Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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Nomenclature of X-ray transitions-Siegbahn Notation

A colleague wanted to understand the notation for X-ray transitions. The main query is about the labeling of alpha, beta and gamma, with K, L, M etc. What is the main distinguishing criterion to label ...
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34 views

Can the cyclotron radiation be called a Bremsstrahlung process?

The term 'bremsstrahlung' is usually reserved for the emission of electromagnetic radiation caused by $(1)$ acceleration or deceleration of the charged particle by an electric field and $(2)$ in ...
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Does Bremsstrahlung refer to the radiation produced exclusively by deceleration?

A charged particle, decelerated by the electric field of another charged particle, typically an atomic nucleus, emits electromagnetic radiation, called Bremsstrahlung. This process typically happens ...
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49 views

What's the Formal Way of Saying: Cold Loss?

When discussing systems which we want to be cold, but which lose cold by taking in heat from the ambient environment, what's the "I'm a smart physicist" way of saying "cold loss"? ...
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1answer
33 views

Why is the cathode filament in an x-ray tube negatively charged?

Quoted from BU-104b: Battery Building Blocks: The electrode of a battery that releases electrons during discharge is called anode; the electrode that absorbs the electrons is the cathode. Based on ...
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49 views

How does one know that a given equation is 'scalar' equation?

Here I post few lines from Rana and Joag classical mechanics page 40 The general velocity-dependent constraint is given by relation $g(r,\dot{r},t) =0$. Then says this equation is a single scalar ...
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Do we have equivalent terminology of Behaviorism & Cognitivism? [closed]

In psychology, we have these two terms: Behaviorism (studying a human as a system, from it's external actions and behaviors) Cognitive psychology (studying the internals of mind) This is a very neat ...
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What is an incommensurable grain boundary?

As the title states, I'm unsure what it means to be a commensurable or incommensurable grain boundary (when discussing dislocations and small angle grain boundaries). I see the term being used ...
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What does it mean if a circuit has 2 resonances?

I was going through capacitive coupling of qubits, and someone said to me that if we couple qubits with a capacitor we have 2 resonances. I do not understand, what does it mean to have 2 resonances.
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Shouldn’t moment of inertia be called inertia of moment? [closed]

Moment of inertia isn’t a moment of force, but it is a kind of inertia, so wouldn’t it be more correct to say “inertia of moment”?
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What is meant by frequency = 0? [closed]

When I say that an event has frequency =0, does that imply that the event is impossible?
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How does distance an speed (rather than displacement and velocity) generalize to higher order derivatives?

I'm a high schooler currently taking AP Physics C and during our review of kinematics, our teacher brought up the difference between speed and velocity. That is, speed is a scalar while velocity is a ...
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What is the difference between the applied, external force and the generalized force?

in analytical mechanics, we define the generalized force using the applied force times $dr/dq$. If I want to express the difference between the external and generalized force in words in order to ...
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1answer
75 views

What is effective gravitational acceleration? [closed]

Can someone explain to me what effective gravitational acceleration is from a kinetics perspective? I understand what it is (the acceleration of gravitation felt by an object in another accelerating ...
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Name of the product between Young's modulus and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)

In solid mechanics, and especially thermo-elasticity, there are relationships with both the Young's modulus, $E$, and coefficient of thermal expansion, $\alpha$. Let's take the partitioning of strain ...
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What is superradiance?

What is superradiance? I came across this term recently (used widely to explain fast radio bursts). After googling a bit, what I understand is: When several atoms are confined in a very small area and ...
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3answers
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Is this the reason why acceleration isn't change in velocity per unit distance?

I believe that the reason acceleration isn't measured as change in per unit distance but instead is measured as change in per unit time is because of the following reason : Time is not geometrical. It ...
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1answer
60 views

What does it mean by active quarks?

Do the active quarks mean valence quarks? Or we can also consider other quarks, like when there are offshell-quarks produced from gluons by pair production processes? For example: how the active quark ...
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66 views

What does “channel” mean in the context of QCD?

I am familiar with the common use for "channel" in terms of particle physics (like Mandelstam variables). What confuses me is how it's used in the following paper on QCD: C. A. Dominguez, &...
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4answers
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What is the difference between “field equations” and “equations of motion”?

I come across the terms "equations of motion" and "field equations" all the time, but what is the difference? For example, general relativity is described in terms of the Einstein ...
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“Directionally” translational variance of a function(al)?

Let $f:\mathbb R^3\to\mathbb R$. We define that $f$ is transnational variance if: For any $a\in\mathbb R^3$, $f(x)=f(y) \Leftrightarrow f(x+a)=f(y+a)$. However, if $a$ is limited to be some specific ...
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1answer
67 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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How to convert GeV to AGeV? [duplicate]

The beam energy is sometimes in AGeV in collider papers. I'm stuck on how to convert AGeV to GeV.
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3answers
347 views

Really basic question on Pressure [closed]

I'm reading this book.It says: Doubling the gauge pressure does not double the amount of air in the tank. But doubling the absolute pressure does. I don't understand why...when : $\text{Absolute}\ P= ...
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2answers
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Are uniform acceleration and uniform motion the same? [closed]

Found this question from my textbook. Any answers are appreciated, thanks. :D
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Why are the number of magnetic field lines finite in a particular area?

