Questions tagged [popular-science]

Questions in this tag must be answered in a manner that can be understood by a general audience with at most a basic understanding of physics, mathematics and related sciences. Apply it to questions where the asker clearly requests such answers.

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Solving Young Sheldon's 100th episode vanity card

Please define the terms. Below is Chuck Lorre's 700th vanity card which congratulates Young Sheldon on reaching 100 episodes. Part 1. Find $x$ in $J_0(x)=0$. --> I guess this refers to Bessel of ...
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0 answers
34 views

Would an EMP disable another EMP

So,I may be watching a marathon of some unnamed movie. One captain criticizes another for using an EMP to stop the advancing enemy machines. It left them defenseless. However, every ship in their ...
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0 votes
2 answers
40 views

Why is my watter bottle wet after the water inside it unfreezes?

I have a filled, warm, and dry (on the outside) water bottle that I put in the freezer. The next day I come and take the water bottle out of the freezer and towel dry the ice gathered around the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
329 views

In Bell's experiment, can "knowing the future" be that "hidden variable"?

(Sorry if I'm spamming your board with Popular Science speculations, but I just thought this could be an interesting thought experiment). There are quite a few videos on youtube about Bell's ...
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0 answers
269 views

Energy required for a large tsunami

There has been a recent panic regarding the volcano eruption on La Palma in the Canary Islands. That this volcano might cause a massive tsunami that would kill millions. Wouldn't a 50 meter tsunami ...
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47 votes
5 answers
11k views

Why are protons, rather than electrons, the nucleus in atoms?

I have been wondering why only electrons revolve around protons instead of protons other way around. They have electrostatic force and I think mass factor has nothing to do here. Then why?
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3 votes
2 answers
99 views

The color of an object, the atom releasing the photon back

I have a question about why the color of an object is as it is. This is something I am wondering about after watching episode 5 of the tv-series Cosmos from 2014. From what I understand a blue object ...
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1 vote
2 answers
104 views

Has a true Superconductor ever been produced?

Having a conversation with a friend, we where discussing about the conductivity and resistance changes of superconductors. He insisted that available superconductors produced by universities or ...
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1 vote
3 answers
77 views

Examples of "natural" observed events (phenomena) without scientific explanation [closed]

Could you provide me some examples of observed events considered "natural" but with no scientific explanation? I would prefer some easy-to-understand examples, not involving a lot of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
32 views

What is the size of the magnetosphere of a neutron star?

More precisely, what are the factors that influence that size (mass of the star, spin velocity, accretion disk around it, ... do any of those things matter?) I tried reading this. I cannot: [paper ...
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5 votes
7 answers
1k views

Do the "colors" live in a 3-dimensional vector space? [closed]

Do the "colors" form a 3-dimensional vector space? Colors are just different frequencies of electromagnetic lights, from the low frequency (infra-red, red) to the high frequency (blue, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
97 views

Can strong and weak "forces" manifest in Newton Units?

The Newton unit ($\text{N}$) is a unit of force on a macroscopic scale: $$1\text{N} = 1 \text{kg m/s}^2.$$ Gravity has so-called the gravitational forces (such as shown in the Newton theory of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
68 views

Are there any journals for physics that are similar to Crux Mathematicorum?

Basically, I'm looking for a physics journal that contains what Crux Mathematicorum does, which is basically a "problem solving journal" specific for the secondary and undergraduate levels. ...
0 votes
2 answers
105 views

How does pressure inside a tire works?

Why do we have to inflate our tires to a set psi every once in a while? When we drive, does the tire loses air? Is it because of the difference in pressure? Would a properly installed new tire lose ...
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3 votes
6 answers
2k views

Conceptual problem with general relativity

According to Einstein, mass curves spacetime and objects in the nearby field tends to travel in the shortest possible path to reach their heavier counterparts. My question is was not Newton's ...
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0 votes
2 answers
81 views

Can sound be recovered? [duplicate]

An interesting thought struck me today, can sound be recovered? I mean sounds from the past, maybe a year or a millennium back.
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0 votes
1 answer
57 views

"Probabilities are the ghosts of quantum mechanical amplitudes"

I came across this quote today; [Quantum computers] process information using quantum mechanical amplitudes. And probabilities are sort of the ghosts of amplitudes after they have been degraded to ...
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0 votes
2 answers
56 views

CMB variance as percentage - does that make any sense?

