Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics/Archive 4

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Zero point field

Is zero point field a used phrase (I don't know), or should this page just be deleted (right now it's gibberishy). If so, what should it merged with or redirected to (zero point energy, stochastic electrodynamics, or Dirac sea)? Karol 10:27, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I would delete it. It's not a phrase that is used by physicists in the context of zero point energy in QFT. Redirecting it to such topics could make google to associate "zero point field" to this and that has to be prevented at all costs. Count Iblis 12:19, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I find 40k googlehits for "zero point field", 300k for "zero point energy", 888 for both combined [1] the fourth of which is zero point energy. --MarSch 17:23, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I think it's an unused term, and the article itself is original research. I'll AfD it later today, unless someone disagrees or beats me to it. -- SCZenz 17:25, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I've actually done some research into this. ISI Web of Knowledge returns 31 articles published in peer-reviewed journals since 1945 with the phrase "zero point field" in the title, compared to 174 with "zero point energy". So it seems people use the phrase in the field, albeit not too often. The current text is of course OR, so we could delete or put in a stub. I'm don't grasp yet, however, in what aspect the zero point field is different from the Dirac sea. Can anyone help me out? Karol 18:04, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Dirac sea provides a justification for antiparticles. This is about virtual particles. --MarSch 10:46, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
That article was wrong in so many ways that it was laughable. I redirected to zero-point energy. (Technically, the zero-point energy is the vacuum expectation value of the Hamiltonian; in other words, the vacuum is described by the zero-point fields.) linas 16:31, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Scalar Gravity

Thanks to everyone who voted in the previous AfD I brought to your attention. Those hoaxes have now been deleted, fortunately. Unfortunately, I already have another one for you guys :-/ See the article, then see my comments in the talk page for a chuckle, before voting in the AfD page. TIA ---CH (talk) 01:00, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Charge decay

I posted a request for an article about charge decay in the electronics project, but it's more appropriate here. Here's an external article about it: [2] [3]Omegatron 15:08, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Proximity effect

Would anyone who has any knowledge of this please see if you can add anything to Proximity effect? I created the article and wrote most of it, and as I am a software developer and know next to nothing about the subject, I am certain there is more that should be included, and concerned that parts may be inaccurate. Thanks in advance - KillerChihuahua 19:06, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I worked a little bit on the proximity effect article. Has anyone actually heard the term "proximity effect" used outside of superconductivity? The portion of the article about microphones and acoustics sounds real to me, but I'm dubious about the electron-beam lithography portion. In my experience the phenomenon that is discussed in that part of the article is called "pattern dependence" not "proximity effect." Is the term "proximity effect" really used in atomic physics? I don't find references in and a search for "proximity effect" "atomic physics" points you to Wikipedia. Perhaps if superconductivity and acoustics are the only fields where the term is used, proximity effect should be split into two articles and replaced with a disambiguation page? I have put similar comments on the Talk:Proximity_effect page. I also removed some references at the bottom to some rather obscure research and replaced them with a link to an authoritative book by de Gennes. Alison Chaiken 20:25, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Special relativity for beginners

There's an AfD for Special relativity for beginners at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Special relativity for beginners. Thought everyone might be interested in another of these simplified/for beginners type discussions. — Laura Scudder 17:52, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Is Cx necessary?

We need some help with the heat capacity article. There is a disagreement on whether it should be confined to C and the development made without reference to particular quantities being held constant, or whether a description of Cp and Cv etc. should be included. The discussion is in the talk page under "Is Cx necessary". I know it's a lot to wade through, but the crux of the matter occurs between the bolded terms "Explanation 1" and "Explanation 2". Thanks for any help PAR 20:11, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

False Doppler

Can someone who knows something about relativity pl take a look at this article, the related AfDs, and the recent edit diputes? Is the article legit - is it POV, are attempts to change it POV, vandalism, or valid? Thanks. --Doc ask? 01:36, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

This article is locked? Why? Its contents should be merged (perhaps the article itself should be deleted) to transverse Doppler effect. --ScienceApologist 23:19, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Astronomy for beginners

