Questions tagged [soft-question]

Questions that ask about some aspect of physics research or study which doesn't involve the actual physics. In general, soft questions can be answered without using physical reasoning.

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48 views

Can physicists claim precedence with unpublished theories? [on hold]

Say for example a physicist (person A) came up with a theory and sent it to a journal. But it was rejected. (As an example, maybe person A came up with the idea for the Higgs particle). Then 10 years ...
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11 views

A quick and automated way to check if symmetry (point group) operations preserve a lattice

Suppose you look at the simple cubic lattice. There are symmetry operations which preserve the lattice symmetry such as translations and rotations around certain axes. There are also symmetry ...
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58 views

As a returning adult learner from engineering and math background, what recommendations to get the basics on QM? [duplicate]

I'm building up the foundations to work on quantum mechanics. I am comfortable with the wave function and the PDE aspect of the field, but my mathematical background, though it covers linear algebra, ...
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33 views

What would I need to pickup to understand the theory of topological insulators? [on hold]

I am a mathematician who does mostly analysis, so excuse me for my ignorance. I was wondering where I could start learning about topological insulators. I have finished reading up on the operator ...
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47 views

Bell's theorem dichotomy

I've read a few texts about Bell's theorem where the following is claimed: Modern formulations of quantum mechanics must incorporate Bell’s result at their core: either they refuse the idea that ...
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18 views

Surface Area to Volume Ratio

I know there are some aspects we can try to apply this surface area to volume ratio to say physical chemistry in order to see reactivity of chemicals. However I am very confused in my structural ...
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67 views

Feynman's Tapestry Quote [closed]

Physicist Richard Feynman is quoted as having said: "Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry" ...
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1answer
105 views

Do Spivak, Susskind and Feynman books build a good foundation before starting an undergraduate physics course? [closed]

I'd like to switch to a physics undergraduate (Bachelor of Science) course next year, until the end of next year I won't be able to do much due to medical reasons, but I will be able to study for ...
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0answers
31 views

A fitting example for discoveries that were hypothesized before the discovery [closed]

(The motivation for the below question is to explain the concept of the so-called scientific evidence to laymen.) (I am sorry that the question is somewhat broad.) What would be a fitting (and ...
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16 views

Entry Level Physics Texts [duplicate]

Fellow Physics community, I am an undergraduate about to graduate with an Econ major & Math minor. I have never taken a physics class at the university & it bugs me how ignorant I am about the ...
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1answer
49 views

Physics Graphic Simulations

I am interested in modeling physics using graphics simulations. I took a python course with CS majors and one of the assignments was to simulate a planet orbiting a star. That being said, I was ...
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0answers
46 views

Open problems in Hamiltonian Dynamics and Symplectic Geometry [closed]

I'm starting an undergraduate research on Mathematical-Physics and the topic I chose is Hamiltonian mechanics (and its formalism, Symplectic Geometry). I'm looking for some interesting open problems ...
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1answer
24 views

Career advice with background in condensed matter physics [closed]

I have background in computational condensed matter physics (both BSc and MSc). But I find this field boring now. I am interested in computer simulations but not in condensed matter physics. So, for ...
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0answers
40 views

All the electric fans in my apartment have started simultaneously producing a high frequency sound. Why?

I woke up last night hearing an odd high pitched noise that I am not used to. I usually keep a few fans running because I have a train that runs nearby and the white noise blocks it out. I tried ...
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2answers
71 views

Max. Entropy = Min. Energy?

If a closed system has a submaximum entropy, then we can assume that in theory we can extract energy and thus the system goes to the maximum entropy state and no free energy is available. On the other ...
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3answers
52 views

Energy extraction from the layers of sea water?

Could it be possible/reasonable to extract Peltier thermoelectric energy by using a long rod of suitable material that connects the cold bottom of the ocean and the warm surface layer?
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4answers
487 views

Why we can't jump without bending our knees?

