Questions tagged [homework-and-exercises]

Applies to questions of primarily educational value - not only questions that arise from actual homework assignments, but any question where it is preferable to guide the asker to the answer rather than giving it away outright. Please READ THE GUIDANCE IN META before asking homework-like questions.

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47
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2answers
8k views

How do I construct the $SU(2)$ representation of the Lorentz Group using $SU(2)\times SU(2)\sim SO(3,1)$ ?

This question is based on problem II.3.1 in Anthony Zee's book Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell Show, by explicit calculation, that $(1/2,1/2)$ is the Lorentz Vector. I see that the ...
50
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1answer
22k views

How long would it take me to travel to a distant star?

Suppose I wanted to travel to one of the recently discovered potentially Earth-like planets such as Kepler 186f that is 490 light years away. Assuming I had a powerful rocket and enough fuel, how long ...
15
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2answers
5k views

How do I derive the Lorentz contraction from the invariant interval?

Reviewing some basic special relativity, and I stumbled upon this problem: From the definition of the proper time: $$c^2d\tau^2=c^2dt^2-dx^2$$ I was able to derive the time dilation formula by using $...
4
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2answers
4k views

Force applied off center on an object

Assume there is a rigid body in deep space with mass $m$ and moment of inertia $I$. A force that varies with time, $F(t)$, is applied to the body off-center at a distance $r$ from its center of mass. ...
10
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2answers
4k views

Deriving Birkhoff's Theorem

I am trying to derive Birkhoff's theorem in GR as an exercise: a spherically symmetric gravitational field is static in the vacuum area. I managed to prove that $g_{00}$ is independent of $t$ in the ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Relation between Wave equation of light and photon wave function?

Suppose in our double slit experimental setup with the usual notations $d,D$, we have a beam of light of known frequency $(\nu)$ and wavelength $(\lambda)$ - so we can describe it as $$ξ_0 = A\sin(kx-\...
19
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7answers
20k views

Why can't a single photon produce an electron-positron pair?

In reading through old course material, I found the assignment (my translation): Show that a single photon cannot produce an electron-positron pair, but needs additional matter or light quanta. My ...
12
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1answer
7k views

Lorentz Invariant Integration Measure [closed]

When we canonically quantize the scalar field in QFT, we use a Lorentz invariant integration measure given by $$\widetilde{dk} \equiv \frac{d^3k}{(2\pi)^3 2\omega(\textbf{k})}.$$ How can I show that ...
10
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9answers
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Explanation: Simple Harmonic Motion

I am Math Grad student with a little bit of interest in physics. Recently i looked into the wikipedia page for Simple Harmonic Motion. Guess, I am too bad at physics to understand it. Considering me ...
52
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9answers
15k views

Are we slightly lighter during the day and slightly heavier at night, owing to the force of the Sun's gravity?

Using $g = \frac{Gm}{r^2}$, the force on a point mass located at 1 AU from the Sun ($m = 2 \cdot 10^{30} \text{ kg}$) is about ~0.006 N/kg. Does that mean that, e.g., a 70 kg person is ~42g lighter ...
12
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1answer
26k views

What is the force between two charged objects when the space between them is partially filled by a dielectric medium?

I am given two charged particles of same charge at a distance of $r$. They initially apply force $F$. Now an infinite dielectric (of dielectric constant $4$) of width $\frac{r}{2}$ is introduced ...
7
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2answers
14k views

Angular Velocity expressed via Euler Angles

On the top of the fourth page from here, the author trivially derives the components of angular velocity, expressed via Euler angles of the system. I fail to understand how the components of angular ...
10
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2answers
4k views

Geodesics equations via variational principle

I would like to recover the (timelike) geodesics equations via the variational principle of the following action: $$ \mathcal{S}[x] = -m \int d\tau = -m \int \sqrt{-g_{\mu\nu}\,dx^{\mu}\,dx^{\nu}} $$ ...
4
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2answers
11k views

What is the relative speed of two near-light speed particles headed towards each other? [duplicate]

I understand that nothing can move faster than light due to time dilation. I want to build upon my understanding of Einstein's theory of Special Relativity, so I came up with this hypothetical problem ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Quantization of a particle on a spherical surface

Suppose we have a particle of mass $m$ confined to the surface of a sphere of radius $R$. The classical Lagrangian of the system is $$L = \frac{1}{2}mR^2 \dot{\theta}^2 + \frac{1}{2}m R^2 \sin^2 \...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Find the Hamiltonian given $\dot p$ and $\dot q$

I have these equations: $$\dot p=ap+bq,$$ $$\dot q=cp+dq,$$ and I have to find the conditions such as the equations are canonical. Then, I have to find the Hamiltonian $H$. To answer to the first ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Does the weight of fluid in a conical container act entirely on the base?

