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64
votes
2answers
103k views

Perfectly centered break of a perfectly aligned pool ball rack

Imagine the beginning of a game of pool, you have 16 balls, 15 of them in a triangle <| and 1 of them being the cue ball off to the left of that triangle. Imagine that the rack (the 15 balls in a ...
8
votes
4answers
565 views

Can the equation of motion with friction be written as Euler-Lagrange equation?

My (non-expert) impression is that many physically important equations of motion can be obtained as Euler-Lagrange equations. For example in quantum fields theories and in quantum mechanics quantum ...
4
votes
1answer
264 views

A particular contour integral

Mathoverflow, I'd like to carry out the following integral, $$f(t) = \int_{- \infty}^{\infty}\frac{-i\Omega e^{i \Omega t}}{1-\sqrt{-i\Omega}\coth(\sqrt{-i\Omega})} d\Omega.$$ Here's what I've ...
4
votes
1answer
304 views

Path integrals for stochastic equations

Does there exist a rigorous mathematical proof for path integral representations given in the physics literature? See for example http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/9912209v1 For imaginary time rigorous ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

The condition of maximality in branching rules of $SO$ group representations

Let the highest weight of a $SO(2n+1)$ representation be given as $(m_1,m_2,...,m_n)$ ($m_1\geq m_2 \geq .. \geq m_n \geq 0$) and the highest weight of a $SO(2n)$ representation be $(s_1,s_2,...,s_n)$ ...
4
votes
1answer
292 views

About using the character formula for $SO(2n)$.

I have known of the following equation for characters of a $SO(2n)$ representation with highest weights $(h_1,...,h_n)$ and for $(t_1,t_2,..,t_n,t_1^{-1},t_2^{-1},..,t_n^{-1})$ being the eigenvalues ...
3
votes
0answers
233 views

In the topos-theoretic interpretation of Physics by Isham & Doering what role does intuitionistic logic play? [closed]

I've asked this question on Physics.SE but was advised to ask it here. Isham & Doering have written a series of papers exploring how to ground physics in topoi. Now the internal logic of topoi is ...
7
votes
1answer
312 views

A question on chiral rings and geometry of the vacuum bundle

I am reading "Mirror Symmetry" by Hori et al, and have a question on Chap.17 (Chiral rings and geometry of the vacuum bundle). On p.425 the authors say Consider the path-integral on the ...
14
votes
3answers
461 views

An algebraic approach to the thermodynamic limit $N\rightarrow\infty$?

In physics one studies quite often the thermodynamic limit or what we call the $N\rightarrow \infty$ behavior of a system of $N\rightarrow\infty$ particles. This is of particular relevance in the ...
8
votes
1answer
327 views

Dimensional regularization in odd dimensions

I am not quite sure that my question below is appropriate for this site, probably it should be addressed to the physical commutity. But I hope that some (mathematical) physicists do attend MO. I have ...
3
votes
0answers
102 views

What is the relationship between complex time singularities and UV fixed points?

In this paper it is described how the turbulent kinetic energy spectrum and the flatness (a measure for intermittency) are governed by the position of the (dominant) singularities of the solutions of ...
22
votes
6answers
4k views

Explanations for mathematicians, about the falsifiability (or not) of string theory [closed]

Like many other mathematicians, I think string theory very attractive. This theory has wonderfully influenced many new topics in mathematics (I myself have worked on one of them), but it's not the ...
2
votes
1answer
468 views

Derivation of Bessel functions

I am writing a summary on a work on Fluid Dynamics that develops irrotational flow states that appear to interact amongst each other according to the equations of Electromagnetism ...
1
vote
1answer
508 views

What is the “fundamental theorem of invariant theory” ?