I observed it while trying to jump from my bed with my knees straightened and I failed to do it. I want to ask whether it is with all of us our it may be a medical issue with me? Why we can't jump ...
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1answer
49 views

Is there a theory on the creation and genesis of fields?

I do not intend to ask theological questions on PSE, so, you can interpret, if you want, this question on a purely physical basis. Almost everywhere, in classical and non-classical physical theories, ...
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48 views

Physics without forces

Do there exist theories of physics without the concept of force? For, example, even though we sometimes associate repulsion and/or attraction with the concept of force, can all that be explained ...
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2answers
80 views

Science answers “how” and “what” but not “why” [closed]

I'm a high schooler who naively, for the past few weeks, asked questions that were impossible to answer. I asked "why" questions until I realized that asking "why" questions were the wrong questions ...
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1answer
146 views

Why does the universe require relativity? [closed]

Are there any known compelling reasons why our universe is governed by relativity instead of Newtonian physics? I recognize that an infinite $c$ would be a problem, so I'm not asking about that; I ...
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1answer
89 views

How can tempered distributions be paths?

I'm reading the Appendix A of Glimm and Jaffe book "Quantum Physics: a functional integral point of view", and there is something that I'm missing In section A.4 the authors talk in a very general ...
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0answers
18 views

Which “straight line” should I travel to maximize the number of temperature gradient reversals I experience?

Fire a neutrino from whatever starting point and in whatever direction you like in the universe. As the neutrino travels, it will traverse many temperature gradients in its ambient environment. What ...
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1answer
34 views

What to say when making conclusions from experiment that tests a hypothesis?

I recall from inferential statistics, when performing a hypothesis test, that one either “fails to reject the hypothesis” or one “rejects the hypothesis” based on the outcome of the hypothesis test. ...
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1answer
46 views

Entropy, Thermodynamics and Information

This is a bit of a shower-thought, so forgive me if it is ill-conceived or a stupid question! It occurred to me that, to preserve information, you need to use energy. For example, say you have a book ...
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35 views

Do powers of logarithm arise naturally in any physical equation? [closed]

Everything that we learned in the school maths I've come to use at one time or another. Except one thing. Solving equations like this: $$ 1 + \log_2^2 x = \log_2 8x $$ "Where do we use this in real ...
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1answer
56 views

Is it beneficial to practice derivations instead of solving problems

During much of my time studying physics on my own time, I have prioritized practicing the derivations out of the book because I feel like I can learn more by trying to master the theoretical structure ...
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1answer
26 views

Intrpretting questions on Fickian diffusion

I am considering the Zimm model for polymer dynamics, and have come across a question Find an expression for the time it takes for the polymer to diffuse a distance equal to its contour length $L=...
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0answers
23 views

Is there a better name for flavour of particles apart from generation number? [closed]

If we assume the standard model falls into 3 generations ordered by mass. (This needn't necessarily be true.) We call these "generation 1", "generation 2" and "generation 3". So the property of a ...
3
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1answer
49 views

Dealing with thermodynamic processes in Statistical Mechanics

I have recently started studying Statistical Mechanics, and through my study of Classical Statistical Mechanics, I have studied how do we write distribution functions for equilibrium systems which can ...
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1answer
39 views

Does charging and discharging a capacitor create very small gravitational waves?

If I understand it correctly, curvature in a region of spacetime is due to concentration of energy and momentum in that region. If I further understand things (I don't) a gravitational wave is a ...
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17 views

Reference request: Hydrodynamics for transport

Could someone suggest a good book/review that could be used to understand hydrodynamics of conserved quantities for simple systems (say for example to understand energy transport in a chain of ...
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0answers
10 views

English edition of the book by Blondel on Ampere

Is there English language version of the following book which is in French language? A.-M. Ampère et la création de l'électrodynamique, 1820-1827 (Mémoires de la Section des sciences) (French ...
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1answer
32 views

Self-regulated stepwise evolution

Are there empirical examples of self-regulated punctuated evolution (with time)? This is when a quantity grows over time in a stepwise fashion, with each growth step having less amplitude than the ...
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1answer
68 views

Is there a historical name for an inductor that starts with the letter $L$? (RL circuits) [closed]

Why is a circuit with a resistor and inductor called an RL circuit and not an RI circuit? Was there a now-obsolete name for an inductor that started with the letter $L$?
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1answer
80 views

Is it true that in practice quantum fields are *always* measured by means of coupling to particle detectors?

