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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28 views

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

(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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0answers
35 views

Is my method correct? [on hold]

Suppose we have two point charges, one negative and one positive separated by a distance d and we want to find the potential of the dipole a point $P$ where the distance of the positive charge to $P$ ...
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1answer
335 views

What caused scientists to study Black Body Radiation?

After spending hours understanding what exactly Black Body radiation and Ultraviolet catastrophe is, I cannot help myself asking what was the reason that scientists such as Wilhelm Wien and Max Planck ...
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2answers
1k views

Prerequisites for Griffiths electrodynamics [duplicate]

I want to start reading Griffiths electrodynamics during my holidays. But I am not sure of the math I need to know to start reading and understand the text thoroughly. So any advice would be ...
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2answers
4k views

Proofs that every professional physicist should know [on hold]

There's been a lot of questions about books that every physicist should read, or what are the most important papers in physics. I would say there are also proofs in physics that have that wow factor ...
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1answer
114 views

Have there been more distinctive names suggested for neutrino mass states $\nu_1, \nu_2, \nu_3$?

The different mass states of neutrinos are generally named $\nu_1, \nu_2, \nu_3$. By comparison, the names of quark mass states (up, ...
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0answers
40 views

Overview of PhD schools in Theoretical HEP [closed]

I am starting my PhD in theoretical high energy physics in September. I want to attend some kind of summer/winter school (e.g. this). Is there a central place to find all schools (in Europe) that are ...
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1answer
383 views

Analyse astronomical data

Recently I was told of a job offer to analyse astronomical data. The job offer states that they want somebody with knowledge of astronomical data analysis software and it will be a plus somebody who ...
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0answers
37 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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3answers
433 views

Lexical/ontological/semantic knowledge base for physics

Are there lexical/semantic knowledge bases for physics that can be used for automated reasoning and AI (like Princeton's Wordnet and MIT's Conceptnet for common sense English usage)? If not in ...
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1answer
646 views

Prerequisites for Halliday Resnick Walker

I am in grade 10. I have developed an interest in physics but unfortunately I do not know/ have not studied calculus yet as my school board does not recommend it in grade 10. I have a copy of ...
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0answers
219 views

Doing numerics in physics [closed]

Soon, I am going to write my master thesis in theoretical physics. I assume there, and later on in my career, I will have to do more serious numerics than I did up to this point. That's why I want to ...
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0answers
32 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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3answers
5k views

What is beyond Gamma Rays and Radiowaves in the Electromagnetic Spectrum?

The electromagnetic spectrum is commonly refered to as consisting of; Radio-waves, Microwaves, Infrared, Visible Light, Ultraviolet, X-rays, Gamma Rays - of increasing frequency from left to right. ...
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1answer
21 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
38 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
66 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
49 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
452 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
155 views

Does physics education research support the idea that answer keys are bad?

This is a physics education research (PER) question. Interpreted properly, it is NOT an opinion-based question! I am a physics grad student and several of my professors have stated that they are ...
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1answer
981 views

Is 'Boltzon' an accepted name for particles following Maxwell-Boltzmann (MB) statistics?

In my curriculum during one of my statistical mechanics visiting lecture classes, our teacher was referring comparatively macro particles following MB statistics as "Boltzon". But I have searched ...
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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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0answers
46 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
78 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
86 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
16 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
211 views

Programs trying unifying QM and GR instead of QFT and GR?

Is there any program which attempts at unifying quantum mechanics and gravity rather than unifying quantum field theory and gravity? Motivation We use the heisenberg picture to define velocity $\hat ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the term for hose fluctuating movements during flow?

What do we call it when water flowing through a flexible hose causes it to act like snake movements if the hose were disturbed? Can this movement be explained by the Coriolis force?
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3answers
20k views

Why does the metric system use “kilogram” as a base SI unit?

SI system uses all (that I know) measurement basic units as 1 (single) instance: meter, second, ampere, etc, except the KILOgram. It already defined with 1000 multiplier (kilo). It prevents from ...
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1answer
120 views

Resources to learn about the Higgs theory at undergraduate level

As part of my studies at university, I am doing a project that aims to understand the foundations of the Higgs Mechanism and to ultimately attempt to convey it to an audience in a non technical manner....
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9 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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0answers
52 views

What are some good physics websites for learning in general? [duplicate]

As a 17-year-old who is interested in physics and especially in the laws of the universe, what are some good websites that are clear explanations and straight to the point?
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1answer
473 views

Greiner or Landau for Math major student? [closed]

For textbook series by Greiner or Landau, is it recommended to start reading for math major students, who have no serious physics background, but comfortable with maths ? It seems that both Greiner ...
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1answer
43 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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0answers
34 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 ...
4
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1answer
55 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=...
4
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3answers
1k views

Is a theory the same as a hypothesis? [duplicate]

“Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it.” Excerpt from Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, iBooks. So does that mean ...
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3answers
2k views

Why doesn't a glass french press shatter when boiling water is poured in?

When I was little, I accidentally shattered a glass cooking instrument due to applying far too drastic a temperature change to it. Since then, I've been a bit afraid of doing it again. Of late, I've ...
3
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1answer
48 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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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 ...
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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 ...
2
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3answers
8k views

What math is needed to understand the Schrödinger equation?

If I now see the Schrödinger equation, I just see a bunch of weird symbols, but I want to know what it actually means. So I'm taking a course of Linear Algebra and I'm planning on starting with PDE's ...
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4answers
57k views

What is the difference between a “model” and a “theory”?

In my past questions I have used the terms "model" and "theory" interchangeably. So we have statements along the lines of The Standard Model is our best theory of particle physics but I have also ...
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0answers
16 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 ...
1
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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 $L$?