The basic question I guess can be formulated as - given two integers $N_f$ and $N_c$ what are the ways in which the fundamental and the anti-fundamental representations of $U(N_f)$ be combined to get ...
9
votes
3answers
784 views

Is there an observer dependent mathematics? [closed]

Is there any field of mathematics that deals with the role of the observer? E.g., some formulation in which a set is changed, in some unspecified way, when it is observed? Or maybe some philosophy of ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Three body problem with point interactions

I've studied the HVZ theorem for the three body problem interacting with regular potentials. I'd like to extend this result to the three body problem with point interactions (delta potentials). Is ...
0
votes
2answers
358 views

Deriving the Mercator projection algorithm

The standard model of Mercator projection shows a cylinder wrapped around a spherical earth eg Wiki. Many sites describe the resulting square map like this: "...spherical Mercator maps use an extent ...
1
vote
2answers
302 views

Translation of an article

I need to read this article "On the spectrum of an energy operator for atoms with fixed nuclei in subspaces corresponding to irriducible representations of permutation groups" authors:G.Zhislin, A. ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Solvable models in quantum mechanics

Is there anyone who studied on the book "Solvable Models In Quantum Mechanics" by Albeverio? I don't succed in understanding the proof of page 116 about the eigenvalues of the Hamiltonian with point ...
1
vote
1answer
297 views

Proof of generalized Cauchy formula

I would like to know if there is a proof for the identity used in the superconformal index of 4d ${\cal N}=2$ gauge theory. In the paper by Rastelli el al, it was discovered that Eq. (10) is equal to ...
11
votes
2answers
509 views

What do correlation functions compute in CFT?

I would like to understand what correlation functions compute in Conformal Field Theory in mathematics. Let me begin with basic definitions. We define a free boson field $\phi(z)$ as a formal power ...
5
votes
2answers
388 views

Permuting Racked Pool Balls with a Single Break

Given reasonable physical assumptions (on friction, collisions, etc.), would it be possible to "break" in a pool game such that when all the balls come to rest, the only difference is that the racked ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

orthotropic materials solution of boundary value problems

What are the methods or approaches for the analytical solutions of boundary value problems in the theory of elasticity for orthotropic materials?
5
votes
2answers
832 views

Homotopy $\pi_4(SU(2))=Z_2$

I am a physics student, recently I read a paper using Homotopy $\pi_4(SU(2))=Z_2$, I guess mathematicians have some visualization or explanation of this result. So I come here ask for help. ...
4
votes
1answer
456 views

Impact of LHC on math ? [closed]

LHC (Large Hadron Collider) "... remains one of the largest and most complex experimental facilities ever built". May be it is even the most complex project in humankind's history(?). Such projects ...
1
vote
1answer
394 views

David Hilbert on Complex Multiplication [closed]

I have tried vainly to understand the significance of the following statement attributed to David Hilbert: The theory of complex multiplication is not only the most beautiful part of mathematics ...
1
vote
0answers
234 views

Distribution of random vectors

Two positive numbers $\alpha$ and $\beta$ are given. We are going to describe a process of choosing a random vector on the unit sphere $S$ in $\mathbb R^3$ (given by $x^2+y^2+z^2=1$). A vector $u\in ...
2
votes
4answers
518 views

Higgs mechanism from a deformation quantization point of view

Is it possible to describe the Higgs mechanism from a deformation quantization point of view? How would one do it? Are there aspects of the Higgs mechanism and Higgs particle which one may see clearer ...
6
votes
2answers
662 views

Quantum mechanics basics [closed]

Hello. I'm thinking about where does the basic quantum mechanics things comes from. I mean the forms of operators and a Shroedinger equation. The more intuitive explanation is better. To get forms of ...
1
vote
1answer
321 views

Why is the physical space equivalent to $\mathbb{R}^3$ [closed]

I am trying to understand what would be the logical reasons behind our assumption that our physical space is equivalent to $\mathbb{R}^3$ or 'physical straight line' is equivalent to $\mathbb{R}$. ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the current state of the mathematics of Higgs fields?

Topical. I know there are good mathematical theories in which "Higgs" is used, in a geometrical sense. Would someone care to explain? To clarify, I'd like to know about Higgs bundles on Riemann ...
0
votes
1answer
280 views

How the spin value is related to mathematical nature of the field?

Fields are one of the following: scalars, vectors, spinors or some Lie algebra elements, right? And it's often said that scalars are spin-0 and vectors are spin-1. So, what's idea of correspondence ...
3
votes
3answers
496 views

Best book for learning sensor fusion, specifically regarding IMU and GPS integration.

