You might be a physics major if...

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby scikidus » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

Vivek wrote:... you get this:

Two cats are sitting on a rough roof. Which one falls off first?

Spoiler:
The one with the smallest mew [math]\mu[/math]

YMBAPMI you cracke dup at that joke.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Rhubarb » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

YMBAPM if you have to be able to use functional integration, group theory and combinatorix without actually understanding the maths... (see sig).

I made the mistake of asking a maths grad student friend of mine what a Lie algebra is the other day... he was like, 'oh it's just a tangent space (thingy something something)...' and I was like... ooo kay....

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Luthen » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:32 pm UTC

Govalant wrote:YMBAPM if you would LOVE to find out that there is a difference between gravitational and inertial mass (maybe that's just me, but hey, it'd be COOL)
I'd love it to happen just because everything would fall apart more or less (like orbital mechanics). Plus maybe, just maybe FTL travel is justified, sorta, maybe, not.

YMBAPM if you can come up with a decent retelling of the "neutron walks into a bar" joke to focus on colour charge or string theory.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Xanthir » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:56 pm UTC

Luthen wrote:
Govalant wrote:YMBAPM if you would LOVE to find out that there is a difference between gravitational and inertial mass (maybe that's just me, but hey, it'd be COOL)
I'd love it to happen just because everything would fall apart more or less (like orbital mechanics). Plus maybe, just maybe FTL travel is justified, sorta, maybe, not.

YMBAPM if you can come up with a decent retelling of the "neutron walks into a bar" joke to focus on colour charge or string theory.

So, a lone quark walks into a neutron bar. After sitting there for 15 minutes without the bartender asking him for his drink, he goes to the manager and demands to know why he isn't getting any service.

"Sorry," says the manager, "we don't serve coloreds in here."


Does that count?
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Certhas » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:09 am UTC

Rhubarb wrote:YMBAPM if you have to be able to use functional integration, group theory and combinatorix without actually understanding the maths... (see sig).

I made the mistake of asking a maths grad student friend of mine what a Lie algebra is the other day... he was like, 'oh it's just a tangent space (thingy something something)...' and I was like... ooo kay....


... well it is. That's actually a really concrete way of thinking about them. Be glad he didn't just spout off the definition.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Rhubarb » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:12 am UTC

Certhas wrote:... well it is. That's actually a really concrete way of thinking about them. Be glad he didn't just spout off the definition.


Yeah, but, what's a tangent space :? Is it like a Taylor expansion to first order? :oops: Oh and while I'm here, what on earth is the "spin" of a representation???

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Govalant » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:15 am UTC

Luthen wrote:I'd love it to happen just because everything would fall apart more or less (like orbital mechanics). Plus maybe, just maybe FTL travel is justified, sorta, maybe, not.


Nah, it doesn't break anything. Another reason for hoping it to happen, there is nothing that can deny it (or so I think).
Now these points of data make a beautiful line.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby theotherjimmy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:10 am UTC

You might be a physics major if...
you find portal an interesting concept
; and logic ensued, bringing joy and releif to people through out the land

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Luthen » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:29 am UTC

Xanthir wrote:So, a lone quark walks into a neutron bar. After sitting there for 15 minutes without the bartender asking him for his drink, he goes to the manager and demands to know why he isn't getting any service.

"Sorry," says the manager, "we don't serve coloreds in here."

Does that count?
Yes it does, but now we have sub-atomic racism!

theotherjimmy wrote:You might be a physics major if...
you find portal an interesting concept
YMBAPM if you spend more time trying to work out how conservation of energy, momentum and different fields are effected by the portal than a)playing the game, b)working out how it might make life easier.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby SpitValve » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:03 pm UTC

Ratio wrote:YMBAPM if when someone says: "I weight 80Kg" you want to stab them.


Honestly, I don't know a single physicist who would give their weight in Newtons. I don't have a problem with saying it: it's not like it's ambiguous, provided you assume everybody's on the same planet.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby danpilon54 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:
Ratio wrote:YMBAPM if when someone says: "I weight 80Kg" you want to stab them.


Honestly, I don't know a single physicist who would give their weight in Newtons. I don't have a problem with saying it: it's not like it's ambiguous, provided you assume everybody's on the same planet.