Another from the series: Astronomy for beginners. Karol 09:21, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

If there's "hard-to-understand lingo" in astronomy, it's that it uses a fairly extensive English vocabulary, not that it's got scientific jargon. Sheesh. -- SCZenz 10:09, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
So, do you think it should go to AfD? Karol 10:43, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure. At minimum it needs a huge rewrite to avoid being a random collection of factoids. I think making astronomy slightly more accesible would work just as well; this is different than special relativity or quantum mechanics, where the main articles are inherently mathematical. -- SCZenz 16:41, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Categoriation problems

I'm a bit of a categorization nut. Can someone help me convince two editors that these pages don't go in Category:Physics?

  1. Category:Plasma physics (see discussion)
  2. Optical tweezers (see discussion)

Karol 12:09, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Yet another category problem

There really shouldn't be separate Category:Condensed matter physics and Category: Solid state physics categories. Some people continue to use "solid state physics" but the battle is essentially over and the "condensed matter" folks have won. I would like to see "solid state physics" removed as a category, not because I really prefer that term, but because there really should be only one page. Alison Chaiken 07:56, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't quite understand these remarks. At least on WP, "solid-state physics" deals primarily with the properties of semiconductors, and more broadly with properties of crystals (mostly at room temperature). By contrast, on WP, "condensed matter physics" includes notions of superfluidity and non-room-temperature physics. (as well as solid-state as a sub-category). I find this to be a useful distinction. Of course, there are lots of grey areas, (and maybe all modern research is in the grey area) but that can be debated on a case-by-case basis. linas 16:38, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
As to "one category", I think the real goal is to have categories with less than several hundred articles in them; (less than one hundred, even). This will often require that any given article will need to be in several categories at once, but that is OK. linas 16:55, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. My proposal is essentially that the terms "condensed matter physics" and "solid state physics" be used on WP in the same way that they are used by the broader physics community. I confess that I don't know how these names might be used outside the US, but the American Physical Society has a Division of Condensed Matter Physics that solid-state physicists have been merged into already. The current usage on WP may put certain kinds of articles into SSP and other kinds into CMP but to the extent that these categories don't reflect typical usage, the division will be confusing to readers. Why is Hall effect in Category:Solid state physics and quantum Hall effect in Category:Condensed matter physics for example? These articles should be listed in the same place. Alison Chaiken 18:40, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Your point about an individual category getting uselessly large is well-taken. I agree that a potentially enormous category like CMP should have useful sub-categories, but SSP is an obsolete synonym to CMP, not a sub-category. A better choice would be for the organization of the physics WP to follow a widely accepted standard like the Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme. Perhaps IUPAP has something similar. Alison Chaiken 18:40, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Please keep in mind that the organization at APS reflects the current research and publication interests of its members, and not the categorization of subjects. Its even less applicable to subjects of pedagogical/educational interest, where there is no active research, or of historical interest, e.g. photoelectric effect, which, by history, should be considered to be a part of Category:Atomic physics, but if viewed in modern light, is surely some branch of materials science. That said, there are many articles in WP that are mis-categorized or poorly categorized, and clearly, the various Hall effect articles are examples thereof. These should be fixed on a case-by-case basis. Also, it is quite alright to have one article bleong to many different categories. Also, there is no requirement that categories be strictly heirarchical; a category itself can be a subcat of multiple categories. linas 03:08, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Consider Category:Aether theories as an extreme example. linas 03:22, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics has a similar problem, where the subject classification scheme presented by the American Mathematical Society has proven to be a mediocre match for WP math articles, for essentially the same reasons (its focused on categorizing current research, not on categorizing reference material). linas 03:18, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Organization of Category:Physics

