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12:10 AM
12:36 AM
@BernardMeurer white boards suck
@FenderLesPaul You suck :(
White boards save my poor eyes
against the oppression of chalk
@ACuriousMind You there?
1 hour later…
1:49 AM
Hello, is anyone here? I have a physics question...
How can we help?
Hello @HelkaHomba do you know physics?
Go ahead @Downgoat...... any willing one would answer...
when they are available...
So I was trying to make a gravity simulator and I got this code...
1:50 AM
@Downgoat I know of physics
planet.velocityX += (Sun.mass / Math.pow(Sun.x - planet.x, 2)) / 1e10;
planet.velocityY += (Sun.mass / Math.pow(Sun.y - planet.y, 2)) / 1e10;

planet.x += planet.velocityX;
planet.y += planet.velocityY;
I'd appreciate any help :3
@skillpatrol: o/
\o @MAFIA36790
@Downgoat You here?
What a pleasure
@BernardMeurer yup
2:01 AM
Interesting bug
@Downgoat Your calculations here are obviously incorrect.
The thing in the denominator that must be squared is the radius, not a component thereof. Only after you have the magnitude of the force do you find it's components.
And yes, there are ways to shortcut it, but what you've done here is not one of them.
Secondly, you need to make sure that the resulting force is attractive which you have not done here.
Finally, this simply quadrature is not symplectic and will have a tendency to slowly add or subtract energy to the system even after you fix the surface bugs (which might be OK if you are doing it for Programming Puzzles & Code Golf, but probably isn't for any other purpose).
The game you tried to play there will only work is the vector (in this case the vector between the positions of the two bodies) appear to the power 1 (i.e. linearly and in the numerator).
@dmckee when you so it's not symplectic, I went to the wikipedia page and it does say "celestial mechanics", so am I misunderstanding what you're saying?
2:17 AM
@Downgoat You've misunderstood. Using a algorithm for celestial mechanics doesn't make it symplectic, being symplectic makes it suitable or proper for doing celestial mechanics.
The identifying characteristic of symplectic integrators is that they conserve energy properly. The one you're tying to use does not (as almost everyone who has tried to write this kind of simulation without recurse to a textbook has found out after they got the bugs worked out; my experience doing so was about 25 years ago).
But don't worry about that yet. Start by solving the surface bugs so that it will at least almost work. It's not worth trying to puzzle out symplectic methods until you've got the basics under control.
hm, okay... I guess I'll have to read more on what I'm doing before I continue... One more question I have is, when you say "that must be squared is the radius", do you mean the distance between the two bodies?
@Downgoat Yep. Sorry about the unclear language. I was teaching the central force chapter of classical mechanics a couple of weeks ago and slipped into the habit of assuming we were working in the CoM/reduced-mass framework.
@dmckee Hey Smithy, can you do me a favor?
Check over this code
4 hours later…
6:34 AM
@Downgoat I feel the urge to plug this.
6:52 AM
Hello. I have a question. May someone answer me please?
Is there anyone?
7:17 AM
Q: How can I type math?

lucasI don't know how I can type math in physics.stackexchange when I ask a question or answer. I type math in the Office word and use print screen. May anyone help me?

2 hours later…
Damn, made a mistake.... please reject this edit.
10:26 AM
Refer a psychiatrist or keep an iron knife next to you. It stops bad dreams. — Anubhav Goel 24 mins ago
Is this a joke I'm not getting, or merely a non-sensical comment (the iron knife part)?
I don't get it either
In any case, joke or not, I don't see how it's constructive, so I deleted it.
Googling shows me that it is a folklore belief that putting a knife under your pillow (or sometimes specifically an iron knife) wards against bad dreams
Hm, interesting. Still not a constructive comment, but interesting.
Yeah, I agree it wasn't constructive
The Google hits are rare though, it seems not to be very widespread, or at least not very well-documented
@ChrisWhite I've been thinking. Of the few computational questions we get, most of them seem to be about this issue with non-symplectic integrators. Should we have a canonical question+answer on that? Or should we just point people to that question on Computational Science? The latter would be effectively declaring such questions off topic for us.
11:01 AM
I would not suggest sleeping with a sharp object in your bed
One time I had some thumbtacks in my bed, it made for an uncomfortable awakening
11:35 AM
Well, it doesn't have to be sharp..
A knife can technically be absent mindedly defined as being a post sharpened object that could once cut..
And you could always put a sheath on it..
12:04 PM
the comment was "obviously" made tongue in cheek :P
without really meaning what one is saying or writing.
I bought some chocolate
My diet :O
dark or white?
12:47 PM
bon appetit :-)
1:11 PM
Equicontinuous functions are nasty
or better, equicontinuous functions are nice but proving equicontinuity is nasty
So this is a poor representation of vacuum energy?

