All Questions

3
votes
2answers
981 views

What is the risk from radiation on imported food from Japan

I'm currently resident in Hong Kong a country which appars to import heavily from Japan. Last saturday 7th May I went to a restaurant: http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=39760 ...
4
votes
2answers
749 views

How is perturbation theory applied to the Bunch-Davies state for an interacting quantum field theory?

Feynman diagrams are ordinarily the usual method of perturbative analysis for weakly interacting quantum field theories. However, over a de Sitter background, the total number of particles isn't even ...
1
vote
1answer
506 views

resistance of a flywheel to change of angular momentum

I've got a flywheel with angular momentum $\vec L$. Now I'd like to change the orientation of $\vec L$ by an angle $φ$ (in degrees). How do I calculate the angular momentum $\vec M$ for that change?
2
votes
1answer
510 views

Paradox of the Relativistic Record Player [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Invariant spacetime - distance - Circular Motion This is a question that I thought up a few years ago when I was taking mechanics. I asked the professor but didn't really get ...
30
votes
4answers
14k views

The meaning of action

The action $$S=\int L \;\mathrm{d}t$$ is an important physical quantity. But can it be understood more intuitively? The Hamiltonian corresponds to the energy, whereas the action has dimension of ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Noether's theorem and “translations” of the Hamiltonian function

In a nutshell, Noether's theorem states that for every continuous symmetry a corresponding conserved quantity exists. Now, the Hamiltonian equations of motion (let's talk about a classical system ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What gauge is used in the Lagrangian for a non-relativistic point particle in an electromagnetic potential

For the Lagrangian $$L = \frac{1}{2}mu^2 - q(\phi - \frac{\vec{A}}{c}\cdot \vec{u})$$ of a non-relativistic point particle in an electromagnetic potential, what gauge is used for the electromagnetic ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What happens if you try to freeze water in an water tight container

If I have a container that is full of water and I attempt to freeze the water by freezing the container, what would happen if the container is strong enough to prevent the water expansion? Could the ...
25
votes
4answers
17k views

Is it pions or gluons that mediate the strong force between nucleons?

From my recent experience teaching high school students I've found that they are taught that the strong force between nucleons is mediated by virtual-pion exchange, whereas between quarks it's gluons. ...
15
votes
3answers
13k views

Protons' repulsion within a nucleus

Do the protons inside the nucleus repel each other by the electrostatic force? If they do, why doesn't the repulsion drive the protons apart so that the nuclei get disintegrated?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

cm^3/g as a unit of adsorption

I recently saw cm^3/g as a unit for amount adsorbed. Usually, you see either kg adsorbate/kg adsorbent or mole adsorbate/kg adsorbent. Does anyone know the meaning of this unit?
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Why is the critical state in the Mean Field Bak-Sneppen Model a global attractor?

Simulations of the Bak-Sneppen Model of Species Evolution (introduced in http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.71.4083) show that it exhibits Self-Organized Criticality where after a transient ...
7
votes
2answers
488 views

Sterile Neutrinos as Dark Matter

There has been recent activity by astrophysicists to determine whether a fourth flavor of neutrino, a sterile neutrino, exists. It would likely be more massive than electron, muon or tau neutrinos. ...
-2
votes
1answer
472 views

Space-time hospitality

Are there any reasons to assume that organic processes cannot arise in relatively flat spacetime environments? An argument for the existence of a critial value or window.
2
votes
1answer
194 views

equivalence principle and nontrivial compactifications

it is commonly argued that the equivalence principle implies that everything must fall locally in the same direction, because any local variation of accelerations in a small enough neighbourhood is ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Shape of Fan Blades

How is the shape of the blades of an air fan determined? Trial and error, or is there a theory behind it? What are they trying to maximize, volume of air dislocated per rotation?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Weyl exponential form of the Canonical Commutation Relations

What is the physical meaning of the $c$-numbers $Q, P\in \mathbb{R}$ in the exponent of the Weyl system $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar} Q \hat{p}\right]$ and $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar}P\hat{q}\right]$? ...
7
votes
1answer
704 views

7 GeV dark matter particle: how particle accelerators missed it?

This posting is regarding the recent confirmation of the DAMA results that might be due to underlying differences in proton and neutron cross section with the dark matter particles, which reflect on ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Correlation between outstanding hints in experimental particle physics

The 115 GeV ATLAS Higgs with enhanced diphoton decays has gone away but there are several other recent tantalizing hints relevant for particle physics, namely CoGeNT's 7-8 GeV dark matter particle ...
6
votes
3answers
972 views

Recently publicized experiment on destructive interference between two laser beams

Recently I've had several non-physicist friends ask me, independently of each other, about an experiment where two collinear laser beams destructively interfere along a certain length. Everybody wants ...
2
votes
2answers
936 views

Mechanical energy problem - please help [closed]

Quite new to all this - simple question. "A ball starting from rest rolls down a hill and reaches 10m/s at the bottom. If the same ball starts rolling down the hill from an initial velocity of 5m/s, ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How many digits of Pi are required in physics? [closed]

In other words: which physics experiment requires to know Pi with the highest precision?
23
votes
4answers
41k views

What do ants see?

After watching some ants in my garden today, and then looking at this very illuminating demonstration, I got to wondering, about what they would see. Not specifically ants (I understand their ...
13
votes
4answers
27k views

Why do power lines sag when they are heated up?

I was reading some information about the 2003 power blackout in the Northeastern US. Beginning early in the afternoon of August 14, 2003 big transmission lines began to fail in First Energy's ...
10
votes
2answers
383 views

Is this a weather phenomenon or an instrumental artifact?