Hi Linas, so wrotes wrong with the organization of the physics category now? I'm interested in helping. Karol 17:55, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Several things surprised me. These were:
  • Atomic, molecular, and optical physics being lumped into one. Atomic leads to particle physics and to chemistry, I have no idea what optical shares in common with atomic physics.
  • I was surprised to see as top-level categories: Physics events, Physics education, Physics literature, Physics organizations. These could be lumped together in some subcat.
  • I was surprised that classical mecahnics and electrodynamics and astronomy and cosmology and statistical mechanics and quantum field theory and physical chemistry and solid-state physics and plasma physics and electronics and gravitation and general relativity and nuclear physics were not top-level categories. Surely, these are the things that really are physics.
  • I was surprised to see Constants, and physical quantity both as top level.
  • I was surprised to see fundamental physics concepts, introductory physics both as distinct top-level cats.
  • I was surpised to see formula needs explantion, physics stubs both in the top level. Physics theorems shouldn't be top-level.
  • I was surprised to see computational physics as a top level category. Ditto for Physics software. These are one-off
  • I was surprised to see a measly 12 articles in the category, grand-total. There are at least 50-odd articles that discuss physics in such broad terms that they should be top-level articles, and yet, they are now subcategorized somewhere.
Basically, the top level seemed to consist of categories that were only marginally relevant to physics, a collection of peripheral and adjunct topics. By contrast, the real "meat" of physics, where almost all of the articles are, and where all of the real physics is, were jammed into sub-sub-sub categories. If one were to graph the tree, one would see almost all the articles about physics were in only two or three subcats, and all of the other current top-level cats only add up to a drop in the bucket. linas 18:26, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I think the question is, at the root, whether we're organizing the category by "what people who don't know much physics are likely to want to read, and how they'll want to navigate" or "how the study of physics is actually organized." I think the way things are now is an attempt (not necessarily a perfect one) to do the former. Which is, in fact, what we should be doing. (P.S. I removed physics software from physics--it was already in computational physics anyway.) -- SCZenz 18:47, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I dunno. People who don't know much about physics are probably not interested in physics, and thus probably won't be looking at the category. Those who are interested will promptly notice that the WP organization is odd: Astronomy, the subject made famous by Galileo and Newton and Einstein, the most famous names of physics, doesn't even show up! linas 21:03, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm responsible for a fair amount of the changes you described above. As to the "real" physics stuff, I was trying to be in line with the tree sketched out in Physics#Central_theories and Physics#Central_theories. There you have, for instance, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics, which you talk about. If someone oriented in physics were looking for Nuclear physics, I guess he/she would know to go further into Category:Particle physics; and analogically for the other specific fields. Maybe my approach was wrong. Karol 07:27, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. Well, in an article like that, it is important to keep a list of "central theories" short, since that emphasizes the coherency of physics: in a way, it really does "flow out" from a handful of concepts. Yet, in the category listing, I'd like to see the "richness" of results: that physics is deep and varied and broad, that its a candy-store of interesting things, there to enjoy, rather than protected and compartmentalized in cabinets. linas 16:06, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
As to your first point, Category:atomic, molecular, and optical physics is really a top-level subdivision in physics (for instance, my department basically bills itself as an AMO institute). It makes perfect sense seeing as how light is the primary means of probing atoms and molecules. The field used to be concerned mostly with spectroscopy, but it's now branched out. — Laura Scudder 09:44, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, well, AMO departments abound. Again, this is more a statement about where modern research is occuring, rather than about how pedagogical/reference material should be organized. Virtually all modern materials science is underpinned by the idea that it can be derived from first principles from atomic theory, yet we are not classifying articles on the propagation of cracks in steel under AMO, nor are we lumping theory of transistors in there. I'd claim a better organization for reference works are according to the titles of commonly taught college courses, rather than the departments they are taught by. (Resists painful urge to note that theoretical physics is an obsolete term, and is nothing but a synonym for string theory, ahem, I mean M-theory.). linas 16:06, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