[pedantry] On the same planet at the same altitude. [/pedantry]

I believe the pound unit is a measure of force rather than mass, so it is more correct, albeit not metric.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

It is used as a unit of force, based on a comparison to the weight at a certain planet and altitude.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby hideki101 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:57 pm UTC

Although, I think that mass may be a more useful measurement than weight, due to the fact that mass will generally stay constant regardless of any external forces, and it's an elementary unit, whereas weight is a compound unit (N= kg m/s2)
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:18 pm UTC

danpilon54 wrote:I believe the pound unit is a measure of force rather than mass, so it is more correct, albeit not metric.

This is correct; the corresponding unit of mass is the Slug, which is so pointless, nobody was pedantic enough to propose it until the 20th century :)
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby doogly » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:26 pm UTC

Rhubarb wrote:
Certhas wrote:... well it is. That's actually a really concrete way of thinking about them. Be glad he didn't just spout off the definition.


Yeah, but, what's a tangent space :? Is it like a Taylor expansion to first order? :oops: Oh and while I'm here, what on earth is the "spin" of a representation???


A tangent space! It is the best!
So you have a manifold, and you are thinking it, wow, this is a sweet manifold. Wrong. It is not sweet yet. You want to put vectors on it. You need the tangent space. You construct [imath]T_p(M)[/imath]. This is the tangent space to M at the point p. At a different point you have a different space. It is a vector space, and vectors live there. Tangent vectors. If in a little patch near the point p you set up some normal coordinates with a basis of [imath]x_1,x_2,...x_n[/imath] then a basis of the tangent space will be [imath]\partial_{x_1},\partial_{x_2},...\partial_{x_n}[/imath]. Now for most calculus the manifold we care about is [imath]R^n[/imath] and then the tangent space will also be [imath]R^n[/imath] and so you can be sloppy and conflate the two, and say your vectors live in the same space that your curves do. This is problematic because when you get more interesting manifolds you cannot do this anymore.
Now if you want to, you can consider a fiber bundle, a manifold that locally looks like M x Tp(M), and you have a tangent bundle. Now you have something that is sweet, because you can put a connection on here, and do geometry.

Lie Groups are groups which are also manifolds, so they have a tangent space. And, they also have a unit element, since they are groups. So you have a tangent space at the point that corresponds to the group unit. The tangent space there is the Lie Algebra. Making algebra and geometry/topology play nicely together is challenging but very rewarding.

I do not have much mathematical side insight into representations and spin geometry, but I am aware that it is an incredibly rich theory.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby PhantomPhanatic » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:53 pm UTC

thoughtfully wrote:
danpilon54 wrote:I believe the pound unit is a measure of force rather than mass, so it is more correct, albeit not metric.

This is correct; the corresponding unit of mass is the Slug, which is so pointless, nobody was pedantic enough to propose it until the 20th century :)


No....what's pointless is defining weight as exactly equal to mass! Slugs should be taught rather than that retarded mess that's called pound-mass. It makes calculations counter-intuitive. F is supposed to equal ma, but the force of one pound is equal to one pound-mass, where does the 32.2 ft/s^2 go?

In Aerospace we come into contact with slugs and lb-m all too often. Nobody can agree on what to use. I should have picked a major that wasn't stuck in the stone age of measuring systems still.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:59 pm UTC

PhantomPhanatic wrote:
thoughtfully wrote:
danpilon54 wrote:I believe the pound unit is a measure of force rather than mass, so it is more correct, albeit not metric.

This is correct; the corresponding unit of mass is the Slug, which is so pointless, nobody was pedantic enough to propose it until the 20th century :)


No....what's pointless is defining weight as exactly equal to mass! Slugs should be taught rather than that retarded mess that's called pound-mass. It makes calculations counter-intuitive. F is supposed to equal ma, but the force of one pound is equal to one pound-mass, where does the 32.2 ft/s^2 go?

In Aerospace we come into contact with slugs and lb-m all too often. Nobody can agree on what to use. I should have picked a major that wasn't stuck in the stone age of measuring systems still.

On the scale of historical accidents that spawned scientific absurdities, I'd rank that up there with imagining that Pluto should be considered a planet. *ducks*
Of course, this is par for the course when Percival Lowell is involved :)
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby idobox » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:58 pm UTC

In Aerospace we come into contact with slugs and lb-m all too often. Nobody can agree on what to use. I should have picked a major that wasn't stuck in the stone age of measuring systems still.

