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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2answers
41 views

Is it possible to create computational substrates from a distance?

Processors are manufactured by photolithography, shining a light on a chemically prepared object. Layer by layer, an "active" object with computational capabilities results. Does/can a ...
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0answers
26 views

Could this show nonlocality of matrix mechanics too? [closed]

Suppose we define a superposition of bipartite system. However the local spaces were not well defined, but their tensor product were. For example if one entangles a spin 1/2 and a spin 1 particles, ...
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4answers
112 views

Why do the principles of physics get more complex when the frame of reference undergoes acceleration?

Why do the principles of physics get more complex when the frame of reference undergoes acceleration?
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1answer
260 views

It isn't very easy to read DeepMind's “mind”, is it? [closed]

Recently the DeepMind supercomputer achieved the ability to predict protein structures to a pretty commendable level of accuracy. To get "insight" from any physical phenomena, experiment ...
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1answer
103 views

Are interpretations of quantum mechanics useful/necessary? [closed]

Is there any benefit for someone to learn about the interpretations of QM if their only goal is practical, for example to program a quantum computer or even just to get a good grade on a test? Suppose ...
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0answers
15 views

How to find length of object in photo, object at an angle

I have a picture of a section of a rectangular prism taken at an angle so that it isn't facing parallel with the camera like below. The end of the prism is cut off by the photo, and I have a scale for ...
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0answers
19 views

Is there a term that refers to the observation that the quantum world is completely different from the non-quantum world?

Is there a term that refers to the observation that the quantum world is completely different from the non-quantum world? Quantum physics is different from classical physics. I was wondering if there ...
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1answer
45 views

Relativity of simultaneity & time dilation for the purposes of nonsense [closed]

I'm a fiction writer who's tinkering around with a sci-fi project and trying to dial in how "hard" it's going to be, on a sliding scale between Clark and Kessel-run-in-parsecs. To that end I'...
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2answers
706 views

Heisenberg uncertainty principle in German

I have heard that uncertainty was not the actual translation for the word which Heisenberg had used to describe his original principle (in German). The translated meaning is a bit different. What was ...
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1answer
102 views

Metric tensor operator

Please excuse me if the question doesn't make any sense. I'm only an interested layman. One of the main principles of quantum physics is that a measurable is given by an operator $H$ acting over a ...
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0answers
51 views

Can someone describe in detail (or in as much detail as possible) what neutrino physicists do?

I'm a first-year graduate student; due to a series of unfortunate events I will most likely begin research in the spring (meaning I'll officially join a group and be on track for a research ...
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2answers
93 views

What would be a basic example of an axiomatic physical theory? (except Newton's Principia or Einstein's Special Relativity Theory) [closed]

If I were asked to give an example of an axiomatic mathematical theory, I'd be able to answer: set theory, probability theory, maybe group theory (assuming the elements of the definition of a group ...
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0answers
53 views

How much physics is an average person with undergraduate degree supposed to understand? [closed]

Perhaps this is not the best place to ask this but I'll ask anyway. In less than a year, I'll be getting my bachelor's in general physics from Afghanistan, however I feel like my knowledge is like a ...
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0answers
90 views

Is there a more theoretical approach to studying physics? [closed]

I have read some physics papers in theoretical particle physics and all of them were based on computation, they had some mile long equations and the result was always the proof of some formula. I am ...
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3answers
159 views

Why do rotating fidget spinners sometimes create a perception of opposite spinning?

Firstly, I apologise for asking this question as I really don't know if it's although a physicis question or not! I am sorry if that's not the case but from the very little age I(probably everyone) ...
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5answers
1k views

What is meant when the phrase “in principle” is used to explain a concept in physics? [closed]

When the phrase "in principle" is used to explain a concept in physics, is a philosophical argument being made? If yes, what is the philosophical argument? If no, what is meant by "in ...
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2answers
59 views

Research in next decade on dark matter: sky surveys vs particle detectors

The next decade is very promising for cosmology as new surveys such as SPHEREx, Roman, Euclid, DESI which will shed light on inflation, dark matter/energy and more. At the same time there are particle ...
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2answers
19 views

What's the qualifier for a force that's not continuously applied?