So what do we do? Karol 10:10, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

relativistic mass versus rest mass

In the article E=mc², some dispute has arisen in its talk page about the issue of relativistic mass versus rest mass, and their relative prevalence and importance in physics. I probably made some overly harsh criticisms of another user, and he asked if it wouldn't be a good idea to get a third party to settle the issue. I agree with this, so I won't make any of the edits that I threatened to. Could any interested parties take a look? Thanks -lethe talk 00:37, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I left my comment at the bottom of that talk page, but some reinforcement/clarification is a good idea, if someone else can take a look too. Those guys are at each others' throats over nothing..! -- SCZenz 00:54, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I think it would be a good call to agree on a standard usage of the word mass on wikipedia - to avoid confusion. Other mass related quantaties should not be called simply "mass". I think the same thing might apply for energy (in relation to "rest energy" vs "relativistic energy") Fresheneesz 03:41, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I think it should be called "mass" when it's clear from context, as it almost always is. When it's not, it should be made clear. My view of the E=mc2 dispute is on that article's talk page. -- SCZenz 05:50, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Admin nomination

Hi guys. I've nominated myself for adminship. I think the folks here know best if I'd be good; if you think I would be, vote here: Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/SCZenz. -- SCZenz 21:06, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

AfD: Pasen series and Katz series

FYI, nominated Pasen series and Katz series as hoax articles. linas 19:30, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Technical level of and audience for physics articles

I don't see a discussion here or in the archives about the desirable technical level of the physics articles. Clearly writers should aim articles like gravity or string theory at a different technical level than articles about Hilbert space or Fermi's Golden Rule as the former topics are more likely to attract general readers than the latter. I think articles on topics of general interest should at least start with a widely accessible paragraph. So far I've been writing on topics that appear on the Wikipedia:Requested_articles/Mathematical_and_Natural_Sciences list and all of them have been fairly specialized, like exchange bias and spin wave. I have assumed that these topics are of interest only to specialists and thus have written them for an audience of working physicists who are in another field. Is this a mistake? Should every article have a paragraph accessible to a high school student? If not, which articles should have such an introduction? -- Alison Chaiken 04:35, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

There's some guidelines for popular articles at Wikipedia:WikiProject Science. Take a look at their proposed intro topics: addressing those on even the most obscure subject won't actually explain any of the physics, but is probably most of what someone in another field would find useful. If following those intro guidelines works for the popular articles, I think it should definitely be broad enough for the more obscure ones. — Laura Scudder 07:52, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Publishing physics articles

See Wikipedia:Requests for publication. Karol 09:22, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Pseudoscience alert: Speed of gravity

The first half of speed of gravity looks like a reasonable historical review of what newton thought, and a discussion of gravity waves. But then we get to the section on experimental tests, and leave the known universe. Deleting this content is easy, fighting the anon editors will be harder. Volunteers, please! linas 05:09, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm up for it. Can you edit it until you're satisfied? Then I'll know which version to revert to, or at least have a baseline to see if changes are reasonable. But I'll definitely keep an eye on it. -- SCZenz 05:22, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't really know much about this stuff, but it's on my watchlist now. — Laura Scudder 06:09, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
First of all, I don't know enough about the experimental stuff to judge the editors contribution, but I wonder if the editor's poor english may be confused with wierdness. I mean "shady gravity" sounds strange but "gravitational shading" less so. Anyway, I will watch it. PAR 06:53, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
See Equivalence principle for the legit version. All substances feel gravity in the same way; if they didn't there'd be a fifth force and more than a couple of nobel prizes. Anything is possible I suppose: that's why there's keen interest in the Pioneer anomaly or STEP (satellite). However, funkiness observed on the surface of the earth would be headline news.
As to gravity shadowing: if you could cast a gravity shadow, or shield it in some way, you'd essentially have a form of anti-gravity -- objects in the shadow would be lighter. More nobel prizes if this was actually verifiable, because right now, it just plain doesn't happen. linas 23:50, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

principles of energetics

See also the principles of energetics. Karol 08:46, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Ugh. what ugliness. Seems that Category:Emergy is filled with this stuff. Googling shows that there seems to be some legit academic interest in this stuff, but wow! writing articles with the same insane tone of voice that pseudoscience authors use is a great dis-service. linas 23:50, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

As there seems to be physics content in these articles, please see:

linas 20:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

You might also want to add Transformity to that list. These "things" are published and well cited, so they have a right to stay - which doesn't say anything about their value, though. Karol 06:04, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

New paritcipants list

I've moved the participants list over to its own subpage, and used the same layout as on WikiProject mathematics, which includes areas to list a few interests and make some comments. All are invited to come re-introduce themselves at Wikipedia:WikiProject Physics/Participants. Please -- add a few words about yourself; it gives everyone a quick way of seeing what you are interested in. linas 03:28, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Accusation of bias

It is necessary to know the important consequences of our most respected theories which have been observed, after all thats what we call evidence! However it also seems important to know which haven't been observed.

