5
votes
1answer
4k views

How to explain $E=mc^2$ mass defect in fission/fusion

What is the nature of nuclear energy? This is closely related to the correct explanation of mass defect. I did some research of that topic and cannot come to a single comprehensive and consistent ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

Is the acceleration and deceleration of a wave instantanious?

When an light travels in free space, it has a velocity of propagation equal to the speed of light. However, then the light enters a medium with a refractive index of n, the velocity of propagation ...
6
votes
2answers
539 views

Falling into a black hole

I've heard it mentioned many times that "nothing special" happens for an infalling observer who crosses the event horizon of a black hole, but I've never been completely satisfied with that statement. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

(If and) Why does cold temperature affect semiconductors?

I had a college student build an overclocked PC using phase-change technology. (This is essentially an air-conditioning unit with the evaporator attached directly to the motherboard.) He said that ...
1
vote
3answers
845 views

Parallel-plate capacitor

I'm trying to grasp parallel-plate capacitors in a class of electromagnetic field theory. My book leaves out a lot and I couldn't figure it out from what I found on Google. The book's procedure is ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Can light exists in $2+1$ or $1+1$ spacetime dimensions?

Spacetime of special relativity is frequently illustrated with its spatial part reduced to one or two spatial dimension (with light sector or cone, respectively). Taken literally, is it possible for ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Angles on swing sets

I'm building a swing set for my children. All of the designs I've seen involve building two A-frames and connecting them at the top with a crossbar/beam from which hang the swings. The A-frames are ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

What is the history behind the factors of 3 in the classification of electromagnetic radiation?

What is the history behind the factors of 3 in the classification of electromagnetic radiation? See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_spectrum#By_frequency Is this (just) inherited from the ...
2
votes
3answers
116 views

What is the splitting structure of a state in thermal equilibrium in MWI?

What is the splitting structure of a state in thermal equilibrium in the many worlds interpretation? This is a mixed state, but we can perform a purification of it by doubling the system and forming a ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Why position is not quantized in quantum mechanics?

Usually in all the standard examples in quantum mechanics textbooks the spectrum of the position operator is continuous. Are there (nontrivial) examples where position is quantized? or position ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the effects of cosmic rays on consumer electronics?

When electronics/computer companies design a new chip, processor/ memory card/ or a solar cell, do they study the effect of cosmic rays on such electronically sensitive materials? If not, why not?
7
votes
1answer
258 views

What is the generalization, if any, of the weak and dominant energy conditions to SUGRA?

In standard general relativity, we have the null energy condition, the weak energy condition related to stability, and the dominant energy condition related to forbidding superluminal causal ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

In positivism, what counts as empirical? [closed]

In positivism, what counts as empirical? Is it the readings of instruments, or the notes on a notebook or computer, or is it the sense perceptions of an experimenter? There certainly is the case we ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Why doesn't the anthropic principle select for N=2 SUSY compactifications with an exactly zero cosmological constant?

The party line of the anthropic camp goes something like this. There are at least $10^{500}$ flux compactifications breaking SUSY out there with all sorts of values for the cosmological constant. Life ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Is there any good gauge-fixing prescription for discrete gauge symmetries?

Nearly all gauge-fixing prescriptions are based upon setting some function involving the gauge fields to be zero. That function is continuous and varies over the real/complex numbers. Trying the same ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Working with $\delta$s to use principle of virtual work

I'm trying to do the following problem: A lever $ABC$ (see figure) has weights $W_1$ and $W_2$ at distances $a_1$ and $a_2$ from the fixed support $B$. Using the principle of virtual work, prove that ...
7
votes
4answers
291 views

Is energy extensivity necessary in thermodynamics?

Given a partition of a system into two smaller systems, the energy $U$ is devided into $U_1$ and $U_2$, with $$U=\mathcal{P}(U_1,U_2):=U_1+U_2,$$ so that $U_2$ is given by $U-U_1$. Here the ...
2
votes
1answer
323 views

when is the stationary phase approximation exact?

I am thinking about some topological field theories, and I am wondering when one can say that the stationary phase approximation (ie. a sum of the first-order variations about each vacuum) is exact. ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the physical meaning of diffusion coefficient?

In Fick's first law, the diffusion coefficient is velocity, but I do not understand the two-dimensional concept of this velocity. Imagine that solutes are diffusing from one side of a tube to another ...
6
votes
3answers
430 views

Has anyone else thought about gravity in this way?

Picture yourself standing on a ball that is expanding at such a rate that it makes you stick to the ball. Everything in the universe is expanding at this same rate. To escape the earths gravitational ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Relation between comoving distance and conformal time?

In cosmology, we have two quantities and I want to understand the physical relation between these two : $\chi = \int_{t_e}^{t_0}c\frac{dt'}{a(t')}$ : the comoving distance with $t_e$ the time at ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Constant Volume vs. Constant Pressure?

Approaching the following question: Consider two experiments in which 2 moles of a monatomic ideal gas are heated from temperature $T$ to temperature $T + \Delta T$: in the first experiment ...
7
votes
3answers
327 views

Is it possible to split a single light beam into two beams of opposite circular polarization?

A properly oriented calcite crystal will separate an unpolarized beam into two beams, one vertically polarized and one horizontally polarized. Other polarizers pass just one polarization and absorb ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Having trouble seeing the similarity between these two energy-momentum tensors

Leonard Suskind gives the following formulation of the energy-momentum tensor in his Stanford lectures on GR (#10, I believe): $$T_{\mu \nu}=\partial_{\mu}\phi \partial_{\nu}\phi-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu ...
6
votes
2answers
512 views

Is temperature quantized?

I'm learning quantum mechanics on my own. I've known that energy is quantized and I've started wondering about temperature. From thermodynamics we have: $$U=\frac{3}{2}NkT $$ (for ideal gas, of ...
-1
votes
1answer
259 views

What is electron momentum density in solids and molecules?

