Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics

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Equation Numbering[edit]

I received a request at Wikimedia OTRS that I thought I would share to see if any of you think it has merit:

In many (all?) Wikipedia articles the equations are not numbered. I suggest that Wikipedia's "standard" for including equations in an article require that equations be numbered. I also suggest that it be made easier for readers to find a particular equation in an article. One way would be to have the numbering of the equations NOT be included in the PNG representation of the equation, since that content can not be searched by a browser. A better way to do it would be to have a table of equation links at the top of an article, like the Contents box. Some examples of articles with unnumbered equations are the following:

I'd be interested in your thoughts Flat Out let's discuss it 05:13, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

This is an interesting idea, and I will give serious thought to it, but my initial reaction is "this is going to be a pain to implement." First off, we would have to find every page that has equations on it and number them. Second, we would (probably) have to come up with an entirely new template as a numbering system, since if the equations are scattered across the entire page and one gets added/removed the entire list will need renumbering (a royal pain to do manually). Doable, but I'm wondering if the hassle of implementing it is worth the minor convenience of being able to say "see Eq. X." Primefac (talk) 10:42, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Not every article with equations need numbering - especially those with only a few usually don't need it. Numbering would be really helpful in a few articles. However an extra Table of equations at the beginning would be more distracting than helpful. If a table, I would suggest it at the end, maybe similar to the footnotes. --Ulrich67 (talk) 19:14, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I did think that a template - say {{eqlist}} that created a numbered list in a footnote might be an option. Instead of adding <ref></ref> tags it could be <equation>Special relativity</equation>, but this would require someone smarter than I to develop it. Flat Out let's discuss it 23:40, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Numbering all equations would be prohibitively costly. Also it would create problems in situations where one deliberately numbers a few equations, because the two numberings would conflict. JRSpriggs (talk) 01:20, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
It would certainly be possible to number equations, and most of the work could probably be done by a bot. But just because we can doesn't mean we should. When an equation is important enough for a number, it's important enough for a name, and it can then be referred to by name. Equation numbering would add clutter, provide an added complication to editing, and is probably unnecessary because Wikipedia articles are relatively short.-Dilaton (talk) 18:26, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposal - A Fusion Research Task Force[edit]

I would like to form a task force covering fusion research[edit]

I propose we form a task force covering fusion research. I plan to ask some people to join this, including Art Carlson, FT2 and Tokamac. I think that fusion research is poorly covered on Wikipedia. This is a problem, because lots of people depend on Wikipedia for fusion information. Here are some examples of poorly written, badly cited or just no information articles on Wikipedia:

  • Neutral beam injection This technique is used across many tokamak devices, it is described in several other articles (which are not cross-linked). The article addressing the topic directly has no citations (at present), is poorly written and has no diagrams.
  • Madison Symmetric Torus this article has 22K bytes (a relatively long article) and also contains ONE citation. Additionally, I cannot get up close details on the machine itself. It would be helped with a diagram of the containment vessel (with dimensions), a bulleted list of the relevant diagnostics, a diagram of the field and a simplification of the jargon. This also needs to be better connected to the article on reverse field pinches.

A good format to follow[edit]

I spent a couple of days re-working the LDX article. This is an example of what I call a decent fusion article. (albeit it needs more details on modes of operations). From working on this article I have devised a format for these fusion articles. Here it is:

  • Introduction
  • The history: when, where who built this thing, why was it shut down
  • The Specs: how big, how powerful, the magnets
  • Diagnostics: What tools were used to measure the plasma temperature? Density? Fields, ect.. (cross-link these to detailed descriptions of the tools themselves).
  • The Geometry: where is the B-Field, E-Field, ion motion, ect...? (PICTURES)
  • Single Particle Motion: if I put an ion or an electron in there, what happens? Where does the Lorentz force, compression wave, ect... send it?
  • Bulk Motion What do the MHD codes say about bulk behaviors of plasma?
  • Modes of operation: Many fusion devices have modes of operation (focus fusion, pinches, tokamaks, fusors) almost all these machines seem to. What are these modes? When do they happen? Why do they happen? What is the dominate behavior when they do?

