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3
votes
1answer
767 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. ...
22
votes
11answers
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
1answer
372 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
6answers
3k 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 ...
75
votes
3answers
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
3answers
488 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
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
2answers
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
6answers
6k 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
6answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
963 views

Mathematical definition of running

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
2answers
786 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
2answers
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
1answer
258 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
0answers
637 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
2answers
832 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 ...