# Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics/Archive March 2011

## Gunn Diode

A couple of us have been working on the Gunn diode page. I think we have improved the history, the applications and the referennces. But none of us have the requisite physics background to improve the technical description. There is already a box saying "This article needs attention from an expert on the subject". How do we go about finding such an expert? Jpg1954 (talk) 23:41, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

It might be worth adding a "needs attention from WikiProject Electronics" template to it, as there will likely be a few more solid-state types there. I might be able to make an editing pass at some point (I do have the necessary background), but I'm somewhere between "semi-sabbatical" and "full wiki-sabbatical" at the moment, so it's likely someone else will get to it before I do. --Christopher Thomas (talk) 00:19, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

## Spark sparks another move request

Spark (fire)Spark per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC - discussion here. --Kkmurray (talk) 01:54, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

## Talk:Quasar

There's a notice at WT:ASTRO about goings on at Talk:Quasar, per post by IP user concerning red shift quantization. 65.95.15.144 (talk) 05:53, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

## Hot companion

Hot companion has been nominated for deletion again. As this describes two astrophysical characteristics (hot and companion), I thought I'd let you know. 65.95.15.144 (talk) 04:37, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

## Template:Electric circuit basic elements

{{Electric circuit basic elements}} has been nominated for deletion. 65.95.15.144 (talk) 06:11, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

## Conjugate variables needs attention

The article conjugate variables needs the attention of a physicist, who can put the subject into an appropriate perspective. The notion of canonically conjugate variables of course goes back at least to Hamilton, well before quantum mechanics. But the present article seems to emphasize the uncertainty principle (without actually saying what conjugate variables are in quantum mechanics). In short, it needs a rewrite by someone who knows what they're doing. Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:53, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

## Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Journal of Cosmology

Feedback/Help is welcome. 23:47, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

## Fake elements images

I have nominated several fake elements images for deletion per WP:OR. Please have a look here and there. The commons (2nd) discussion is interesting (it is not about elements, but more about science simulation in general). Materialscientist (talk) 05:31, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Deleted. Materialscientist (talk) 22:31, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

## Citation templates now support more identifiers

Recent changes were made to citations templates (such as {{citation}}, {{cite journal}}, {{cite web}}...). In addition to what was previously supported (bibcode, doi, jstor, isbn, ...), templates now support arXiv, ASIN, JFM, LCCN, MR, OL, OSTI, RFC, SSRN and Zbl. Before, you needed to place |id={{arxiv|0123.4567}} (or worse |url=http://arxiv.org/abs/0123.4567), now you can simply use |arxiv=0123.4567, likewise for |id={{JSTOR|0123456789}} and |url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/0123456789|jstor=0123456789.

The full list of supported identifiers is given here (with dummy values):

• {{cite journal |author=John Smith |year=2000 |title=How to Put Things into Other Things |journal=Journal of Foobar |volume=1 |issue=2 |pages=3–4 |arxiv=0123456789 |asin=0123456789 |bibcode=0123456789 |doi=0123456789 |jfm=0123456789 |jstor=0123456789 |lccn=0123456789 |isbn=0123456789 |issn=0123456789 |mr=0123456789 |oclc=0123456789 |ol=0123456789 |osti=0123456789 |rfc=0123456789 |pmc=0123456789 |pmid=0123456789 |ssrn=0123456789 |zbl=0123456789 |id={{para|id|____}} }}

Obviously not all citations needs all parameters, but this streamlines the most popular ones and gives both better metadata and better appearances when printed. 03:13, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

## Analogues in Physics

User AndreRD has recently created an article at User:AndreRD/Analogues in Physics about (to quote from the article) "different phenomena that might seem unrelated share some similar underlying structure". I think that this article has great potential, and although it is in its very basic stages at the moment, he and I request aid from this project who are more knowledgable in both the physics concept, and in Wikipedia code to help the article flourish. I have hastily gathered a couple of sources on a few topics that AndreRD has in the article (yet to be expanded upon), and written a short section to demonstrate how the information could be represented as more than just tables (which was previously what constituted the entire article).

Thankyou :)--Coin945 (talk) 09:23, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

## Please review seriousness v. proposed deletion as parody of new article Names of small numbers at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Names of small numbers

Physics WikiProject members, please, this is being discussed at:

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Names of small numbers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Names_of_small_numbers#Names_of_small_numbers

Thank you. Pandelver (talk) 00:11, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

## Help requested with Japanese reactor articles following the Sendai earthquake

Information out of Japan about the reactors at the Fukushima daiichi and Fukushima daini sites is garbled and contradictory. One of the articles has already had to be semi-protected due to vandalism. The two regular editors that have been watching these articles recently (L.tak and myself) are both going offline for now.