I'm watching some lectures on Relativistic Quantum Information and in one of them - available here - the instructor is talking about measuring quantum fields. He then says basically that in real ...
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3answers
116 views

Physics breaking down - is it logically consistent? [closed]

I was just reading a sci-fi novel where physics "breaks down". While of course fiction is fiction and I don't expect this to happen in real life, when I tired to contemplate the concept I find that I ...
4
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2answers
137 views

Why coordinate axes are perpendicular to each other?

Coordinate axes are chosen to be perpendicular to each other because it is convenient, calculations are easier. This is what I have read. But in case that coordinate axes are per example 60 degrees ...
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3answers
117 views

Why doesn't a force perpendicular to the direction of motion change the speed?

It changes direction but not speed and this is proved in experiments. But is there any more "deep" reason as that space has isotropy and energy must be conserved per example?
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1answer
92 views

Is the Klein-Gordon equation one evolution equation for states?

I remember when first studying relativistic QM that it was argued that viewing the Klein-Gordon equation as one evolution equation for a state like the Schrodinger equation leads to some issues. This ...
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1answer
237 views

How does physics research work? [closed]

I am going to try and be as short and as concise as possible. I was thinking these last few days about how we're still trying to discover a unified Theory of Everything. The question is: how is this ...
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1answer
57 views

Is there no law which includes an addition of different types quantities? [duplicate]

I haerd that we cannot add two different types quantities. Is there no law which includes an addition of different types quantities? In the future, maybe we find a law like this $$F = \frac{\...
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3answers
74 views

Source of “Physics is solved” quote [closed]

I have a vague memory of some prominent scientist in the time just before quantum mechanics got going bragging that physics was solved except for a few edge cases and some slightly more precise ...
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2answers
76 views

What does Dirac mean by “proximity”?

I was reading Dirac's "The Principles of Quantum Mechanics" and on page 7 he makes the following statement: "Like the fundamental concepts (proximity, identity) which everyone must learn on his ...
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1answer
68 views

Does intuition really matter in the beginning of any new physics course? [closed]

Encountering some new courses like quantum mechanics, theoretical solid state physics and some other courses made me feel dumber than I ever felt.  Basically, I'm that kind of students who hate to ...
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69 views

Easy To Learn Advanced Physics [closed]

I am a first-year undergraduate student and I am looking to do summer research in physics. By the time I finish this year I will have completed intro courses in Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, ...
3
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1answer
124 views

Challenging and “serious” introduction to basic physics [duplicate]

I know most of a standard US undergrad math degree - multi-variable calculus, real and complex analysis, point-set topology, basic abstract algebra, etc. etc. I know very little about physics beyond F=...
1
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1answer
35 views

What's a word that encompasses both transmit and receive?

Is there a word that can be used to describe in a general sense the action of an antenna, whether transmitting or receiving? My best guess is "couple" as in coupling energy from a wire to EM wave, ...
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0answers
73 views

Lecture notes by Rudolf Mössbauer

Rudolf Mössbauer was an excellent lecturer. He gave lectures on Neutrino Physics, Neutrino Oscillations, The Unification of the Electromagnetic and Weak Interactions and The Interaction of Photons and ...
5
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1answer
86 views

(Apparent) Paradoxes in General Relativity [closed]

I find that studying the paradoxes of special relativity, such as the twin paradox, ladder paradox, and Ehrenfest paradox, and their resolutions, helps me to understand it. Are there any similarly ...