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Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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31 views

What is meant by the vacuum structure of ABJM theory?

I was reading the paper Large $N$ behavior of mass deformed ABJM theory. It talks about the vacuum structure of the (mass deformed) ABJM thoery. What does vacuum structure mean in general or in ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the difference between uniform velocity and constant velocity? [closed]

I think that uniform velocity implies constant speed but not constant direction. while constant velocity implies constant speed without any changes in direction. Both tell us that there's no ...
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59 views

What is Rectangular Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM)?

While studying Simple Harmonic Motion and Lissajous figure, I found a term called Rectangular SHM. But what is it actually? Is it something like square wave? What is the difference between Linear and ...
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7 views

Terms time resolved vs. stroboscopic measurements

I use the term stroboscopic for an experiment, where the stroboscopic effect is part of the experimental setup. And I call an experiment a ...
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1answer
38 views

Abelian and non-Abelian holonomies

I read the article Geometric Manipulation of Trapped Ions for Quantum Computation, and it mentioned “Abelian and non-Abelian geometric operations (holonomies)”. I know what is holonomy, and what is ...
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82 views

Are there names for Helium (He) emission lines like the Lyman/Balmer/Paschen series in Hydrogen?

Just wondering if helium emission lines have names like hydrogen lines. For instance the Balmer series is: $$H_{\alpha}, H_{\beta}, H_{\gamma}, H_{\delta}...$$ The Lyman series is: $$L_{\alpha}, ...
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1answer
48 views

What do we really mean by the word “light”? [closed]

Does the term "light" refer to any electromagnetic wave or just the visible spectrum?
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18 views

What is an electrified channel?

I've been asked to create a sketch of an electrified channel. I've never heard of this terminology before. I tried to Google it and it came up with either guitar related answers, or a few about ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the difference between longitudinal chromatic aberration and spherochromatism?

In lens design textbooks, a distinction is often made between longitudinal chromatic aberration and spherochromatism. (See for instance Kingslake's lens design book.) What is simple way to understand ...
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2answers
85 views

“Energy transfer” and “Energy transport” [closed]

Are the terms "energy transfer" and "energy transport" sometimes or always interchangeable? My own surmise is that the term "energy transfer" is slightly more general: "energy transport" refers to ...
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1answer
36 views

Pseudotensors for describing physical quantities

I have been reading about tensors from Mathematical methods for Physics and Engineering, by K.F. Riley, M.P. Hobson and S.J. Bence. And there are a couple of things i am not getting. On page 949 (...
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3answers
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Symbolizing frequency as $v$

In my school textbook $v$ is symbolized to the frequency of the wave. Is that correct? I also saw this convention used in Chemistry: The Central Science By Theodore L. Brown, H. Eugene LeMay Jr
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2answers
76 views

What does `weakly gravitating' mean?

When relativists like Bousso (see for instance https://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0203101) talk about `weakly gravitating systems', what sense of weak gravity is usually meant? (1) Post-Newtonian ...
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1answer
37 views

What is a pseudopure state?

In the paper titled "Experimental Implementation of the Quantum Baker’s Map" by Weinstein et al. (Phys. Rev. Let. 89 (2002)), the author says something like [...] the pseudopure state corresponding ...
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2answers
387 views

Difference between Oscillatory motion and vibratory motion

What is the difference between oscillatory motion and vibratory motion. I have read in my book that "If the amplitude of oscillatory motion is extremely small,the motion is called vibratory motion". ...
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2answers
107 views

What is the name of the formula?

What is the name of this formula? $$ G_{\mu\nu} = 8 \pi T_{\mu\nu} $$
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35 views

Interaction picture counter rotating terms

In the interaction picture, we often do the rotating wave approximation where terms like $e^{i(\omega_1 + \omega_2)t}$ are ignored because they represent rapidly oscillating terms which ends up ...
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9answers
6k views

The instant an accelerating object has zero speed, is it speeding up, slowing down, or neither?

This problem is from Khan Academy. Specifically for the blue point circled in red, the answer is that at this blue point, the object is neither speeding up nor slowing down. When I think about the ...
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40 views

In what sense $Z_\mu^0$ is orthogonal to $A_\mu$?

I am reading Standard model. Please explain in what sense the $Z$-boson $$Z_\mu^0=(g^2+g^{\prime 2})^{-1/2}(g A^3_\mu-g^\prime B_\mu)$$ is an orthogonal linear combination of the photon $$A_\mu=(g^2+...
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1answer
77 views

What is a gauge (for someone who has not studied gauge theory)? [duplicate]

I am taking a Quantum Mechanics II course and we were studying the relativistic corrections to the hydrogen atoms in perturbation theory. I was looking at the assignment, and a question is as follows: ...
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1answer
61 views

What is the area of physics/science called that deals with fundamental limits of computation?

I am interested in learning about the fundamental limits of computation and in particular would like to read textbooks on the subject if they exist. My background is in maths and computer science - I ...
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3answers
85 views

Understanding quantum mechanics “picture” terms

I was reading various sources and a have some questions. The "Schrödinger picture" is the same thing as "Schrödinger wave formulation"? Is "Heisenberg picture" the same thing as "Heisenberg matrix ...
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2answers
110 views

Formal name for the “pianology” objection towards contemporary particle physics direction of research?

In a popular science book, an interesting objection towards the current direction of particle physics was stated. I tried to search for more on this, but got nowhere. Since I assume this is not an ...
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1answer
44 views

Why the $L$ in an $RLC$ circuit? [duplicate]

I was studying for a differential equations class and came upon some information about $RLC$ circuits. I know the $R$ stands for resistance (makes sense) and $C$ stands for capacitor (this also makes ...
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18 views

What is meant by cubic symmetry with regard to thin films growth?