Topics needing clarification[edit]

A couple of other misconceptions and topics that need to be clarified. This is just a few issues off the top of my head:

  1. Lawson Criterion verses the triple product. IDK how Lawson’s original work got perverted into the triple product. If you re-read Lawson’s original work he is talking about the energy balance across fusion devices. Building a fusion reactor means beating the energy balance, not reaching a cut-off triple product. At the very least, the two issues should be separated.
  2. What about the bad/junk ideas? This is another big area where more is needed. Explain to people why: the magma machine, cold fusion/LENR, sonofusion/bubble fusion, ect.. were bad ideas and bad science proposals.
  3. Plasma instabilities: There are many of them, they are not well explained or shown in pictures. They are not cross linked to the fusion devices where they apply. The diachatron and weibel instabilities are two I want to see flushed out, in relevant geometries.
  4. Radiation losses: I also do not understand how radiation losses got splintered into a slew of subcategories (brehemstrulung, cyclotron, syncholotron, ect..) It is plasma giving off energy as light when it changes speed. The topic could be far simpler and we need to link it to predictive equations of what comes off plasmas based on its’ temperature, density, ect..
  5. A list of beta numbers: I want a list of all the beta numbers experimentally achieved in MCF. I think we need to get this as a way to compare many different tokamaks, stellorators, ect… These are often listed as normalized beta numbers, we can convert that information into a yard stick we can use to compare devices and approachs
  6. Funding: how much was spent? Who spent it? What was it spent on? The budgets for fusion has been in the tens of billions of dollars (in the US)

Plasma behaviors are also not proper explained or linked to relevant articles and devices:

  • Self-organization: plasmas self-organize. It’s really cool. This is exploited in many devices (field reverse configurations, tokamaks, focus machines, polywells, ect..) We need to bring this out as a “theme” in many articles, and cross-link the concept.
  • Diamagnetism: Plasmas can reject the outside B-field. This topic needs to be better explained on Wikipedia. It also needs to be connected to all the approaches where it is relevant.
  • Magnetized plasmas: the difference between magnetized an non-magnetized plasma needs to be explained.
  • It’s all about the fields: It is all about the electric and magnetic fields. I see this time and time again in fusion literature. I am also reading about some field configuration, which causes particle X or particle stream Y to behave some way. I like PICTURES when this happens.
  • Panchen Arching: Plasma under enough voltage will arch. It is a problem for many fusion devices. We need to explain how cascading in plasmas or gases happen and we need to include links to it across many fusion articles.
  • Thermionic emission: When you heat up metal, or nail it with neutrons, ions pop out of the metal. The effect needs to be explained as simple as I just explained it, and it needs to be cross linked.

Articles to fix[edit]

Here is a shortlist of articles I would like to see fixed on Wikipedia:

Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF):


  • ITER
  • EAST
  • JET
  • T-15
  • T-4
  • TFTF
  • JT-60, JT-60SA
  • HT-7
  • Alacator C-Mod
  • STOR-M
  • H-1NF
  • T-3
  • T-4
  • FTU
  • Tora Supra
  • OHTE
  • (there are something like 215 Tokamaks planned, built or decommissioned world-wide)

Spherical Tokamaks

  • MAST


  • Lyman J. Spitzers' original machine
  • German X-7
  • NSTX (Princeton)

Levitated Dipole Experiment (LDX)

  • The LDX
  • RT-1
  • D20 Dipole

Magnetic mirrors

  • TMX and TMX-U
  • Baseball

Cusped Geometries

  • KEMPS machine
  • Picket fence

Reversed field pinch

  • Madison Symmetric Torus

Quasi-Stable Structures:

  • Field-reversed configuration
  • 40+ machines - where were they built, who built them, what did they find.

Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF):

Direct drive ICF

  • Omega
  • Cyclops
  • Long Path
  • Table top
  • NOVA
  • NOVA upgrade
  • Argus
  • NIKE

Fast ignition ICF

Indirect ICF

Heavy Ion Beams ICF



  • Z Machine
  • ZETA
  • Ect…


Dense Plasma Focus

Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC):


  • Wisconsin's machine
  • MIT’s work on multi-welled devices
  • Commercial devices
  • Amature devices


Penning Traps


  • Fusion reaction cross studies with beams of ions


Magnetized target fusion (Field Reverse Configuration and ICF)

  • General fusion

Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion (Theta Pinch and ICF)

  • Sandia’s Z-Machine

Magneto-inertial fusion (Short Lived Magnetic Fields and ICF)

Polywell (Cusped Geometries and IEC)