One can draw/imagine as many unique (curved/straight) lines as he/she wants in some specified finite area (assuming that each line is unique if it doesn't overlap with another line). Then how can the ...
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What is the terminology difference between Hot, Ballistic and Thermal Electrons

In the realm of injection of electrons into a solid what are the difference between hot, ballistic and thermal electrons? Is the injected electron ballistic electron? Are they mutually exclusive terms?...
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1answer
73 views

Difference between Phenomenal and Phenomenological in the Context of Physics

I was going through a conference presentation on System of Systems Engineering. In the presentation entitled "Macroscopic Quantum Mechanics and the SoSE Design Approach", I came across a ...
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24 views

Name for region in phase space with no outgoing or incoming flows?

I've been looking for a term online but couldnt find it: suppose we have a subset $X$ in phase space, such that for all $q\in X$, the path starting at $q$ never exits $X$ either forward or backward in ...
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138 views

What is the name of the shape of the iron core in a transformer?

I'm researching on transformers and curious to know about what this shape is called (the actual core block, ignore the wires around it).
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1answer
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Is the term “heat transfer” correct?

"Heat" can be defined as: "energy in transfer to or from a thermodynamic system" (From Wikipedia). I have seen other definitions, but they all include the term "transfer"....
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1answer
189 views

Why are symmetries labelled by groups and not representations?

Physicists will say that a certain system has $G$ symmetry, where $G$ is some group, such as $SU(2)$ or $S_3$ or whatever. To show that this is the case, they will conjure up an explicit ...
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1answer
34 views

What do $S$, $M$, and $A$ mean in quark/color theory?

From Wikipedia [...]below, and symmetric in flavor, spin and space put together. With three flavors, the decomposition in flavor is $$ \mathbf{3} \otimes \mathbf{3} \otimes \mathbf{3} =\mathbf{10}_{S}...
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What is the constant in $F=kma$ called?

I understand fully where the constant comes from and why it is defined as $k=1\ N\ kg^{-1}\ m^{-1}\ s^2$ But does it have an official name? If I were to give it a name I suppose I would maybe call it ...
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What’s the difference between ‘decimated‘ and ‘undecimated’ data?

How is ‘decimated’ data different from ‘undecimated’ data?
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What's the origin of the name“ high energy physics”?

Since the mass of elementary particles are very small, I'm wondering why we call particle physics "high energy physics", why shouldn't it be low energy physics?
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Anti-triplet representation [closed]

What is the anti-triplet representation of a group? Specifically, what is the anti-triplet representation of $SU(3)$?
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Where does the expression “golden plate decay” come from?

The decay of $B \to J/\psi K_{S,L} $ is often referenced as "golden plate decay", for example in If there is a B-decay into a CP-eigenstate, like the golden plate decay $B \to J/\psi K_{S,L}...
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What’s the difference between FoV and IFoV?

I read that radio telescopes have “huge fields of view (FoV)”, but are unable to precisely localized objects due to their “small instantaneous field of view (IFoV)”. Apparently, somehow the size of ...
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1answer
49 views

Is there a “non-linear limit” of the Dirac equation?

I'm just going through old protocols of oral exams students wrote up. One student writes that he was supposed to derive the "non-linear limit" of the Dirac equation during the exam. Is there ...
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1answer
32 views

What is the difference between toughness and hardness? [duplicate]

What is the difference between toughness and hardness? I came to know about some materials that have low toughness but high hardness such as ceramic tiles and glass. I want to know if it is true that ...
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What's the meaning of $\Delta E-W_{nc}=0 $?

Suppose a system of particles is subject to internal forces, some of which are conservative and some of which are non-conservative. Let $\Delta E$ be the change in mechanical energy of the system as ...
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2answers
63 views

How come random is a wave? [closed]

In Schrodinger's theory of the atom, an electron does not move on a circular path. Its motion is in 3D and its random. It could be anywhere in space. How come they named it to wave form? If it's ...
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What does the term 'high voltage' really mean?

This might be a dumb question but i am not so familiar with the word voltage: What does the textbooks really mean when they say high voltage?. Does that mean: There are more charges so more voltage, ...
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1answer
34 views

How is called the magnitude of acceleration? [duplicate]

According to wikipedia page of velocity: The scalar absolute value (magnitude) of velocity is called speed and according to wikipedia page of acceleration: Accelerations are vector quantities (in ...
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39 views

Is there a difference between boson and bosonic?

I read about Bose-Einstein condensate consist of bosonic atoms at incredible low temperature do not obey Pauli exclusion, I am wondering what happens if it is possible to create fermionic photon for ...
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2answers
59 views

Representations of a group

In Griffiths' Introduction to Elementary Particles (2ed), at the end of Sec 4.1, he says that an ordinary scalar belongs to the one-dimensional representation of the rotation group, $SO(3)$, and a ...
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41 views

Voltage and Resistance definition

Consider a wire of lenght $L$ and transversal area $A$ that it isn't an ideal conductor, but follows Ohm's Law. After a few computations we have $$-\Delta\phi = \rho\frac{L}{A} I $$ where $\rho$ is ...
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Do terms like 'radiowave', 'ultraviolet', 'X-ray' mean the same thing in matter vs in vacuum/air?

I usually use terms like 'radiowave', 'microwave', 'X-ray', etc. to refer to ranges of electromagnetic (EM) frequencies ($f=2\pi/\omega$) or wavelengths ($\lambda = 2\pi/k$) in air or in a vacuum, ...
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Is orbital and wave function are same thing?

As we know that wave functions are the solution of schrodinger wave equation which contains all the information about an electron. We also tought that these wave functions are the atomic orbitals of ...

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