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45

It means don't be a jerk. The third derivative of position (i.e. the change in acceleration) is called "jerk", though it's a little used quantity. It's called jerk because a changing acceleration is felt as a "jerk" in that direction.


41

It is exactly because we have a factor of $\frac 1 2$ in the area formula of a triangle. To understand what I'm saying, consider what is the $v(t)$ graph of a particle under constant acceleration. Some say, a good plot is worth a million words! :)


30

In physics, sometimes the third derivative of position with respect to time is called jerk.


25

When I asked my undergrad analytic mechanics professor "what does it mean for a rotation to be infinitesimal?" after he hand-wavily presented this topic in class, he answered "it means it's really small." At that point, I just walked away. Later that day I emailed my TA who set me straight by pointing me to a book on Lie theory. Fortunately, I don't ...


22

There is an old tradition, going back all the way to Leibniz himself and carried on a lot in physics departments, to think of differentials intuitively as "infinitesimal numbers". Through the course of history, big minds have criticized Leibniz for this (for instance the otherwise great Bertrand Russell in Chapter XXXI of "A History of Western Philosophy" ...


18

The result you've got would be better known as this: $$\int_0^t\biggl(\int_0^{t'} a\mathrm{d}t''\biggr)\mathrm{d}t' = \frac{1}{2}at^2$$ In other words, it's a derivation of the formula for uniformly accelerated motion. This derivation, or something like it, is one of the first things students in a good calculus-based introductory physics class learn. The ...


11

We have also the same notions of derivation, curl, etc... for functions that are less regular. When you write Maxwell's equations, you are writing a system of partial differential equations. To investigate them, you have to specify the type of solution you look for (in the language of PDEs: classic, mild, weak...) and the functional space you set your ...


11

In German, this property is known as the Transformationssatz, but I do not know any appropriate translation for it. This is, however, a special case of coordinate tranformations changing the measure by the determinant of their Jacobian, since obviously $\frac{\partial y_i}{\partial x_j} = A_{ij}$. That it is the determinant that plays a role in the ...


10

Here is a brief historical ideosyncratic intro to calculus. Calculus of finite differences Consider this problem from a typical IQ test: 2 5 10 17 26 ? What's the next number you expect in the sequence (this is not hard, you should do it). The n-th term in the sequence is given by: $$ n^2 + 1 $$ as you can see by substituting n=1,2,3,4,5, so the next ...


8

$a_x \Delta t = \Delta v_x = v_{xf} - v_{xi}$ $\Delta x = v_{x,average}\Delta t = v_{xi}\Delta t + \dfrac{1}{2}a_x (\Delta t)^2$ $\Rightarrow v_{x,average} = v_{xi} + \dfrac{1}{2}a_x \Delta t = v_{xi} + \dfrac{1}{2}(v_{xf} - v_{xi}) = \dfrac{v_{xf}+ v_{xi}}{2}$ Is there a geometric interpretation or does it just work out mathematically?


7

Technically, the equation $$d = \frac{\mathrm{d}x}{\mathrm{d}t}t + \frac{\mathrm{d}^2x}{\mathrm{d}t^2}\frac{t^2}{2}$$ is not right. Instead, for constant acceleration, you need $$d = \left(\left.\frac{\mathrm{d}x}{\mathrm{d}t}\right|_0\right) t + \left(\left.\frac{\mathrm{d}^2x}{\mathrm{d}t^2}\right|_0\right) \frac{t^2}{2}$$ In other words, a quantity ...


7

I think your math teacher is right. One way to see that differentials are not normal numbers is to look at their relation to so called 1-forms. I do not know if you already have had forms in calculus 2, but it is easy to look up on the internet. Since you chose a tag "integrals" in your question, let me give you an example based on an integral. Let's say ...


7

The result is sometimes called Flanders' lemma. The remarkable point is that it does not need that $f$ is analytic, but just that it is $C^\infty$. So it does not relies upon the Taylor series as it could seem at first glance, since that series may not converge. It works in any open star-shaped neighborhood of points in $\mathbb R^n$. A set $A\subset ...


6

-What is an infinitesimal quantity like $\delta$ to the physicist? To most physicists, it means the same thing it meant to Newton, Leibniz, and Euler. It means something that's small enough that we can apply a certain informally defined body of techniques to it and get correct answers. To physicists who know more about math after 1960, it means the ...


6

This is not an equality, strictly speaking. Looks like your lecturer used spherical coordinates. If the integrand is spherically symmetric, i.e. it only depends on the magnitude of $\mathbf{p}$, then the integration over the angular coordinates is trivial and just gives you the solid angle subtended by a sphere, $4\pi$.


6

I can give you an intuitive view from a physicist. Charges are the sources and sinks for the electrical field. Consider the extreme case where the volume enclosed by the surface is empty space, so no charges. Then any field line that enters the volume must exit the volume somewhere else. Thus, the integral of the field over the entire surface is 0. If ...


