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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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2answers
105 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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1answer
74 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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0answers
38 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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2answers
57 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!
14
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6answers
1k 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?
3
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4answers
192 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 '...
2
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1answer
85 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 $B$ $\require{AMScd}$ \...
0
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2answers
166 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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1answer
26 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 ...
2
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0answers
79 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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1answer
123 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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1answer
150 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 ...
1
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1answer
610 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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1answer
125 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 ...
1
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2answers
103 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 ...
9
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5answers
977 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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2answers
100 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 ...
0
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1answer
152 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?
1
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1answer
127 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 ...
3
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0answers
88 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 ...
1
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2answers
274 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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3answers
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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1answer
106 views

The need for Black Energy: 3 challenges against it [closed]

You say that Black Energy is something which is needed to overcome the gravitational pull of our expanding Universe. You say that the Universe would collapse into a singularity due to gravitational ...
3
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3answers
247 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 ...
6
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1answer
3k views

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

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 be more precise:...
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3answers
296 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 ...
1
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1answer
177 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 ...
0
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1answer
90 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 ...
2
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0answers
63 views

How would I know if I were a 1 mm tall robot? [closed]

In the 1955 science fiction short story, The Tunnel under the World (SPOILER ALERT) a chemical plant explosion kills all the inhabitants of a town, whose consciousnesses are then uploaded into ...
3
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1answer
3k views

If my windows are open on a windy day, the curtains sway and the doors slam shut. Why don't I feel this wind?

I am standing indoors, right in front of my open window, as I see my curtains moving back and forth and I can hear my closed doors shaking. I can also hear the wind howling loudly. Why don't I feel ...
3
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2answers
152 views

Where is the space elevator falling? And the cable holding it?

I guess the concept of a space elevator is pretty well known. The idea, first published by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895, and popularized (among others) by Arthur C. Clarke in The Fountains of ...
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0answers
71 views

Warping of space time by objects

Note: This question may seem very silly, because I have never formally studied the physics I'm about to ask about at all, all the knowledge I have is from watching videos on YouTube out of interest or ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Why do smaller animals survive falls from larger heights?

I remember thinking about this classic problem with my friends back in school and tried to work through it again from a physics point of view. It turned out that it is more complicated that I thought: ...
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1answer
414 views

How do individual masses 'add up' to create a gravitational field?

The combined mass of the Earth is responsible for its local gravitational force. However, this combined mass is made up from of lots and lots (and lots) of atoms, each with their own individual mass ...
3
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0answers
73 views

Red shift and expansion of universe [duplicate]

We have been led to believe that in the theory of universe expansion, the farthest object is moving faster away from us than the nearest object, attributing the difference to red shift. Question: is ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Meaning of “realism” in quantum mechanics

When physicists doing work in quantum measurement, decoherence, Bells' inequalities etc. use the term "realism" what exactly do they mean? I'm looking for answers targeted towards, say, someone whose ...
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4answers
1k views

Is the Air Blue? [duplicate]

Randall Monroe, a credible source in my opinion, says that the sky is blue because the air is: Normal light interacts with the atmosphere through Rayleigh scattering. You may have heard of ...
3
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1answer
69 views

In the Holometer experiment, why would one of the split laser beams arriving back at a slightly different time indicate the universe was quantized?

All the pop-sci articles I've read have a description of the set-up similar to this: It uses a pair of laser interferometers placed close to one another, each sending a one-kilowatt beam of light ...
1
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0answers
43 views

Why is a rainbow in the sky always an arch? [duplicate]

It's been raining a lot lately in the bay area of California (thankfully! keep it coming rain gods!) which puts me and my dad in a contemplative mood. The rain has given us something to contemplate: ...
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0answers
39 views

How to introduce symmetry of particles to a layperson? [closed]

I want to introduce the concept of special unitary symmetry and how it is important in particle physics to a layperson. Without being technical, is there a way to explain the fundamental concept?
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0answers
43 views

Is the electron of carbon identical to that of hydrogen? How to prove it? [duplicate]

I am still confused with whether, for example, the electron of carbon is exactly identical to that of hydrogen. How can the scientist confirm this?
2
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2answers
94 views

Would a person in a gravity well observe the sky as rapidly moving due to time shift?

Inspired by the movie Interstellar (2014) - I was wondering about the crew on the surface of the planet which was deep in the gravity field of the black hole (Gargantua) - if they would look up at the ...
5
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4answers
880 views

What is the way to prevent the cream from settling on the surface of hot milk with least manual labour?

I have seen Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon but that question has a restriction of using only a spoon. My problem is that I have to boil the milk before pouring it in the bottle for the ...
0
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1answer
42 views

are GPS points versus an area?

I have a $\text{i2c}$ GPS module I got working yesterday, and here are my co-ordinates. Latitude: 44.901354999999995 Longitude: -68.97112333333333 What I am having trouble figuring out is that ...
19
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1answer
5k views

Physics behind this neutrino-related joke

In the comment section of a newspaper article reporting on the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics, which was awarded for work on neutrino oscillation, I found the following joke: "I'm sorry, we do not ...
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2answers
152 views

Why is there uncertainty in physics? [closed]

In physics, why do we come up with a theory that is unable to explain what is actually going in a phenomenon? Just we are creating a theory which explains the results and satisfies the data, does ...
1
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1answer
888 views

Would a pipe from the surface to the Earth's exosphere suck all atmosphere to the space? [closed]

If I built a tube from Earth's surface to the exosphere, would all the air be sucked out to space? If this pipe reached to a big planet, like Jupiter, would its gravity through the pipe suck our ...
1
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3answers
481 views

How is this possible that photons are absorbed?

From the lessons on QM, I got impression that there are some discrete orbitals that emit light when electron drops from one to another. Specific molecules emit light in very narrow bands, therefore. ...
2
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1answer
880 views

How does a tightrope walker return to equilibrium?

I do not understand how tightrope walkers return themselves to equilibrium. I am not concerned with the direction along the rope or wire where their base can be large, and they are able to move ...
0
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0answers
119 views

Is this a good explanation of electron mobility to the layman?

I'm writing an informative paper on graphene for my writing class (layman-oriented), and was describing electron mobility in very simplified terms. Let me know if anything is mistaken, badly ...