Can someone else keep an eye on them and update them as additional news comes in? I've posted links to some reliable sources at Talk:Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

Thanks! --A. B. (talkcontribs) 02:52, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

## Weak interaction

I'm turning my attention to getting this article to Good Article standard. Whilst I hope the importance of the article should be obvious, add to that that it's a vital article, and of top importance to this project. More eyes would be appreciated; just bear in mind the competing views of accessibility and detail when you do. Cheers, Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:12, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Good plan, it seems to be coming along well. It would be great to get it to GA.--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 21:46, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

## Laboratory frame / laboratory frame of reference

Hello!

These links are red, and even any article does not link there. Maybe, I am doing something wrong? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:26, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

You can create redirects from them to Frame of reference, if you so desire. See Wikipedia:Redirect and Help:Redirect. JRSpriggs (talk) 18:37, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I know what the thing redirects are not worse than average en.WP user, but I know English vocabulary worse than average en.WP user. The question about "linkability" of such terms is still not answered. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:48, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I fixed it for you. SBHarris 18:57, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
To Sbharris: Thank you. I did not understand for what Incnis Mrsi was asking. JRSpriggs (talk) 09:17, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I used it. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:39, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

## González-Martín

A new editor is obviously promoting work by González-Martín. I have reverted some additions which rely on unreliable sources. Please check others. Materialscientist (talk) 12:54, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

## Frank Tipler

I've made some major changes to the Frank J. Tipler article, Previously it did not properly separate scientific/mathematical work by Frank Tipler and his pseudoscience claims about christianity (which were not in any scientific literature!), is anyone able to have compare my changes to the previous version and give feedback (or further changes). IRWolfie- (talk) 18:05, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Tipler... you'll probably run into User:Jamiemichelle. If he/she shows up, do not lose time engaging that editor, he/she is completely unreasonable (see here and here, and the block log). Just get an admin to reban him/her. 00:02, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
I found this out to my detriment when the user filed an incident against me. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:57, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

## Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Monty_Hall problem/Proposed decision#Original research (Mathematics)

There are currently a few proposals which would affect the current policy on original research. There is very intense discussion on the talk page about this. The mathematics project has been notified of this a while ago, this would also greatly affect this project and our presentation of certain physical concepts and of certain elements of data. 10:21, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

## Big Bang

Big Bang has been requested to be renamed, see Talk:Big Bang. -- 184.144.160.156 (talk) 13:23, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

## Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 41#Bibcode bot

I've made a request for a bot to try and guess bibcodes for the most popular astronomy journals / journals with the biggest presence in the ADSABS database. Feedback is welcome. 04:04, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

## R-Matrix Theory

I notice R-Matrix Theory doesn't have it's own article or seem to have any mention. Does anyone else think this is worthy of it's own article? (or even computational atomic modeling in general?) IRWolfie- (talk) 18:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Are you talking about the R-matrix? Perhaps you should create a redirect. JRSpriggs (talk) 21:33, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
It possibly uses the same mathematics but with no mention of what I was specifically talking about (here is an example [1]), I could add to that article, but perhaps maybe to have an article on Computational AMO Modeling? IRWolfie- (talk) 12:12, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

## Template:Pi

The usage of {{pi}} is under discussion, see Template talk: pi . 65.95.13.139 (talk) 13:40, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

## Infinitesimals

What is the role of infinitesimals in physics? Was there a previous discussion along these lines? The article hardly mentions applications in physics at all. Tkuvho (talk) 06:25, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

## Instant

The usage of Instant is under discussion, see Talk:Instant. 65.93.12.101 (talk) 06:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

## Questions

Most of the physics related talk pages seem abandoned, so I am asking here.

1. K representing a series of equations to simplify physics related equations. I looked around and didn't find anything. Is K still used this way? Should it be added to K (disambiguation)?
2. Graviton has an in popular culture section. I don't think the material in that section should be incorporated in to the rest of the article. Is the in popular culture section helpful to that article?
3. Should Vector boson and Boson be merged? Or should the Boson#Elementary bosons section be moved to Vector boson?
4. Most people here probably know that W means W- & W+ and that Z means Z0 in W and Z bosons. Would the casual reader also be able to figure that out by reading that article? Would it be worth changing some of the instances of Z to Z0 etc.?