A while back I did some research looking for the scientific consensus on whether the gravitational mass of antimatter had been empirically verified. I couldn't find this information on Wikipedia. I looked elsewhere, and was a little surprised to find that the antimatter experts felt that it hadn't yet been conclusively observed(presumably the ATHENA scientists are familiar with all the evidence, including SN 1987A). Not knowing where in the Wikipedia to put this information, I added a blurb about this to the article on negative mass.

Do we have a better place for this kind of info? A list of unverified physics assumptions?

When our articles say things like the (unqualified) mass of the anti-so&so is the same as the so&so, are we misleading our readers by taking an unverified position?

How widespread is this problem? Does Wikipedia suffer a systemic bias in favor of standard theory so badly that the line between respected theory and empirical fact is hopelessly blurred?

Have I convinced anyone enough to start a fringe science WikiProject to counteract any bias? (I'm not qualified) Intangir 04:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, WP "suffers" a systematic bias in favor of standard theory. This is because WP is, by its very charter, an encyclopedia describing notable and well-agreed upon subjects and topics, physics or otherwise. WP is not the place for original research, no matter how good or astounding it is. In particular, WP is not the place to write articles about fringe science, unless those topics and ideas have somehow gained notoriety independently of WP (i.e. by being published in newspapers, books, conventions, etc).
That said: It is true that standard theory predicts that the mass of anti-particles equals that of particles. It is probably true that the gravitational attraction of anti-matter has probably never been measured in the lab. Its probably acceptable to mention in the article on anti-matter that this is the case. If there have been lab experiments, it is acceptable to mention those (briefly, in keeping with the overall length of the article). However, WP is not the place to make personal speculations, or to make blanket assertions that scientists don't know what they're doing.
Beleive it or not, physicists would love to see an experiment that directly measured the gravitional attraction of anti-matter in some clear-cut, unambiguous way. The more precision, the better. If very well done, it be worth a prize. However, such experiments are hard.
There is another reason such an experiment might not be undertaken: physicists get fame, promotion and funding for designing experiments that disprove the accepted theories. These are called breakthroughs. Unfortunately, no one expects a surprise by measuring the gravitional attraction of anti-matter, so there is not much incentive to do the experiment: it probably will result in a confirmation of the standard theory, which is one of the more boring outcomes.
A list of unverified physics assumptions would be an acceptable article, provided it was not your list (no original research!), but was instead based on some list published in, say, Phys Rev, or wherever. linas 06:16, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with everything you just said! I think you missed the point I was trying to convey. Merely because an assumption is popular does not make it neutral. In order to have a NPOV, we must assert only facts. When we assert that the mass of an anti-particle is equal to its counterpart we are asserting something which has no experimental support. As it is neither confirmed nor disconfirmed, assertions of its truth can only be speculation. Everytime we don't properly couch such a statement as a belief(ie According to theory XYZ...) we misrepresent our knowledge.
The larger point I'm trying to make is that problem is bad enough that it is hard to even pick out the speculations like this, I know I can't do it. No one expects an assumption to be wrong if they don't even know that it is an assumption. Fortunately we reward the scientists who do realize and make go on to breakthroughs. But when we represent a theoretical assumption the same as we represent empirical fact we help to keep scientists(or people wondering how the world works) from knowing what they are doing.
Increased interest in the fringe science topics which are notable should work to help us notice when we are representing conflicting speculative assumptions as fact. Intangir 09:03, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Nobody knows how to make a self-consistent theory of relativistic quantum mechanics with particle and antiparticle masses are different. There are several major stumbling blocks which would interfere with very fundamental ideas about how the universe works. There are no credible theories at all that overcome such difficulties, and much research has been done on the subject of what theories are possible. That's why physicists are confident, not because we're trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Wikipedia doesn't have to give non-expert minority points of view anything approaching equal time with experts; that's not what WP:NPOV says. See WP:NPOV#Undue weight and WP:NPOV#Pseudoscience.
Fringe science topics still need reputable sources, which are hard to find for many fringe science topics; some guy's website just doesn't count. -- SCZenz 09:11, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not asking for equal time or weight. I am merely asking that we make distinctions between how we represent unobserved and observed consequences of theories. And yes! We do need reputable sources, especially for the fringy stuff when we aren't sure whether we have observed something. Only experts can be expected to be familiar with the countless relevant experiments. I don't think my sources as to the state of empirical scientific knowledge are unreputable(ATHENA and the website everyone, including experts like ATHENA, refer to). Intangir 18:27, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Two quick remarks: First, the mass of antiparticles has been measured, and it is identical to the mass of the particles (to within measurement errors). The gravitational attraction of anti-particles has probably not been measured.
