16
votes
3answers
1k views

Distorted colors of Google StreetView photographs near electric power lines

This is a followup to my question: Cyclist's electrical tingling under power lines Some users presented a convincing picture that the electric shocks under power lines are primarily from the ...
0
votes
1answer
295 views

Darcy law yields extreme speed for gas flow throgh packed spheres?

The darcy law is as follows: $u=-\frac{k}{\mu}\nabla p$. Assume we have a gas, then $\mu$ is about $10^{-5}$. $k$ for packed spheres a few mm in diameter is of order $10^{-8}$ $m^2$. Say the ...
3
votes
2answers
273 views

Number of bits needed to express physical laws?

What is the minimum number of bits that would be needed to express a given physical law, like the law of universal gravitation? How many bits are needed to express each of the four fundamental forces? ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Could a Class A Stellar Engine Use A Brown Dwarf

Could a class A stellar engine (or maybe a class C one) be built using a brown dwarf (for argument's sake, a T-dwarf like Gliese 229B)? Would it be capable of enough thrust to move itself any ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Continuum model of the n-body problem?

Consider a collection of $n$ point masses evolving under the influence of gravity. For very large $n$, one might be interested in making a continuum approximation of this system (for cosmology, say). ...
6
votes
3answers
443 views

Non equilibrium statistical mechanics

A question kept bothering me about the Non-Equilibrium Statistical mechanics, can somebody give a simple description of how one approaches this subject. Is there a exact formalism, as we have for ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Explaining Walter Lewin's “Complete Breakdown of Intuitiion”

This Walter Lewin lecture hinges on the solenoid producing a non-conservative field. I read in the Feynman Lectures that "all the fundamental forces in nature appear to be conservative" (Vol 1, 14.5) ...
2
votes
1answer
380 views

Schmidt decomposition of coupled oscillators

Consider a system of two coupled oscillators, with Hamiltonian ($\hbar = m = 1$): \begin{align} \mathcal{H} = \frac{1}{2}(p_1^2 + \omega_0^2 x_1^2) + \frac{1}{2}(p_2^2 + \omega_0^2 x_2^2) ...
2
votes
2answers
983 views

Calculating forces in a mass suspended by four cables

As a project, I am designing a cable-controlled camera system (i.e., a home-made Skycam clone). Basically, it is a mass suspended by four cables connected to fixed points; by lengthening or shortening ...
1
vote
3answers
521 views

black body and cosmic microwave background radiation

Why is the sprectum of the cosmic microwave background radiation (or seems to be) that of a black body?
1
vote
2answers
255 views

why is there only one inertial frame that $ct$ and $x$ are orthogonal?

It is very long time ago that I took a physics lesson, so I want to refresh my memory. I think I learned that there is only one inertial frame in Minkowski spacetime (or special relativity time) that ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

When does the “norm of quasi-eigenvectors” matter in calculations? For which physical results are these even used?

Which physical system in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics is actually described by a model, where the norm of the "position eigenstate" (i.e. the delta distribution as limit of vectors in the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Do we see color with higher frequency first?

Out of the 7 colours of the rainbow, violet has the highest frequency and the smallest wavelength. Does this mean that our eye sees it first? If yes, then why? Does it travel at the same or higher ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Helicity and Pseudospin in Graphene

The Hamiltonian for graphene at $\vec{k}$ away from the $K$ point is proportional to $$ \vec{\sigma} \cdot \vec{k} =\begin{pmatrix} 0 & k_x - i k_y \\ k_x + i k_y & 0 \\ \end{pmatrix} = k ...
1
vote
1answer
200 views

Could a variable capacitor divider replace a Variac?

Hmmm... You can definitely drop down the voltage, and ideal capacitors don't dissipate any power. So it seems, at first glance, that you could use a capacitor divider as a lossless voltage step-down ...
5
votes
8answers
3k views

Black hole - white hole (collision)

A non-spinning, equally massive black hole and white hole experience a direct collision. What shall happen? What shall be the result of such a collision?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Farady's law and div B = 0

I'm reading a book on electromagnetism and I am a bit confused about some things in Maxwells equations. This is what I don't like about many physics books: they are very wordy, but at the end you ...
5
votes
10answers
3k views

Why do we think of light as a wave?