YMBAPM if you participate to flame wars about different measuring systems. By the way, I'm french, use the metric system every day, except for screen width and plane altitude. Aerospace industry seem to really love archaic units. Do they still count the speed in knots?
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby doogly » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:08 pm UTC

idobox wrote:
In Aerospace we come into contact with slugs and lb-m all too often. Nobody can agree on what to use. I should have picked a major that wasn't stuck in the stone age of measuring systems still.

YMBAPM if you participate to flame wars about different measuring systems. By the way, I'm french, use the metric system every day, except for screen width and plane altitude. Aerospace industry seem to really love archaic units. Do they still count the speed in knots?


I am willing to excuse the use of knots to measure things if you perform the measurements with a rope.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby smw543 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:07 am UTC

thoughtfully wrote:On the scale of historical accidents that spawned scientific absurdities, I'd rank that up there with imagining that Pluto should be considered a planet. *ducks*

*Adjusts aim accordingly*
Spoiler:
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Luthen » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:27 am UTC

smw543 wrote:
thoughtfully wrote:On the scale of historical accidents that spawned scientific absurdities, I'd rank that up there with imagining that Pluto should be considered a planet. *ducks*
*Adjusts aim accordingly*
*Eris gets in the way*
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Xanthir » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:45 am UTC

Pfft. If you can't clear your orbital neighborhood of other objects, you shouldn't be surprised when people stop calling you a planet.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby thoughtfully » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:18 am UTC

Any nine year old can see that a clump of ice (mingling with comets) smaller than our moon with an orbital plane seriously out of whack and that can't figure out if its the eighth or ninth planet isn't a planet at all, but just a unusually big snowball.

Notwithstanding the historical circumstances and Percival Lowell's highly active imagination.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby smw543 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:16 am UTC

Well obviously Pluto doesn't have much merit scientifically, but it has sentimental value! Doesn't that count for anything anymore? Or has science, that cold-hearted bitch with the fourteen-inch strap on, stolen your soul?
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby scikidus » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:19 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:Well obviously Pluto doesn't have much merit scientifically, but it has sentimental value! Doesn't that count for anything anymore? Or has science, that cold-hearted bitch with the fourteen-inch strap on, stolen your soul?

Sure, call it an honorable planet or something, but then Ceres has to be one too, because we gave it planet status in the 1800's and later heartlessly renamed it an asteroid with all of its asteroid friends.

Face it: you just can't keep a 9-planet solar system.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:58 pm UTC

But it has a piece of music in The Planets!
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby idobox » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:52 pm UTC

YMBEPM if you seriously fight over the status of Pluto. Or if you know that Ceres, Juno and Pallas were considered planets, or that Makemake, Eris and Haumea exist and are considered dwarf planets.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:47 am UTC

It has a piece of music.

Actually, Pluto not really being a planet, and its piece not really being in the Planets Suite appeals to my sense of aesthetics.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby PhantomPhanatic » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

idobox wrote:
In Aerospace we come into contact with slugs and lb-m all too often. Nobody can agree on what to use. I should have picked a major that wasn't stuck in the stone age of measuring systems still.

YMBAPM if you participate to flame wars about different measuring systems. By the way, I'm french, use the metric system every day, except for screen width and plane altitude. Aerospace industry seem to really love archaic units. Do they still count the speed in knots?


We generally use ft for alt, mph or ft/s or knots for velocity (though knots get used much less frequently in design), nautical miles or statute miles for range, lb-m or slugs for mass (this always gets confusing when using for density....), Rankine or Fahrenheit for temp......Then you've got the space people who generally use metric, AFAIK.....The reason for continuing to use old units is that we have lots of tables, graphs, and other historical data that is in these units.....I don't agree with it.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby idobox » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:34 pm UTC

Rankine? some people really use Rankine? Fahrenheit, ok, you're using imperial units, but why not Kelvins? If you build a unit so that the origin of the scale has some physical meaning, why don't you choose your unit to have some physical meaning too?
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby thoughtfully » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

idobox wrote:Rankine? some people really use Rankine? Fahrenheit, ok, you're using imperial units, but why not Kelvins? If you build a unit so that the origin of the scale has some physical meaning, why don't you choose your unit to have some physical meaning too?

Right, because Celsius makes so much more physical sense than Fahrenheit.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby PhantomPhanatic » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:24 pm UTC

idobox wrote:Rankine? some people really use Rankine? Fahrenheit, ok, you're using imperial units, but why not Kelvins? If you build a unit so that the origin of the scale has some physical meaning, why don't you choose your unit to have some physical meaning too?