I'm relying on the experts here because I'm not an expert. TIA. 64.40.60.60 (talk) 10:07, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Welcome to wikipedia.
With the exception of perhaps the first question these should be posted on the appropriate discussion pages even when they seem abandoned. People do watch even seemingly abandoned talk pages and will respond when someone posts. If no one shows up then please post a link here. (We do want to keep the specific discussion on the appropriate page though, for future reference.)
The first question may be general enough to post here directly. I am drawing a complete blank about what you mean, though. Can you give an example?
Finally, for better or for worse, "in popular culture sections" are a common feature of articles. I think of it as a truce that allows us to sweep all of the junk in one spot so that the rest of the article can be kept clean. (Sort of like putting it all in a closet.) IIRC, there are specific guidelines for "in popular culture" section. They really should not be too cluttered. TStein (talk) 17:03, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Regarding question 3: Although all the currently observed elementary bosons are vector bosons (spin 1), the theoretical Higgs boson (spin 0, i.e. scalar) and graviton (spin 2, i.e. symmetric rank-two tensor) are not vector bosons. So moving that section into vector boson would be inappropriate. JRSpriggs (talk) 03:21, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Likewise mesons are bosons (see list), and they are not necessarily in spin 1 (vector) configuration. 14:17, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

## Fourier expansion electromagnetic field

There's an AfD in progress which could use some expert advice. The article is WP:Articles_for_deletion/Fourier_expansion_electromagnetic_field, and there is a another article Quantization of the electromagnetic field. They both look too heavy on equations to me and too light on explanation, but I'm not an expert. Are there other articles which might better cover this material? Dingo1729 (talk) 01:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I just noticed that on the Quadrature page there is no reference to quantum-optical quadrature operators, such as position or momentum. Is this intentional? Because I feel it is not such a minor topic. (Episanty (talk) 05:06, 25 March 2011 (UTC))

## Lorentz model?

Please see Talk:Hyperboloid model#Redirect about a misdirected link to the Lorentz model of permittivity. JRSpriggs (talk) 14:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

If anyone knows what the Lorentz model is, please fix the redirect at "Lorentz model" redirect! JRSpriggs (talk) 07:41, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

## Hyphens in article names

Primary article names are important, say because they show up first on Google, and we need to have a position on the use of hyphens in complex nouns and adjectives in science article names. The choice is between clarity and common use. Consider secondary ion mass spectroscopy. A layperson might think of it as "secondary spectroscopy of ion mass" or as "mass spectroscopy of secondary ions". Thus it seems logical to add a hyphen, as some books do in "secondary-ion mass spectroscopy", yet most sources, including Britannica, don't add any hyphen here. In some cases there is no/little ambiguity, like in LED and AFM, yet atomic force microscopy is usually not hyphenated but light-emitting diode often is. The issue is not philosophical, it came up after a what seemed to me as a mass renaming by Kwamikagami - no slight to him at all, some moves were called for and might well be repeated by others; see "Mass-spectrum analysis" and below in his contributions from 25 March. Please comment. Materialscientist (talk) 00:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Comment: Hyphens tend to be dropped from familiar phrases. Thus we often see high school students for high-school students without thinking that the students are on drugs. This seems to be the case with technical jargon as well. However, what is familiar to the authors of journal articles, or even of text books targeted to graduate students, will seldom be familiar to the average Wikipedia reader. It's also much easier to remember new technical terms if you have a general idea of what the words actually mean. As we are a general reference, I think it is therefore a good idea to be as precise as possible, so IMO we should use hyphenated forms even when they're minority usage in our sources. This is an issue of style, not a difference in naming (the variants are pronounced identically), so our naming conventions don't address it.
To give an example from outside physics, consider small round cell tumor. The naive reader would be excused for thinking it's a small tumor, or a round one, when it's neither. Similarly, a giant cell carcinoma looks scarier than it already is. Hyphenating small-round-cell tumor and giant-cell carcinoma helps a lot, even though most medical journals don't bother. (Students' medical dictionaries often will, for the same reasons of clarity I think we should.)
Also, just because we hyphenate the article title and the first mention in the lede doesn't mean we have to continue that way though the entire article, if there are stylistic reasons not to. Once the term has been introduced, further disambiguation shouldn't be necessary. — kwami (talk) 00:45, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
If you hyphenate the title, and the lede, someone on wikipedia will busybodily reformat the article to conform, unless you also present the common form in the lede, as you should, when the common form is not the same as the title. 65.93.12.101 (talk) 02:03, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, just as with acronyms like "LED". — kwami (talk) 02:12, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I have not noticed "light emitting diode" being hyphenated in the material I read, though frequently, it's just abbreviated as LED instead. 65.93.12.101 (talk) 01:59, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
More likely to be hyphenated in introductory texts, as here.[2][3]kwami (talk) 02:15, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, AFM is almost never hyphenated. But add "Raman" and it is.[4] Weird. — kwami (talk) 06:31, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

## Solution to the colatitude part of Schrödinger in a Hydrogen atom

For some research I'm doing, I'm trying to work through the derivation of the solution to the Hydrogen wavefunction to garner a better understanding of the mathematics behind it. In my searches, I've found that not many people include a detailed explanation of the math behind the differential equation involved in the colatitude ($\theta$) part; most textbooks or informational sources that I've found have simply said something along the lines of, "This is a very hard differential equation. Here's the answer:" I know the final answer comes out to be the associated Legendre function, but I would like to know how this is derived.