@Jiminion I have no idea what that picture is supposed to depict.
I guess it's a measurement?
Energy measurement of the vacuum
I dunno
@ACuriousMind It is part of a video showing stuff winking in and out of existence. It is supposed to be what's happening inside a proton (and responsible for most of its mass).
Well maybe try to find how they actually got this picture
1:21 PM
I think it was by Mather and Smoot?
2:07 PM
Originally I planned to ask this question inspired from today's fuel cell lecture, but a bit of googling found the answer

If resisance is defined to be dV/dI, then strange result will be obtained when you tried to take the slope near the peak power...

The fact that resistance is V/I and V/I is linear means we are good
@JohnRennie @AccidentalFourierTransform Why did you vote to leave open here? The question is obviously too broad.
You're too broad
@ACuriousMind for several reasons, but mainly because the question blew up, and IMHO it's the best question in the "hottests questions" list this month.
also, the question is supposed to be turned into "community post", which are always too broad, so I thought to let it be
@AccidentalFourierTransform Um...it's not supposed to, we don't use community wiki like that here. The only current use case for community wiki are resource recommendation questions.
well, the question reads "I suggest, at some point, we collate all of the answers into a single community post."
I'm new here
@ACuriousMind yes I agree it's not really a good fit for the Physics SE, but I was curious to see what the answers would be. So I suppose I voted for selfish reasons really.
And I think it has attracted some fascinating answers.
I thought it was the standard procedure to turn list-questions into community posts, but I guess I was wrong
2:39 PM
@AccidentalFourierTransform MathOverflow and math.SE do that, I think, but we have never established that here as far as I know
@ACuriousMind and, well, I like the question and I enjoyed reading the answers :-)
anyway, why did you ask me and JR, but not JD haha
@JohnRennie Yes, it has. It's a good question - for another site. I don't like the idea of leaving open a question that is formally clearly a big list question without clear answer because it is interesting since it suggests we only stick to policy to get rid of questions we don't like.
@AccidentalFourierTransform Well...I would have to lift the ignore to see his reply :P
@ACuriousMind and I must admit my decision was partially influenced by that gluon question from last week.
@ACuriousMind I can't argue with you since I'm clearly in the wrong on this one, but I'm unconvinced it's doing the site any harm. Given that I routinely run out of close votes by midday I would much sooner use them for the floods of homework questions.
both questions were off-topic, and both of them got several thousands of views
but this time the question is about physics
I dont like the idea of closing questions that arouse that much interest
2:49 PM
@AccidentalFourierTransform what was the gluon question from last week?
@JohnRennie This one
@JohnRennie yes, from last Thursday
@AccidentalFourierTransform But that interest is mainly off-site interest from users who do not participate here.
I think how many views or votes a question has should have no influence one whether it is on- or off-topic
Hmm, I thought that question was just crap. I voted to close it, though it seems I'm in the minority on this one.
@JohnRennie Well, the question is crap. It's just not off-topic. It also took far longer for reopening than it took for closing, so I'm not sure you are in a minority.
2:53 PM
Ah, I didn't realise it had been closed then reopened. I'm tempted to vote to close again :-)
@BernardMeurer What do you mean? I didn't say I needed anything :o
@JohnRennie lets do it ;-)
@JohnRennie I don't think you can vote again, but try it.
did you get confused by the guy above your message having a similar profile picture lol?
@ACuriousMind Im not sure the interest is from users that don't participate here. After all, the closing of the question provoked quite a stir from high rep users...
2:55 PM
@ACuriousMind just VTC'd :-)
Personally, I think it is a trend that questions are getting more and more cross discipline
while I don't have much comment on this particular one (other than it is an interesting angle to look at this particular topic, thus very narrow), similar cross discipline questions are going to be widespread as problems become harder and harder to solve by just one discipline
There's nothing disciplined about that question. The answer is that anything that used gluons to see couldn't farther than a femtometre and would quickly be eaten by other organisms whose eyes used boring old photons.
Q: Canonical question for two masses falling in Newtonian gravity

