Physics Articles

Here contains the collection of expert physics articles that deal with physics topics. These span all skill ranges and may include astronomy and cosmology topics. Learn something new today by professionals in the fields you are interested in!

tolman law beginner

Tolman Law in a Nutshell

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The Tolman law describes how the temperature in a fixed gravitational field depends on the position (see https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.04106 for a pedagogic…
Bayesian statistics part 4

Posterior Predictive Distributions in Bayesian Statistics

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Confessions of a moderate Bayesian, part 4 Bayesian statistics by and for non-statisticiansRead part 1: How to Get Started with Bayesian StatisticsRead…
electric potential

Introduction to Electric Vector Potential and Its Applications

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Main Point: The electric vector potential offers a  means of determining the non-conservative component of mixed stationary or quasi-stationary electric…
Learn the Math

I Know the Math Says so, but Is It Really True?

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I'm sure anyone who has hung out long enough here on Physics Forums has encountered threads that go something like this (I'll use an example based on threads…
block universe time illusion

Does the Block Universe of Physics Mean Time is an Illusion?

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I have written many Insights (and coauthored an entire book) explaining how the puzzles, problems, and paradoxes of modern physics can be attributed to…
flight simulator

Introduction to Pitot-Static Systems in Gliders

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Like many others, I have been seeking new and fun things to do during a pandemic.   I decided on the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, but the Condor…
mechanical conservation of energy

Why Bother Teaching Mechanical Energy Conservation?

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Note: It is assumed that the reader has read part I and part II of the series.Is Mechanical Energy Conservation Free of Ambiguity? Can We Do Better…
kerr spacetime centrifugal force

Intro to Centrifugal Force Reversal in Kerr Spacetime

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In this article, we will analyze "centrifugal force reversal" in Kerr spacetime, similar to what was done for Schwarzschild spacetime in a previous Insights…
physics mysteries

A Principle Explanation of the “Mysteries” of Modern Physics

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All undergraduate physics majors are shown how the counterintuitive aspects ("mysteries") of time dilation and length contraction in special relativity…
Compton Scattering

Exploring the Anatomy of Compton Scattering

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Introduction In this article we take as our starting point the original equations which Compton drew up and solved in his ground-breaking 1925 article:  From…
Twins Paradox

Learning the Twin Paradox for Freely-falling Observers

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The "twin paradox" is often discussed in the introductory treatment of special relativity. Under "twin paradox" we understand the fact that if two twins…
electromagentic waves traverse

Are Electromagnetic Waves Always Transverse?

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In this insight, we shall endeavor in the realm of classical electrodynamics and examine whether EM waves are always transverse. We shall make use of Jefimenko's…
pressure is a source of gravity

Is Pressure A Source Of Gravity?

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In a previous series of articles, I posed the question "Does Gravity Gravitate?" and explained how, depending on how you interpreted the terms "gravity"…
Compton Scattering

Massive Meets Massless: Compton Scattering Revisited

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Introduction In a previous article entitled "Alternate Approach to 2D Collisions" we analyzed collisions between a moving and stationary object by defining…
Science Authority

Is Science an Authority? How to View Announcement from Scientists

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In a previous article, I discussed why scientists (among others) are almost never interested in considering a new theory proposed by a non-scientist: because…
dark energy supernova

Dark Energy Part 3: Fitting the SCP Union 2.1 Supernova Data

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In Part 1 of this 3-part series, I explained kinematics in Einstien-deSitter (EdS) cosmology and in Part 2, I explained kinematics in ##\Lambda##CDM cosmology…
dark energy cosmology lcdm

Dark Energy Part 2: LCDM Cosmology

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This is Part 2 of a 3-part series explaining evidence for so-called “dark energy” leading to a current positive cosmological acceleration. The evidence…
beginner guide to baryons

A Beginner Physics Guide to Baryon Particles

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Introduction At the beginning of the 20th century, it was thought that all matter consisted of only three particles: the electron, the neutron, and the…
symmetric spacetime

Slowly Lowering an Object in a Static, Spherically Symmetric Spacetime

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In the first two articles in this series, we looked at the Einstein Field Equation and Maxwell's Equations in a static, spherically symmetric spacetime.…
supernova refsdal

The Reappearance of Supernova (SN) Refsdal

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Space is always changing. Over thousands of years, astronomers have attempted to understand the workings. Trying to explain astronomical events offers…
Dark Energy Cosmology Part 1

