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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9
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237 views

Intuition for the Yang-Baxter Equation (was: Giving relations via formal power series)

I'm reading a book (Yangians and Classical Lie Algebras by Molev) which regularly uses (what appear to me to be) clever tricks with formal power series to encapsulate lots of relations. For instance, ...
9
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0answers
244 views

What are D-branes (in a topological field theory)?

In the past couple years, I've read many words pertaining to D-branes without feeling I have really comprehended them. In broad terms, I think I get what they're about: They're supposed to serve as ...
8
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0answers
72 views

Why do people prefer cosine to sine when speaking of harmonic oscillation?

In almost all of the physics textbooks I have ever read, the author will write the oscillating function as $$x(t)=\cos\left(\omega t+\phi\right)$$ My question is that, is there any practical or ...
8
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0answers
341 views

How to solve a time-dependent Schrodinger equation in periodic Dirac delta potential

I'm trying to solve a 1D time-dependent Schrodinger equation: $$ i\frac{\partial \psi(x,t)}{\partial t}=\left[-\frac{1}{2} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}+V(x)+F(t)*x\right]\psi(x,t) $$ where $V(x)$ ...
6
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0answers
367 views

Modelling a Water Rocket. Requires Some Validation and Help. ( WARNING : Extremely Long but Interesting Post )

Good day people of math.stackexchange.com This is a pet project that I plan to use to convince my Prof that I would rather try something similar to this than to do the prescribed project. Edit : ...
6
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288 views

Renormalization for mathematicians

Can someone explain to me the processes of renormalization and regularization used in quantum field theory and similar fields in a way that a pure mathematician might make sense of it? Is there a ...
6
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261 views

Integral of a gaussian function of trigonometric functions

I need help with the analytical solution of this integral: ...
6
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0answers
107 views

Analytic caustics for 3D objects

Is it possible to efficiently calculate caustics for a given 3D object, like a torus, or a cube? To be more precise: let's assume that we have a 3d torus, resting on a 2d plane and a single light ...
5
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74 views

Could you explain the failure of the Hodge decomposition to exist for non-compact manifolds?

I'm a physicist and the mathematics around the Hodge Decomposition is way formal than I can currently follow (I'm trying to better myself but it'll take a while). Specifically what I'm ...
5
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52 views

Vector Laplace equation with constraint

I want to solve Laplace equation for a vector $\boldsymbol v=(v_x,v_y)$: $$\nabla^2 \boldsymbol{v}=0$$ but under the constraint that $$(1+v_x)^2+v_y^2=1$$ which becomes $v_y = -(2v_x+v_x^2)^{1/2}$. ...
5
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83 views

Sorting out some integrals from physics

I'm doing some physics for a change, and I'm trying to sort things out a bit. From the definitions of mass, torque, momentum and angular momentum I've come up with the following integrals: ...
5
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83 views

Show that the profile of the hill is a cycloid

I'm struggling with this problem: From George Simmons_ Differential Equations At sunset a man is standing at the base of a dome-shaped hill where if faces the setting sun. He throws a rock ...
5
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106 views

Earnshaw's theorem

Proposition Suppose $U\colon\Omega\to\mathbb R$ is a non-constant harmonic function, i.e. $U\in\mathcal C^\omega$, i.e. analytic, and $\Delta U=0$, where $\Omega\subseteq\mathbb R^n$ is a region. ...
5
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0answers
96 views

A light beam enters a closed room. What is the maximal number of reflections?

I have the following problem: a light beam enters a mirror room with integer coordinates in the plane (consider it as a polygon). One of the walls of the room is removed and the light beam enters the ...
5
votes
0answers
132 views

Solving numerically the equation of motion of D7 brane perturbation

I want to solve this equation $$ \partial_{\rho}^{2}\phi+\frac{3}{\rho}\partial_{\rho}\phi+\left(\frac{M^{2}}{(1+\rho^{2})^{2}}-\frac{l(l+2)}{\rho^{2}}\right)\phi=0 $$ numerically. I know that ...
5
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0answers
60 views

Deconvolution of distribution of diffraction reflexes

I'm a chemist stuck in a mathematical problem. Please bear with me as I'm trying to express myself in Math language. Let me explain in short terms the experimental method I'm using: X-ray ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

Second law of thermodynamics as a theorem about state space evolution

I once saw a mathematical explanation of the second law of thermodynamics. The statement was something like this: there is a mapping $f$ from the set of thermodynamic states $S$ to itself, and a ...
4
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0answers
226 views

Rolling a ball into a cone; what should the forces overall be?

