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.

77 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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67 views

What is the importance of studying degeneration on $M_g$

Let $M_g$ be the moduli space of smooth curves of genus $g$. Let $\overline{M_g}$ be its compactification; the moduli space of stable curves of genus $g$. It seems to be important in physics to study ...
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243 views

Are the fundamental constants of nature independent?

Background: I am a layman and I just watched the video "Infinite Worlds: A Journey through Parallel Universes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO4uzgiRHkE) featuring a discussion with Andrei Linde, ...
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327 views

Are there any open problems in mathematics whose resolutions would have important physical implications?

Are there any open problems in pure mathematics whose resolutions would resolve a well-formulated open physics question, whose solution could (at least in principle) explain an experimentally ...
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77 views

Are there any connections between James–Stein estimator and quantum mechanics?

Very nice statement from wiki: When three or more unrelated parameters are measured, their total MSE can be reduced by using a combined estimator such as the James–Stein estimator; whereas when ...
3
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1answer
89 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 ...
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114 views

Sanity tests on quantum mechanics

If I've learned one thing in my graduation so far is that I must assume when I finish my calculations that I am probably wrong and start doing "sanity" tests. I am very good at doing foolish mistakes. ...
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280 views

Representation Theory of $SL(2, \mathbb{C})$

I'm a PhD. in mathematics (working mainly in complex algebraic geometry), but I'm looking for a "convincing" answer concerning the various applications of representation theory of the group $SL(2, \...
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21 views

Is there any good literature about conceptual designs of Quantum (Micro-) Black Holes Machines?

I did some research and found this book: Quantum Black Holes, 2014 http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-642-38939-9 It seems good for a repetition of current status of (Quantum) Black Hole ...
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111 views

Dingle vs. Bondi: Twin Paradox Debate on BBC radio?

Herbert Dingle and H. Bondi debated the twin paradox on BBC radio before 1971. Does anyone have a link to the audio of this debate? thanks
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459 views

Why supra-conductivity became super-conductivity?

The original article by the Kamerlingh Onnes team in Leiden does not give a name to the new effect: Kamerlingh Onnes, H. Further experiments with liquid helium. C. On the change of electric ...
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80 views

Are scalars starting at around 1300 MeV analogous to some kind of sound in the vacuum glue?

Are scalars starting at around 1300 MeV analogous to some kind of sound in the vacuum glue? Background: There are scalars starting at around 1300 MeV which are probably some combination of glue-...
3
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1answer
548 views

Worthington jets explanation: fluid phenomenon

I don't understand the reason behind the formation of Worthington jets I've been reading a bit about Worthington jets Video 1, this phenomenon is caused when something is thrown to the water as we ...
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385 views

Piezoelectric effects of naturally shaped quartz crystal for maximium Q?

Background Based on helpful comments and links here and also from my question on the electronics stackexchange, I have learned that the quartz crystals are nature's transducers of energy, allowing ...
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211 views

Why does regularization work in this Bessel function integral?

I encountered some days before an integral representation for a modified Bessel function and should differentiate it. But in this representation : $$K(\omega,a)=\int_0^{\infty} \frac{ds}{s} e^{-i\...
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287 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
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91 views

Present experimental status of Moffat's Modified theory of Gravity

Modified theories of Gravity have been discussed before in this 2-year old question, Are modified theories of gravity credible? I was going through Moffat's modified gravity, given in http://arxiv....
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108 views

Where to find probability density plots for all elements?

Does anyone know where I can find something similar to this, but for all elements? I would love to find something with the same image quality. Also, is there any software that can produce images ...
2
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1answer
54 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 ...
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36 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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37 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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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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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=...
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72 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 ...
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30 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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30 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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93 views

What is the physical intuition for the definition of elliptic PDE's?

Consider the Laplace equation $$\Delta u=0.$$ I am aware of the relation of this equation to electrostatics, and that one can "guess" many of its mathematical properties from this physical framework. ...
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77 views

What does it mean when something is called “fundamental”?

Most of the books on science tell that quantum theory and general relativity are the fundamental theories in science. This has always sparked a question in my mind. What does it mean to be "...
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48 views

Is it the case that vector quantities always have to do with location?

We know that vector quantities follow vector law of addition and vector addition only makes sense in a plane/space (we can treat vector addition in a line as scalar addition). It is also worth noting ...
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59 views

Is topological insulators are quantum meta-material?

I am trying to understand the definitions of meta-material, quantum meta-material and topological insulators. Individually each definitions is explained in wikipedia pages. https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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55 views

measure thickness of multiple layers using ultrasound

I am trying to build an ultrasound thickness measurement device using either Arduino or raspberry pi (haven't decided on which yet), before i start i have a doubt and am hoping someone can clarify the ...
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43 views

Approximating Gallons of Gas Needed for Trip (read: physics grad. with too much free time)

My departure from college has left me with an itch for physics-y problems to solve, and my boredom and free time gave way to this approximation of the gallons of gas I use for the trip to my ...
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1answer
36 views

Formula relating sum of values of a function to its integral

I came across the above formula in some quantum mechanics lecture notes explaining the Casimir effect. Anyone seen it before if so could you please tell me its 'name'. B refers to the Bernoulli ...
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59 views

Resources on Solar Neutrino Physics

For a project I'm doing for an introductory Astrophysics course, I'm trying to understand the nuances of solar neutrino physics. However, most of what is said while explaining neutrino oscillations ...
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45 views

What were the immediate consequences Yang-Lee work on Weak Interaction?

I am studying the history of Modern Physics and Yang-Lee earned their Nobel the next year after the Cobalt experiments. I am familiar with the chronology, but am not clear what those findings meant to ...
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945 views

Introductory exercise set with solutions for string theory

I am trying to self-study string theory, beginning with Ibanez and Uranga (String Theory and Particle Physics). Unfortunately, the book contains no problems, so I'm not sure whether I am fully ...
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1answer
113 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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138 views

Benefits of the sign convention for electrons?

Benjamin Franklin considered electrons to be positive, but J.J. Thompson considered them negative. We obviously went with J.J. Thompson's convention. Why? What were the benefits of moving to J.J. ...
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355 views

What are the prerequisites to study CP violation?

If one would like to study CP violation, what would be the prerequisites for it? For example, until now I have not studied quantum field theory and have done very little classical field theory, but ...
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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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234 views

Is the conclusion that the cosmic burst observed in the Draco constellation from gamma rays that are streaming towards a massive black hole correct?

Referencing this news article: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/cosmic-burst-in-far-away-galaxy-puzzles-nasa-20110408-1d6kz.html It also references an event id: (GRB) 110328A The article ...
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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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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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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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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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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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36 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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14 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 ...
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37 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 ...
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36 views

Why a so strange shape on DES?

Why the selected area for the Dark Energy Survey was chosen to have such a shape? Are there any reasons? In the paper I found this The target footprint of the DES wide-area and supernova surveys ...
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33 views

Physical Theories and Statistics (operationalism?)

I am under the impression that there must be a duality between physical theories and statistical models that have no reference to physical theories. For instance, given an apparatus, a researcher can ...