Dark Energy Part 1: Einstein-deSitter Cosmology

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In this 3-part series, I want to motivate the (re)introduction of the cosmological constant ##\Lambda## into Einstein's equations of general relativity…
Cosmic Web Connections

The Evolution of the Universe, Cosmic Web and Connections

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The universe was not perfectly uniform when it started, some areas had a higher density than others. During the evolution of the universe, these areas…
Gaia search for black holes

Gaia and the Race to Detect More Gravitational Waves

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Gravitational waves (GW’s) are disturbances in spacetime produced by any massive object moving asymmetrically. However, only the most massive and most…

3 Possible Models For Why Uranus Spins on Its Side

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Uranus spins on its side. Uranus has an obliquity (tilt) of 98º, making its axis of rotation closer to the ecliptic plane than any other planet. It is…

Black Holes Are Not Empty Voids. A Black Hole at the Heart!

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Black Holes (BH’s) are curious because of their mysterious nature and unknown properties. BH’s are not empty voids. They are astronomical objects…
energy conservation can we do better

Can We Do Better Than Mechanical Energy Conservation?

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Note: It is assumed that the reader has read part I of the series. Introduction The ambiguity and flaws discussed in part I can be resolved using the…
energy conservation ambiguity

Is Mechanical Energy Conservation Free of Ambiguity?

Introduction "Close to any question that is in the textbook, there is another question that has never been answered that is interesting." [Stephen Wolfram,…
fluid dynamics experiment

Accurate Fluid Dynamics By Video Analysis

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IntroductionProviding accurate fluid dynamics experiments for undergraduate laboratories is challenging in several ways, including reproducibility,…
Diffraction Grating Spectrometer.

Learn the Fundamentals of the Diffraction Grating Spectrometer

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Introduction In this article we will discuss the fundamentals of the diffraction grating spectrometer.  The operation of the instrument is based upon…
hydrogen

Intro to the Ionization Energy of Atomic Hydrogen

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Introduction In previous articles relating to various transition energies in Hydrogen, Helium and Deuterium we have employed the following formula for…
quantum entanglement

Answering Mermin’s Challenge with the Relativity Principle

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Note: This Insight was previously titled, "Answering Mermin's Challenge with Wilczek's Challenge." While that version of this Insight did not involve any…
Conservation of Spin Angular Momentum

Exploring Bell States and Conservation of Spin Angular Momentum

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In a recent thread, I outlined how to compute the correlation function for the Bell basis states\begin{equation}\begin{split}|\psi_-\rangle &=…
Kuhnian Revolution

Modern Physics Understood as an Unrecognized Kuhnian Revolution

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People often claim on Physics Forums and in the foundations community proper that quantum mechanics is "incomplete." Indeed, Lee Smolin recently wrote…
DC straight wire

Relativistic Treatment of the DC Conducting Straight Wire

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Introduction The direct-current-conducting infinitely long wire is often discussed in the context of relativistic electrodynamics. It is of course a completely…
Deuterium Lyman Alpha Line

Revisiting The Deuterium Lyman Alpha Line Experiment

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Introduction In this article, we will be revisiting a somewhat understudied (and seemingly unrepeated) experiment to measure the Deuterium Lyman Alpha…
Solar Balmer Lines

Signature of the Sun: Analyzing the Solar Balmer Series Lines

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Introduction We are in many ways a fortunate generation having so many wonderful tools at our disposal on account of the "silicon revolution". The advent…
Bohr’s Helium Lines

Understanding Bohr’s Helium Lines

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Introduction In a previous article "Calculating the Balmer Alpha Line" we mentioned how accurate predictions of the spectral lines of singly ionized Helium…
rotating room

How to Zip Through a Rotating Tunnel Without Bumping Into the Walls

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Preface While browsing through unanswered posts in the Classical Physics Workshop, I came across a gem at the link shown below.  For the reader's convenience,…
Balmer Alpha Line

Calculating the Balmer Alpha Line: Atomic Hydrogen

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Introduction Most readers acquainted with the hydrogen spectrum will be familiar with the set of lines in the visible spectrum representing transitions…
spacetime maxwell

