3
votes
2answers
2k views

What would it feel like to touch a frictionless surface

Assume there is a completely frictionless surface. Would touching such a surface be possible? If so, what would it feel to the touch?
4
votes
3answers
417 views

In relativity, what is the difference between a rod that is perpendicular to direction of motion and a rod parallel to the direction of motion?

In Feynman's Lectures on Physics , chapter 15, page 6 he writes about 2 identical, synchronized light signal clocks. These are clocks that consist of a rod (meter stick) with a mirror at each end, and ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Could the Periodic Table have been done using group theory?

These three questions are phrased as alternative-history questions, but my real intent is to understand better how well different modeling approaches fit the phenomena they are used to describe; see 1 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Must the derivative of the wave function at infinity be zero?

I came across a problem in Griffiths where the derivative of the wave function (with respect to position in one dimension) evaluated at $\pm\infty$ is zero. Why is this? Is it true for any function ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

The (co)algebra for the (co)monad of a light switch

If we take a light switch to embody an entire category, we could take the light switch to be a set with two elements and the morphisms are all endofunctions. Let's say, for fun, that we define the ...
5
votes
1answer
290 views

Commutator of scalar fields

So, in the calculation of $ D(t,r) = \left[ \phi(x) , \phi(y) \right] $, where $ t= x^0 - y^0,~ \vec{r} = \vec{x} - \vec{y} $ you need to calculate the following integral $$ D(t,r) = \frac{1}{2\pi^2 ...
8
votes
3answers
475 views

How much choice did Einstein have in choosing his GR equations?

General relativity was summarised by Wheeler as "Spacetime tells matter how to move; Matter tells spacetime how to curve". I have a fairly good mental picture of how the first part works. However, I ...
2
votes
2answers
272 views

Bell states entanglement

I'm trying to learn about the Bell state $\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}|00\rangle+\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}|11\rangle$. Question 10.1 in Algorithms asks us to show that this cannot be decomposed into the tensor product ...
1
vote
1answer
362 views

Formation of the overlap in metal electron bands

I understand that metals have overlapping of valence and conduction bands. But is this because there exists a partial conduction band within the top part of a metal valence band, or because the ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Two 60W-lightbulbs are connected on 220 V AC-voltage - how much electric power is spent by each lightbulb? [closed]

Two 60W-lightbulbs are connected on 220 V AC-voltage - how much electric power is spent by each lightbulb? There are two scenarios: In one, these two lighbulbs are connected serially, and in the ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

How to bend light?

As we all know that light travels in rectilinear motion. But can we bend light in parabolic path? If not practically then is it possible in paper? Has anyone succeeded in doing that practically ?
2
votes
2answers
374 views

Has the use of the holographic principle of string theory in condensed matter physics silenced the skeptics? [closed]

It seems to me that the use of string theory in calculations of strongly-interacting matter in condensed matter physics is an example of the theory being on the right track. And then there's the ...
0
votes
3answers
178 views

How can radioactivity change depending on the number of nuclei? [closed]

I came across this problem. Please help me solve it. A radioactive sample S1 having an activity of $5\ \mathrm{\mu Ci}$ has twice the number of nuclei as another sample S2 which has an activity ...
3
votes
2answers
324 views

Elimination of velocities from momenta equations for singular Lagrangian

this doubt is related to Generalized Hamiltonian Dynamics paper by Dirac. Consider the set of $n$ equations : $p_i$ = $∂L/∂v_i$, (where $v_i$ is $q_i$(dot) = $dq_i/dt$, or time derivative of ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

problem with the last terms of uncertainty principle

i've problem with the last terms of uncertainty principle: 1. are these equalities true: $$\langle \{\Delta \hat A,\Delta \hat B\} \rangle=\langle \{\hat A, \hat B \}\rangle$$ $$\langle [\Delta \hat ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

Euclidean Geometry in Classical Thought - Realization or Representation?

First post! :] This has been bothering me for a while now: [Taken from John J. Roche's "The Mathematics of Measurement: A Critical History"] When physico-mathematicians in the seventeenth ...
8
votes
3answers
369 views

How can a body be transparent?

