# Questions tagged [terminology]

Use this for questions relating to the proper use of physics terminology or nomenclature.

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### What is the difference between material time derivative and total time derivative of a tensor field? [closed]

I consider material coordintes as $(X_1(t),X_2(t),X_3(t),t_0),$ ($t_0$ arbitrary) and space coordinates as $(x_1(t),x_2(t),x_3(t),t).$ $\textbf{Remark.}$ I am interested just in dim=3. We consider a ...
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### GR and Riemann Surfaces -- does the complex plane have anything to do with it?

I have only the vaguest understanding of Riemann Surfaces -- my sense is that Einstein used them in General Relativity because of their shape. But Riemann Surfaces I think are not just deformations of ...
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### Absorption and emission spectrum terminology

Hi everyone recently i was looking for laser crystals and since I am an autodidact i was confused by the terminology and units of the optics domain. And specialy by the absorption and emission ...
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### What does "DC" mean in gravitational physics?

I have came across a few works in gravitational physics using the term "DC" without further explanation of its meaning. For example, consider Strominger's 1703.05448, which states in p. 2 ...
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### How can I call a transformation where only the $z$-axis is modified by a function in each point?

What is called a transformation that maps $z \rightarrow |f(z)|\, z$, while the other axis stays the same? Is it a conformal transformation?
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### Is there a name for the number of '9's in numbers such as 0.999 (where it would be 3)?

I am doing an optics simulation involving transmission and reflection coefficients very close to 1, such as 0.999. While I was an undergraduate student, a professor mentioned that, in certain fields, ...
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### What is the tangential component of any vector?

There's a statement I discovered in the book I am reading which says Kinetic energy changes only when speed changes and that happens when the resultant force has a tangential component. Does that ...
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### Is the set of possible elementary particle types equal to the set of all combinations of their properties? [closed]

I'm playing around with a mnemonic system for a fantasy language I'm working on, for remembering the properties of elementary particles. Each letter represents a unique sound. i a u These 3 are the &...
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### How to call ellipse packing structures?

My research group and I are trying to figure out what is the correct terminology for two different packing structures of 2D ellipses. The two structures are displayed below as Structure A and ...
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### What exactly are cohesive and adhesive forces?

Are cohesive and adhesive forces defined only when at least one of the interacting materials is a fluid?
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### What type of variable would you classify $a, b, c$ etc shown in the picture? Would I just call them random, insignificant real values? [closed]

The variables don't really represent anything
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### Is there a practical distinction between functions of state and functionals in thermodynamics?

In thermodynamics, and more precisely when talking about continuous systems, some sources [1, 2] introduce functionals of state: $$F[s(x), \dots]:=\int_VdV(x)f(s(x),\dots,x)$$ In order to derive ...
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### Is there a name for Bohmian pilot wave theory with an ensemble of jockey particles?

In Bohmian QM, the wave function $\psi$ is moving a classical point particle around. Without effort, it could also move a large ensemble of particles (since there is no back reaction). Is there a name ...
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### What is the difference between field and disturbance?

In my textbook Sears & Zemansky's University Physics, 15th ed, Page-399, it is written that, "A useful way to describe forces that act at a distance is in terms of a field. One object sets ...
1 vote
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### Why do people say that the $\Lambda$-CDM model has six independent parameters?

The Wikipedia article on the $\Lambda$-CDM model says that the model has six "independent parameters". It also says that the model has several "fixed" parameters and several "...
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### What is the name of the transformation from one harmonic oscillator basis to another centered elsewhere?

If I have a harmonic oscillator basis centered at $x=2$, how do I rewrite it in terms of the harmonic oscillator basis centered at $x=0$? To be more specific: If $|\Psi_n\rangle$ is the $n$th ...
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### Can motion be oscillatory but not periodic?

The equation of motion of a particle is $x = A \, \mathrm{cos}\left[(\alpha t)^2\right]$. What type of motion is it? The answer to this question in my textbook was: "Oscillatory but not periodic&...
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### When is an object no longer considered orbiting a celestial body during its descent?

During the Apollo mission, once the LM began its descent to the surface of the moon, was it still in orbit about the moon?
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### Can the potential of a point charge be considered one-dimensional?

It is well known that,take infinity as 0 potential,the potential at position r of a point charge q placed at the origin is $$V = \frac{1}{4\pi \epsilon _0}\frac{q}{r}$$ it satisfies three dimensional ...
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### Why is the term 'Accuracy of 1 part in $x$' used?

My question stems from how we measure the accuracy of Caesium clocks. Most Caesium clocks are said to have an accuracy of '$1$ part in $10^{14}$.' I understand that the terminology means to convey ...
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### Anode/cathode in an electrolytic capacitor during discharge?

Wikipedia says "an electrolytic capacitor is a capacitor whose anode or positive plate is made of a metal that forms an insulating oxide layer" (1, link). Elsewhere, wikipedia seems to ...
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### Are there different ways of using the term 'energy scale'?

Are there a few different ways of using the term 'energy scale' that differ in their precise meanings? For instance, in the context of the chart provided, 'energy scales' denotes the magnitude of ...
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### What is the name of this pendulum? [closed]

What is the name of a pendulum with two parallel string hung vertical to a rod, and giving the rod an initial force would make it swing left and right, doing simple harmonic motion? What is the ...
1 vote
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### What is a name of a critical point?

Imagine a critical line separating two thermodynamic phases. There is a point on this line splitting the line into two pieces such that on one piece the transition between the two phases is 1st order, ...
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### Dirichlet’s Theorem and Solutions to Laplace Equation in Cartesian Coordinates

I have been reading Introduction to Electrodynamics - Griffiths about solving Laplace equation in cartesian coordinates, and in that book, I saw this statement: The functions $\sin(n\pi y/a)$ are ...
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### Definition of quenched data set/disoprder in the context of spin glass

I cannot come across a good definition of what "quenched" means in the context of spin glass problems. I see such use as "quenched connectivity", "quenched data set", &...
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### Is this image on harmonics and overtones wrong?

I saw this image and believed this to be the definition of what the relationship between harmonics and overtones to be in strings, closed pipes and open pipes. That the $n^{th}$ harmonic = $n-1^{th}$ ...
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### Why are $W$ and $Z$ bosons called 'intermediate' vector bosons?

What does the 'intermediate' part mean? Somehow, I thought an answer would be easy to come across, but I have yet to find one.
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### Notation for intrinsic charge carrier

What exactly is $n_{\textrm{i}}$? It is said to be the intrinsic charge carrier, but for pure semiconductors, $n_{\textrm{h}} = n_{\textrm{e}} = n_{\textrm{i}}$, is $n_{\textrm{i}}$ not the sum of ...
1 vote
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### What does $f(x)$ satisfies the given equation means?

In problem 2.1 part c of Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 3rd ed. by Griffiths and Schroeter, they ask the reader to prove that if the potential is an even function of $x$, then if $\psi(x)$ ...