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Need verification of physics phrase for novel

  1. Jul 12, 2013 #1
    Need verification of "physics phrase" for novel

    Dear scientists,

    I am currently working on a novel, and for that I need a phrase to be verified for accuracy and validity, as I do not want to come up with something that is complete nonsense.

    In plain English, I want to say that you cannot be at two different places at the same time.

    My suggestion is as follows:

    "According to the Classical Physics, at any given time you cannot stay at more than one position in the three-dimensional space."

    How does that sound? Is it wrong with regards to the Classical Physics? Anything more accurate? Any better phrasing that refers to scientific facts?

    Thanking you in advance for any comments. They do not need to be poetic.


  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2013 #2
    Well I wouldn't say "the" classical physics, because there are many branches of classical physics, and "the" seems to imply there is just one thing called classical physics.

    Why would you use the word "stay"? That suggesting something which is not moving, or stationary. Also you need to distinguish what you're referring to - wave and fields can exist in many different places, but particles don't classically.
  4. Jul 12, 2013 #3
    Well I would rephrase what you're trying to say in a much more sterile sounding way:

    "According to classical physics, at any given time, a particle must have a unique position vector." You might want to add on "with respect to a given reference frame." Plus, things like classical thermodynamics really don't talk about the exact positions of particles, so you might want to say "classical mechanics" instead.

    We don't like using the hypothetical "you" in physics, and things like fields and rigid bodies actually can exist throughout extended regions of space.

    In quantum physics, we often talk about particles being in a "superposition of states", and a particle which is in a superposition of two position eigenstates can be thought of as being in "two places at once."
  5. Jul 12, 2013 #4
    Ouch, I quickly realise that I should avoid this comparison altogether, as there seems to be no simple way to explain it in a meaningful way.

    That's why science is one thing, and fiction another.

    Thanking you very much indeed for your efforts :-)

  6. Jul 12, 2013 #5
    I think it sounds just fine with the minor changes suggested by Dipole: "According to Classical Physics, at any given time you cannot be at more than one position in three-dimensional space." It's not going to be for a classical mechanics textbook, after all!
  7. Jul 13, 2013 #6
    You are right about that. I will give it a go, taking the "artistic freedem" into consideration. The reader will get the point after all.

    Thanking you very much indeed,

  8. Jul 14, 2013 #7


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    or even just...

    According to the Classical Physics, you [or an object] cannot be at two different places at the same time.
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