Scenario description Lets assume both containers have a capacity of 300 litres. One is a vertical tube as shown in pic 1 Other one is more or less a V shaped containers as shown in pic 2 Both are ...
11
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2answers
12k views

What Exactly is a Shock Wave?

The Wikipedia defintion of a shock wave pretty much sums up all I've found online about what a shock wave is: A shock wave is a type of propagating disturbance. Like an ordinary wave, it carries ...
3
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2answers
293 views

Dancing twins, one travelling in a rocket ship, looking through telescopes at each other [duplicate]

Suppose two twins are put asleep. One is put in a rocket ship and accelerated to 90 percent of the speed of light. They are then both awakened, after which they both train their telescope on each ...
8
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5answers
7k views

Commutator algebra in exponents

Considering $X$ and $Y$ such that $[X,Y]=\lambda$, which is complex, and $\mu$ is another complex number, prove: $$e^{\mu(X+Y)}=e^{\mu X} e^{\mu Y} e^{-\mu^2\lambda/2}$$ My attempt (so far) is: ...
6
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3answers
11k views

When is tension constant in a rope?

Suppose we have a massless rope with pulling forces applied at each end. In which scenarios is the tension in the rope constant throughout? For example if there is a knot in the rope the tension is ...
3
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3answers
8k views

Prove $[A,B^n] = nB^{n-1}[A,B]$

I am trying to show that $[A,B^n] = nB^{n-1}[A,B]$ where A and B are two Hermitian operators that commute with their commutator. However, I am running into a little problem and would like a hint of ...
2
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1answer
559 views

Heisenberg relation

Given that $A(k)=\frac{N}{k^2+\alpha^2}$, show that $\Delta k \Delta x >1$. Considering the above example, according to my textbook, it is written that I must square the above function and ...
2
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4answers
831 views

Off-center impulse equations [closed]

A rigid steel bar with mass $M$ is hit sideways (very close to its end) by a steel ball with mass $m$ and velocity $v$. What are the equations of motion after elastic impact and how about conservation ...
23
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3answers
8k views

Deriving the speed of the propagation of a change in the Electromagnetic Field from Maxwell's Equations

I've been told that, from Maxwell's equations, one can find that the propagation of change in the Electromagnetic Field travels at a speed $\frac{1}{\sqrt{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}}$ (the values of which can ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Position operator in QFT

My Professor in QFT did a move which I cannot follow: Given the state $$\hat\phi|0\rangle = \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3 2 E_p} a^\dagger_p e^{- i p_\mu x^\mu}|0\rangle,$$ he wanted to show that this ...
6
votes
3answers
957 views

Can linear momentum be conserved before and after collision in the presence of an external force?

I'm a physics tutor for 11th and 12th grade students. I taught my students that momentum is conserved only when the net external force on the system is zero. But in the books we are following, ...
7
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1answer
792 views

How do I Derive the Green's Function for $-\nabla^2 + m^2$ in $d$ dimensions?

What is the solution to this equation in $d$ dimensions: $$(-\nabla_d^2 + m^2)G(\mathbf{x}, \mathbf{x}') = A \delta(\mathbf{x} - \mathbf{x}'),$$ with the boundary condition that $\lim_{|\mathbf{x} - \...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Toppling of a cylinder on a block

A uniform cylinder rests on a cart.The height and diameter is given.coefficient of static friction is given.How can i find the minimum acceleration of block such that the block topples? Morever what ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Is it possible to produce gravitational waves artificially?

Why don't they make a ball with irregularities, say the size of a tennis ball, then spin it very rapidly, so it would produce gravitational waves like a spinning star with irregularities on it? Is ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Harmonic oscillator coherent state expectation values

I'm looking to calculate the expected values of a coherent state (of a harmonic oscillator) evolving in time. I know that the $x$ and $p$ expectation values are as in classical motion, but I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
687 views

Why is $R\cos{a} = mg$ in circular motion compared and not $R = mg\cos{a}$?

Normally, if an object of mass $m$ is inclined to the horizontal at an angle $b$, we set the reaction force of the object on the inclined plane as $R = mg\cos{b}$ (if we resolve the force of gravity ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Shape of a string/chain/cable/rope/wire?

