10
votes
7answers
9k views

Why does observation collapse the wave function?

In one of the first lectures on QM we are always taught about Young's experiment and how particles behave either as waves or as particles depending on whether or not they are being observed. I want to ...
2
votes
1answer
446 views

Light coming from distant galaxies

Some of the distant galaxies appear to be receding from us faster than the speed of light due to stretch of the space between us and those galaxies. By an analogy with the ant on a rope paradox, the ...
2
votes
2answers
619 views

Is the braket notation of the Dirac delta function symmetric?

I have a book saying, $\int \delta(x-x')\psi(x)dx = \psi(x')$ where $\psi(x) = \langle x\lvert\psi\rangle$, so our definition of delta function would be $\langle x'\lvert x\rangle = \delta(x-x')$. ...
2
votes
1answer
291 views

Relativistic Mass and Dark Matter

In a question here Ron Maimon comments that "relativistic mass makes gravity, not rest mass." If so, does that mean that the faster that stars orbit the galaxy the larger the relativistic mass of the ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

How does a treadmill incline mechanism work? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the difference between running up a hill and running up an inclined treadmill? I want to know how a system can give so many small steps of inclination and so ...
0
votes
3answers
523 views

Conservation of energy with Huygens-Fresnel principle

I am currently experimenting with Huygens-Fresnel principle. I am trying to simulate the propagation of a beam, emerging from an aperture slot of width w. I assume the slot to be long and therefore ...
5
votes
2answers
329 views

How to learn celestial mechanics?

I'm a PhD student in math and am really excited about celestial mechanics. I was wondering if anyone could give me a roadmap for learning this subject. The amount of information about it on the ...
1
vote
2answers
653 views

Tensor product decomposition of SU(2)

I have a rather trivial question. I am looking for the decomposition of $1/2\otimes 1/2\otimes 1/2$. It should give, $0,1/2$ and $3/2$. I thought one must get as the overall dimension of this space 8, ...
2
votes
2answers
414 views

Alpha Decay or Fission

In a quiz contest, I came across the following question: What is the term used to describe the splitting of a heavy nucleus into two lighter nuclei? Two options provided were: a) Alpha Decay b) ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

When does not Newton's 3rd law apply?

Is Newton's 3rd law valid in non-inertial frames? If so, then are there other cases for which Newton's 3rd law is not applicable?
3
votes
1answer
382 views

Hidden particles in higher derivative field theories

Given a higher derivative classical/quantum field theory with say one scalar field, particularly the Lee-Wick standard model. It has been shown that such a field theory encompasses two kinds of ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

Are there cosmic rays in a nuclear reaction?

If the range of energies of cosmic rays is not so far away respect to gamma's, why those are not found commonly in a nuclear reaction?
8
votes
3answers
533 views

Why do rainbows have distinct colors?

When I searched on the Internet for the reason of formation of rainbows, I got many explanations like this one & this. All the explanations consider only one spherical water droplet (like this ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Does quantum fingerprinting really argue for the exponential size of wavefunctions?

Does quantum fingerprinting really argue for the exponential size of wavefunctions? Quantum fingerprinting is the idea that an exponentially long classical string can be encoded in a linear number of ...
4
votes
1answer
303 views

When can a classical field theory be quantized?

Given a classical field theory can it be always quantized? Put in another way, Does there necessarily need to exist a particle excitation given a generic classical field theory? By generic I mean all ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

Does the inability to postselect to a given branch argue against MWI?

It has been argued the exponential size of the wavefunction can be interpreted as many parallel worlds, and this explains how quantum computers can factor large integers and compute discrete ...
2
votes
1answer
580 views

Which speed can an electric scooter reach on a given slope?

Electric scooters are always "given" as "working with slopes up to xx%", but what does it mean? Given motor torque and power, scooter+driver weight and wheels diameter, how can I determine at which ...
2
votes
0answers
129 views

Is it really true that slow-roll inflation is incompatible with string theory?

