Questions tagged [physics]

For questions about the scientific discipline that concerns itself with analysing the laws of nature in full generality

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5 votes
2 answers
6k views

An English copy of One Hundred Authors Against Einstein?

I've been trying to find the famous article, "One hundred authors against Einstein" (100 Autoren gegen Einstein), of various objections to special relativity, which is quite often referenced, but ...
Slereah's user avatar
  • 865
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why are 'speed' and 'velocity' not given the same name?

Position is a vector. Distance/length is a name of its magnitude. Velocity is a vector. Speed is a name of its magnitude. Acceleration is a name of a vector and its magnitude. Force is a name of a ...
Steeven's user avatar
  • 260
5 votes
1 answer
153 views

Equivalence principle before Einstein [duplicate]

In a German interview some physicists were asked, what they would ask Einstein, if he were alive today. One of them wanted to know how Einstein came up with the idea of the equivalence principle, that ...
Maxim's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Who discovered total internal reflection?

There is no information on wiki. Is it known to Newton? It seems that this has not been mentioned in most textbooks.
John's user avatar
  • 909
5 votes
1 answer
664 views

How were negative numbers first used in physics?

The use of negative numbers in most of today's calculations is natural. But how did the use of negative numbers began in physics? What physical quantity required the introduction of negative numbers ...
Big Brother's user avatar
  • 2,157
5 votes
1 answer
594 views

Who first derived $a =v^2/r$

This is a basic formula in mechanics, which determines the acceleration of a particle performing uniform circular motion. By who first derived it? In Newton's Principa, what one can find is that $$...
poisson's user avatar
  • 387
5 votes
4 answers
558 views

When did error propagation become prominent in physics?

I think is well known that greek scientists and even founding fathers of modern science did not use error propagation in their calculations. Today, instead, is unacceptable to work out any prediction ...
Rho Phi's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes
2 answers
288 views

What did it historically mean in physics for something to "exist"?

What is the history of influential definitions of objective existence --- This Is Real, It Exists --- in physics? Where did they appear in the literature and in what context were they put forward? ...
Shing's user avatar
  • 664
5 votes
2 answers
462 views

What made Einstein believe (or know) that time was affected by speed and gravity?

How did he come up with this idea before there was any experimental data to prove this?
Curious Layman's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
434 views

On the development of Newtonian Mechanics

Having borrowed from the library an English translation of Newton's Principia (Motte's), I read the begining sections, Part 1 and the Systems of the world, and noticed that Newton did physics ...
Cicero's user avatar
  • 551
5 votes
1 answer
183 views

Have there been instances in physics where different scientists have interpreted the same data differently? [closed]

Have there been instances in physics where different scientists have interpreted the same data differently? If yes, can you please give me specific examples and explain why one interpretation was ...
Vedant Rana's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
440 views

What is the history of adding the Clock Hypothesis to Special Relativity?

As far as I understand, Einstein’s original formulation of Special Relativity did not include the Clock Hypothesis, though it was implicitly assumed. The modern formulation of SR adds a formal ...
nwr's user avatar
  • 6,849
5 votes
1 answer
296 views

Was Captain Cook’s voyage to observe the transit of Venus going to enable better ship navigation at the time?

On a recent visit to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich I was struck by its proximity to the Naval Academy next door. The theme of the history of clocks and development of astronomy was driven by the ...
hawkeye's user avatar
  • 283
5 votes
1 answer
350 views

What triggered the general relativity renaissance?

There is a period of general relativity history famous for its lack of activity, where during the 1950's, almost no general relativity was done. Looking through various bibliographies, there were very ...
Slereah's user avatar
  • 865
5 votes
1 answer
425 views

Source of cartoon lampooning Felix Klein

There is an interesting cartoon in the book Lillian Hoddeson, Ernst Braun, Jurgen Teichmann, Spencer Weart (Eds.) Out of the Crystal Maze: Chapters from The History of Solid State Physics. Oxford ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
  • 5,496
5 votes
1 answer
404 views

Who originally derived the general force law equation of force between current elements?

Wikipedia credits this to Maxwell. This derivation can be found in Maxwell's Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism vol. 2, part 4, ch. 2 (§§502-527). I went through the derivation and found two self ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 181
5 votes
1 answer
927 views

History of the study of indeterminism in classical mechanics

The classic Norton's dome problem, space invaders and other examples, show that Classical Mechanics, held as the paragon of determinism for ages having inspired Laplace's statements on determinism, is ...
Cicero's user avatar
  • 551
5 votes
1 answer
220 views

Are there any direct comments by Isaac Newton on Leibniz's living force / vis-viva?