I am reading a paper on epitaxial thin film growth of an alloy and it mentions that for one conditions the films grow with a cubic symmetry and for another they have an in-plane anisotropy. I would ...
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1answer
66 views

Exact meaning of 'degree'

I wish to know if there is an exact meaning of degree in physics/math/chemistry. It is used in many cases and it is not clear to me which requirements must have an unit of measurements for carrying ...
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1answer
82 views

Why is the “fine structure” correction called that way?

I'm working on the fine structure correction to the Hydrogen atom. I have more of a conceptal, maybe historical question, why is this correction called this way? and why is the fine structure constant ...
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1answer
121 views

Difference between an electron wiggler and an undulator?

Both wigglers and undulators use periodic magnetic fields applied to stored relativistic electron beams to produce intense beams of UV or X-rays that can be used in a wide range of condensed matter ...
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2answers
64 views

Do the terms “damping constant” and “damping coefficient” have standard uses?

I've heard the terms "damping constant" and "damping coefficient" used to describe both the $c$ from the viscous damping force equation $F = -c\dot{x}$ and the $\gamma$ from the definition $\gamma = \...
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1answer
54 views

Why do terms in a field theory Lagrangian that are polynomial in the fields collectively called the “potential”?

Field theory Lagrangians are often of the form of a kinetic term plus a source term minus a potential term. How do we know that the potential term is a polynomial in the fields? On a related note why ...
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1answer
73 views

Difference between Postulate versus Law

In quantum mechanic, we have many different postulates. In classic mechanic, we have different laws. As long as I know that physics's laws are temporarily correct until an anomaly. But what is the ...
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1answer
24 views

Binding energy of a molecular ion?

The protons in the $\text{H}_2^{+}$ molecular ion are $0.106 \, \mathrm{nm}$ apart, and the binding energy of $\text{H}_2^{+}$ is $2.65\,\mathrm{eV} .$ What negative charge must be placed halfway ...
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1answer
36 views

Young's double slit experiment - fringe width [closed]

What is the main difference between fringe width and fringe breadth?
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1answer
37 views

What is proper name for non-inertial forces in GR?

General relativity works in all reference frames, so inertial forces are real in it. And due to the equivalence principle, gravity should be also considered inertial. So what is a good term for the ...
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2answers
196 views

Can displacement be negative after calculation?

Regardless of the positive or negative, doesn't the number determine the total displacement and not the sign in front of the numbers?
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3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “matter” in physics?

What is the meaning of matter in physics? By defining matter in terms of mass and mass in terms of matter in physics, are we not forming circular definitions? Please give a meaning of "matter" in ...
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1answer
212 views

Is the term “quantum triviality” defined by the UV or the IR behavior of the RG flow?

The Wikipedia page on quantum triviality seems to give two different definitions for the term that are not obviously equivalent. Some parts of the page seem to define a renormalizable theory as "...
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4answers
746 views

Is there a scalar acceleration?

Distance is paired with Displacement and it seems to be a bigger idea than just the magnitude of Displacement. Speed is paired with Velocity. I have always thought that there is not such pairing with ...
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1answer
487 views

Rotational motion and Circular motion

What is the difference between rotational motion and circular motion? Are they same or they different?
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79 views

Difference between Critical and orbital velocity

What is the difference between orbital and critical velocity of satallite ? I have read that critical velocity is constant value and it does not depend upon altitude. It only gives the velocity of ...
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1answer
94 views

Why are there lots of definitions for strain?

Why do we need Green or Almansi strains and what is True strain? I'm so confused about terminology.
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50 views

Is Universal Law of Gravitation a 'law'? [duplicate]

My textbook mentions that the universal law of gravitation cannot be proved. If so, then why is it called a 'law' and not a 'hypothesis'?
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1answer
86 views

What Does Up-Down Asymmetry Mean?

There is strong experimental evidence (reported on in the linked paper), from more than one high energy physics experiment, that up-down asymmetry is present in the decays of certain charmed baryons. ...
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83 views

How is this fluid motion called in English?

I am considering unsteady two-dimensional potential flow of ideal fluid. In the absence of active forces fluid motion is governed by equation $$ \rho \frac{d \vec{v}}{d t} = - \nabla p $$ where $\rho$ ...
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24 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
40 views

Terminology: can I use the world “comoving” to describe a reference frame in which a certain object is at rest?

Here a question about terminology. Suppose I have a particle that is moving at velocity $\beta$ in the observer (or laboratory) frame. Now, is it appropriate / legitimate to describe the frame in ...
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21 views

Branch of Physics that Examines Atoms Relationships

Is there a specific branch of physics that can examine and calculate the strengths of atomic or molecular bonds and predict how they are going to break, putting into consideration the surrounding ...
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1answer
55 views

How to understand the kernel as a transition amplitude?

Consider the time evolution operator $U(t_f, t_i)$ that controls the evolution of a wave function according to $|\psi(t_f \rangle = U(t_f, t_i) | \psi(t_i) \rangle$. As I understand it, the Born ...
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25 views

When talking about the rolling of an object (such as a wheel) what is the difference between sliding and slipping?

My question is rather simple. Concerning with the rolling motion, what is the difference between slide and slip?
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1answer
57 views

Confusion on Centigrade/Celsius Scale

There came the centigrade scale. The issue was that many solid/liquid thermometric substances didn't respond to temperature linearly so different thermometers produced different results. This was ...