The physics tag has no usage guidance.

**81**

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**25**answers

18k 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 ...

**74**

votes

**2**answers

108k 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 ...

**83**

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 ...

**24**

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 ...

**20**

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 ...

**14**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Can the equation of motion with friction be written as Euler-Lagrange equation, and does it have a quantum version?

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

**1**answer

872 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 ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

112 views

### Generating Functional for the Dirac Field, equivalence of expressions

As with the Klein-Gordon field, we can alternatively derive the Feynman rules with the free Dirac theory by means of a generating functional. In analogy with the scalar field theory where $Z[J]$ is ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

473 views

### Analytic solution of a system of linear, hyperbolic, first order, partial differential equations

In a try to solve a physical problem, I've faced a system of first-order partial differential equations of the form
...