The height of a string in a gravitational field in 2-dimensions is bounded by $h(x_0)=h(x_l)=0$ (nails in the wall) and also $\int_0^l ds= l$. ($h(0)=h(l)=0$, if you take $h$ as a function of arc ...
0
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2answers
4k views

Time taken for object in space to fall to earth

The Problem For a small mass a distance $R_i$ away from the center of the Earth, how long would it take for the object to fall to the surface of the Earth, assuming that the only force acting upon the ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Quadratic drag projectile motion

I have calculated formulas with 1 dimensional trajectory motion (free-fall) including quadratic drag, and have created the following equations. These equations of motion are not of much use on its ...
0
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2answers
1k views

Tangential acceleration in circular motion?

A lot of my problems have objects moving in circular paths with tangential and normal components of acceleration. If the tangential component is non-zero though, the speed is changing so the radius ...
12
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1answer
3k views

Eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the exponential potential $ V(x)=\exp(|x|) $

For $a$ being positive what are the quantisation conditions for an exponential potential? $$ - \frac{d^{2}}{dx^{2}}y(x)+ ae^{|x|}y(x)=E_{n}y(x) $$ with boundary conditions $$ y(0)=0=y(\infty) $$ I ...
10
votes
6answers
21k views

What would be the effective resistance of the ladder of resistors having n steps

I'm a tutor. This is a high school level problem. In high school, every one have might have solved a problem of effective resistance of a ladder of resistors having infinite steps. Now the problem is ...
8
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4answers
5k views

Integrating radial free fall in Newtonian gravity [duplicate]

I thought this would be a simple question, but I'm having trouble figuring it out. Not a homework assignment btw. I am a physics student and am just genuinely interested in physics problems involving ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Motion of a rod struck at one end

Imagine a strong metal rod of uniform density and thickness floating in a weightless environment. Imagine it lies on an X-Y plane, with one end (A) lying at 0,0, and the other end (B) at 0,1. Then it ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Tricky conceptual question: ball sliding and rolling down incline [closed]

We all are familiar with the classic ball rolling down the incline exercise in rotational dynamics. Here is quite a tricky conceptual problem: You have an incline of fixed height, but the angle of ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Travel duration from Earth to a star at 9.8 m/s² acceleration [duplicate]

How much time would it take for a traveler (in traveler's perspective) to reach a star at distance $d$, if it accelerates at 9.8 m/s² (for a comfortable travel)? I understand that $V = V_0 + a\times ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Tension in an Atwoods machine conceptual?

Assuming $T_1$ is the force that acts on box $1$ and $T_2$ is the force that acts on box $2$. Exactly what causes the Tension? Why does $T_1 = T_2$? The problem is we are told to memorize that $T_1 =...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Rocket propelled by a giant monochromatic laser

I am preparing for my quals and stumbled across the following problem, and although it only requires undergraduate-level physics, I feel I can't piece everything together. "A rocket of mass $m_0$ is ...
1
vote
1answer
719 views

Clebsch-Gordan with three particles

I am calculating normalized eigenstates for a problem with three particles, when I came across this problem: what to do when $s_1=0$, I calculated the coefficients for $|\downarrow\uparrow \rangle \...
11
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5answers
9k views

Bird flying in a cage

Assume that you are holding a cage containing a bird. Do you have to make less effort if the bird flies from its position in the cage and manages to stay in the middle without touching the walls of ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Determine resultant velocity of an elastic particle-particle collision in 3d space

So I have two particles that have collided in 3 dimensional space. I want the particles to rebound off of each other in an elastic manner. How do I determine the resultant velocity vector if I know: ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Proof of Archimedes Principle

Say I have an arbitrary body $\Omega$ and surface $\partial \Omega$ submerged in a hydrostatic fluid of density $\rho$ under the influence of gravity. How does one show Archimedes Principle? i.e. $$\...
67
votes
2answers
17k views

How to measure the wavelength of a laser pointer?

I'm working on something and I need to know the wavelength of the laser pointer that I'm using. Can you suggest me a way, using some optics formulae, or anything else to calculate the wavelength?
12
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2answers
21k views

Formula for molar specific heat capacity in polytropic process

I found this formula for a polytropic process, defined by $PV^n = {\rm constant}$, in a book: $$C = \frac R{\gamma-1} + \frac R{1-n} $$ where $C$ is molar specific heat and $\gamma$ is adiabatic ...