# Tagged Questions

Questions related to mathematical physics which include application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories

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### Solving a differential equation?

I'm trying to analyze the transient state of a RC circuit. My book gives me the following differential equation: $$\frac{d(v(t))}{dt} + av(t) = c$$ for some constants $a$ and $c$. The book thens ...
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### Dirac's delta in 3 dimensions: proof of $\nabla^2(\|\boldsymbol{x}-\boldsymbol{x}_0\|^{-1})=-4\pi\delta(\boldsymbol{x}-\boldsymbol{x}_0)$

If $T_f$ is a distribution, i.e. a linear functional, continuous according to the convergence defined here, defined on the space $K$ of the functions of class $C^\infty$ that are null outside a ...
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### Importance of Representation Theory

Representation theory is a subject I want to like (it can be fun finding the representations of a group), but it's hard for me to see it as a subject that arises naturally or why it is important. I ...
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### What is the meaning of the third derivative of a function at a point

(Originally asked on MO by AJAY.) What is the geometric, physical, or other meaning of the third derivative of a function at a point? If you have interesting things to say about the meaning of the ...
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### Multivariable Calculus Book Reference

I am looking for a multivariable calculus book that is really physics oriented. Anyone know of any? EDIT: My wife is looking to brush up on multivariable at the same time she needs to brush up on ...
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### Teenager solves Newton dynamics problem - where is the paper?

From Ottawa Citizen (and all over, really): An Indian-born teenager has won a research award for solving a mathematical problem first posed by Sir Isaac Newton more than 300 years ago that has ...
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### Physicists, not mathematicians, can multiply both sides with $dx$ - why?

The following question is asked without malicious intentions - it's not intended as a flamebait! In my physics textbooks (Young & Freedman in particular) I have often seen derivations of ...
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### Mathematical meaning of certain integrals in physics

While studying on texts of physics I notice that differentiation under the integral sign is usually introduced without any comment on the conditions permitting to do so. In that case, I take care of ...
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### Physical or geometric meaning of the trace of a matrix

The geometric meaning of the determinant of a matrix as an area or a volume is dealt with in many textbooks. However, I don't know if the trace of a matrix has a geometric meaning too. Is there ...
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### Converting a function for “velocity vs. position”, $v(x)$, to “position vs. time”, $p(t)$

Provided some initial point $x(0)$, how do I convert the function for velocity vs. position, $v(x)$, into a function for position vs. time, $x(t)$, with time derivative $v(x(t))$? Constant ...
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### Why does acceleration = $v\frac{dv}{dx}$

If we define $x$ = displacement, $v$ = velocity and $a$ = acceleration then I am used to the ideas that $a= \frac{dv}{dt} = \frac{d^2x}{dt^2}$ However I also understand $a=v \frac{dv}{dx}$. Can ...