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20

Those code names all come from certain catalog. For example, NGC means 'New General Catalogue'. There are various catalogs aiming at different objects, like stars, nebulae, galaxies, etc, but not for the Earth, at least not yet. You can find almost all known astronomical catalogs and tables at CDS


20

From here: Higgs is an atheist, and is displeased that the Higgs particle is nicknamed the "God particle", because the term "might offend people who are religious".Usually this inappropriate nickname for the Higgs boson is attributed to Leon Lederman, the author of the book The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?, but the ...


19

A second-order tensor can be represented by a matrix, just as a first-order tensor can be represented by an array. But there is more to the tensor than just its arrangement of components; we also need to include how the array transforms upon a change of basis. So tensor is an n-dimensional array satisfying a particular transformation law. So, yes, a ...


17

In classical mechanics "kinematics" generally refers to the study of properties of motion-- position, velocity, acceleration, etc.-- without any consideration of why those quantities have the values they do. "Dynamics" means a study of the rules governing the interactions of these particles, which allow you to determine why the quantities have the values ...


17

A "Trojan" object is any smaller object that shares the same orbit as a larger body but leads or trails it by about 60 degrees in the orbit. These positions are the L4 and L5 Lagrange points (respectively) in the larger body's orbit about its parent object. The L4 and L5 Lagrange points are locations of stable gravitational equallibrium between the larger ...


16

The main distinction you want to make is between the Green function and the kernel. (I prefer the terminology "Green function" without the 's. Imagine a different name, say, Feynman. People would definitely say the Feynman function, not the Feynman's function. But I digress...) Start with a differential operator, call it $L$. E.g., in the case of ...


16

Actually there are terminological subtleties when you are talking about that. Particles in the accelerator's tube are gathered in a sequence of little "bunches". For the proton-proton mode there was roughly ~3000 bunches per beam. And each bunch contained roughly $\simeq 10^{11}$ protons. So, at the largest level what you actually have during the ...


15

It's not really a single principle - it's a philosophy and in the context of philosophical discussions about science, it is usually known as positivism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positivism As any philosophy, it cripples the penetrating power of science if it is extended too far - and every philosophy ultimately fails. The thought experiment about ...


14

The dual of a tensor you refer to is the Hodge dual, and has nothing to do with the dual of a vector. The word "dual" is used in too many different contexts, and in this case it is even used the same $*$ symbol. One usually specifies "Hodge dual", or "Hodge star operator", to avoid confusion. Both these "duals" are isomorphisms between vector spaces endowed ...


13

Matrices are often first introduced to students to represent linear transformations taking vectors from $\mathbb{R}^n$ and mapping them to vectors in $\mathbb{R}^m$. A given linear transformation may be represented by infinitely many different matrices depending on the basis vectors chosen for $\mathbb{R}^n$ and $\mathbb{R}^m$, and a well-defined ...


13

Theoretical physics is the field that develops theories about how nature operates. It is fundamentally physics, in that the ultimate goal is to describe reality. It is informed by experiment, and at the same time it extends the results of experiments, making predictions about what has not been physically tested. This is accomplished using the language of ...


13

To pick up on twistor59's point, time is not a vector but a time interval is. The confusion arises because you have to define carefully what you mean by the word time. In special relativity we label spacetime points by their co-ordinates $(t, x, y, z)$, where $t$ is the time co-ordinate. The numbers $t$, $x$, etc are not themselves vectors because they just ...


12

In physics101, scalar quantities are defined to be ones which have magnitude only, and no direction, where "direction" in this context means a direction in three dimensional space. Time clearly has no such direction. However, in slightly more advanced physics, where special relativity is applied "scalar" is used as a shorthand for "Lorentz scalar" - a ...


11

The definition of planet set in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) states that, in the Solar System, a planet is a celestial body which: Is in orbit around the Sun, Has sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium (a nearly round shape), and Has "cleared the neighbourhood" around its orbit. A non-satellite body ...


11

Statics: Study of forces in equilibrium without consideration of changes over time. Kinematics: Study of motions (position, velocity, acceleration) Kineto-statics: Study of forces in equilibrium, with the addition of motion related forces (like inertia forces via D'Alembert's principe) one instant at the time. Results from one time frame do not affect the ...


11

There are 5 points relative to an orbiting body in a mostly circular orbit which are gravitationally stable, meaning that a small body placed in such a location would remain there. These are called Lagrangian points. There are 3 such points along the axis between the planet and star called L1 (between), L2 (behind the smaller body), and L3 (opposite the ...


11

An experimental take Exclusive implies that you have measured the energy and momenta of all the products (well, with an exception I'll discuss below). Inclusive means that you may have left some of the products unmeasured. This applies to scattering processes as well as decays. Some things to note: Exclusive measurements allow you to nail down one, ...


11

It's c for constant or celeritas, which means speed in Latin. Everyone uses it because it's convention. You could use $\xi$ or $\zeta$ or $\gamma$ or any other symbol you wanted, but then you'd have to explain what it meant, and people would have to go through the trouble to remember this every time they read your papers. Better to go with convention and ...


10

Within power systems such as regional or national electricity grids, $\frac{\mathrm{d}^2E}{\mathrm{d}t^2}$ is called the slew rate: it's used to denote the rate of change of power demanded from, or supplied to, electricity grids. It's typically either expressed as MW/s or GW/h, being two time periods of interest in balancing electricity grids. ...


10

To pretty much everything you stated in your question, "no". That convection requires a medium is not the main difference, it is simply the most obvious aspect of what is a fundamentally different mechanism for transfering energy. Convection is the transfer of energy by movement of a medium, whereas radiation is the transfer of energy by, well, thermal ...


10

OP wrote (v1): What does "the ${\bf N}$ of a group" mean? 1) Physicists are referring to an irreducible representation (irrep) for whatever group $G$ we are talking about. The number ${\bf N}$ refers to the dimension of the irrep. The point is that irreps are so rare that irreps are often uniquely specified by their dimension (modulo isomorphisms). ...


10

The no-go results from Algebraic and Constructive QFT you mention deal with related but slightly different matters. (Edit: the previous version of the following paragraph was slightly misleading - Haag's theorem is actually stronger than I stated before; see below for details) Haag's theorem (which actually slightly predates the inception of Algebraic ...


10

Indeed most examples of unambiguously labeling chiral states fall back on having another pre-labeled chiral object on hand. For a long time it seemed as though "left" and "right" were entirely interchangeable labels. This symmetry is known as parity. However it turns out there is a way to distinguish left from right in a fundamental way; parity is not ...


10

A particle is said to be on-shell if it satisfies the relativistic dispersion relation, $$E^2 = p^2 +m^2$$ in units wherein $c=\hbar=1$. If you graph it, you obtain a parabolic surface for massive particles, and a cone for massless particles, like a photon. This is known as the mass shell, it is quite literally a shell or surface. The momentum of a real ...


9

The term "God Particle" is used only by journalists. It's a wholly inappropriate term and I'd be very surprised if any physicist used it (outside of the lower end popular science TV programmes). General Relativity tells us that inertial and gravitation mass is the same thing. The Standard Model isn't going to say anything directly about gravitational mass ...


9

A theory is a collection of concepts, laws, and equations in science that is meant to explain some particular subset of observations. It's also used for theories describing gedanken worlds that differ from ours. There is also a related word "model" that differs by a theory by being really specific while a "theory" may leave some details adjustable, and ...



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