In this blog post, Motl claimed that slow-roll inflation is incompatible with string theory. Is that really true, and why do people think so?
0
votes
0answers
71 views

What sort of thin film experiments can be done in zero gravity and in the presence of cosmic radiation?

I recently found out about sending stuff into space and using the unique zero gravity and cosmic radiation riddled environment to investigate stuff like crystal growth. Since thin film science is a ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

How can one prove that the number of images formed by the reflecting surfaces of two plane mirrors at right angles to each other is 3?

How can one prove that the number of images formed by two plane mirrors at right angles to each other is 3? Is there a mathematical proof for the same ?
1
vote
0answers
631 views

Scattering on delta function potential

Suppose a particle has energy $E>V(+/-\infty)=0$, then the solutions to the Schrodinger equation outside of the potential will be $\psi(x)=Ae^{i k x}+Be^{-i k x}$. How can one show or explain that ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Where can I find hamiltonians + lagrangians?

Where would you say I can start learning about Hamiltonians, Lagrangians ... Jacobians? and the like? I was trying to read Ibach and Luth - Solid State Physics, and suddenly (suddenly a Hamiltonian ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Does the 'mAh' rating of a battery have something to do with its power?

I'm curious about the 'mAh' of a battery: how can this impact the power of the battery? I've done some research on the internet, and most of the articles I found explain about the 'amount of charge ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Is it right to cut a slot on some material before bending?

I made a suggestion to my boss to cut a thin, shallow slot on a metal sheet on the side we wanna make 90°, so that the machine could bend it. However, the outcome was "The metal broke". My boss was ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Difference between deltaV and specific impulse

When reading any literature regarding space propulsion, I keep getting about these terms deltaV and ISP or specific impulse. I know specific impulse is supposed to be the velocity the propellant mass ...
3
votes
2answers
357 views

How to measure g using a metre stick and a ball

Can I measure the value of g using only a metre stick and a ball? I am not supposed to use a stopwatch and that has been the problem. NOTE: I do not know if a solution exists or not.
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Fast algorithm for maximizing the quantum fidelity

Consider the following optimization problem: Given a quantum state $\sigma$, a constant $b$ and a Hermitian operator $A$, find $\underset{\rho} \max F(\rho,\sigma)$ subject to $\text{Tr}(\rho ...
-1
votes
2answers
119 views

What could be some applications for a highly compressed magnetic field?

If you had a powerful electromagnet in the shape of a hollow sphere in which the top and bottom halves are the opposing poles, what can the magnetic filed at the center of the sphere be used for?
0
votes
1answer
128 views

Are the limits to prediction by QM provable?

Quantum mechanics states that only two aspects of a quantum system can be predicted with certainty: 1) the average and 2) the standard deviation of many measurements of identically prepared quantum ...
3
votes
1answer
838 views

How do I learn higher level physics? [closed]

I'm a chemical engineering student (just completed BS and am started the PhD program), but I'm very interested in particle physics as a hobby. I'm dismayed though with the sheer amount of information ...
1
vote
3answers
324 views

Water, can it break through temperature?

If water is heaten up to ridicilously high temperatures, is it possible for the atoms in the molecules to lose their bonds? And if it is possible, isn't this some kind of chain-reaction? Like you ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How thick does steel have to be to be able to withstand 300 bar (sphere)

How thick does the material in a sphere have to be to withstand the (inner)pressure of 300 bar if the material is steel? (With an inner-radius of 2cm) Atmosphere pressure = same as 0 meter above sea ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Commonalities among string theories?

