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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Are there any best websites for physics problems to enhance problem solving skills? [duplicate]

I actually prepare for International physics olymiad. Can anyone please tell me what are the best websites for physics problems (like codeforces, hackerrank, codechef)?
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How do Physicists find relations b/w Physical Quantities? How an equation is derived? How to know if a constant will be dimensional or dimensionless? [closed]

With Dimensional analysis we can find a perfect equation, but if the constant is like Dimensional (Gravitational Constant) we can't derive the equation with Dimensional Analysis. Also, if there's any ...
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93 views

How were old-style Feynman diagrams drawn before software? [closed]

I wasn't sure where to put this question as it's not directly about physics, but before software to draw them was around how were Feynman diagrams drawn in papers? For example ones that look like,
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2answers
121 views

What research in theoretical physics could a high school student do? [closed]

I already know what I want to conduct my research on (topic: magnetic monopoles), the problem is just that I don't know what to investigate or analyze. What are some research methods you would ...
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How much depth of mathematical understanding do you need to understand (theoretical) physics well at graduate level? [duplicate]

How much depth of mathematical understanding do you need to understand (theoretical) physics well at the level of graduate texts in E&M, relativity, quantum mechanics, quantum field theory etc? I ...
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23 views

Who can I ask for feedback to reopen a question? [migrated]

I have a question that was closed with the following motivation: We deal with mainstream physics here. Questions about the general correctness of unpublished personal theories are off topic, although ...
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2answers
78 views

What is a "fundamental law of nature"? [duplicate]

The trigger for this question is from "University Physics with Modern Physics" (by Young & Freedman) when they mentioned that Ohm's law is not actually a law; this sentiment was echoed ...
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2answers
92 views

Is Gibbs/Boltzmann probability the 'true' probability of a particle being in a particular state in the canonical ensemble

Based on the classical interpretation of probability, the probability for a single particle to be in the $i$th energy state, in an $N$ particle system, should be given by the number of particles in ...
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1answer
96 views

Question about time dilation and what an observer sees

This is a soft question I was discussing with a friend. Suppose a portal opens up (I know this is fiction) but for the sake of argument, let's suppose something like that happens. And the observer can ...
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Physical meaning of iterated commutators (soft question)

I observed an identity in associative algebra: for $x_1,x_2,x_3$ associative words and $w_1,w_2,w_3$ scalars the following is true \begin{equation} \begin{split} (w_1+w_2+w_3)\;x_1x_2x_3\equiv&\; ...
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1answer
73 views

Brachistochrone Problem without Trigonometric Substitution

I'm trying to numerically reproduce the cycloid solution for the brachistochrone problem. In doing so, I eventually ended up with the following integral: $$ x = \int{\sqrt{\frac{y}{2a-y}} dy} $$ ...
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1answer
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Criteria for breaking

Consider a system with $1$ degree of freedom. Suppose $2$ particles, each of mass $1$ are placed next to each other. The 1st particle is being acted upon by a $100\text{ N}$ force. In general the ...
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Websites on knowledge of physics [closed]

Here http://mathonline.wikidot.com/ you can see a great website where some mathematical knowledge is organized, and I am wondering if there is a similar website for physics.
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1answer
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Does inertia imply that a cyclindrical mass in frictionless motion on a horizontal plane keeps moving forever ( with $\vec F = O$)?

Suppose I have a perfectly cylindrical pencil and set it in motion on a perfectly smooth and horizontal table, in such a way that the axis of the pencil is in translation. Is the state of this object ,...
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What is the meaning of the eigenvalues in a damped system?

I am studying the eigenvalues of a an $n\times n$ damped system, such that I get a quadratic eigenvalue problem in the following form: $$\text{det}(\lambda^2\mathbf M + \lambda\mathbf C + \mathbf K)=\...
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27 views

What if the radioactive atom in schrodinger's cat was quantum entangled with another radioactive atom

What if the radioactive atom in schroedinger's cat was quantum entangled with another radioactive atom? If we measured the other atom as 'not decayed' from 1000 miles away, then the atom in the box ...
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118 views

For how many particles can we solve the Schrödinger equation? [closed]

In the text Statistical Physics by David Tong it is stated that: There’s one strategy [for doing thermodynamics] that definitely won’t work: writing down the Schrödinger equation for $10^{23}$ ...
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2answers
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Is there any level of physics that is "solved"? [closed]

At each level of physics, between rotating galaxies, orbiting planets, wind and motion of matter, to motion of molecules, atoms, particles, and maybe strings, there's always some degree of uncertainty ...
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If traveling with relativistic speeds can observer find space denser than normal?