How can a body be transparent? I need the theoretical explanation for the same. Has anybody succeeded in doing that practically?
2
votes
2answers
888 views

Why is radioactive decay dependent on amount of substance available?

Radioactive decay is an attribute of unstable nucleus. When we represent it in equation, we don't involve any macroscopic attribute of substance. But still, rate of radioactive decay is proportional ...
0
votes
1answer
498 views

Natural Units and the Nuclear Radius

In a paper I'm looking at and also in a similar program, the authors note that the nuclear radius $R$ is given in "natural units" as $R = 3.11\times 10^{-3}\;A^{1/3}$. This has me slightly confused, ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

Spin-ice materials with strong quantum fluctuations

Spin-ice materials are insulating materials where spins form a 3D pyrochlore lattice and have a frustrated magnetic interaction. The spin dynamics in most spin-ice materials is very classical and has ...
4
votes
0answers
390 views

How does one calculate the quantum propagator for a massless photon

So I want to calculate the quantum massless photon propagator. To do this, I write $$ A_\mu(x) = \sum\limits_{i=1}^2 \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}} \left( \epsilon_\mu^i (p) ...
5
votes
1answer
635 views

Feynman's 'diamond jumping out of a box' parody, how would this work?

I have been told that Feynman deduced from a path integral formulation an equation that predicts the amount of time it would take for a diamond to 'jump' out of a box: $t > \dfrac{x \Delta{x} m}{ ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

what is physical meaning of this partial derivative?

what is physical meaning of this partial derivative: $$\frac {\partial p_x}{\partial x}$$ i know how do i solve it when the case is just derivative but partial derivative is a bit Hectic!.
10
votes
2answers
5k views

What is a Lorentz boost and how to calculate it?

I know very little special relativity. I never leaned it properly, but every time I read someone saying: "if you boost in the x-direction, you get such and such" my mind goes blank! I tried ...
0
votes
1answer
293 views

expectation vaules of commutator and anti commutator (momentum and position)

what is expectation vaules of commutator and anti commutator when the case is momentum and position. when the case is commutator: $$\langle i\hbar\rangle=?$$ when the case is anti commutator: ...
1
vote
1answer
403 views

How does a strobe lamp stop a fast moving object?

A strobe lamp can be used to seemingly stop a fast moving object when calibrated. Commonly used in quality assurance during production to inspect otherwise non-observable assembly line activity. What ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Ideal gas with two kinds of particles, Grand canonical partition function

Consider an ideal gas contained in a volume V at temperature T. If all particles are identical the Grand canonical partition function can be calculated using $$Z_g(V,T,z) := \sum_{N=0}^\infty z^N ...
3
votes
2answers
621 views

At what g is terminal velocity not terminal?

How weak would gravity need to be in order for a human to reliably survive the terminal velocity of falling through air? (Context: watching scifi on a space station with a variety of artificial ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

what is difference between these two expectation values?

what is difference between these two expectation values $\langle \hat A \hat B\rangle$ and $\langle \hat B \hat A\rangle$? where the $\hat B$ and $\hat A$ are two operators.
3
votes
1answer
158 views

extracting energy from cosmological expansion

This question is a more concrete reincarnation of an old question about energy conservation in GR. Are there mechanisms to extract energy from the cosmic rate of expansion? putting some extremely ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

Nature of orbit due to central force! [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Kepler problem in time: how do two gravitationally attracting particles move? How do we get the shape of orbit under the condition that Force is centrally directed ...
8
votes
3answers
835 views

Current scope of Chaos theory and non-linear dynamics? [closed]

I am a physics undergrad interested in stuff like dynamical systems, chaos theory etc. Is there ongoing research in these fields? I am talking about pure research and not applications to things like ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Intrinsic structure of electron

The electron contains finite negative charge.The same charges repel each other.What makes electron stable and why does it not burst? Is it a law of nature that the electron charge is the smallest ...
4
votes
3answers
372 views

How to tell whether a physics theory is beautiful?