Suppose there is a cone, with the apex pointing down, and the top of the cone at height $h$, apex half-angle $\psi$, ball of mass $m$, and the initial velocity into the cone (completely horizontal, ...
4
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60 views

How to integrate scalar field over quarter torus? Infinite series does not converge.

This seems to be physics question, but the problem just concerns math. Preface If one wants to calculate the permeance $P$ of a rectangular bar: it is an easy task: $$P = \frac{\mu a b}{L} ...
4
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0answers
48 views

C. Neumann passage in Latin from *Annali di Matematica Pura ed Applicata*

Neumann, Carl. “Theoria nova phaenomenis electricis applicanda.” Annali di Matematica Pura ed Applicata 2, no. 1 (August 1868): 120–128. doi:10.1007/BF02419606. p. 121: Nova introducitur ...
4
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214 views

Developing solution for electrodynamics problem

Although it is a question related to physics, since the point it really matters is its mathematical aspect, I post this question on MSE. There's an additional exercise from Introduction to ...
4
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0answers
128 views

Where do I go from Linear algebra past Calc III to try to learn complex physics (relativity and quantum group theory)?

I'm mainly a programmer, but I have a love for Mathematics that's been, well, insatiable. I've had my eye on learning Quantum Groups and Relativity, but I want to stay in something I can do with ...
4
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768 views

Publication date for Michael Spivak - Physics for Mathematicians II?

I bought the book "Physics for Mathematicians I" by Michael Spivak (http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Mathematicians-Mechanics-Michael-Spivak/dp/0914098322), have worked through quite some chapters and ...
4
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0answers
124 views

Gaussian Integral with non-polynomial exponent

I am currently trying to evaluate this Integral: $$\int\limits_{u_0}^{u_1} \exp\left[-\angle(H(u),N)^2\right]du$$ Where ...
4
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0answers
77 views

Why are linear functions the natural analogue of exponential functions in a tropical semiring?

I was reading a blog post on the Fourier transform and the Legendre transform as being the same thing over different semirings, in which the author says It's not obvious how to interpret the ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

Upper bound on the Lipschitz constant of entanglement entropy

I'm looking for an upper bound for the Lipschitz constant of entanglement entropy between two subsystems with respet to the standard distance measure of pure states in the Hilbert space of the full ...
3
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0answers
36 views

Notation for Christoffel symbols used by Gödel in “An example of a new type of cosmological solution of Einstein field equations of gravitation”

I have difficult to understand the meaning of the notation used by Gödel in the article cited in the title of this post. You can find it here: http://www.lygeros.org/10552b.pdf In the second page ...
3
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0answers
89 views

Finite difference solution of steady-state diffusion equation with variable material properties

I'm trying to use a finite difference method to solve the steady-state neutron diffusion equation in a nuclear reactor: $$ D(x) \nabla^2 \phi(x) + \left( \frac{\nu(x)}{k} \Sigma_f(x) - \Sigma_a(x) ...
3
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0answers
49 views

Kinematics of gravity in a non uniform field

I am a first year physics student. I am trying to figure out how to compute position in terms of time for an object falling through non uniform gravity towards the earth, and by extension towards any ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Fourier transform of $\frac{1}{r}$ (Coulomb potential)

When calculating the Fourier transform of a function of the form $f(\vec{r}) = \frac{1}{4 \pi \left|\vec{r}\right|}$, one encounters the problem that the resulting integral does not converge, i.e. ...
3
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0answers
48 views

Mathematical interpretation of pressure (gradient)

I'm having some problem with the following. Usually, the pressure of some mass on an area A is defined by $$P=\frac{F}{A}$$ where $F$ is the force of the mass exerted due to gravity. However, here ...
3
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95 views

Using the integral equation, find the eigenvalues and eigenfucntions

The integral equation: $$ \int_{-\frac{T}{2}}^{\frac{T}{2}}dt' \phi (t')e^{\Gamma\left | t-t' \right |} =\lambda \phi(t) $$ for $(-\frac{1}{2}T< t < \frac{1}{2}T)$ is useful in photon ...
3
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0answers
479 views

Solve a differential equation using Fourier series

Assume I have a second order differential equation $\ddot{x} = F(x,\dot{x})$ (or an equivalent equation of first order) and that I know there is a periodic solution to it (for simplicity's sake, ...
3
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0answers
102 views

Who established the word “ Degree of freedom ” in statistics?