David ZSome variation of this question gets asked a lot: We have 2 point masses, $m$ and $M$ in a perfect world separated by radius $r$. Starting from rest, they both begin to accelerate towards each other. So we have the gravitational force between them as: $$F_g = \frac{GMm}{r^2}$$ How d...

if something is increasing eventually but maybe not immediately (there are deviations) do we say it is generally increasing? like say $p(x)$ increases when $x$ increases by some order of magnitude but it may be immediately increasing/decreasing for increments below that order of magnitude of $x$?
@JohnRennie Well the discipline they are referring to are fields/areas of studies. You would have to know physics to know how seeing gluons would impact evolution, correct? You also know some bio because you knew the organism would be at a disadvantage. So, it is cross-disciplined.
3:11 PM
@Obliv I'm afraid I think it's a stupid question. If you known what gluons are you know it's ridiculous to suggest them as a mechanism for sight. If you don't know what gluons are you shouldn't be mentioning them in a question like that.
Tbh I don't even know how one could use gluons to see.
gluons don't travel very far i'm guessing?
maybe a better question would be: could there exist very small organisms that use gluons to 'see'?
veerrry small
IMO, if I am a strict person I will agree that question is really stupid because the answer is so trivial

However what makes it interesting (at least to me) is because not many people think about angles like this

There are a lot of other questions that are MUCH less stupid than this, but still suffer from the same problem of being asked, because people are generally not aware that such question can exist in the first place

That is, (at least to me), I found a question in general can be hard not because its answer is hard (often times it is very trivial) but because of our tendency to ove
Let's see if Arxiv has some cool new papers
The above then caused me to wonder and generated a meta question (NB it is not very physics but more psychology or neuroscience):

What are the known bias and other things that can cause people to overlook the possibility to ask some question, such as very good questions that have complicated answers but remain undiscovered until muhc sooner. What governs the discovery of those interesting (and sometimes important) questions in general?
The more I learn the more I realise how hard is to be aware or to discover a good question
"Wormholes minimally violating the null energy condition"
Oh Lobo
Why is Lattice Field Theory so focused on QCD
Wouldn't QED be a better introduction
3:22 PM
In conlusion there are a couple things that makes good questions hard:
1. The answer itself, obviously
2. How to ask the question so that others can understand it
3. What question to ask
*4. How to avoid overlooking really nice questions
@Slereah Um...because QED is perturbative, so there's no need for lattice methods,, and you don't see the main ideas of putting a non-Abelian gauge theory on a lattice in QED?
@Secret that's like asking how do the minds of geniuses work? I was always under the assumption that normal people had a narrower outlook on a question whereas geniuses were able to see the question with a larger field of view (more creativity, seeing connections, etc)
"As a result we obtain a discrete version of an algebraic Quantum Field Theory"
Not again
@ACuriousMind Sure but for an introduction
Would it not be gentler
For an introduction you usually put scalar fields alone on a lattice
3:25 PM
Yeah, or that
At least, that's what I got as an intro
But they went straight for QCD in that intro
A bit harsh if you ask me
That's like if a GR book uses the Mixmaster metric as the first case
what's a good intro to scalar fields in LFT that isn't just a powerpoint presentation
To elaborate point 4, consider the following:
(NB below is not intended to be mathematic, so please don't say I use maths wrongly because there is no maths in what I am going to say below, but that's really the best I can do to present it in English because my mind is like a computer more than a person)

