The physics tag has no wiki summary.

**9**

votes

**1**answer

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### 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

**0**answers

218 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 ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

764 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 ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

924 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

**1**answer

238 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

**2**answers

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 ...

**9**

votes

**4**answers

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 ...

**79**

votes

**25**answers

15k 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 ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

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

**1**answer

565 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 ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

2k views

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

What is the geometric meaning of the third derivative of a function at a point?
This question is now asked on the sister site: ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

826 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

**9**answers

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, ...

**21**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**24**

votes

**3**answers

2k 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. ...

**22**

votes

**11**answers

2k views

### What kind of Lagrangians can we have?

In any physics book I've read the Lagrangian is introuced as as a functional whose critical points govern the dynamics of the system. It is then usually shown that a finite collection of ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

377 views

### Two interacting bodies in an external field

Hope, MO is the right place for this question (if not so: where would you pose it?).
Consider a two-body system in classical mechanics. As long as the interaction depends only on the distance of the ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

4k views

### Angle Maximizing the Distance of a Projectile

It is well-known that to maximize the horizontal distance traveled by a projectile fired from the ground at a given speed, one should fire it at a $45^\circ$ angle. What's less-known, though not too ...

**77**

votes

**3**answers

6k views

### Has the Lie group E8 really been detected experimentally?

A few months ago there were several math talks about how the Lie group E8 had been detected in some physics experiment. I recently looked up the original paper where this was announced,
"Quantum ...

**6**

votes

**3**answers

517 views

### Literature for gauge field theory on the lattice in geometrical formulation

I have found an article by Huebschmann, Rudolph and Schmidt: http://www.springerlink.com/content/b8v216v0m8h16264/ about "A Gauge Model for Quantum Mechanics on a Stratified Space" and I am very ...

**9**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Why do Physicists need unitary representation of Kac-Moody algebra?

My advisor mentioned to me that he talked to Witten last summer on representation theory, and Witten told him that unitary representations of Kac-Moody algebra are important to working physicists. But ...

**19**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Particle Physics and Representations of Groups

This question is asked from a point of complete ignorance of physics and the standard model.
Every so often I hear that particles correspond to representations of certain Lie groups. For a person ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Derived Physics

Hello to all,
This question will probably be closed down as being off-topic faster than one can say "string theory", but here it goes: I've noticed that the problems I'm working on -the structure of ...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

7k views

### Mathematical explanation of the failure to quantize gravity naively

One often hears in popular explanations of the failure to find a "Grand Unified Theory" that "Gravity goes off to infinity, but cutting off the edges gives us wrong answers", and other similar ...

**19**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### Perpetuum Mobile

In 2 hours after posting this, I realized that preserving Liouville measure solves the problem completely. Sorry for disturbing...
Construction of perpetuum mobile:
Consider room with mirror walls ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### What is the meaning of symplectic structure? [closed]

Answers can come in mathematical, physical, and philosophical flavors.
Edit: There seems to be a consensus that this question is not formulated well. I must respectfully disagree. My interest in the ...

**3**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Mathematical definition of running [closed]

This will be a tad hard to explain, so bear with me. Taking into account only the legs what would be an accurate definition of the position of the upper legs, lower legs and feet with respect to time? ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

805 views

### Singular K3 — mathematical meaning?

There's a very interesting text by Cumrun Vafa called Geometric Physics.
Here I'm particularly interested in Chapter 4, where we take a Calabi-Yau manifold presented as a degenerating fibration:
...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

3k views

### Something like mathoverflow in other sciences [closed]

Are the sites similar to mathoverflow in other sciences related to mathematics? statistics, computer science, physics, economics, etc?
Let me explain what I mean by "similar": those are sites devoted ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

263 views

### Prevalence of B-fields

I am wondering how B-fields, which are basic objects in Generalized Geometry, relate to the B-fields of Ben's question and the answers to it.
In Generalized Geometry, the B-field is a (1,1)-form, and ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

655 views

### Children's drawings and Seiberg-Witten curves

This physics (bear with me for a while) paper seems to say something about Gal \bar Q/Q:
Children's Drawings From Seiberg-Witten Curves, hep-th/061108.
Let's ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

867 views

### Cone shaped solutions to wave equation

When I studied physics, we learned how to write down planar waves and spherical waves. But, when I turn on my flashlight, I see a cone of light. How can I see that there is a solution to the wave ...