Screw Pinch (Theta Pinch and Z Pinch)

Bad/Junk/Fruitless Approaches:

  • Uncontrolled Fusion
  • Migma Machines
  • The Hemual Project
  • Bubble fusion/Sonofusion
  • Cold fusion/LENR
  • Muon-catalyzed fusion
  • Pyroelectric fusion
  • Ball Lighting
  • Cross Fire Fusion

I hope we can all work together to fix this vast lack of information. I think if we ever are to get fusion power, we will need to solve this issue first. I have even seen congressional staffers turn to Wikipedia as a source for background information. When it comes to fusion, we need to all improve our knowledge on the topic. WikiHelper2134 (talk) 16:57, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Nuclear fusion may be an active area of research but a narrowed task force may not gain enough experienced and knowledgeable editors. If you want a task force why not have one for nuclear physics in general? Then that would be catch-all, including nuclear fission and fascinating real astronomy examples like stellar nucleosynthesis. M∧Ŝc2ħεИτlk 14:10, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Meh, I am going to do this anyways. I do not care if it takes 3 months or 3 years. I intend to continue trying to build a team to tackle this issue on Wikipedia. We will Never get fusion power, if nobody understands fusion research. Wikipedia is the place to do it. WikiHelper2134 (talk) 16:54, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a research institute. We do not have the resources necessary to do the experiments and calculations necessary to understand how fusion can be controlled (if it can be controlled at all). All we can do is reports what secondary sources are saying about it. If they do not cover it or fail to understand it, then we are helpless. JRSpriggs (talk) 05:35, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Draft:Quantum thermodynamics[edit]

Please assist with reviewing this draft. Fiddle Faddle 21:40, 15 April 2015 (UTC) «  Join this discussion [edit]

News about fysics[edit]

It is about Erik Verlinde see: Its very interesting about dark matter. (exist or not) But I am not good in English. Who can write this? (in Dutch) about the Mordehai Milgrom empiric law in 1983 about the acceleration of gravity when !!no dark matter excist!! the same value Verlinde calculated. Sorry I am not good in english. Perhaps an Idea for english wikipedia. I wrote some on Dutch wikipedia. Jan Duimel (talk) 10:49, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

A draft article for your consideration[edit]

Please help to review Draft:Mutual energy theorem. If you do not wish to do an AFC review you are welcome to post an opinion on the draft's Talk page instead. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 14:38, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Please, this draft is in limbo until someone with the neccessary subject knowlege tells us it's good or junk. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 13:55, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry for not getting 'round to this earlier. There are a number of "mutual energy theorems" in physics and engineering, but I could find no such theorem for electromagnetism. So I don't think the topic is notable. Looking at the article, it is based primarily on the first reference--the unpublished Arxiv paper. While this paper may be eventually/already published, it is a primary source and so the article is technically original research. In other words, it looks like and academic chose to publish their preprint on WP. Unless secondary sources are found for this particular EM mutual energy theorem, this article stands little chance of surviving AfD. --Mark viking (talk) 18:39, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Edits about Gravity Theory Based on Mass Energy Equivalence[edit]

Fwiw, I undid a few edits (here, here and here) about this by new user GravityForce (talk · contribs). - DVdm (talk) 04:50, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Here is the publication reference. Lipinski, S.A., Lipinski, H.M., Gravity Theory Based on Mass-Energy Equivalence, Acta Phys. Pol. B 39, 2823 (2008). I assumed that since wikipedia has a page on the physics journal and prestigious establishments associated (, a paper from this science journal is valid source to include as a reference in an article about gravity. GravityForce (talk) 10:11, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
What you need, is a few wp:secondary sources to establish the notability. - DVdm (talk) 11:08, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
To GravityForce: The main change you made was to add a subsection called "Relativistic Scalar Theories". After reading it, I fail to see how it can be considered relativistic, even as much as the other scalar theories already described in the article Alternatives to general relativity. JRSpriggs (talk) 13:39, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

BFKL question[edit]

Hi. In AfC, there's an article on the BFKL equation, which I think may be notable, but am unsure. The article needs to be re-written, as it is unclear whether it is about the authors or the equation, and make it more about the equation. The author has asked a question on my talk page. I could sure use some help on this. Thanks. Onel5969 (talk) 14:23, 23 April 2015 (UTC)