I know that outer space contains few particles per cubic meter, but I am curious if travelling that fast for our brave traveller all of these particles will look like a dense pool of molecules. And ...
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Is this a mistake in a Stanford Encyclopedia article on Quantum Mechanics?

In the SEP's article dealing with Quantum Mechanics , I read this ( Section 2.1, " Vectors and Vector Spaces") https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm/: $|A⟩$ and $|B⟩$ are mutually ...
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1answer
123 views

Distinguishing between different types of elliptical polarization

How to distinguish between a mixture of plane polarized and unpolarized light, and a mixture of elliptically polarized and unpolarized light? When we pass plane polarized wave though quarter wave ...
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1answer
117 views

Will a bullet penetrate farther through 1,000 sheets of paper with no space between the sheets, or with space between them?

Consider a gun pointed at (normal to) a 1,000-page stack of paper. Which would a bullet penetrate farther into in terms of number of pages: the stack as-is, or the same 1,000 pages stacked with spaces ...
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2answers
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Why is string theory considered the best candidate for quantum gravity if it cannot resolve singularities? [closed]

The reason we want a theory of quantum gravity is to be able to understand singularities like the big bang and black holes. However the best candidate so far for such a theory, string theory, does not ...
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3answers
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Context based teaching pedagogy in physics [closed]

Apologies if this is not the place for such type of questions, please suggest the related community. Q1) Why most of the college physics textbooks are descriptive in nature, like they give the ...
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2answers
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Equilibrium and the derivative of potential energy

In his Classical Mechanics popular lectures ( Lecture 3, at the beginning) , Susskind illustrates the idea of a stationary quantity using an example involving the notion of equilibrium. Link : https:/...
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Understanding Time Dilation in Special Relativity

The equation commonly taught to deal with Time Dilation is $$t'=\gamma t=\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}t$$ where $t$ is the time measured by the observer $A$ at rest (stationary frame of reference), and $...
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When does the interference pattern of DSE disappear as size of "projectile" is increased? [closed]

In trying to learn about Quantum mechanics (QM) from popular science books and Stack Exchange (I of course expect my knowledge to be anything but complete) I regularly come up with seemingly childish ...
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Why do authors write mathematical expressions in their books? [closed]

I'm currently interested in and new to QM and I'm reading a book, that teaches QM in an easy way. But there are many mathematical expressions about various things, like the quantum state of a spin ...
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Does photoelectric effect play a part in the rotation of Crookes radiometer

In this video, a person puts low frequency light in front of a Crookes radiometer, and the vanes don't spin. But they do when he puts a high frequency one. He then later makes some weird claims and ...
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What are applications of the karcher mean in physics?

Given a complete Riemannian manifold $M$, and $x_1,...,x_N \in M$, a karcher mean is defined to be a point $\bar{x}$ that globally minimizes $\frac{1}{N}\sum_{j=1}^Nd_g(x,x_i)$, where $d_g(.,.)$ is ...
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Is "Particle Phenomenology" done by Particle Theorists or Particle Experimentalists?