The radar image of the midwest provided by Weatherunderground at 10:30 PM Central time, May 8 2011 has odd patterns. Are these patterns real? Perhaps caused by large scale convection over cities? Or ...
6
votes
1answer
524 views

Neutrino Speed in Supernova

I've read that neutrinos in supernova can be affected by "neutrino refraction." Is this analagous to the refraction of light, and if so, is the speed of these neutrinos similarly reduced from their ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Glycerol: refractive index & absorption spectra in 0.2-0.4um range

Could anyone suggest where can I find absorption spectra & refractive index of Glycerol? I am specifically interested in UV range, 200-400nm, everything I was able to find out was for standard ...
6
votes
2answers
463 views

$\nabla ^2\psi$ equals $\psi -$ average value of $\psi$ at neighboring points

Let $\psi (x,y,z)$ be a scalar field. I found the following statement in Morse & Feshbach Methods of Theoretical Physics: The limiting value of the difference between $\psi$ at a point and the ...
1
vote
1answer
408 views

Charges and Topology

I must apologize, I was a little bit excited when I began understanding some of this, I can not say I can compete with professionals, and words are still difficult concepts. In (1) S.H. et al. it is ...
3
votes
2answers
797 views

German book on introductory quantum mechanics [closed]

I'm looking for an originally German introduction to quantum mechanics. Is there such a canonical book used in German QM undergraduate courses?
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Black Holes and String states

We seem to know that black hole energy, and apparently event horizon geometry and topology, are functions of Mass, Charge and Angular Momentum. Area is a function of geometry and topology as well, ...
0
votes
1answer
210 views

Merge different wavelength rays

Let's say an array of rays of light is given. Each ray has a specific wavelength (in the range of visible light). Example: ...
4
votes
4answers
415 views

stability of hypothetical lunar atmosphere

Assume that by some means, the moon could be given an atmosphere, of the same density and pressure at the surface as the earth's. Obviously in a stable atmosphere there are temperature variations from ...
3
votes
1answer
728 views

Phenomena which are incorrectly declared as resonance phenomena?

In standard college physics text books, high-school books and popular level physics books, the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is often taken as an example of resonance. However a more detailed ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Making symmetry between E and B fields manifest in Lagrangian

Maxwell's equations are nearly symmetric between $E$ and $B$. If we add magnetic monopoles, or of course if we restrict ourselves to the sourceless case, then this symmetry is exact. This is not ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Limit of Lorentzian is Dirac Delta

I have a quick question that just came up in my research and I could not find an answer anywhere so I thought I'd try here. So one of the definitions of the Dirac Delta is the limit of the Lorentzian ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

How should I REALLY have done this continuous moment formula derivation?

One of my more recent hobbies is making "swords" out of PVC conduit, foam, and duct tape. As all the weight is forward of the cross guards, I needed to put some amount of some substance inside the ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How is the Breit-Rabi formula derived?

Does anyone know how the Breit-Rabi formula (energy dependence of the hyper-fine splitting in presence of any external magnetic field for alkali atoms when $F=I \pm 1/2$) is derived, or where to find ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Cassini 's and Pioneers RTG power output datafile

I'd like to have access to the datafile of the electrical output of the RTG (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) of the Pioneer's and Cassini missions, as can be seen in the figures 1 of the ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Theories that Relate Gravity, Electricity, and Magnetism [duplicate]

There are some people who (without having a stated theory that I know of) insist that Gravity, Electricity, and Magnetism are related. Some point to symmetry in Maxwell's Equations as a potential ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there a minus sign in this wave equation derivation?

My book on quantum mechanics suggests a derivation of the wave equation $$\left(\Delta - \frac{1}{c^2} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} \right) \psi(\bar{r},t) = 0$$ from the photon energy-impulse ...
1
vote
2answers
519 views

Laplace's equation

I have got some mathematical difficulties in the following exercise : Calculate the potential of the polarized sphere along the z-axis. There are no free charges. For this, we need to solve ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Applications of the Spectral Theorem to Quantum Mechanics

I'm currently learning some basic functional analysis. Yesterday I arrived at the spectral theorem of self-adjoint operators. I've heard that this theorem has lots of applications in Quantum Mechanics....
4
votes
1answer
540 views

Seiberg Witten theory

I'm currently reading the Seiberg-Witten paper on $N=2$ supersymmetric Yang Mills pure gauge theory (i.e. no hypermultiplets). I have the following question: How does one understand that the metric ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Good books on elasticity

Can someone suggest good books/textbooks/treatises/etc on elasticity?
3
votes
2answers
521 views

Effect of spacetime curvature on the sea of virtual particles

Does the nature of the assortment of virtual particles depend upon the warping of spacetime in a direct manner ?
2
votes
1answer
174 views

Does the recent Gravity Probe - B mission mean both the mass of an object and the spin of an object affect time?

I'm a non-engineer interested in the recent GP-B mission results: http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/06/nasa-concludes-gravity-probe-b-space-time-experiment-proves-e/#disqus_thread Is it correct that ...
3
votes
5answers
676 views

Low-temperature hobby rocketry

I work with a lot of Boy Scouts who want to complete the Space Exploration merit badge. It's a great program, and one of the coolest requirements is building, launching, and recovering a model rocket....
2
votes
2answers
689 views

Coffee cooling in a cup

Will coffee in two different size styrofoam cups in the same room conditions cool at the same rate? One cup is 8 oz. and the other would be 12 oz.
8
votes
2answers
1k views

On black holes, Hawking radiation and gravitational atoms

Over the past hour or so I've been following one of my standard physics-based, wanders-through-the-internet. Specifically, I began by reviewing some details of dark energy theory but soon found myself ...

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