Suppose in a given topic we have a bunch of questions Q1, Q2, Q3 etc.
Some questions such as Q1 have easy assumptions and easy answers which anyone with enough common sense can ask (and does not provide any insights). These are the stupid questions to most
IMO discovering the good questions is not unlike hunting for rare particles in colliders. Even worse than particles, questions are vague entities/concepts and generally don't obey conservation laws, thus we don't have a way in general to discover them (at least based on what I know...)
@Secret well yes, you don't need to have a huge memory to recite $\pi$ if you're reading it off a piece of paper. If you somehow managed to have a control group of people of varying genetics to live the life of Einstein or any other significant scientists, you would get varying results on whether they asked Q3. I think it's how the brains develop through genetics & environment that lead people to be able to ask questions like Q3.
you need to think like someone who is capable of asking Q3 AND be proficient in some field of study
3:37 PM
I know 10 decimals of pi and it's basically useless
@Secret i think you would enjoy talks by Nick Bostrom if you haven't heard of him already. He talks about increasing the discovery rate of Q3 sometimes.
$\pi = 3$ is pretty much all you need
$3 + \frac{1}{8}$, tops
I hope you're not studying to be an engineer @slereah lol
you would cause a lot of damage :p
Man I've seen some astrophysicists not even caring if they had a margin of error of two orders of magnitude
1. be proficient in some field of study: This is hard but straightforward
2. capable of asking Q3: I sometimes felt like some luck is needed even if you are very proficient in the field. It's really like if you encounter a neutrino, whether it causes a recoil in your atoms, no matter how hard you try to look for them
3:40 PM
Ancient Egypt used $3 + \frac{1}{8}$ and they built the pyramids!
@Obliv Hmm, will check that out
@AccidentalFourierTransform we don't use CW mode for anything except resource recommendations (which I was opposed to)
I agree I think sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time doing something to see something profound. This applies mostly to physics though @secret
@Slereah try building something modern and let me know if it works out. Anything that moves in circles is preferred :p
wait would building an accelerator be impossible if you have the wrong number for $\pi$ :O
@DavidZ well yes, now I know it :-P
Im a newbie here!
@DavidZ A canonical answer might be worth having here, especially since the motivation (conservation of energy) is so physically motivated. That question is the one I personally most often link to, since every physically-inclined coder at some point writes such a code and then wonders why it just doesn't work.
3:44 PM
@DavidZ Ive seen many big-list questions on Math.SE turned into CW
@DavidZ I use community wiki for my canonical Q/As ...
@JohnRennie ah, well that's your choice
I guess I extrapolated
(Another interesting question spawn from the above question (because my mind is zipping all over the place in a mess like what Acuriousmind and my postdoc said) is a philosophical but not very useful question)

Suppose we do found a way to massively accelerate the discovery of Q3, is it meaningful to let that grow forever?

(The above question is inspired when the concept of "endless growth economics" crosses with "Finding Q3". You will see many instance of me like this, randomly cross pollinating cocnepts form all fields at random while most of the time perhaps as Acuriousmind, Slereah, my
@ACuriousMind I didn't see it in review, but I was so impressed by it being not as opinion-based as it could have been that I probably would have forgiven its breadth.
3:45 PM
Actually, broken up into smaller questions might have made for a very nice collection -- particle colliders, dark matter detectors, earth-based telescopes, space-based telescopes, etc.
@DavidZ Isn't the whole point of CW to encourage multiple authors to contribute to a question or answer?
@Secret You should study some philosophy because that borders a concept of finite technology. It's basically the idea that there exists a finite amount of potential technology. I was skeptical at first but realized it seems very plausible.
Nick Bostrom talks about that also :p
@JohnRennie Yeah, but that was more relevant in the early days of the site when there were no suggested edits. You needed some large amount of reputation (3k?) to be able to edit posts that were not your own.
Community wiki mode lowered the editing threshold to 500
OK, though I thought the point was with a CW question it wasn't a single author getting all the rep.
That was never supposed to be the point - just a side effect.
3:52 PM
@DavidZ While your objections to overusing CW are well taken, I think part of the reason many of us are okay with it is that there's a certain... uncomfortable... feeling one gets seeing individual answers earn massive reputation simply because of breadth (as canonical answers might). We accept that ceteris paribus broader questions will get more attention, but it sometimes just feels wrong to benefit too much from that.
Sometimes I felt like I think like a (possibly inefficient computer)