Can someone kindly help me to know how can i get electron momentum density for one orbital like home? what is the theory of electron momentum density? how can I derive electron momentum density from ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Coefficients in V-A interaction

To account for parity violation the weak interaction matrix element is written in the form $$ M \propto \sum_{i} C_i (\bar u_p O_i u_n) (\bar u_e O_i (1 + {{C'_i}\over{C_i}}\gamma^5)u_\nu) $$ Why ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Double internal energy, how much will the entropy change?

Approaching the following question Imagine we have a collection of $N = 100$ simple harmonic oscillators. The total internal energy is $U = q \epsilon$ where $q$ is the number of energy ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Lagrangian of two particles connected with a spring, free to rotate

Two particles of different masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ are connected by a massless spring of spring constant $k$ and equilibrium length $d$. The system rests on a frictionless table and may both oscillate ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

What is $k_B$ in the context of this question?

Answering the following question 1000 atoms are in equilibrium at temperature T. Each atom has two energy states, $E_1$ and $E_2$, where $E_2 > E_1$ . On average, there are 200 atoms in the ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Units of Distance, Pressure, and Temperature [closed]

I need to store data. I'd like to store them in Metric units and use a tool to convert them to and from other units that these data points will be displayed in. As the title states, my constraints ...
0
votes
2answers
206 views

What's the evidence supporting 1 singular Big Bang? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What has been proved about the big bang, and what has not? I love to dabble with science, I'm by no means a scolar in this field. One thing that haven't seen proven yet ...
1
vote
1answer
177 views

Superconductor: What form of paramters (like London penetration depth) to use?

I am dealing with thin film and LN2 temperature, and am trying to calculate values such as the Pearl Length, but am trying to find clarification as to which value of $\lambda_L$ to use in this case. ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

How did Cook and other astronomers time the 1769 Venus transit?

The 1769 transit of Venus was observed and coordinated by over one hundred astronomers around the world. How did they measure time so accurately, key to the observations having any scientific value? I ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Can methane be used as a fuel to launch space vehicles?

Methane is apparently the most easily available hydrocarbon. It is also a flammable, and highly combustible fuel; does burning methane provide sufficient power-weight to be used to launch artificial ...
1
vote
0answers
282 views

What happens to a delta-wing plane when it's nose is tilted away from the line of motion 30 to 45 degrees horizontally?

Consider a delta-wing plane whose wing spread angle is 61 degrees (the plane looks like a flying equilateral triangle). What would happen if a cross-wind hits it, so that the direction of motion ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

limits on a gauss box of light

Consider a wall defined by $w(x,y,z) = \Theta(x-L)$ which is nonzero in the infinite semi-space of $x \ge L$, as well as a coherent planar standing EM wave travelling in the $z$ plane given by its ...
6
votes
1answer
587 views

Mean-field theory in 1D Ising model

A mean-field theory approach to the Ising-model gives a critical temperature $k_B T_C = q J$, where $q$ is the number of nearest neighbours and $J$ is the interaction in the Ising Hamiltonian. Setting ...
5
votes
4answers
437 views

particle accelerators and Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In accelerators we shoot very high momentum particles at each other to probe their structure at very small length scales. Has that anything to do with the HUP that addresses the spread of momentum and ...
2
votes
1answer
435 views

Historical: Natural vs unnatural parity mesons

Quick question: In the old papers and text I occasionally see authors referring to mesonic states as having 'natural parity' or 'unnatural parity'. What was their motivation for classifying mesons ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

What is difference between the miltary radar in 1940's from commercial antenna that is for the use of TV

What is difference between the miltary radar in 1940's from commercial antenna that is for the use of TV? I have read article from some of the WW2 history website that call the German radar the ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Is this claim from historician true for physicist point of view?

"The original Naxos I had a vertically polarized antenna, with poor results as the British radars initially used horizontal polarisation. (This seems to have been a case of the German designers being ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

Question regarding the Bohm interpretation [closed]

I tried to understand the Bohm interpretation and this is what picture appeared to me. Please tell me if I understood something incorrectly. All particles have definite positions and follow ...
2
votes
0answers
174 views

How do I extend the Lorentz transformation metric to dimensions>4?

How do I extend the general Lorentz transformation matrix (not just a boost along an axis, but in directions where the dx1/dt, dx2/dt, dx3/dt, components are all not zero. For eg. as on the Wikipedia ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

What should I call an n>4 dimensional Minkowski metric?

I am manipulating an $nxn$ metric where $n$ is often $> 4$, depending on the model. The $00$ component is always tau*constant, as in the Minkowski metric, but the signs on all components might be ...
3
votes
2answers
389 views

What are the applications of delta function potentials?

Are there real applications for using delta function potentials in quantum mechanics (other than using it as an exactly solvable toy model in introductory undergraduate quantum mechanics textbooks) ? ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Can general relativity be completely described as a field in a flat space?

Can general relativity be completely described as a field in a flat space? Can it be done already now or requires advances in quantum gravity?
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Emitting gravitational radiation

Is the following true: Two massive bodies with variable distance between them do not emit GR in any direction Two bodies that revolve around common center will not emit in the plane of their orbits ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

How to make strong base for fundamental physics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Book recommendations How to make strong base for fundamental physics? I want to learn the fundamentals of physics. But in a simple manners with very general examples. ...
3
votes
4answers
533 views

Can ship/boat propellers be placed, with adequate protection, alongside the fuselage instead of at the back?

On small private aircraft the engine is placed at the front of the fuselage, or on the wings E.g. Stationair, Otter On combat aircraft the engine/s is placed at the end of the fuselage E.g. Raptor, ...

15 30 50 per page