The living force or the vis-viva is a quantity usually attributed to Leibniz (although there were a few other people who identified it as a conserved quantity in certain collisions earlier). Many ...
Maximal Ideal's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
993 views

How did Newton prove his third law of motion?

I guess it is an experimental law, so what was the experiment?
Amit Keinan's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
295 views

High voltage / current sources in 19th century cathode ray experiments

In modern chemistry textbooks, a DC source (battery symbol) is usually shown for cathode ray tube experiments by Thomson and others. Certainly, no battery can provide very high voltages needed for gas ...
AChem's user avatar
  • 4,049
5 votes
1 answer
184 views

Who was the first person to describe turbulence in mathematical terms?

Here I found that: Sixty years later, Russian mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov furthered our mathematical understanding of turbulence when he proposed that energy in a turbulent fluid at length $R$ ...
Paula's user avatar
  • 173
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why couldn't Huygens explain diffraction using his principle?

Huygens' principle seemed quite complete in this description if applied correctly. I noticed that Fresnel was credited in the Huygens-Fresnel principle, as well. I think it is because he was able to ...
Obliv's user avatar
  • 163
5 votes
1 answer
720 views

Who was first to observe or detect photons in the double slit experiment, and how did they do that?

In the early 1800s Thomas Young introduced (a thought-?) experiment also known as the two slit experiment. He discovered the strange way photons created a interference pattern on a screen. There is ...
Marijn 's user avatar
  • 383
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Where did $P=VI$ come from?

Where did the basic physics law $P=VI$ come from? Here, $P$ is power, $V$ is voltage and $I$ is current. It doesn't have a name like Ohm's law, as far as I could find. So where did it originally come ...
wythagoras's user avatar
  • 3,012
5 votes
1 answer
309 views

On the naming of quantum chromodynamics

A theory of strong interaction is called quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Particles interacting strongly are supposed to have color charge, for example quarks appear in three "mutations" - red, green and ...
Martin Vesely's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
201 views

Corpuscular theory of light and Double slit experiment

I am sure many scientists would initially have attempted to explain Young's double slit experiment's results using the concept of light as a stream of particles. Can somebody tell me what these ...
futurePast's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
369 views

How did Källén get his name attached to $x^2 + y^2 + z^2 - 2 x y -2 x z- 2 y z$?

For some reason, everybody refers to the function $$\lambda(x,y,z) = x^2 + y^2 + z^2 - 2xy -2xz-2yz$$ as "Källén's triangle function." (see for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunnar_Källén). ...
QuantumDot's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
270 views

When was "Faraday's Law of Induction" first expressed in a quantified form?

An often used definition of "Faraday's Law of Induction" goes something like this (found in Wikipedia) The electromotive force around a closed path is equal to the negative of the time rate ...
Math Keeps Me Busy's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
133 views

Looking for references to an experiment on the evaporation rate of water in sunlight

I remember reading a long time ago about some experiments measuring evaporation rate of water in large open containers (tubs) sitting on open ground. It was a simple experiment, each day the water ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 2,163
5 votes
1 answer
308 views

How did Lagrange get his equation (the so-called Euler-Lagrange equation)

The variational principle is named after Hamilton, instead of Lagrange. So it seems that he did not derive his equation by the variational method.
poisson's user avatar
  • 387
5 votes
1 answer
192 views

Who coined the term "degenerate star"?

I'm trying to find a good source for the definition of degenerate matter to differentiate it from Fermi gases. For my research a good section on history would be nice. This question is more ...
Mauricio's user avatar
  • 3,324
5 votes
1 answer
577 views

Who first proposed the "colour" charge?

Does anybody know a paper or sorts in which the term "colour" charge in QCD was introduced first? Or any other source in which this label was proposed?
uitty400's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
120 views

Who first wrote down the spin-orbit coupling term in the atom?

Who first wrote down the spin-orbit coupling term in the atom? Was it Dirac himself? The term should be derived from the Dirac equation.
John's user avatar
  • 909
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is the thermoelectric figure of merit denoted by $ZT$?