If Acuriousmind still remember my sharing about the idea of a chunky concept (which is actually more rigorously defined in Cognitive theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chunking_(psychology)) and given that he have observed me long enough to know my quirks, he would have noted how when I learn a new concept that can be chunked, it is like finding a new parameter to be added to the growing database of parameters

In the next few minutes, I will often act like a computer going overdrive and randomly placing random chunks t
@DavidZ I think it's quite a big deal. I would be hesitant to write a canonical Q/A if I thought it looked as if I might just be rep whoring.
@ChrisWhite Yeah, I get that. It's a natural attitude to have, but it's not healthy for the site IMO. Anything that is good enough to be on the site should be good enough to be rewarded with reputation.
While I do take a look at the reputation of the answers, I often end up reading all the answers available fearing that I will left a stone unturned and thus missing out important information
@DavidZ CW doesn't stop a question/answer being upvoted, and there's still the inner glow that comes with the approval of your peers. It just removes the more mercenary aspects of it.
3:57 PM
What do you mean by "mercenary aspects"?
@DavidZ I (and I'm guessing John too) am more concerned with my own practices than those of others'. As in, I'm not pushing for a rule that no one can write canonical answers unless CW.
@ChrisWhite Yeah, to be clear, that's what I'm arguing against: rules requiring CW mode to be used for certain kinds of questions/answers.
If someone wants to voluntarily give up any reputation they might gain from a post, I don't mind that so much.
Anyone up for SQL? I'd be interested to see, as a function of total rep (or rate of earning rep), typical users' gini coefficient for their contributions (lots of okay ones vs. a few very large sources).
@Secret Actually, you're not that different from many people in a way. What you're describing seems to be analogous to finding a puzzle piece and trying to find where it fits in your brain. I do that a lot too when I learn something profound in physics. I have no idea if it's healthy but I imagine it's a waste of time if you do it with very little knowledge of something (ie me with physics).
@DavidZ OK I see your point and I agree.
4:03 PM
Since most things you learn (when you're a novice) are thoroughly investigated and most of what you think does not apply.
Q: How is this question still open?

tpg2114Usually people get mad because we close things too quickly without considering whether they are really on topic or not. But What are the next generation physics experiments? has been open for 2 days and only has 2 close votes, despite being the very definition of too broad. Am I missing somethi...

4:43 PM
So anyway
How do you deal with operator ordering outside of the action in path integrals
What's the difference between $\langle \phi(x) \pi(y) \rangle$ and $\langle \pi(x) \phi(y) \rangle$
@Slereah $\delta(x-y)$?
Well obviously, but how do you know that
@Slereah well, $\langle \cdot \rangle\equiv \langle 0|\mathcal T\ \cdot |0\rangle$.
In path integrals both would be $\int \mathcal{D} \varphi(x) \ \varphi(x) \pi(y) e^{iS}$
and $[\phi(\boldsymbol x),\pi(\boldsymbol y)]=\delta(\boldsymbol x-\boldsymbol y)$.
4:49 PM
If the ordering shenanigan is in the action, you can use Ito integrals to deal with that
But what happens outside
well, path integrals are bullshit so who cares :-P
@Slereah: The path integral has no idea what $\pi$ is.
Well $\partial_t \varphi$
You can't compute that expression, it has no meaning in the path interral formalism.
@Slereah No
The reason you have $\phi,\pi$ in the canonical formalism is because it is Hamiltonian
Why not tho
4:51 PM
But the path integral formalism is not Hamiltonian, you are not allowed to use the Hamilton canonical momentum in a Lagrangian expression
@ACuriousMind in general, $Z=\int\mathcal D\phi\ \exp(S[\phi,\pi])$, where $S=\int \pi \dot\phi-\mathcal H$...
@AccidentalFourierTransform No, "in general", we assume that thing has been integrated out ;)
only if $\mathcal H$ is quadratic in $\pi$ you get $S=\int\mathcal L$
@ACuriousMind not always it can be integrated out
the hamiltonian expression is more general
@AccidentalFourierTransform Exactly - that is a basic assumption of QFT
@AccidentalFourierTransform Yes, but if you write the Hamiltonian expression, you also have to write $\mathcal{D}\pi$
Why can't you use $\partial_t \varphi$ either, tho
4:53 PM
@Slereah How is that supposed to be a Lorentz invariant observable?
@ACuriousMind yeah, I forgot about $\mathcal D\pi$...
Not all observables are Lorentz invariant!
Most are not, really
Q: Time ordering and time derivative in path integral formalism and operator formalism