5

As user BebopButUnsteady mentions in a comment, this is essentially an exercise in Gaussian integration. With the caveat that the integration variables take values in a Lie algebra representation. (Warning: We will ignore factors of 2 and $\pi$ in what follows, and sometimes use Einstein summation convention.) The three bosonic fields $X_1\equiv X$, ...


5

Consider Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation $ \Delta v = v_e \ln \left( m_0/m_f \right) $ with $\Delta V$ the total change in velocity, $v_e$ the exhaust speed of the reaction products, $m_0$ the initial mass (structure+payload+propellant) and $m_f$ the final mass (structure+payload). If you ignore the atmosphere and other such "nuisances", it should be ...


5

Pretty sure the question is about $\frac{\hat{r}}{r^2}$, i.e. the electric field around a point charge. Naively the divergence is zero, but properly taking into account the singularity at the origin gives a delta-distribution.


5

You must first rewrite the old partial derivatives in terms of the new ones. A priori, they're some linear combinations with coefficients that could depend on the spacetime coordinates in general but here they don't depend because the transformation is linear. The rules $$ t'=t, \quad x'=x-Vt,\quad y'=y $$ get translated to $$ \frac{\partial}{\partial t} = ...


5

Since the force is a function of distance, you need to integrate: $$F = kx\\ W = \int F\ dx\\ W = \int k\ x\ dx\\ W = \frac12kx^2$$ Add signs as needed... Your work considered the force to be constant - and that's not how springs work.


5

1. Since $x\gg p$, we see that $\sin(px)$ is highly oscillatory. In fact, the integral becomes $$\int_0 ^\infty \mathrm{d}p\ p \sin px \ e^{-it\sqrt{p^2 +m^2}}\sim \int_{-\infty} ^\infty \mathrm{d}p\ p\ e^{ipx-it\sqrt{p^2 +m^2}}$$ modulo some factor of $\pm2/i$. Observe now this integral resembles $\int f(p)\exp(g(p))\,\mathrm{d}p$. We find the point ...


5

$$A=\pi r^2$$ $$\frac{dA}{dr}=\pi\cdot2r$$ $$dA=2\pi rdr$$ Alternatively, you can write : $\lim_{\Delta r\to 0}\frac{\Delta A}{\Delta r}=\lim_{\Delta r\to 0}\frac{\pi\{(r+\Delta r)^2-r^2\}}{\Delta r}=\lim_{\Delta r\to 0}\frac{2\pi r\Delta r+\Delta r^2}{\Delta r}=2\pi r+0$ You have to ignore $(dr)^2$ as it is very small. Why? Because you took the limit ...


4

The integral $$I(k) = \int_{-\infty}^\infty \frac{s e^{isr}}{(s-k)(s+k)} ds \tag{1}$$ where $k$ is real and the integration is for real $s$, is not really well-defined. This is precisely because the integrand has singularities on the integration domain. However consider if $k$ is a complex number $k = k_r + ik_i$ with $k_i >0$. Then the integrand is ...


4

You can keep on adding higher order derivatives until they become vanishingly small. A convenient point of entry to this topic would be the Wikipedia article Jerk (physics). Bear in mind that when you're in a car, jerk is only of relevance during the time when the accelerator pedal is actually moving, to a first-order approximation. Update: It seems a ...


4

There are three cases here: The acceleration is a function of time $a(t)$. Then the velocity is $$v(t)=\int a(t)\,{\rm d}t$$ and the position as a function of time $$x(t)=\int v(t)\,{\rm d}t$$ The distance is calculated from $x(t)$. The acceleration is function of position $a(x)$. Then the velocity as a function of position is $$ \frac{1}{2}v(x)^2 = \int ...


4

This is more like a maths question to me. This is just an identity, which is true and facilitates the calculation and it is valid for any vector field. The proof, using Einstein summation convention would be something like: $$ (\nabla \times \vec u )\times \vec u = \epsilon_{ijk}(\nabla \times u)_j u_k = \\ \epsilon_{ijk}\epsilon_{jlm}\partial_l (u_m) u_k ...


4

More mathematically, it comes from the change in volume element when making a change of variable. I will give here some intuitive arguments in 1D and 2D and give the general formula then: In 1D, if you integrate along the real line and change from a variable $x$ to $X = f(x)$, you know that the measure element $dX = f'(x) dx$ which implies that $dx = ...


4

1.) The differentiation operator acting will give rise to Kronecker-Deltas since $\frac{\partial x_a}{\partial x_b}=\delta_{ab}$ This will kill one summation. More specifially: $\frac{\partial U}{\partial x_a}=-1/2 \sum_{ij}b_{ij}(\delta_{ai}x_j+\delta_{aj}x_i)=-1/2( \sum_{j}b_{aj}x_j+\sum_{i}b_{ia}x_i)=-\sum_{j}b_{aj}x_j$. Rename j to be i and you're ...


4

Nice question! The answer to this depends on the version of Newton's first law you use. In the Principia, the statement of the first law, as translated by Machin, is: Every body perseveres in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed thereon. This is immediately followed by ...



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