than hydrogen. See wikipedia articles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali_metal ...
17
votes
7answers
5k views

What does it mean to say “Gravity is the weakest of the forces”?

I can understand that on small scales (within an atom/molecule), the other forces are much stronger, but on larger scales, it seems that gravity is a far stronger force; e.g. planets are held to the ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

What is a magnetised neutron star?

I heard the term the other day, but it seems strange to me. My understanding is that neutron stars are made up of neutrons; and neutrons (having no charge) shouldn't be magnetised.
37
votes
7answers
2k views

Why do we have an elementary charge but no elementary mass?

Why do we have an elementary charge $e$ in physics but no elementary mass? Is an elementary mass ruled out by experiment or is an elementary mass forbidden by some theoretical reason?
2
votes
3answers
968 views

Reconciling refraction with particle theory and wave theory

I have searched the web for good answers to why refraction occurs when light moves from one medium to another with different density. I have limited background in physics and want to know if there is ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Why is the relationship between atomic number and density not linear?

What are the factors that affect the density of an atom?
3
votes
2answers
259 views

Polarization of the gluon

I think that, by now, it's understood that the gluon propagator in QCD has a dynamically generated mass. Ok, so my question is the following: where does the extra polarization degree of freedom come ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

Can one make an axial mode circularly polarized radio wave filter with purely conducting materials?

Can one construct a filter out of nothing but pure metal that will pass only right circular polarized radiation and reflect left circularly polarized radiation? What would it look like? A helical ...
7
votes
1answer
336 views

How many stabilised qubits have been achieved in Quantum Computing?

The latest I read is 3 but that was in Oct. With Lene Hau of Harvard's "frozen light" and with quantum donuts, newer strategies for stabilization are appearing, but the problem of keeping the qubit in ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How is the double slit experiment modeled in contemporary physical theories?

Suppose I have the following double split experiment set up: a monochromatic electron source of low intensity, which we can model as emitting a single electron at a time with energy $T$. a ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the low entropy at the big bang require an explanation? (cosmological arrow of time)

I have read Sean Carrol's book. I have listened to Roger Penrose talk on "Before the Big Bang". Both are offering to explain the mystery of low entropy, highly ordered state, at the Big Bang. Since ...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

Is Stephen Wolfram's NKS, an attempt to explain the universe with cellular automata, in conflict with Bell's Theorem?

Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science (NKS) hit the bookstores in 2002 with maximum hype. His thesis is that the laws of physics can be generated by various cellular automata--simple programs ...
6
votes
3answers
425 views

Does bunching reduce synchrotron radiation?

A continuous charge distribution flowing as a constant current in a closed loop doesn't radiate. Is it therefore true that as you increase the number of proton bunches in the LHC, while keeping the ...
0
votes
2answers
397 views

max velocity of SHM

So I think my algebra is wrong somewhere. Lets say you have an object that goes under SHM with some initial conditions (amplitude is 5m. The piston is at 5m at t = 0 and period is 20 seconds). Okay ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the point of having an einbein in your action?

One often comes across actions written with an extra auxiliary field, with respect to which if you vary the action, you get the equation of motion of the auxiliary field, which when plugged into the ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Why should the Standard Model be renormalizable?

Effective theories like Little Higgs models or Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model are non-renormalizable and there is no problem with it, since an effective theory does not need to be renormalizable. These ...
8
votes
8answers
33k views

How to avoid getting shocked by static electricity?

sometimes I get "charged" and the next thing I touch something that conducts electricity such as a person, a car, a motal door, etc I get shocked by static electricity. I'm trying to avoid this so if ...
1
vote
5answers
263 views

High-spin neutron star

Suppose a large neutron star were to be spun-up by a particular pattern of mass-accretion. The increased centrifugal force could presumably mitigate the increased gravity thus delaying gravitational ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What does John Conway and Simon Kochen's “Free Will” Theorem mean?

The way it is sometimes stated is that if we have a certain amount of "free will", then, subject to certain assumptions, so must some elementary particles."(Wikipedia) That is confusing to me, ...
3
votes
4answers
167 views

is the Z boson one entity or are there as many entities as decay pairs, but they are equivalent and lumped together

just wondering if it is a distinction without a difference - it seeming a bit weird that one thing can decay into different things.
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is there more steam after a pot of water *stops* boiling?

I have a pot of vigorously boiling water on a gas stove. There's some steam, but not alot. When I turn off the gas, the boiling immediately subsides, and a huge waft of steam comes out. This is ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Are Classical Field Theory and Quantum Mechanics of a single particle (nonrelativistic or “classical”) limits of Quantum Field Theory?

Recently I talked about QFT with another physicist and mentioned that the Quantum Field Theory of a fermion is a quantisation of its one-particle quantum mechanical theory. He denied this and ...
21
votes
2answers
717 views

Covariant Description of Light Scattering at a fastly rotating Cylinder

Let us consider the following Gedankenexperiment: A cylinder rotates symmetric around the $z$ axis with angular velocity $\Omega$ and a plane wave with $\mathbf{E}\text{, }\mathbf{B} \propto ...
4
votes
2answers
383 views

Witten Index and letter partition function

I haven't seen any reference which explains these things and I am not sure of all the steps of the argument or the equations. I am trying to reproduce here a sequence of arguments that I have mostly ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Why beauty is a good guide in physics? [closed]

Dirac once said that he was mainly guided by mathematical beauty more than anything else in his discovery of the famous Dirac equation. Most of the deepest equations of physics are also the most ...

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