Further discussion requires a deep dive into philosophy. In physics, the "standard accepted theory" is that theory which captures all of the facts, and so it becomes difficult to make distinctions between "true facts" and the "commonly accepted theory". Forget anti-matter; have you measured the gravitational attraction between my coffee cup and the earth? No, not your coffee cup, my coffee cup. See, my cup could be different, and so how do we prove that the standard theory is consistent until we measure my cup? Should we add a statement stating that maybe gravitation doesn't apply to my coffee cup, as this would be the true neutral thing to do? linas 14:30, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Clearly your coffee cup is a matter of normal induction. Every matter coffee cup we have observed so far falls as we think it should. It is not so clear when your coffee cup is made of antimatter, considering we have never observed even one. There is no inductive argument in this case! The statement we need to add is that we mean inertial mass when we say things like the mass has been measured. Intangir 18:27, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
You miss my point entirely. There is an inductive argument that the weight of anti-matter is the same as matter: it is the equivalence principle. This is the same principle that applies to the coffee cup: it states that inertial mass and gravitational mass are the same, and we have already measured inertial mass of antimatter. My point is this: within a standard theory, there are inductive arguments connecting all the facts! linas 04:25, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
As I see it your premises are that: We observe that for all normal particles inertial & gravitational mass are the same & We observe that for all antiparticles the inertial mass is the same as their normal counterparts. To say that the equivalence principle inductively follows for antimatter too would be to clearly fall for a Biased sample fallacy. The less representative your sample, the less trust you can place in inducting over a generalized principle. It is important to know how much to trust a theory. Infact, the article on the equivalence principles is complete with tables of studies showing striking favorable empirical evidence. Unfortunately, nowhere in the article is it explicitly mentioned that the none of the studies tested EP for antimatter. I think that the writers of that article likely missed the bias(both in sample and in article) as it is so often hard to see where evidence stops and theory begins. Few traditional sources do a good job in seperating theory from evidence. Can't we do better? --Intangir 06:09, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Nota bene, it strikes me that I am drinking coffee while reading this... do physicists drink too much coffee? ;) Karol 20:15, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I know this is tangential, but the weight of antimatter is being tested at LEAR, the Low Energy Antiproton Ring at CERN. The mass is very well measured, and is known to correspond to very good accuracy to the mass of matter. The equivalence principle is strong evidence that antimatter should fall in the same way as matter, and that even small deviations can be ruled out (e.g. [4]). –Joke 04:05, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah! I remember finding references to the LEAR stuff before. Unfortunately, the experiment was proposed in 1986 and that paper says they were just then preparing to do it(that was 1990). I never could find any references to experimental results. I presumed they didn't do it, or failed, or were just taking their sweet time publishing. If you know if/where they published their results that would be awesome! Anyways that paper you referenced is just showing that a certain class of alternative theories(those that use gravitons + some other bosons I guess) are already constrained by experiments involving only normal matter. Basically, I think it is saying that a model in which gravity fell up would (unsurprisingly) be substantially different from the graviton models. Intangir 05:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, I was confused about that as well. It turns out LEAR was cancelled ([5]). I think that what the Adelberger article argues is that the types of interactions that could cause antimatter to fall differently in an relativistic field theory – vector interactions are the only ones that can do it – are very strongly constrained. That means that there is no way to write down a theory, like the standard model + gravity + some vector interaction that messes with the gravitational acceleration of antimatter that is (i) consistent with experiments and (ii) has antimatter that falls with an acceleration different by more than one part in a million. This is pretty strong as theoretical arguments go, but of course until you go out and test it, it is always possible to be contrary and say that there is some theory, somewhere, in a completely different formalism, that reproduces all the experimental successes of gravity and the standard model, except that positronium falls up. That doesn't strike me as a very constructive approach. –Joke 05:18, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, I have no clue how it could be done. Case in point, lets say the space around normal particles is like a valley and around antiparticles it is like a mountain and that normal matter 'rolls downhill' and antimatter rolls uphill- or alternatively they 'see ' the conjugate spacetime geometry from each other. What bothers me is that particles which are their own antiparticle, like photons, neutral pions and such, would seem to have to roll both ways. It seems like they would have no reason to roll uphill rather than downhill or vice versa. Yet we observe photons to 'roll downhill'. So I would guess that any such theory would at least be inconsistant with spacetime geometry theories like GR. --Intangir 06:37, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, well, "its like a mountain/valley" is sometimes used to illlustrate particle/hole duality in a casual, simplified way. However, this simplified picture is not a correct model of reality, so of course it appears to be inconsistent with reality! linas 15:10, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