So string theory is a developing theory with presumably different variants. What is the commonality among all these variants? What makes the next modification of a current string theory another string ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Conservation of linear and angular momentum

Suppose I have two rigid bodies A and B and they are connected by a spring which is attached off-center (thus possibly causing torques). Due to the spring a force $f$ acts on A and a force $-f$ acts ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How close can spaceship get to the Sun

If you want to fly a spaceship with human passengers as close to the Sun as possible, then what effects would the spaceship have to be designed to counteract in order to keep the passengers alive and ...
4
votes
6answers
926 views

Why do some physicists believe that scalable quantum computing is possible? [closed]

If you drop a glass cup on the ground, it will break and shatter into pieces. This happens all the time and is consistent with quantum mechanics. But it never happens that a shattered glass cup ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Time period of torsion oscillation

For the oscillation of a torsion pendulum (a mechanical motion), the time period is given by $T=2\pi\sqrt{\frac{I}{C}}$ which is a result of the angular acceleration ...
1
vote
1answer
788 views

The Hermiticity of the Laplacian (and other operators)

Is the Laplacian operator, $\nabla^{2}$, a Hermitian operator? Alternatively: is the matrix representation of the Laplacian Hermitian? i.e. $$\langle \nabla^{2} x | y \rangle = \langle x | ...
4
votes
1answer
338 views

Does water need to pumped up from deep ocean?

OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) utilizes the temperature gradient between cold deep ocean water, and warmer water to do work. I understand the pressure in the depths may be as high as a couple ...
0
votes
2answers
774 views

Is a monochromatic, or non-monochromatic light visible at greater distance?

Just what the title states. Assuming identical conditions, excellent visibility - If a 1W monochromatic light source, and a 1W non-monochromatic light source were viewed at a location in deep ...
0
votes
4answers
356 views

What are the differences between dark energy and a cosmological constant?

My possibly mistaken understanding is that dark energy changes with time, whereas a cosmological constant is, well, constant. What about gravitational clumping? Detecting relative motion?
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Density of a proton

I was doing some exercises the other day, when I came across this question in my book: A proton weighs about 1.66 x 10-24 g and has a diameter of about 10-15 m. What is its density in g/cm3? ...
3
votes
3answers
939 views

Massless limit of the Klein-Gordon propagator

I am working with the propagator associated to the Klein-Gordon equation, as derived in "Quantum Physics a functional integral point of view", James Glimm, Arthur Jaffe or as derived here: ...
1
vote
1answer
304 views

What do I call the inverse of a propagator?

Let's suppose I have a theory described by a Lagrangian as follows: $ \mathcal{L} = A_\mu \underbrace{\left( \partial^2 g^{\mu\nu} - \partial^\mu \partial^\nu + m^2 g^{\mu \nu} \right)}_{K^{\mu \nu}} ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a Pseudoscalar particle?

Can someone explain to me what is a pseudoscalar particle? And how do experiments figure out that what they're dealing with is a scalar or pseudoscalar?
3
votes
1answer
392 views

Defining entanglement in subspaces of tensor product

I have asked the question in math.stackexchange, but perhaps it should be more relevant here. Hence I am re-posting it with necessary reediting. Let $\mathcal{H}=\mathbb{C}^n$ be a Hilbert space. A ...
2
votes
3answers
490 views

Is there a simple approximation to calculate the index of refraction of water?

A very rough approximation from first principles, from the elementary charge and hbar, would suffice. But is there such an approximation at all? (Alternatively, if water is too difficult: is there ...
6
votes
2answers
240 views

Ward Takahashi identities from Z invariance

I'm trying to get Ward-Takahashi identities using the approach used in Ryder's book (pages 263-266). I like that he starts from demanding gauge invariance of Z in a explicit way and them explores the ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

What happens when a photon hits a mirror?

When a photon of light hits a mirror does the exact same photon of light bounce back or is it absorbed then one with the same properties emitted? If the same one is bounced back does it's velocity ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

LIGO Gravitational Waves [closed]

Has LIGO detected any gravity waves yet, or any hints of them? Is it just that LIGO is not sensitive enough or are we now entering disconfirmation territory? If we never detect gravity waves with any ...

15 30 50 per page