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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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67 views

Structure of physics textbooks [on hold]

This probably falls in the category of a soft-question, but I'm not sure, so please feel free to remove the tag if necessary. There is one aspect of physics textbooks that I'm not really fond of, ...
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2answers
54 views

Struggling with high school physics, what can I do? [on hold]

I am a freshman in high school currently and I am taking physics, but for me it seems too difficult even though I think I have tried everything (Reading from the textbook, tutoring with the teacher, ...
3
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1answer
55 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 ...
2
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1answer
51 views

How are sound waves and gravitational waves different?

What is the difference between sound waves and gravitational waves? The source term in GR as I understand it is the energy-momentum tensor which contains pressure, which makes me think sound is a ...
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2answers
109 views

Why does physics “make sense”? [closed]

I was wondering if anybody had an explanation for why physics makes so much sense to us humans. In physics, many concepts just seem to make sense to me, but I cannot explain why. You may say that this ...
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2answers
44 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!
2
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2answers
50 views

What is the most useful to learn out of complex analysis and differential equations for undergraduate studies in physics? [closed]

Next year I'm planning to start on my bachelor's in physics, however, I have already started taking some undergraduate courses in mathematics and next semester I will have to choose between complex ...
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0answers
30 views

How cold does Something need to be for String Theory to be relevant?

I’ve often read casually that in order for modern string theory and other competing quantum gravity theories to be tested absolutely enormous temperatures (or rather energy densities) are required. ...
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2answers
47 views

Explanation of notation change between 1D and 3D T.I.S.E.?

I am currently reviewing this webpage, near the end it shows how the one-dimensional time independent Schrondinger equation can easily be extended to three dimensions. My question is specifically ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Real world intuitive explanation of Jerk

If $a(t)$ denotes the acceleration of an object, then $a^\prime(t)$ represents the jerk. I'm looking for an intuitive explanation of this phenomena. I'm hoping the following anecdote provides the ...
-2
votes
2answers
93 views

Why is quantum mechanics called quantum *mechanics*? [closed]

At least a few books have "Quantum Mechanics" in their title, e.g., Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. However, I don't think measuring spin, which is "the" way of introducing quantum mechanics, ...
1
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1answer
70 views

If two different theories describe experimental observations equally well, can one be said to be more valid than the other? [closed]

Assuming both use accepted rules of logic, which of the two theories would be accepted and on what basis, for example: simplicity etc.
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0answers
25 views

Is there a term for the study of asteroids?

I'm trying to find the name for the academic specialty of studying asteroids, but I can't seem to find any. For example, there is a distinct wikipedia page for "Planet" vs "Planetary science". Is ...
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0answers
11 views

What is gradient-flow modified operators in thermal gauge theory?

This is going to be a very "soft-question". I do not fully understand German, so I am not sure if "Korrelationsfunktionen mit Gradientfluss modifizierten Operatoren bei endlicher Temperatur in ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Higher order conservation laws

I was wondering if there are what I would like to call "higher order" conservation laws. We have systems of equations like Euler and Navier-Stokes-Fourier, which can be used to describe the ...
2
votes
1answer
23 views

Experimental physics sensitivity vs observation

what does it mean when experimental physicists refer to an experiments sensitivity? What in general is it compared to (e.g. observation?) Is there a formal definition or does it widely depend on the ...
0
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1answer
46 views

When designing, building and using the first scanning tunnelling microscope, how did we check their 'accuracy'?

This question, I suppose, applies to all kinds of 'new' observational equipment that allow us to observe parts of nature that we weren't able to observe before. This may include the electron ...
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0answers
13 views

Bibliography on the application of Cubic surfaces in Physics

First of all, sorry if this question doesn't belong here (and sorry for my poor English). I am majoring in Mathematics this year and I am working in a final project about Cubic Surfaces on the ...
6
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0answers
51 views

Why is equipartition law called a theorem too, in some books? [closed]

In some books, the equipartition law is called a theorem. But a law is an observation, and cannot be proved. On the other hand, a theorem is something established using earlier assertions. So what ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Checking long algebraic manipulations [closed]

I have to do a lot of long calculations lately. Most often signs go missing or I miss some constants or forget some terms altoghether. Is there some good strategy to prevent that? I tried repeating ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Knots in the Ether [closed]

Knots are 3 dimensional curves, which means that each component is just a finite number of stacked vibrations, and a knot is a collection of vibrations. I also heard there was an old theory that ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

A question about temperature in the concept of a macroscopic statistical-mechanical system

I recently have come across a question while working on Statistical Mechanics. The question itself was quite straight forward (no this is not a "do my homework" question in case you were wondering) ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

How do you build intuition in things that you don't have access to? [closed]

I'm learning physics from Halliday Resnik Krane (I'm in high school senior year but my school has neither good lab or teacher). Currently I'm learning about electromagnetism (from volume 2). When I ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

What and why is quantum information?

Can someone explain to a muggle like me what is "Quantum Information" concretely? I'm asking this because I don't get it why the Hawking radiation "destroying information" is so controversial. Quoting ...
0
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1answer
56 views

How would a layer of hot air affect the normal frequencies in a pipe?

Imagine that you have a pipe of length $L$ with one open end and one closed end. If the sound speed inside the pipe is $v_s$, then the fundamental frequency is: $$f_1=\frac{v_s}{4L}$$ and the ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

Why is it easier to float when the body is relaxed?