Some force are applied in a moment, some force are applied continuously and forever without any break in continuity. What's the opposite of that? Is there a qualifier for that? I was thinking discrete ...
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1answer
37 views

Studying / learning method for physics major [closed]

I'm currently a third year (BSc.) physics major. My learning method has always been to rewrite my notes and redo the exercises. I do that because my handwriting becomes pretty bad when the lecture ...
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0answers
56 views

How is topology related to physics?

Topology has many occurences in physics like topological insulators, topological quantum computing etc. But what is confusing me is that topology is this mathematical theory that studies the behaviour ...
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6answers
227 views

On the interpretation of Heisenberg's principle

This question (hoping it's not completely irrelevant) is about the interpretation of Heisenberg's principle and a ficticious opposite to the relation. $$\sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$$ I'm ...
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3answers
31 views

System vs individual objects in the system when calculating forces?

I don't understand the calculation of forces acting on a system vs the forces acting on an individual object in that system. For example, here are two trolleys (1 and 2), joined with an inextensible ...
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0answers
16 views

Reconstructing field configuration from sparse data assuming a probability distribution

This question is extremely basic, so I apologise for this. Suppose we want to estimate the configuration of a field $\phi(x)$ where $x \in \Omega$, with $\Omega$ the domain. We are given the values of ...
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0answers
98 views

What modern mathematics/theoretical physics can one use in mathematical biology/biophysics, especially genetics and high resolution microscopy? [closed]

I’m interested in theories involved or would be involved in current or near-future biophysics/mathematical biology, so I’m wondering that 1.what modern mathematics/theoretical physics one can use in ...
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0answers
95 views

Difficulties in learning physics [closed]

I have been learning mathematics and now I'm trying to learn physics as well. I have some difficulties: (a) There are lots of approximations in physics, and that's very different from mathematics. ...
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2answers
94 views

Reason for peaks in graph of binding energy per nucleon

A similar question was asked before, but it asked for a different thing. My question here is: What is the reason for spikes in this graph? The graph initially has spikes and then shows a constant ...
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0answers
50 views

Applications of spin models, integrability, and RG flows to information theory

As elucidated by E.T. Jaynes in his seminal papers, there is a deep connection between information theory and statistical mechanics. The nature of my question is somewhat soft, so I apologise for that....
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1answer
71 views

Could there be a new theory, which makes the same predictions as a known theory, but is less computationally hard?

Let me give an example at first: All of the calculations that are carried out in quantum chemistry rely on approximation methods to the Schrödinger equation. While these methods sometimes give quite ...
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4answers
135 views

Are there any physical processes of which we have a full understanding? [closed]

Are there any physical processes of which we have a full understanding? For instance, we know that each orbit has a different energy, and electrons can move to a higher orbit by absorbing energy and ...
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0answers
54 views

Any suggestion for a DFT software package for a beginner?

I would like to do start doing some basic calculations using DFT. I am interested in solid state physics of strongly correlated materials in 3d or 2d. I prefer free software (no license) which is easy ...
3
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1answer
72 views

What does “continuous spacetime” mean?

I often encounter discussions, such as seen here, about whether spacetime is discrete or continuous. However, I am only familiar with continuity as being a property of functions. I saw this question ...
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4answers
429 views

Conservation Laws and What Happens if they go Wrong? [closed]

I read this excellent article on the Conservation Laws and also I was taught in Schools that Conservation Laws cannot be proven and only verified. I was wondering what would actually happen if a ...
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1answer
46 views

Statistical Mechanics, Entropy, Derivation

While watching Erik Verlinde's lecture on emergent gravity, he showed formulas from Statistical Mechanics, I want to read more about this topic, at an introduction level, which also mentions how to ...
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2answers
53 views

How to write units when multiple terms are involved in a derivation?