Jia YiyangIn operator formalism, for example a 2-point time-ordered Green's function is defined as $\langle\mathcal{T}\phi(x_1)\phi(x_2)\rangle_{op}=\theta(x_1-x_2)\phi(x_1)\phi(x_2)+\theta(x_2-x_1)\phi(x_2)\phi(x_1),$ where the subscript "op" refers to operator formalism. Now if one is to take a time de...

@Slereah Please write down again what you want to compute, and why you think you can't
4:57 PM
$\langle \varphi(x) \pi(y) \rangle = \int \mathcal{D}\varphi(x) \ \varphi(x) \partial_t \varphi(y) e^{iS}$
$\langle \pi(y) \varphi(x) \rangle = \int \mathcal{D}\varphi(x) \ \varphi(x) \partial_t \varphi(y) e^{iS}$
What's the difference between those two terms
None, because you omitted the time ordering
Oh right
Does the time ordering of two operators imply that they have no ambiguity in ordering?
Well, if you look at the question @AccidentalFourierTransform linked, there is a bit more to it
I'll look into it
Tho maybe later
I ate a whole bunch of candy so I have to work out :V
My precious gains
They are in peril
Is it time for the weekly "what is Academia.SE thinking?" rant?
5:09 PM
Probably about tenure
Do tenured people think about tenure?
No they just stop thinking
No need to anymore
5:34 PM
Does dark matter(If it exists) has anything to do with weak interactions? and WIMPs?
Dark matter is just a generic term for matter you can't see
It depends on what dark matter is
Some models of dark matter interact weakly yes
Also cardio is done
Now for some lifting
@HariPrasad WIMPs are in some sense the "leading" candidate theory right now. Not because there is a consensus that they are the right answer, but because we can test that hypothesis now. I think the on-deck theory if that fails in axions.
The story of missing mass and dark matter has been a long one filled with "We know that X, Y, and Z are ruled out so we're trying to detect W", followed by knowing that W, X, Y, and Z are ruled out and starting to search for V...
5:51 PM
i do love the standard photo of the discoverer of dark matter, btw
@Slereah Who is he?
He theorized dark matter in the 30's
@Slereah But he didn't discover it.
Well he found the discrepency between the galaxy's rotation and matter density
@Slereah Could it be that we lack technical skills in doing those measurements, rather than theorizing a new kind of matter? Is there any other reason why Dark Matter should exist?
5:56 PM
Well that's the thing
There's matter we can't detect currently
What that matter is is another problem
There has been a lot of theories
You are a PHD student right?
@Slereah Graduate or postDoc or just a researcher?
I have a degree
Not doing physics now tho
@HariPrasad Dark matter solves several problems. The rotation curves of the galaxies. The velocity profiles of galaxy clusters, the aggregation problem in cosmology.
Though it increasingly looks like you need at least two temperatures (meaning at least two masses).
6:04 PM
@dmckee Hm... But what intrigues me is, what would happen if we fail to find Dark Matter?
@HariPrasad we can calculate the maximum density of ordinary matter that the Big Bang could have produced. We can do this because the matter density affects the ratio of the light elements. When we do the calculation we find there just isn't enough ordinary matter.
The conclusion is that there must be another form of matter out there producing the observed gravitational fields.
Since we can't see it we assume it doesn't interact strongly with light, and that means it doesn't interact via the electromagnetic force.
@JohnRennie what if it doesn't interact with light at all? Then what could be the other ways to find them?
@HariPrasad Current searches are based on finding interactions via the weak force. This is what the Weakly Interacting bit of WIMP refers to.
@JohnRennie @dmckee @Slereah Thanks this helped me :D
I wonder by the way
6:10 PM
I should note that neutrinos are exactly this sort of weakly interacting particle, and we detect them by their weak force interaction with other particles. However dark matter can't be neutrinos because neutrinos have relativistic speeds.
Is there a realistic cosmological model that isn't homogeneous
Like a metric that takes into account the large scale structures
@JohnRennie And we know how many light to medium mass flavors there are from the decay parameters of the Z boson. But there could, in principle be massive sterile flavors.
True, and a massive right handed neutrino would conveniently provide the masses for the three neutrinos we can see. As I understand it the various dark matter searches are getting to the point where thy can start ruling out some possibilities.
@Obliv The range of gluons is on order of the size of a proton. It's like John said, if you know what they are the answer is trivial.
hey guys, im having a bit of a derpy moment
im doing a spherical diffusion equation, fixed BC's at finite intervals, with radial symmetry
that means I basically should be writing down Legendre polynomials as the ansewer right
6:16 PM
@dmckee that flipping question is still open, and you're moaning at me for failing to close the one on large scale experiments in physics!
Why does the notification box that appears in the chat occasionally notify me about questions posted in other sites? I've just seen a notification for:
Q: In a fantasy setting, what would races of varying intelligence need to learn in order to complete quests?

