8
votes
5answers
1k views

How is thermodynamic entropy defined? What is its relationship to information entropy?

I read that thermodynamic entropy is a measure of the number of microenergy states. What is the derivation for $S=k\log N$, where $k$ is Boltzmann constant, $N$ number of microenergy states. How is ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Some questions about chapter I.1 (by Minahan) of the “Review of AdS/CFT Integrability”

These questions are in reference to this beautiful review article by Minahan - http://arxiv.org/pdf/1012.3983v2 I gained a lot by reading some of its sections but not everything is clear to me. I ...
5
votes
1answer
482 views

Why can free lithium atoms not take part in an Auger process?

Shouldn't it be possible for an incoming photon to excite one of the 1s electrons to a 2p state (or one of even higher energy) and then for the excited electron to drop back to 1s and kick out the 2s ...
2
votes
1answer
476 views

Water droplet evaporation due to humidity and temperature

I am conducting an experiment that requires comparison to models for a water droplet's change in size due to evaporation. I've found plenty of papers, but they all seem to require measurement of the ...
12
votes
2answers
428 views

Hydrogen as a fuel in Sun

The source of Sun's incessant energy is hydrogen; which is continuously converting to helium through nuclear fusion reaction releasing energy. Why does not all hydrogen convert into helium in one big ...
2
votes
5answers
770 views

How are the comoving coordinates NOT a prefered reference frame?

Physics me this: The equivalence principle has rigorous physical definitions that say, for one, that the laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames. This is to say that the ...
7
votes
3answers
96 views

Do days and months on the Moon have names?

On Earth we have various calendars, for example, Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., etc. Months: January, February, March Does the Moon have names for its "daily" rotations, etc.? It sounds ...
7
votes
1answer
429 views

What corresponds to this Lagrangian density?

Is there a physical example of a field that would have the following Lagrangian density $$ L= \sqrt{1+\phi_x^2 +\phi_y^2+\phi_z^2} $$ where the subscripts denote partial derivatives and $\phi$ is a ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

Mass of a galaxy via Luminosity [closed]

Is there a way of calculating the mass of a galaxy, or even a nebula from the luminosity? EDIT I'm deleting this, and moving the question to Astronomy Stack Exchange - thanks david
2
votes
3answers
364 views

Fermionic interaction potentials

Are there any examples of fermionic particles or quasiparticles for which the interaction potential is a globally smooth function? i.e. no singularities or branch points. As an example, in Flügge's ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Do the laws of physics work everywhere in the universe?

Do the laws of physics change anywhere in the universe?Or will they change from place to place in the universe?
4
votes
3answers
754 views

What are the easiest ways to get data out of a FITS file without a library?

There are FITS libraries for most programming languages (see this list), but FITS is a simple enough format that it should be pretty easy to extract data without the need for such libraries or ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens when a lightning rod is not earthed?

A Lightning rod is fixed to the building and it is not given earthing then what happens? How does the lightning reach the ground through the building?
2
votes
1answer
202 views

Church–Turing Thesis

Can the Church–Turing Thesis be proved assuming classical mechanics, how is the proof or disproof? Edited: I was looking for a proof of "everything computable by a device obeying CM is computable by ...
11
votes
3answers
901 views

When is the “minus sign problem” in quantum simulations an obstacle?

The "minus sign problem" in quantum simulation refers to the fact that the probability amplitudes are not positive-definite, and it is my understanding that this leads to numerical instability when ...
4
votes
2answers
233 views

Phase of Elements

There are 11 gaseous elements and two liquid elements at standard temperature and pressure. The rest are solid. Can phase be predicted from quantum mechanical principles?
7
votes
2answers
253 views

Why so many arguments for the transformation equations of generalized coordinates?

For a system of $N$ particles with $k$ holonomic constraints, their Cartesian coordinates are expressed in terms of generalized coordinates as $$\mathbf{r}_1 = \mathbf{r}_1(q_1, q_2,..., q_{3N-k}, ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How to find the principal point in an image?

I need to find the principal point in an image. Its a point where the principal axis intersects the image sensor. Due to misalignment this point is not at the center of image always(or image sensor). ...
2
votes
3answers
380 views

Partially polarized light in laboratory

Does anybody know a way to create (in laboratory, but with no super-sophisticated equipement) a beam of light with partial linear polarization whose degree of polarization can be adjusted (at least ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Work of Marie Curie?

I've been reading about the work of Marie Curie recently after a friend filled me in on what she did (never having had much of an idea previously) and it's all very interesting. What I can't ...
7
votes
4answers
393 views

Cases of any known fundamental physical constants changing within our locality?

Has there been any cases where the only explanation has been that at least one of the physical constants must have changed to explain an experiment/event/obervation? I am not intrested in large scale ...
4
votes
3answers
278 views

How does capacitance work?

I have a circuit whit a AC source a capacitor and a resistance all in series. I find that the difference of potential between the capacitor leads begin to change after some instants as it should. But ...
8
votes
1answer
518 views

How do we know that black holes evaporate?

This has been bugging me for some time. As I understand it, Hawking radiation is the result of the mismatch between the vacuum state of a quantum field as seen by a free falling observer (falling ...
0
votes
2answers
661 views

Iron Man repulsor question [closed]

Ignoring the whole movie situation along with the power demands, what do you think Iron Man's repulsors use to "repulse" his targets? I don't think they are lasers or electric beams, or "reverse ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is Quantum Physics used in manufacturing CPUs?

If I remember correctly, I heard some people saying that the transistors on CPUs today are so small, that they have to use quantum physics to make CPUs. Is that correct?
1
vote
2answers
612 views

Spinning bucket of water in zero gravity

Everyone knows how the surface of a spinning bucket of water would look like on earth - parabolic. But what if we turned off gravity (for instance by doing the experiment in a freely falling lift)? ...
4
votes
2answers
738 views

Is nature symmetric between particles and antiparticles?

