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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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81 views

Most influential theories in fundamental physics during the last decades? [on hold]

As a mathematician, I am interested in understanding as much as posible of the last works in theoretical physics (particularly the different ways of unifying GR and QM). Could you tell me the main ...
3
votes
0answers
32 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
52 views

Request for a research paper [closed]

I'm requesting if someone can please help me the paper "Timelike and null geodesics in the Kerr metric by James Bardeen". I'm doing my research on Kerr spacetime and I am unable to download the paper. ...
0
votes
1answer
32 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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votes
0answers
28 views

Where to find list of real practical problems for modern industry/defense/business? [closed]

I heard that some web-sites openly publish description of problems their companies/businesses need to be solved - for students, hobby-scientists/enthusiasts. I would appreciate any links if anyone ...
0
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0answers
15 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 ...
0
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0answers
9 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 ...
2
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1answer
23 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
52 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 $L$?
1
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1answer
74 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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votes
3answers
112 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
123 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
98 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?
3
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
211 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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votes
1answer
51 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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votes
3answers
61 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 ...
0
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2answers
67 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 ...
0
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1answer
57 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
63 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
votes
1answer
104 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
vote
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, ...
1
vote
0answers
68 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
68 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
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
0
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2answers
136 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
51 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
65 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
35 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
57 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
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
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votes
2answers
135 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
vote
1answer
87 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
27 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 ...
0
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0answers
13 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
33 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
42 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
51 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
54 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
73 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
44 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
62 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
77 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
49 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
57 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
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1answer
422 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 ...
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0answers
29 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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1answer
77 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 ...
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1answer
95 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 ...