I wonder who is the first one that established and applied the word : "degree of freedom" in statistics? Why he/she need degree of freedom in the calculation of many statistical values?
3
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157 views

Simplifying an integral arising in Physical Chemistry

I am struggling to understand the following transition (encountered in a paper on Physical Chemistry). Let $$D=\frac{\tau_0^{-1}\int_0^\infty G(t)dt}{1-\tau_0^{-1}\int_0^\infty G(t)\int ...
3
votes
0answers
96 views

Wilson lines, boundary condisions, surface defects of TQFTs

I have been studying (extended) topological quantum field theories (in short TQFTs) from the mathematical point of view and I have no background of the physics point of view. Sometimes I encountered ...
3
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0answers
411 views

Equation of motion for a wobbling disc

While looking at a frisbee the other day, I suddenly had a question. Suppose (in free space) you set a disc-shaped object spinning, and then you impart a sudden force perpendicular to the spinning ...
3
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0answers
119 views

Stability of Orbits in Schwarzschild Spacetime

I'm looking at geodesics in the Schwarzschild geometry, and have come up against something I cannot prove. I've shown that for a particle moving on a geodesic with $r$ constant and $\theta=\pi/2$ we ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Finding $\mathbf r(t)$ for the parameterized two-body equations of motion

I'm trying to understand the equations of two-body motion. Namely, given the position, velocity and mass of two orbiting bodies at time $t$, how can I explicitly find their position and velocity for ...
3
votes
0answers
179 views

What can we say about $n\times n$ invertible matrices, all elements of which are $+1$, $-1$, or $0$?

Basically, the title says it all, except for why I am asking. I'm studying a paper that I can't do justice to in a few words here. (It is not freely available on the Web, as far as I know, but I can ...
3
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0answers
235 views

Designing a mathematical physics class

Surprisingly, the university (a major tech school) I attended does not offer a mathematical physics class. Consequently, I often get asked by my physics friends what are some good math classes to take ...
3
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0answers
119 views

Analysing an optics model in discrete and continuous forms

A discrete one-dimensional model of optical imaging looks like this: $$I(r) = \sum_i e_i P(r - r_i)$$ Here, the $e_i$ are point light sources at locations $r_i$ in the object and $P$ is a point ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Behaviour of an infinitely jointed pendulum

as seen by some animations at (for example) the wikipedia page on double pendulums, the behaviour of a a pendulum with a single joint is already somewhat 'complicated.' Some quick googling seems to ...
2
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0answers
32 views

Vector/Tensor analysis, Elastic Waves

So I'm fairly confused at the moment. For reference, I'm reading this document, and the current area of interest is Section 7: Characteristic Surfaces for Planar Waves. I'm not gonna give too much ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Acceleration/Position signal correction

I have a set of data for a car position, velocity and acceleration. % my data time car_x car_velocity car_acc The problem is that these arrays have error and I ...
2
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0answers
48 views

Question related to the ballistic motion

A point mass will move in the gravitational field of the Earth according to the equation $$\ddot R =-\frac{GM_eR}{|R|^3},$$ where $R$ is the position vector of the point mass measured from the ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Index notation confusion in tensor algebra

I have some confusions regarding index notation in tensor algebra. Let's assume $\vec{v}$ is a vector belonging to vector space $V$. Choosing a basis set $\{\vec{e}_\nu\}$, $\vec{v}=x^\nu\vec{e}_\nu$ ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Find the magnitude, angle of acceleration and the angle of a particle's direction of travel

So I'm doing a Physics problem and have run into a snag with the online homework - every answer I've tried keeps getting rejected and I'm down to my last shot and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

Matrix index notation confusion in physics

$\newcommand{\diag}{\operatorname{diag}}$I'm confused about converting between explicit matrix expressions and index notation. Take $\eta_{\mu\nu}=\diag(-1,1,1,1)$ and $A$ some $4\times4$ matrix. For ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Equipartition of energy

Let $u$ solve the initial-value problem or the wave equation in one dimension: $$\begin{cases}u_{tt}-u_{xx}=0 & \text{in } \mathbb{R} \times (0,\infty) \\ u = g, u_t = h & \text{on } ...