I've read that light travels in a straight line and has a wavelength of 400nm to 700nm. But I don't understand why does it have a wavelength and what creates its wavelength? I agree with the concept ...
2
votes
2answers
206 views

Why does reentry from space tend to result in such great heat?

Let's pretend for a moment that the atmosphere had sea-level density, pressure, and temperature all the way up to, say 500km high, and then would abruptly end in a complete vaccum. In such a ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Does hitting metals magnetize them?

I was on my workshop lab today and had to file (rub on metal surface with rough surface to smooth-en it) an iron bar. It made iron dust fall of the surface. To mark some points on the bar I then had ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Is there any way to produce food without sun, synthetically?

Is there any way to produce food without sun, synthetically? I mean if we face solar winter. look at: Is there any way to survive solarwinter like in Sunshine - movie?
13
votes
2answers
427 views

What tree-level Feynman diagrams are added to QED if magnetic monopoles exist?

Are the added diagrams the same as for the $e-\gamma$ interaction, but with "$e$" replaced by "monopole"? If so, is the force between two magnetic monopoles described by the same virtual ...
3
votes
2answers
636 views

Can we impose a boundary condition on the derivative of the wavefunction through the physical assumptions?

Consider the Schrödinger equation for a particle in one dimension, where we have at least one boundary in the system (say the boundary is at $x=0$ and we are solving for $x>0$). Sometimes we want ...
2
votes
2answers
420 views

Lorentz engine to run a car?

Could a Lorentz engine (like the ones that move the write head inside of hardrives) be used to run car ? Would it be possable to get it producing 60hp, and a decent amount of tourque, if so how large ...
0
votes
2answers
297 views

Scalar potential, vector potential, and spinor potnetial

In Particle Physics, I've seen Scalar potentials which look like this $$ V = a \Phi^2 + b \Phi^4$$ $\Phi$ is scalar (a number). What about vector potentials, and spinor potentials? How are they ...
50
votes
5answers
7k views

Why wet is dark?

When something gets wet, it usually appears darker. This can be observed with soil, sand, cloth, paper, concrete, bricks ... What is the reason for this? How does water soaking into the material ...
25
votes
1answer
5k views

Why does paper become translucent when smeared with oil but not (so much) with water?

When I smear oil onto a scrap of paper and rub it in, the paper becomes quite translucent; but when I attempt the same with water it doesn't as much. Why?
2
votes
0answers
250 views

How is the poincare conjecture(and perelman proof) helpful in studying the properties of the universe?

Can someone tell me how the poincare's famous conjecture or its proof by perelmen can be helpful in deciding some properties like the shape of the universe?
0
votes
2answers
765 views

How do we prove that multiverse exist?

Scientists are talking about our universe not being the only universe, but even if that is true, how can we prove the existence of multiverse? We are being 'confined' in this universe and there is no ...
2
votes
0answers
111 views

How much current would be generated by polarity reversal of Earth's magnetic field?

Continuing from my previous question Is reversal of magnetic polarity in a planet an instantaneous occurence? A change in magnetic flux is expected to generate an EMF. In the case where the ...
7
votes
3answers
532 views

Do the rings in Mass Effect's mass relays (2-axis gimbal) describe a stable rotation?

Just out of curiosity. In the game Mass Effect, devices called mass relays contain two rotating rings, one inside of the other. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPxw5QjxhIs for an example, best seen ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Is reversal of magnetic polarity in a planet an instantaneous occurence?

Just what the title states - Does reversal of magnetic poles in a planet refer to the point in time when reversal is complete? OR Does it refer to the entire drawn out process (assuming the ...
7
votes
2answers
810 views

Is string length in string theory quantized?