Bishop MinterFor humans, elves, and gnomes who have average to high intelligence and wisdom I see them excelling in mathematics, physics, sciences, etc. These skills could be used to complete quests in any number of ways. For example, determine the volume of liquid needed to fill a certain container so that...

Which seems a fun question, but I'm puzzled as to why it appeared in a notification here.
Minotaur school!
Hmm, I note it has been tagged as Physics. I wonder if that prompts the SE to notify here.
The bot gives posts on meta and on worldbuilding if tagged with physics
@Slereah interesting, i guess if i ever decide to push through with my physics driven magic system i know what tag to use to draw the literate in
@JohnRennie A bit ago, we added some physics tags from other sites to appear there. It's worldbuilding.physics, music.acoustics and mo.math-phys, possibly some more
6:27 PM
What about science questions from the Islam SE and Christian SE?
Q: Are angels visible at the speed of light?

Muhammad I was wondering if the angels are made of light, could we see them if we traveled at the speed of light?

@Slereah lolnope i dont see that going well
@Slereah case and point
How do you Lorentz transform an angel
Are they vectors or scalars
Depends on what the needle whose tip they're dancing on is
Q: Black Holes, is it okay to believe in them?

FarhanSalam, I am studying for a physics degree and we are beginning to study Black Holes. But I am not sure whether or not these comply with the Quran, any justification would be appreciated.

@Slereah that question has a good answer though!
6:33 PM
I say black holes are a sin!
Repent your geodesically incomplete solutions!
There are of course physicists who would agree with you :-)
You know I wonder why there aren't more physics research into non-linear distribution theory
It would help out for both QFT and GR
Q: How do young earth creationists reconcile the age of the universe with the speed of light, and visible distant objects?

aceintheholeI am not trying to be argumentative, this is an earnest question, as this question got me in huge trouble when I was growing up attending a southern baptist Christian middle school. This question (and people's reactions to it) is actually one of the things that lead my away from the church as a t...