Say I am going to write down the steps of some calculations to get the final value of $s$ from an equation like this: $$ s = s_0 + \frac12 gt^2. $$ Let us say $s_0 = 20\,\mathrm{m}$, $g = 10\,\mathrm{...
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1answer
69 views

What's the importance of solving problems [closed]

I've heard every one say that solving problems in physics is important. In fact every textbook has a problem set at the end of a chapter. Some students even buy problem sets!. But then I wonder do ...
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1answer
32 views

Why is there so much focus on highly symmetric configurations in electromagnetism?

I was told that in real life, there isn't always high symmetry in what one wants to work with. So why do we spend so much time dealing with highly symmetric problems that have elegant, straightforward ...
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0answers
30 views

Unification of Forces

I was reading that unification of Forces is the most important task in the entirety of Physics. My question is why do the forces have to Unified. Why can't they be different forces what makes us think ...
4
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1answer
104 views

Dirac notation: what if we display tensor products vertically?

Ok hear me out. One thing I have always liked about Dirac notation is that it visually displays where expressions expect inputs/outputs. For example $\langle\psi|$ expects an input to the right to ...
4
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1answer
76 views

How do we expand Bayes theorem to account for probability amplitudes?

The Bayes theorem simply states: $$ P(B | A) P(A) = P(A | B) P(B) $$ I wonder if there is something that can be meaningfully said as generalization of this relationship when the probabilities in ...
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0answers
166 views

Modern equivalent to Landau & Lifshitz lectures in theoretical physics [closed]

Is there a modern equivalent to the Landau & Lifshitz lecture series in theoretical physics? I know the 10 volume series by Landau & Lifshitz is still relevant and very useful. But is there a ...
6
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1answer
90 views

Which is the state of the art of relativistic many-body QFT?

We have a class of relativistic quantum field theories, typically used to calculate particle interactions (scattering) or to extend the Standard Model. Typically one start with a "free" theory, then ...
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1answer
54 views

What is gravitational constant in this context? [closed]

I've been reading an article and it gives me the following formula: $\vec{v}_B(t) = \vec{v}_0 - \mu_sgt \hat u_0$ It governs the velocity of a ball. In its explanation, it says: The ...
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2answers
190 views

Why do scientists need to measure extremely small intervals of time?

Why do scientists need to measure extremely small intervals of time? Why is it necessary?
1
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1answer
69 views

Notation for vector time derivatives [closed]

So I am self-studying mechanics using Marion and, as many books, it uses the notation of the dot over the function to express a time derivative, as in $$x = x(t)$$ $$\dot{x}= \frac{dx}{dt}(t) $$ The ...
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1answer
26 views

When is a topic within the domain of Physics and when is it Applied Maths or Engineering? [closed]

I'm curious as to why some topics, e.g. fluid dynamics, are more often associated with particular university departments. For example, the study of water waves is usually something given by ...
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4answers
61 views

Do physicists distinguish things that can be explained through the movement of matter as opposed to some unseen or non-material forces?

Do physicists distinguish things that can be explained through the movement of matter as opposed to some unseen or non-material forces? For example, in quantum mechanics, the act of observing ...
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3answers
297 views

Why are blue light-emitting diodes important enough to warrant a Nobel prize? [closed]

I am using a miniature blue light as night bed room light since my childhood. For me blue light-emitting diodes almost look like miniature blue lights. I don't see any fundamental scientific ...
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0answers
19 views

Rpm vs Electrical Output | Relationship

Is there a mathematical law for when you spin an electric generator a certain amount of times faster you can figure out how many times more electricity is produced?
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2answers
61 views

momentum theorem more general than Newton's 2nd law [closed]

Now that momentum theorem is more general than Newton's 2nd law, as the former incorporates the variable mass scenario, while the latter doesn't, why is Newton's 2nd law put at a higher status? By ...
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0answers
26 views

Why does wave diffraction occur in vacuums?

EM waves don't encounter any obstacles/apertures in a vacuum, so why would diffraction occur in the first place in a vacuum? If diffraction does occur, then it would decrease an EM wave signal's ...

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