Maxwell’s Equations in a Static, Spherically Symmetric Spacetime

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In the first article in this series, we looked at the Einstein Field Equations in a static, spherically symmetric spacetime. In this article, we are going…
quantum superposition

Understanding Superposition Physically and Mathematically

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IntroductionOne should first and foremost understand that superposition has both a mathematical and physical meaning, or rather it originates as…
What is Entropy

What Thermodynamics and Entropy Means

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Introduction The student of thermodynamics, as they consider pistons and ideal gasses and such, often begin to grasp the nature of entropy only to find…
Einstein Field Equation

The Einstein Field Equation in a Static, Spherically Symmetric Spacetime

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This will be the first of several articles which will provide, for reference, useful equations for static, spherically symmetric spacetimes. This is a…
Camera Lens Physics

How to Evaluate a Camera Lens for Performance

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I've done plenty of imaging performance testing on a variety of systems, from millimeter wave through UV. Until very recently, such testing required expensive…
Star Equations

Equations of State for Photon Gas and Relativistic Electron Gas

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This Insight develops equations of state that are useful in calculations about cosmology and about the insides of stars. The first calculation is for a…
rules of quantum mechanics

The 7 Basic Rules of Quantum Mechanics

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For reference purposes and to help focus discussions on Physics Forums in interpretation questions on the real issues, there is a need for fixing the common…
Quantum Particles

Clarifying Common Issues with Indistinguishable Particles

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Commonly there is a lot of imprecision in talking about ''indistinguishable'' (or ''identical'') particles, even in serious work. This Insight article…
Renewable Energy Power Grid

When Renewable Energy Meets Power Grid Operations

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The electric power industry faces much turmoil in the coming decades.  The business model of the electric utility company (public or private) may not…
create a universe story

How to Create a Universe – Instructions for an Apprentice God

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(-: ##~~~## A fantasy to be read at leisure time ##~~~## :-) Written October 7, 1999 to relax from the strains of working on a new interpretation of quantum…
quantum qubit

Exploring a Classical View of the Qubit

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This Insight article is part of my paper Foundations of quantum physics III. Measurement, featuring the thermal interpretation of quantum physics. See…
quantum mechanics is incomplete

9 Reasons Quantum Mechanics is Incomplete

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I argue that all interpretations of quantum mechanics (QM) are incomplete, each for its own reason. I also point out that for some interpretations (those…
against quantum interpretations

Against “interpretation”

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I am against "interpretations" of Quantum Mechanics (QM) in a sense in which John Bell [1] was against measurement in QM and Travis Norsen [2] is against…
Hooke's Law Experiement

An Example of An Accurate Hooke’s Law Laboratory

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Learning ObjectivesGain confidence and experimental care in making accurate measurements. Understand the relationship between force and spring…
Bernoulli's equation

Demystifying the Often Misunderstood Bernoulli’s Equation

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Introduction Bernoulli's equation is one of the most useful equations in the field of fluid mechanics, owing to its simplicity and broad applicability.…
Magnetic Field Lines

Are Magnetic Field Lines Real?

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We recently had a question in the relativity forums that mentioned the behavior of magnetic field lines and reminded me of my own confusion at school about…
vehicle power

When Vehicle Power Dictates Acceleration

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One interesting problem when dealing with a vehicle of a certain mass is to determine what is required in order to get the maximum acceleration while going…
Quantum Eraser

The Quantum Mystery of Wigner’s Friend

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In this Insight I will introduce the quantum mystery called ``Wigner's friend'' using Healey's version [1] of Frauchiger and Renner's (FR's) version [2]…
Calculus Therom

A Numerical Insight for the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus

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The purpose of this article is not to provide some rigorous statement, neither a rigorous clever proof of the fundamental theorem of calculus. It is rather…
Super Quantum

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of the Popescu-Rohrlich Correlations

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In this Insight, I will show how the Popescu-Rohrlich (superquantum) correlations provide an unreasonable advantage in a particular "quantum guessing game''…
killing Fields and Black Holes

Exploring the Math in Killing Fields and Black Holes

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Killing Vector Field The Killing vector field is a vector field on a differentiable manifold that preserves the metric over spacetime (from this I assume,…
LHC Energies

Exploring the Energies in the Large Hadron Collider

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The Large Hadron Collider has produced collisions at 7 TeV. For collisions at 7 TeV, protons need to be ‘ramped’ to 3.5 TeV, the proton has a mass…