I came across the term "Particle Phenomenology", which is "the application of theoretical physics to experimental data by making quantitative predictions based upon known theories" ...
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Switching from Research in Experimental Particle Physics to Theoretical Particle Physics [duplicate]

It is quite common for physicists to change research areas in the middle of their careers. However, given that currently there's a big difference between experimental particle physics and theoretical ...
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1answer
168 views

Why do I keep forgetting the physics I've learned? [closed]

I've taken quite a few physics classes over the years and I read about physics when I can. However, I always forget what I've learned. When someone talks about a concept, until I go review briefly ...
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126 views

Switching to Theoretical Particle Physics as an Experimental Particle Physicist [closed]

It is quite common for physicists to change research areas in the middle of their careers. However, given that currently there's a big difference between experimental particle physics and theoretical ...
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0answers
75 views

Why has String theory gained so much ground among physicists given that there is no evidence that it is correct? [duplicate]

First I must say that I am not an expert in string theory so my understanding is minimal and therefore feel free to correct any misunderstandings I may have. String theory is very popular among ...
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7answers
210 views

When Sean Carroll says "The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Are Completely Understood" , is he being click-baity or is he correct? [closed]

I read three posts of his on his blog: The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Are Completely Understood Seriously, The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Really Are Completely ...
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3answers
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Name of a class of mechanical systems similar to the $n$-body problem

I am wondering if there is a particular name for the class of mechanical systems defined by "$n$ copies of the same system linked together". I know this is not completely clear, however, my ...
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1answer
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The basic ontology of Statistical Mechanics [closed]

Motivated by the question ("Ontology of QFT", the accepted answer is the perfect example of how ontology questions can be answered and I strongly encourage to read that answer if one is ...
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Quick question regarding the meaning of Voltage of a Battery

Is the voltage of a battery simply the work necessary to move a unit charge from one extreme of the battery to the other? If this is the case, then when calculating the voltage of a battery the ...
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2answers
47 views

Meaning of Voltage in Ohm's Law

Ohm's Law states $$V=IR$$ where $V$ is te voltage, $I$ the current and $R$ the resistance. Since voltage is defined in terms of electric potential, and electric potential defined in terms of electric ...
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1answer
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Recommendations for topics at the intersection of QFT and applied QM

I'm looking for topics in elementary QFT (canonical quantization, path integrals, representations of the Poincaré group, and perturbative calculations) that intersect with applications of standard ...
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3answers
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Speed $v$ of a wave on a tightrope

Starting from D'Alembert's general wave equation we can find the propagation speed of an impulse along a tightrope as a function of linear mass density, $$\boxed{v= \sqrt{\frac \tau \mu}} \tag 1$$ ...
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4answers
561 views

Is there a difference between Newtonian mechanics and classical mechanics?

I have heard the terms "Newtonian mechanics" and "classical mechanics" used interchangeably, but is there a difference between them? If so, what is it?
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What are some of the benefits of understanding differential geometry?

This question isn't as well-defined as I would like, but here goes. I'm interested in gauge theory, e.g., Aharonov-Bohm effect, the Berry phase, etc, and I have seen that this can be formulated ...
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1answer
28 views

Should velocity be taken into account when an object is tracted at constant velocity? (Incline problem)

Suppose an object of mass $M$ is tracted in the down-up direction without friction on an incline ( with a tilt of $\alpha$ degrees). Velocity $V$ is given and is said to be constant. The question ...
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16 views

What are the basic principles of experimental electromagnetism? [closed]

I want to learn about experimental physics in the context of electrodynamics and electrostatics. Basically I'd like to know how we are able to measure different quantities in this field (electric ...
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52 views

Examples of things in physics which are non-rigorous and offend mathematicians [closed]

I don't know how to make this community wiki. Anyway, what I am looking for are things in physics that offend mathematicians because of the lack of rigor. I would also like answers that mention things ...
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3answers
1k views

Can information be recorded permanently? [closed]

Please link if there is any preexisting information about this subject, or lmk if there's a more appropriate forum for the question. I am wondering if it is possible to record information (could be ...
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3answers
41 views

Consistency of premises in a reasoning regarding ( projectile) motion:on using( conterfactually)the inertia principle to determine the upward velocity

My question deals mainly with the reasoning used to solve the problem. Suppose I know a projectile is moving in the XY plan and is sent at the origin with an initial velocity $v_i$ the vector of which ...
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1answer
77 views

Who is the person behind the so-called "Boure's Law"?

When I was in college, specifically in Rigid Body Kinematics, I was taught that Boure's law or formula, which looks something along these lines: $$\left(\frac{\mathrm{d}\boldsymbol{\omega}}{\mathrm{d} ...

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