Reading a popular science book that is pretty accurate and in depth, but stumbled upon this line (translated): The variation, that the CMB pattern reveals amounts to less than one hundredth of a ...
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2 votes
2 answers
138 views

Is this explanation to laymen of how curved space time makes you experience gravity correct?

I always found it hard to explain to the lay person how the gravity they are feeling is caused by curved spacetime. Their reaction was just one of bafflement and they ended up thinking that it is just ...
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5 votes
1 answer
323 views

What causes this weird shape through frosted glass? [closed]

I was looking at my frosted window and found that the light behind it from the neighbors house looked like this: Behind the frosted glass is simply an ordinary CFL bulb. The frosting pattern on the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
224 views

Double Slit Eraser - does the wave function collapse and restore or never collapse

This video shows a rudimentary double slit eraser experiment. He sends photons through a double slit with a polarization film before the double slits (with a 90 degree difference) to obtain "which-way"...
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1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Do radioactive materials have a property for their natural heat output?

Consider room temperature, would a fissile/fissionable element be naturally warmer to the touch (or a sensitive thermometer) compared to say a glass of water (because the atoms have more ongoing ...
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1 vote
2 answers
108 views

How does the weak interaction sense the instability of a nucleus?

To reduce the disruptive energy, the weak interaction allows the number of neutrons to exceed that of protons (...) (via nasa.gov). How did it know it needs to reduce the disruptive energy? Example: ...
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1 vote
2 answers
123 views

Formal name for the "pianology" objection towards contemporary particle physics direction of research?

In a popular science book, an interesting objection towards the current direction of particle physics was stated. I tried to search for more on this, but got nowhere. Since I assume this is not an ...
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2 votes
1 answer
622 views

What are “vibrations” in a field in Quantum Field Theory (QFT)?

For example, in a 2013 article for NOVA Don Lincoln writes: Everywhere in the universe there is a field called the electron field. A physical electron isn’t the field, but rather a localized ...
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1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Example of phenomenon that occurs because Bosons don't obey exclusion principle

I am writing an essay targeted at undergrad level, non-science audience and I am trying to find another real world example of what is possible due to the fact that bosons are not subject to Pauli ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
74 views

What are some benefits of using a higher temperature of water for cleaning? [closed]

There are lots of benefits of using a higher temperature of water for cleaning. List them!
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13 votes
6 answers
2k views

If photons don't experience time, does that mean time is a consequence of mass? [closed]

If photons don't experience the passage of time because they have no mass, does that mean time is a consequence of mass? To me that's a profound conclusion yet not one I see printed. Is it right?
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3 votes
4 answers
250 views

How are theories selected?

My motivations for asking this question are philosophical but I think this is a question that is best answered by the physics community. There is a problem in the philosophy of science called the '...
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2 votes
1 answer
92 views

Can a signal be sent and received in the same point? What are the limitations?

I'm wondering about this scenario: START: $B$ and $A$ moving to the right with speed $u$ $A$ present in point $X$ Signal $S$ with speed $v'$ sent by $A$ in point $X$ towards $B$ $\require{AMScd}$ \...
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0 votes
2 answers
217 views

Book says that gamma rays don't ionise atoms as they pass through matter?

I am reading the book The Greatest Story Ever Told ... So Far by Lawrence Krauss, and I came across this in chapter 9: In 1930 Bothe and his assistant Herbert Becker observed something completely ...
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0 votes
1 answer
27 views

How to take a Picture of Ice in Mars Pole?