Both Rankine and Kelvin use absolute zero as their reference. The only differences are the scale; water freezes at 491.67 R (under standard atmospheric pressure) and 273.15 in Kelvins. The scale of Celsius is based on water's freezing and boiling point. I will admit this is a better approach than Fahrenheit's but he did originally calibrate the scale based on the equilibrium temperature of the phase change from ice to water, as well as the temperature at which that phase change begins to occur. The scale was originally optimized to use fractional numbers, but was altered.

If you want a more universal scale....divide up the temperature from absolute zero to the equilibrium temperature of water under one one atmosphere of pressure.....then again, you might want to use Pascals instead.......it's all relative really, though I'd like to have a nice universal scale that works nicely and is logically derived.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby idobox » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:35 pm UTC

Well, at 0°C, water freezes, and at 100°C, it boils. The Fahrenheit scale uses more difficult to reproduce stuff, like body temperature. And almost every one outside the USA use Celsius, it must be for a reason. Finally, SI uses the kelvin.
But this thread is not about the merits of different unit systems.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby doogly » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:04 am UTC

PhantomPhanatic wrote:it's all relative really, though I'd like to have a nice universal scale that works nicely and is logically derived.


[math]k_B=\hbar=c=1[/math]
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby squark112358 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:15 am UTC

You might be a physics major if your answer to existential questions in philosophy class always involves an explanation of quantum mechanics and Schrodinger's cat.

Monty40xi wrote:
headprogrammingczar wrote:
thecommabandit wrote:
Monty40xi wrote:-You would go see a sci fi movie just on the basis that its laser beams don't show up from the side and its space scenes are quiet.

Or when you watch DVDs with friends you play that drinking game where you have to drink a shot every time one of Newton's Laws of Motion are broken.

Anyone up for a Dr. Who marathon?

Would we have to drink for every instance of wibbly wobbly timey wimeyness?


Actually I do have friends that watch Doctor Who and drink whenever he mentions time lord superiority... or does something funny with his eyebrows. Ironically none of them are physics majors except me though. I love David Tennant! *Sigh*

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mitchell » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:19 am UTC

YMBAPM if you tried to see if a Tardis is possible with household equipment.

If you're also a Time Lord, then the answer is yes. But the one I made only goes forward in time. At the same rate as everything else.
And they said you weren't supposed to do this.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby PhantomPhanatic » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:37 am UTC

Mitchell wrote:YMBAPM if you tried to see if a Tardis is possible with household equipment.

If you're also a Time Lord, then the answer is yes. But the one I made only goes forward in time. At the same rate as everything else.


I've got one half made in Blender.....my girl wants one for the Sims, figured I could use a nice high quality 3D model of one as well.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby thoughtfully » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:10 am UTC

There's 180 degrees between boiling and freezing in Fahrenheit. Hence the "degrees" I don't see any physical significance in what base you choose, decimal or sexigesimal. They're both based on the properties of water at sea level, which is a bit arbitrary, in my opinion. We gave up think of that sort of thing as "fundamental" a long time ago.
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idobox
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby idobox » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:46 am UTC

There's 180 degrees between boiling and freezing in Fahrenheit

About 180, not 180. Fahrenheit scale was not made according to water, but to a mix of ice and some ionic compound, and to human temperature. Fahrenheit divided his scale into 96° for divisibility purposes, and only later was the scale set on water phases because it was much easier to reproduce in laboratory. There are a bunch of other temperature scales that existed, and disappeared, that made as much sense as Fahrenheit. Celsius is far more used because anyone, anywhere in the world can access water and make sure its thermometer is properly calibrated.

YMBAPM if you tried to see if a Tardis is possible with household equipment.

Tardis are alive, so I'm not sure you can "build" them. Sonic screwdrivers on the other hand...
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Mitchell
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mitchell » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:54 am UTC

idobox wrote:
YMBAPM if you tried to see if a Tardis is possible with household equipment.

Tardis are alive, so I'm not sure you can "build" them. Sonic screwdrivers on the other hand...


There are things growing glowing under my bed that would pass for a good core.
And they said you weren't supposed to do this.
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void * foo;
int i;
for (i; i=10; i--)
{
foo = malloc(1-i);
};


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