6:51 PM
Just when you all hoped I'd stopped ranting on about vacuum fluctuations ...
This looks an interesting book on the subject. Has anyone read it?
@Slereah what if they are tensors
I have not
God, why cant creationists just retcon the age of the universe into their holy writings by saying something like Gods Words were so vast and unfathomable for a common man of that era that 13 billion (which god said was "a really long time") was interpreted as 10000 years
Because literalism
@Slereah why should man be able to understand the literal word of God, thats pretty arrogant on man's part to assume
and a thousand years ago I'd be put on fire for saying this
@JohnRennie you said earlier neutrinos are "weakly interacting" by this did you mean they interact with the weak force or that their interaction mechanism was low in magnitude
6:59 PM
@user507974 both!
I'm not sure I see the relevance of that ...
@JohnRennie isnt QED basically the theory of electron self interactions
No, I don't think so
7:06 PM
isnt that what self energy is?
The self energy exists in classical electrodynamics, but it's infinite. QED gives us a description of the field around an electron that doesn't require infinite energy, but this is one application of QED rather than the heart and soul of it.
@JohnRennie whats the heart and soul then?
QED is just the quantized version of EM
<snarky>John is good at telling what things are not, rather than what they are!</snarky> :)
@HariPrasad : no.
7:20 PM
Virtual Particle Representation (valid?):

@Slereah : yes.
@Jiminion : no.
That's not a virtual particle representation
Those are just field values
@Jiminion : see this by anna v: "virtual particles exist only in the mathematics of the model".
@JohnDuffield So fields REALLY exist?
7:36 PM
I feel like this is a task for @ACuriousMind
user image
what a glorious image
i felt like we needed something like that here
Truly amazing hahaha
7:54 PM
@JohnRennie I think that room owners can control the room feeds. I'm not sure who hooked us up with the science-based tags for worldbuilding, but that's what is going on.
@user507974 I have been called?
@ACuriousMind You're basically a celebrity
so there is a bit of an uncertainty going on basically about QED, the physical meaning of virtual particles, and if self-interaction is a thing in QED
@user507974 "Self-interaction" is a bit of a nebulous term. The self-energy is the contribution of Feynman diagrams in which the electron emits and then again absorbs photons to the propagator. This "dresses" the mass of the electron, as it shifts the pole compared to the free theory. It's not far fetched to call these contributions "self-interactions".
However, the Feynman diagrams depict just a systematic way to organize the deviation of QED from a free fermion theory. It is not justified by anything in the formalism to literally conceive of an electron state emitting or absorbing actual, real photons. The photon lines in these diagrams do not belong to actually occupied states.
@ACuriousMind I recall in my QM class doing a sort of integration of shells of a sphere that represented an electron in the middle with its probability density across the surface of the sphere. Does this have any physical significance and relevance to the discussion?
8:07 PM
@user507974 No. The particle states one uses in QFT are usually sharp momentum states, they are rather delocalized. Localizing particles in a relativistic theory is a bit tricky
You can use coherent states
Those are well localized
Yes, but that has nothing to do with what one calls self-energy, or what one draws in the Feynman diagrams.
Self energy even appears in classical theory, really
It's not that weird a concept
@ACuriousMind so as oppose to a self-interaction for an electron its better to think of these deviations from a free fermion theory as basically some kind of optimization that naturally occurs in the electrons that results in a distribution that differs from the free fermion
it just so happens that the best pseudo-particle theory is this Feynman diagram picture
Well, I don't know about "better". It is a correction term to the propagator, i.e. a correction to the behaviour of a lone electron in the interacting theory. It's fine to call it "self-interaction", just don't think about emitting photons
8:15 PM
Overall it's usually not a very productive use of your time to ask yourself is something is "real" in physics
@ACuriousMind virtual or not, at least if we are looking for a physical interpretation
Just ask yourself what element of the model is observable in the end
@Slereah I think there is something to learn from asking yourself what "is" real. It's like understanding phonons. Even if they dont exist as a particle proper there is a real mechanism underlying the collective excitations.
It can be instructive
But don't spend too much time on it because in the end, nothing is "real" in those models
Those are just mathematical abstractions
Although there are plenty of reasons in particular why virtual particles aren't real
wow **** me I just tried to prove something for an hour and a half missing a definition that would have made this infinitely more helpful Q_Q
8:25 PM
missing a definition always hurts
It seems to be all about the math. If the math works and is predictive, then the underlying reality (whatever that is) doesn't matter.
missing your dog hurts more T_T
Outside of a dog, solving Physics problems gives me great comfort. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to solve Physics problems.
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