Anyone who swims or learns how to swim must have experienced this simple observation. When the muscles in our bodies are relaxed, we tend to float; whereas stiffness/tensed body tend to drown. So ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Commonly used notation for functionals [closed]

I'm studying Halmos' Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces as a precursor to functional analysis. If $V$ is a vector space and $V^*$ its dual, and if $x \in V$ and $y \in V^*$, the notation of the bilinear ...
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votes
1answer
65 views

How did you learn and get interested in physics? [closed]

I have lost interest in physics after being stuck in a hard problem. I asked a question here recently and a person responded with "You shouldn't be learning physics to solve textbook problems". So ...
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0answers
31 views

Thermal radiation in hyperbolic space

First, I am not a physicist so my question may be poorly formulated. Say if I wanted to study heat diffusion in hyperbolic space the way to do this would likely be to study random walks in the ...
-1
votes
1answer
87 views

Are physics advancements pure mathematical realizations? [closed]

Hello Physics Stack Exchange! I'm from Mathematics Stack Exchange and recently watched a TedTalk on the fabric of nature being mathematics itself. The more I pondered this, I wondered about the ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Semantic distinction between “Partition Function” and “Generating Functional” in QFT?

I am just now learning about these, and I have seen them defined as follows: The generating functional for a set of fields $\phi_i$ is defined by: $$Z[J_i]=\int\mathcal{D}\phi_i e^{i(S[\phi_i]+\int ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

True from false

Today, I was reading an article about the new info regarding the 9th plannet in the system .I tried to understand more,hence I researched the net and I got into Youtube videos and pages written about ...
6
votes
1answer
298 views

Is there a word for a surface that DOES have friction? [closed]

When talking about models in physics, I want a way to differentiate between surfaces that have negligible and considerable friction. We have "frictionless" for surfaces where friction is negligible, ...
0
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2answers
132 views

Why in physics does one ask increasingly fundamental questions of matter? [closed]

Many physicists seek to understand grand theories of everything by reduction to smaller components or building blocks. Those trained, but maybe are not practicing talk about the importance of "first ...
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0answers
32 views

What should I have an understanding of before diving into R. Shankar's Quantum Mechanics? [duplicate]

I have recently started reading Quantum Mechanics from R. Shankar's book and I find the math introduced so far(first twenty to thirty pages) in the first chapter to be very engaging; the book makes me ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Have there been any patented physical models or computational algorithms? [closed]

There was a recent question (linked below) on the Law SE about the potential to patent algorithms. It appears there is a lot of gray area in the subject. Of course natural laws cannot be subject to ...
0
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0answers
48 views

Teaching myself physics [duplicate]

I am a Mathematics 1st year student in UK. I have modules such as analysis, abstract algebra, linear algebra, and differential equations. I want to learn more about physics, in particular theoretical ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

What additional things should I do to understand language of science [duplicate]

I am about to complete my High school. Typically, I study text books of science but it takes a lot of time to understand the concept resulting less time to do questions and due to which I get low ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Can you send information with gravity?

Admittedly, I dont know a whole lot about the gravitational wave discovery, but could it theoretically be used to send information ridiculous distances? The G-waves could carry data in a similar ...
1
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2answers
67 views

Formal Term for an invariant constant to all observers

I was thinking of the speed of light and realized I don't know how to quickly name the concept of "physical quantity that is measured to be the same in all reference frames". Are there examples of ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the scope of the term 'orbits'?

Warning - this is a very soft question. I was wondering what the precise meaning of the word orbit is? Wikipedia refers to it only in the sense of gravitational forces, in which case mathematically ...
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0answers
29 views

accelerating a macroscopic object to relativistic speed

Is there science and technology available today that would, in principle, allow accelerating a macroscopic object to relativistic speeds?
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0answers
14 views

Which photometric quantities do humans perceive, and how are these registered?

I saw in this brief video that there are five central quantities in photometry: intensity $I$ ($\dim I = \sf J$) flux $\Phi = \int I \, d\Omega$ ($\dim\Phi = \sf J$) illuminance $E = \partial\Phi/\...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

What color are elementary particles?

I was visualizing particle interactions one night and I realized I didn't know what color the particles actually are. I did a little research, but the search results were dominated by the color charge ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Pseudopotential in VASP

I am a beginner in learning VASP (Vienna Ab-initio Simulation Package) and quite interested in the PAW (projector augmented wave) method implemented in VASP. As far as I knew, PAW is an all-electron ...
1
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1answer
40 views

Several thought experiments on the difference between direct and indirect measurements

I have read several books regarding basic concepts in physics but I'm still puzzled by own lack of knowledge. I shall not give definitions, because I presume we are all familiar with them. I do not ...
0
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1answer
39 views

PDE and Analysis Reference Request From Small College Grad [duplicate]

I am in my final semester graduating from a liberal arts college (physics/math major) and intend to study high-energy theory in graduate school. Coming from a smaller college I have not had the ...
0
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0answers
20 views

What are some good books to study General Relativity? [duplicate]

I am still in high school so I only have that much base in mathematics. I do know the whole theory of Special Relativity and some basics of quantum mechanics. If you don’t think I will be able to ...
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0answers
35 views

What are some good reference books for “Spacetime And Geometry” by S. Carroll? [duplicate]

I’m in high school and I have bought “Spacetime and Geometry” by S.Carroll for studying General Relativity in an introductory manner. I understand what he is explaining but I cannot follow the math ...
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3answers
263 views

What is a suitable book to learn general relativity for high school students? [duplicate]

I know all of special relativity but I also know it is not enough to study GR. The mathematics is very complex. I have “Spacetime and Geometry” by S. Caroll. He has described it GR well enough but I ...