It is say in other thread, that impossible to make satellite orbit above of poles. But there is a claim from NASA, that in pole of Mars there is a cap of ice. So they take a picture of it. How can ...
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2 votes
0 answers
100 views

How to show the first low of Kepler's laws

Picture below is from the Kepler's laws of Wiki. I fail to found its proof. I mean that how to use $$ F=G\frac{Mm}{r^2} ~~~~~~\text{and}~~~~~~~ F=ma $$ to prove the orbit of planet must be so. I ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
490 views

Can I change the amplitude of light and if so, how? [closed]

Can I change the amplitude of light and if so, how? So I want to know more about light and I need a little information on how to change the amplitude of light. If anyone could help me out here thank ...
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1 vote
1 answer
187 views

Sean Carroll's photons on top of one another

I don't have training in physics, only in mathematics. The following is a passage from From Eternity to here by Sean Carroll, which I wanted to clarify. Photons can be piled on top of one another ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

A question on the ideal gas law and the functioning of a fridge

First let me apologize: I am not a physicist and my question is perhaps not well-suited for this expert forum. I didn't find any other place to ask though. We have the (simplified) formula $$ \frac{P ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
175 views

Mistake by Sean Carroll on EPR paradox for layman?

In his book From Eternity to Here, Sean Carroll uses a system consisting of a cat (Miss Kitty) and a dog (Mr. Dog) behaving as quantum objects to introduce the EPR paradox. The cat and dog are ...
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1 vote
2 answers
161 views

Representing a 3D toroidal universe

How would one represent a 3-D wrapping object as outlined in the linked article, Classic JRPG Worlds Are Actually Donuts? In short, it explained that to achieve the x-axis and y-axis wrap that is ...
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9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is it correct to say a quantum particle is in both "states" at the same time?

In popular media, and even in introductory books it is common to say that quantum objects are characterized by the non-intuitive notion of being in two or more eigenstates at "the same time". An ...
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0 votes
2 answers
182 views

The Big Bang and universal elemental abundance. Predictions seems bad and unconvincing?

Allow me to preface this question by stating that I am not a Big Bang denier. I am reading the book A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss. In his book, he presents the following card as one ...
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0 votes
1 answer
224 views

What materials can be used to prevent the settling of particles in the ceramic slurry? [closed]

How can we avoid the Settle particles in the ceramic slurry? What materials can be used for this purpose?
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1 vote
1 answer
159 views

How do you apply General Relativity to the EmDrive Problem?

In the last couple of months a peer reviewed study from NASA has asserted that the results from EmDrive warrant further testing in space. In addition, in the last couple of days the Chinese government ...
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3 votes
0 answers
96 views

formula for equivalence of number of qubits vs classical computational capability

there are many pop sci articles and press releases wrt quantum computing these days and some may tend to stretch precision in description. one particular area that bothers me at the moment: some ...
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1 vote
2 answers
927 views

Black hole as it is portrayed in the Interstellar film [closed]

In the film Interstellar, a character called Cooper travels into a black hole and falls straight into the so-called "tesseract". The tesseract is a 5-dimensional portal in which the ordinary time of ...
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-3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can we simulate the whole universe in computer? [closed]

Here is an idea: As human kind we discovered many laws, formulas, events, etc. in our surrounding environment.here is a way to discover the unknowns : Now if we simulate a virtual world with our ...
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3 votes
3 answers
281 views

Skydiving without a parachute or a wingsuit?

Recently I heard that a skydiver plummets 7600 meters onto a 30m$\times$30m net without a parachute or a wingsuit. I searched online and found a post, which said that a wingsuit is necessary. I have ...
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8 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is running in a zigzag helpful in avoiding being shot by an arrow? [closed]

TL;DR version: Two people A and B start at a certain point. B runs away from A to another point. A shoots arrows at B. Is it helpful for A to run in a zigzag rather than in a constant direction? To ...
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  • 261
-7 votes
3 answers
391 views

Place of consciousness in the Standard Model [closed]

Modern neuroscience and pharmacology has made it clear that the mind originates from the brain. No theory of physics can be complete unless it accounts for consciousness as a fundamental property ...
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1 vote
1 answer
538 views

Why surface tension behaves so differently?

When a needle (or any other object) floats on water, its acting upwards balancing the gravity. But when an object (or may be a needle suspended in water) submerged in water, it acts downwards. Why ...
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0 votes
1 answer
121 views

How would one attach black hole to starship in the Black hole Starship model? [closed]

A black hole starship is a theoretical idea for enabling interstellar travel by propelling a starship by creating an artificial black hole and using a parabolic reflector to reflect its Hawking ...
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