I did find, this, however. This page outlines how to set up the differential equation, and this page shows how to solve it. I understand the first page entirely, but I'm caught up on the second page. Specifically, the part when the author expands the nth derivative to obtain Equation 3.3. My questions

1. Why does the author switch from trying derivatives of $(1-x^2)^n$ to trying those of $(x^2-1)^n$? My first thought was to get the sign of the middle term to match the original DE, but when he derives the (n+1)th derivative, the sign changes due to the fact that n-(n+1)=-1, so I don't really see why he chooses that as his function. Can anyone explain that?
2. Where the sum comes from in the (n+1)th derivative?
3. I think there's a typo in Equations 3.3 and 3.4.. Should the derivative operators not be $\frac{d^n}{dx^n}$ instead of $\frac{d^2}{dx^n}$?
4. Also, I don't understand Equation 3.4.. Why can we just randomly throw in the $\frac{1}{2^nn!}$ term?

If anyone wants to reply on my talk page to avoid a long discussion here, that's fine.. or through Email/Facebook/whatever.. my info is on my user page. Thanks for the help, guys!--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 01:08, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

This kind of question, which does not specifically deal with our articles here at Wikipedia, should be asked at the Wikipedia:Reference desk instead of on this talk page. JRSpriggs (talk) 05:54, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I thought about asking at the Reference desk, but as most of you (should) know, the average person [yes, even the average person that hangs out at the Reference desk] has no idea how to solve a differential equation like this or even what they are. I assumed that people with ample knowledge of physics/math would be located here; maybe I assumed wrong? Among all the physicists I've come across in my life, I've never met a single one that was unwilling to share/teach what they already knew. As such, I decided to ask the question here–where I assume that many physicists gather–in hopes that someone with that desire to expand knowledge would see it and respond. I even asked if they could respond via my talk page, email, or Facebook–specifically because I knew that the discussion shouldn't happen here.
I see now that my assumption was wrong. Apparently if anyone needs help specifically related to physics, they should ask someone that knows absolutely nothing about the subject. Thanks for the help, guys.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 18:33, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
There are plenty of good physicists manning the help desk. Dauto (talk) 00:58, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

## Torsion field

Something is very wrong with the article torsion field, which is entirely about a pseudoscientific theory. It seems to me that torsion field usually means torsion tensor (especially, for instance, in the context of Einstein-Cartan theory), and this is part of mainstream mathematics and physics. Assuming I'm right about this, should the article be rewritten to comply more with WP:WEIGHT? As I see it, the article shouldn't even discuss loony ideas that are well outside the established mainstream, let alone be exclusively about them. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:29, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I've renamed that article torsion field (pseudoscience), and created a redirect from torsion field to torsion tensor.TR 11:46, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok, cool. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:47, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Some people are contesting the move, see Talk:Torsion_field_(pseudoscience)#Requested_move. They are arguing that the pseudoscientific use is the primary one. Looks like some people need a reality check.TR 06:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Not only that, but some people seem to believe that the torsion tensor doesn't appear in physics at all, and that any attempt to use the torsion tensor is "pseudoscience". It's a bit worrying. Sławomir Biały (talk) 22:08, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
A quick look at the Google results for “"torsion field"” shows that this phrase does indeed far more often refer to the pseudoscientific concept that to the torsion tensor, so I guess someone typing “torsion field” in the search box is more likely to be interested in that; otherwise they'd type “torsion tensor”. Hatnotes can be used for readers who didn't get to the page they wanted (in both directions), as usual. --A. di M. (talk) 15:09, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Google isn't exactly a representative measure for the use of the term when it comes to pseudoscience. Crackpots, etc., are over represented. In the real world, the people interested in this sort of stuff form a small minority, smaller even the minority of physicists. Google books give a slightly more fair representation, but also just gives a sampling of what is published, not what people read.TR 15:19, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Still, Wikipedia is not a book, and I suspect that its readership is closer to that of the Web in general than that of printed books. I also have experience of newbies coming to physics forums/newsgroups asking questions about the “torsion field” claimed to be responsible for paranormal phenomena significantly more often than anyone asking about torsion tensors or anything else involving non-symmetric connections, but let's keep anecdotal evidence out of this. For what is worth, Torsion field was visited thrice as many times as Torsion tensor last month, though we cannot know how many of those people actually found what they were looking for (but at least the data disprove the hypothesis that a fraction > 50% of people landing on Torsion field realized they'd got the wrong article and followed the link in the hatnote). --A. di M. (talk) 17:38, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

## Oppenheimer–Phillips process

Oppenheimer–Phillips process has been requested to be renamed. This is a dash/hyphen issue. 65.93.12.101 (talk) 06:32, 30 March 2011 (UTC)