I have posted this in MathOverflow because the subject is primarily Math related. I have a requirement of building an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) from the following sensors: Accelerometer ...
1
vote
0answers
220 views

Bosonic String Theory

I would like clarification of 26 dimensional Bosonic String Theory. A definition would be, that this is free bosons compactified on a torus and orbifolded by a 2-point reflection group (or ...
9
votes
1answer
965 views

Self-tightening knot

Is there a way, for some finite L>1, to tie two pieces of rope together, such that any finite force is not enough to pull them apart? The type of rope I have in mind is something like cylindrical ...
0
votes
0answers
211 views

Simple question on the foundations of spin foam formalism

To make it simple, take the spin foam formalism of ($SU(2)$) 3D gravity. My question is about the choice of the data that will replace the (smoothly defined) fields $e$ (the triad) and $\omega$ (the ...
3
votes
1answer
646 views

Minimize Energy for Charge Distributions

I am considering [positive] charge distributions $\rho:M\rightarrow\mathbb{R}_+$ (nonnegative reals) with unit charge $\int_M\rho=1$ for convenience. Here $M$ is a nice-enough region, say a ...
1
vote
0answers
726 views

Lambert's Cosine Law - Simple algebraic rearrangement problem [closed]

Let $I(x,y)$ be the intensity at position $(x,y)$, $\rho(x,y)$ be the albedo at this point (a constant), $n=(p,q,1)$ be the surface gradient vector and $s_{0},s_{1},s_{2}$ all be vectors from the ...
10
votes
1answer
921 views

What is the “Physically Consistent” proper subset of arithmetic?

Suppose 1st-order arithmetic is inconsistent along with Voevodsky http://video.ias.edu/voevodsky-80th. It nevertheless remains true that when you have 2 apples and 2 apples, you have 4 apples. ...
6
votes
1answer
230 views

Orbits for homogenous complex polynomials under unitary rotation of variables

Let's have two complex homogeneous polynomials of degree $k$: $f(z_1,\cdots,z_n)$ and $g(z_1,\cdots,z_n)$. We consider rotations of variables in the form of $\vec{z}' = U \vec{z}$, where $U\in SU(n)$. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Maxwell Stress Tensor and Equations in Mathematician's Language [closed]

In my language, a differential two-form on $\mathbb{R}^4$ (viewed as a differentiable manifold with coordinates $t,x,y,z$) is a differentiable choice at each point of an alternating bilinear function ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Topology of black holes

I've asked this question of some physicist friends of mine and I've never gotten a satisfactory answer: What is topologically possible for a neighborhood of a black hole? To clarify, I'm curious about ...
68
votes
23answers
12k views

A soft introduction to physics for mathematicians who don't know the first thing about physics

There have been similar questions on mathoverflow, but the answers always gave some advanced introduction to the mathematics of quantum field theory, or string theory and so forth. While those may be ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Flux through a Mobius strip

A friend of mine asked me what is the flux of the electric field (or any vector field like $$ \vec r=(x,y,z)\mapsto \frac{\vec r}{|r|^3} $$ where $|r|=(x^2+y^2+z^2)^{1/2}$) through a Mobius strip. It ...
3
votes
1answer
535 views

Which motion is exclusive in 3D or higher dimensions?

Hi guys, I have a simple question Linear movement can be found in 1D, 2D and 3D world objects Rotation can be found in 2D and 3D world objects. Now, are there any kind of motion can only be found ...
3
votes
0answers
2k views

What is the geometric meaning of third derivative of a function at a point? [closed]

What is the geometrical meaning of third derivative of a function at a point? The question is now open in the sister site ...
3
votes
1answer
736 views

Is there an analogue of mathscinet for physics?

I've been looking recently at some papers in physics, from journals that are not listed in mathscinet. Is there is a similar database for physics, with reviews and citation links? I'd like to see ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

Newton equations, second order equation and (im)possible motions

I am am currently studying Newtonian mechanics from a conceptional and axiomatic point of view. Now, if I am not mistaken, one (but surely not all) statement of Newtons second law about nature is, ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Is symplectic reduction interesting from a physical point of view?

Do you think that symplectic reduction (Marsden Weinstein reduction) is interesting from a physical point of view? If so, why? Does it give you some new physical insights? There are some possible ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

How can simple physical “proofs” of mathematical facts be made rigorous?

Mark Levi's The Mathematical Mechanic is a book of examples of how physical reasoning can be used to solve mathematical problems; another couple of examples is in this blog post at Concrete Nonsense. ...