Why is the thermoelectric figure of merit denoted by $Z T$? Does $Z T$ come from the abbreviation of words in some language? Update: So far, $T$ has been figured out — it is the temperature, to make ...
Αλέξανδρος Ζεγγ's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
588 views

Who was first to integrate Newton's equations of motion to derive the conservation laws for mechanical energy and momentum?

I'm wondering who is the first person in the history who came up with an idea to integrate Newton's $F=ma$ to obtain the law of mechanical energy conservation? And When did it happen? Also I have the ...
Pengin's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
1 answer
214 views

Who popularized the question "why is the sky blue?"

"Why is the sky blue" is a question that everybody seems to know, and in modern times is associated with children's innate curiosity. If I casually flip through a few of the children's science books I ...
QCD_IS_GOOD's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
278 views

Why did Greek Olympic games take place every fourth year?

I was wondering why Greeks chose to have Olympic games every four years. Now, since we usually every fourth year is a leap one, it makes sense; but the reform of the calendar which stated this is due ...
mau's user avatar
  • 1,277
5 votes
1 answer
149 views

Was Joseph Priestley "isolated"

Joseph Priestley is often said to have discovered Oxygen, or not due to calling it Dephlogisticated air - depending on one's preference. However, regardless of this, it is often said in popular ...
Ponder Stibbons's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
714 views

Did Heisenberg ever accept Schrödinger's formulation of quantum mechanics, or at least did he relax his negative views about it?

Both Heisenberg and Schrödinger found each other's way of formulating Quantum Mechanics quite repellent. My question is: Did any of the two change their views towards each other (specially Heisenberg)...
vengaq's user avatar
  • 297
5 votes
1 answer
637 views

Pauli's first paper about the spin

Wikipedia states, that the spin degree of freedom was first formulated by Pauli in 1924: In 1924 Wolfgang Pauli introduced what he called a "two-valued quantum degree of freedom" associated with ...
thyme's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
3 answers
958 views

"Tension" between Electromagnetism and Newton's laws

When talking about the inconsistencies in physics that led up to Einstein's discovery of relativity today's professors always say that Maxwell's discovery of the constant speed of light $c$ created a ...
alex's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
794 views

Introduction of the Gravitational constant

The constant G in Newton's law $F = G m_1m_2/r^2$ is, as far as I know, absent from Newton's work - who introduced this constant?
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
295 views

Mathematical interpretation of Aristotelian mechanics

I am looking for books which include a mathematical interpretation of Aristotle's hypotheses about mechanics. I heard that there are a few books which interpret his mechanical ideas mathematically, ...
jack's user avatar
  • 123
5 votes
1 answer
200 views

Where is the Foucault pendulum in Mainz?

A Foucault pendulum in Mainz is listed on Wikipedia. The article says that it is in School for Business and Technique, Mainz However, I didn't find any information about this pendulum on the ...
user153012's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
129 views

Is there an anthology of classic papers on electricity?

I'm trying to find a book similiar to Stephen Brush "Kinetic Theory of Gases: An Anthology of Classic Papers With Historical Commentary". The electricity version, let's say! I like to see how subjects ...
Gabriele Scarlatti's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are Archimedes's contributions to the principle of the screw pump?

I read that the famous screw pumps were used before Archimedes (in the hanging gardens of Babylon for example), and that the Archimedean screw is named after him because he "developed a rigorous ...
user2554's user avatar
  • 4,367
5 votes
1 answer
305 views

How did the notion of "time" come in the world of physics?

I was trying to figure out how people came to know about time then I realized that people started keeping track of time to know about sunset and sunrise. But I can't figure out how did time came into ...
Soham's user avatar
  • 175
5 votes
1 answer
128 views

What did Nathan Rosen (from EPR) say about Bell's inequality and its violation?

Motivated by this year's Nobel prize in physics, I was wondering whether there are recorded statements by Nathan Rosen (the R in the EPR-paradox) about the Bell inequality and its violation by this ...
Mario Krenn's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
209 views

Are there anonymous contributions to physics with large impact?

Based on this question Are there any anonymous contributions to mathematics that had a great impact? , I would like to ask the same question for physics. Physics is different from mathematics in the ...
Mauricio's user avatar
  • 3,324
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Refraction in Newton's Corpuscular Theory of Light [duplicate]

Newton's theory of light stated that a light travelled in a straight line as small particles. When these particles travelled in a medium, they experienced an attractive force with the particles of the ...
Mrinaank Sinha's user avatar

1
3 4
5
6 7
16