A lot of physicists would have agreed that General Relativity is a beautiful theory. My question is that, what really makes a physics theory beautiful? Is there any criteria that a theory must ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

Unexpected potential energy increase during Tic-Tac drop

I dropped a Tic-Tac: (no worries, it happened before), and I noticed as it bounced on the floor that it would first jump 20 cm high, and at the next bounce for instance 50 cm high. Shouldn't it ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

How do Kolmogorov scales work in shear thinning fluis?

My understanding of Kolmogorov scales doesn't really go beyond this poem: Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity, and little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity. ...
0
votes
1answer
187 views

Do wormhole exits require matter? If not, would they change the edge of the universe?

As a layperson who watches way too many theoretical physics and astronomy documentaries, I've seen the folded-piece-of-paper analogy of wormholes a bajillion times. Usually they explain that black ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Can atmospheric hydrogen be collected for use?

Just what the title states. Free hydrogen accumulates in the exosphere. At high altitudes there are large volumes of open space between molecules - which would be a hindrance to collection. Would ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

When I connect in series two floating capacitors, one charged and the other not charged, does current flow?

Suppose I energize one capacitor by connecting it across a battery, allowing it to achieve some potential difference V0 across its plates, then disconnect it and allow both of its leads to float in ...
1
vote
0answers
229 views

Does infrared light pass through active shutter glass?

The glasses that we use for 3D viewing, do they allow infrared light to pass through them? Infrared rays pass through normal glass right? I need the pupil illuminated through infrared LEDs so I need ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Quantum Mechanics by Dirac

I took quantum mechanics from our school's electrical engineering department. It was a grad level class designed for students working in device physics, thus it covered a lot of materials: from the ...
2
votes
1answer
385 views

Can't Prove formula from Sakurai's Modern QM @ Perturbation Theory

I am studying Perturbation Theory from J.J. Sakurai's textbook Modern Quantum Mechanics. I am having trouble proving formulas on page 299 (5.2.5) and (5.2.6) from the previous ones [mainly (5.2.4)]. ...
2
votes
2answers
925 views

What is the strong nuclear force between proton and neutron in deuteron?

The nucleus of deuterium, called a deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron. What is strong nuclear force between them?
0
votes
2answers
421 views

is there any uncertainty on the free particle with a definite momentum $\vec p$?

The probability amplitude for a free particle with momentum $\ p$ and energy $E$ is the complex wave function: $$\psi_{(\vec x , t)}=e^{i(\vec k\cdot \vec x -\omega t)}$$ is there any uncertainty on ...
3
votes
2answers
559 views

Is QCD free from all divergences?

On page 8 in http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/9704139v1.pdf David Gross makes the following comment: "This theory [QCD] has no ultraviolet divergences at all. The local (bare) coupling vanishes, and the ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

What can drive the higgs mass in mSUGRA up?

As a test to familiarize myself with the program softsusy, I generated a spectrum for the following (already excluded, but once considered) mSUGRA point: $m_0 = 170\,\mathrm{GeV}$, $m_{1/2} = ...
0
votes
1answer
284 views

Radiant intensity in terms of angle with the surface

This problem is about color science and it is short but tricky: where do you get $I_p=\frac{P}{4 \pi r^2} \sin \alpha$, where $I_p$ is radiant intensity and $\alpha$ is the angle between the ray and ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the optimal design for a paper airplane? (Or, at least, how can you approach it?)

Having only really known two designs for paper airplanes since my days as a child, one which flies about eight feet and another which flies about ten feet, I have always wondered how people manage to ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Is there any way to survive solarwinter like in Sunshine - movie?

Is there any way to survive solarwinter like in Sunshine - movie? Solar winter is where for some reason sun looses its capasity to produce radiation( heat etc.). It doesn't loose everything but some ...
0
votes
1answer
475 views

How is external pressure transmitted when a fluid is not enclosed?

Pascal's principle states that pressure applied to an enclosed fluid is transmitted undiminished to every part of the fluid. How is the pressure transmitted in the case where the fluid is not ...

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