Is there a minimal string length (maybe the Planck length), and is it quantized? Do strings have a 0-dimensional (ie point) cross-section?
3
votes
2answers
508 views

Supersymmetry in Quantum Field Theory

I have an idea of supersymmetry in quantum mechanics, can you suggest a book on "supersymmetry in quantum field theory", which has sufficient mathematical rigour like "Peskin and Schroeder"
3
votes
1answer
225 views

Straightforward questions about calculating SUSY F-terms

So in the Lagrangian for a SUSY theory we have the F-terms, which I have seen written (e.g., in Stephen Martin's SUSY primer) as $F^*_i F^i$ where $F^i = \frac{\partial W}{\partial \phi^i}$. I ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

Why can't a rope be pulled completely straight?

I have found several discussions on how to calculate the sag of rope that is tied off at two points (like a tightrope), and I understand it to a certain extent. What I can't wrap my head around is how ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is paper more frangible when it is wet?

My four-year-old daughter asked me why paper tends to fall apart when wet, and I wasn't sure. I speculated that the water lubricates the paper fibers so that they can untangle and separate more ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the relation between (physicists) functional derivatives and Fréchet derivatives

I´m wondering how can one get to the definition of Functional Derivative found on most Quantum Field Theory books: $$\frac{\delta F[f(x)]}{\delta f(y) } = \lim_{\epsilon \rightarrow 0} ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Heat of vaporization of water - dependence on relative humidity?

Does the heat of vaporization of water depend strongly on the relative humidity of the gas into which it evaporates? Some context: If we want to calculate the dew point of water, we find the ...
1
vote
0answers
137 views

Separable states of maximum non-classical correlations

Although there is no standard measure of entanglement, the GHZ states $|GHZ\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(|0\rangle^{\otimes n}+|1\rangle^{\otimes n})$ are often deemed as maximally entangled states of ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why isn't light scattered through transparency?

I'm asking a question that has bothered me for years and years. First of all, let me give some context. I'm a layman in physics (college educated, math major). I've read Feynman's QED cover to cover, ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a planet have a larger diameter than Jupiter?

I have heard it said that if mass were added to Jupiter, then only its mass and density would increase but the diameter would stay about the same. Is this the case for Jupiter or some property of ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Why can't this speed be measured?

Superman and Supergirl were playing catch. When Superman is moving with a speed of 0.800c relative to Supergirl, he threw a ball to Supergirl with a speed of 0.600c relative to him. a. ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

What is your prefered toolkit / program for 3D visualisations of data? [closed]

If you recorded data which represents some physical value in space (e.g. electron density) and you need to explore this dynamically in 3d (say you have a isosurface and you change the value it ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

Changing the Half-Life of Radioactive Substances

Is there a way to extend or reduce the half-life of a radioactive object? Perhaps by subjecting it to more radiation or some other method.
0
votes
2answers
374 views

length contraction question

we know from eintein's theory of relativity that lets say, a ruler is travelling to a speed if light, then we can say that the ruler (from our view as observers) has shorten. but why, lets say we have ...
3
votes
4answers
995 views

Topology needed for Differential Geometry [duplicate]

I am a physics undergrad, and need to study differential geometry ASAP to supplement my studies on solitons and instantons. How much topology do I need to know. I know some basic concepts reading from ...
3
votes
3answers
255 views

What are some creative illustrations of the nature of dissipative forces?

I'm teaching a conceptual introduction to physics for American 13-15 year old students this summer. One of the main ideas I want to hit on is the relationship between energy conservation, ...
3
votes
3answers
568 views

waves on water generated by a falling object

Let an object of mass $m$ and volume $v$ be dropped in water from height $h$, and $a$ be the amplitude of the wave generated. What is the relation between $a$ and $h$. How many waves are generated? ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Sources for new experimental limits on susy models?

I know the LHC people are publishing new limits every now and then, but as a non-expert in reading experimental papers (yet), I was wondering if there's a friendly website that collects and presents ...

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