Is nature symmetric with respect to presence of particles? Do we have an antiparticle for every particle thought of? Are there any proven examples where we don't have an antiparticle? And what about ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Given that matter cannot escape a black hole, how did the big bang produce the universe we see today?

Extrapolation of the expansion of the Universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. If the matter contained within our ...
4
votes
0answers
282 views

Asymptotic Invariants in General Relativity

I was trying to understand Witten's proof of the Positive Energy Theorem in General Relativity by reading the original argument given by Witten. I am comfortable with the overall argument, but I would ...
1
vote
0answers
358 views

Is it possible for the universe to be infinite considering Zeno's and Hilbert's paradox? [closed]

I'm only in high school (junior) so goes easy on me. But, how do physicist refute these paradoxes? Considering there are a number of theories regarding the origin of the universe and some postulate ...
10
votes
1answer
15k views

Where does this equation originate from? (found in the Big Bang Theory)

Recently, I've been watching "The Big Bang Theory" again and as some of you might know, it's a series with a lot of scientific jokes in it - mostly about Physics or Mathematics. I understand most of ...
7
votes
2answers
238 views

Is there a consensus on the fate of our universe?

We all know that our universe is inflating from what is known as the Big Bang. However, will our universe continue to inflate at the current rate? Or after reaching a maximum size, will it collapse in ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the official difference between a planet and a dwarf planet?

I'm trying to understand how objects are classified as planets, moons, or dwarf planets. Can someone please explain the differences between them? I'm really curious about why Pluto is a dwarf planet, ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

generalizing spin rotations

I have a question about the relation: $\exp(-i \vec{\sigma} \cdot \hat{n}\phi/2) = \cos(\phi/2) - i \vec{\sigma} \cdot \hat{n} \sin(\phi/2)$. In my texts, I see $\phi\hat{n}$ always as c-numbers. My ...
2
votes
2answers
581 views

vander waals and casimir forces

Does one need to invoke quantum mechanics to explain casimir force or vander waals force. I see that textbooks show derivation of vander waal force with no QM but casimir force is typically described ...
5
votes
1answer
447 views

What happens when two smooth surfaces touch?

I am wondering what will be the physics to explain how two neutral, chemically nonreactive objects stick. I know that using van der Waals formalism, we can treat neutral body electrodynamic forces and ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is gravitation force always attractive?

Why is the gravitational force always attractive? Is there another way to explain this without the curvature of space time? PS: If the simple answer to this question is that mass makes space-time ...
5
votes
3answers
59 views

How can one predict the length of the Synodic month? Why is it irregular?

I'd like to write a program that uses the exact (down to the second) amount of time from one new moon (or full moon) to the next. Yet, I am told that this period is irregular. Yet, it seems to be ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Terminal speed of a body in a gravitational free fall? [closed]

What speed would a small body moving towards a large body reach under gravity alone? More importantly, is there a 'terminal speed' for the small body due to the increasing energy required to ...
5
votes
2answers
350 views

How to place a mirror parallel to a wall?

For one of my experimental setup I need to place a mirror perfectly parallel to a wall. It can be placed at any distance from the wall. I would like to use any method other than direct measurement. I ...
3
votes
1answer
357 views

Hail stones in summer?

This has always puzzled me. Yesterday (in London) it started hailing despite it being about $20^oC$. A couple of years ago I experienced hail in Sicily when it was about $35^oC$ in the shade!. How is ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

The Higgs field a new Luminiferous aether?

As of this writing it has been made clear to me that classical physics' Luminiferous aether was a terriblly poor discriptor of space. With the advent of Special Relativity and General Relativity, that ...
6
votes
3answers
605 views

Why is the surface of Venus so hot?

Whenever I have seen Venus described, its high surface temperature is attributed to an intense greenhouse effect. This seems to make sense, as its atmosphere is roughly 96% CO2. But on Earth, the ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the simplest way to prove that the Earth orbits the Sun?

Assume you're talking to someone ignorant of the basic facts of astronomy. How would you prove to them that the Earth orbits the Sun? Similarly, how would you prove to them that the Moon orbits ...
30
votes
12answers
11k views

What is the simplest way to prove the Earth is round?

Assume you've come in contact with a tribe of people cut off from the rest of the world, or you've gone back in time several thousand years, or (more likely) you've got a numbskull cousin. How would ...
6
votes
1answer
852 views

What is the meaning of the Fourier transform of Feynman propagator?

I know $K(a,b,t)$ is the probability amplitude that a particle that starts at point $a$ is found at point $b$ at a time $t$ later. There is also an expression that sometimes is called green function: ...
2
votes
0answers
244 views

How viable is reuse of nuclear waste at this point, and what are future prospects? [closed]

I keep seeing documentaries describing the pile-up of nuclear waste from nuclear power stations in the US and in other countries. Countries such as Finland are working to deposit waste in old mines in ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to make a small tokamak?

$\require{mhchem}$I made a fusor once, like the easy science project: deuterium-deuterium ones, but they're really inefficient. I was wondering if it would be possible to make a small tokamak; not one ...
1
vote
3answers
615 views

The “binding energy” of bonded particles adds mass?

This is a follow-up my previous question. Several of the answers indicated that the mass of a particle (atom, proton, etc.) increase with the "binding energy" of it's component particles - the energy ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Notational(?) Question in Whiting's Paper “Mode Stability of the Kerr Black Hole”

I am a math grad student attempting to read Bernard Whiting's paper "Mode Stability of the Kerr Black Hole." If you are in a university network, the paper should be easily found by a google search. At ...

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