FYI: "Does Antimatter Fall Up or Down?" Item 28. original by Scott I. Chase 1995 revised 1999 . The USENET FAQs are a bunch of articles written by various people, topically arranged, ie they are an encyclopedia (a free one), and high quality. GangofOne 00:02, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Antimatter and gravity

Well, no one seems too supportive of my larger point, that we would benefit from an increased seperation of scientific theory from empirical fact in our articles. So, oh well.

Anyways, I've found enough new information on the 'antigravity' point that I feel that it deserves its own article. It would seem that the theoretical landscape has actually reversed, the theoretical arguments for antimatter falling up are now stronger than for those for falling down. It would seem that Kaon CP violation is precisely predicted by this antigravity. In addition, my intuition about GR is totally wrong. In fact, the current argument is that GR may in fact predict antimatter antigravity. Every classic argument against the gravitational repulsion of antimatter has been seriously challenged in the journals over the past decade. Couple these points with the cosmological niceties and we have a compelling fringe science article. Interestingly, there would seem to be an utter lack of information on the web about this stuff outside of the journals. Usenet for one is apparently clueless. So, I'm gonna write an article on antimatter and gravity with all the juicy details. Keep me honest =P -- Intangir 08:04, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Unless you can cite sources, in detail, I recommend against creating this page.--Srleffler 08:33, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I can cite everything. All of this information comes directly from peer-reviewed, well-respected physics journals. -- Intangir 08:49, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
gravitational interaction of antimatter is probably a better name, eh? -- Intangir 08:51, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps Gravitational interaction with antimatter?--Srleffler 18:06, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't get any google hits for that, so I chose to use 'for' Intangir 06:54, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Intangir, you can edit or create any (physics) article here on wikipedia to correct any bias that you see. People writing articles may sometimes be a bit biased, not necessarily intentionally, but usually because they think of certain things in certain ways. It is e.g. possible to get different masses for particles and anti-particles if you break Lorentz invariance. You can "break" Lorentz invariance without violating Special or General Relativity, simply by assuming that it is broken spontaneously. So, you introduce a 4-vector field that acquires a vacuum expectation value. If this field couples to particles, then the masses of particles and anti-particles will be different.

Sean Carrol has pointed out that spontaneously broken Lorentz invariance is a promising mechanism for baryogenesis. Count Iblis 13:05, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Can you start by posting some or all of these references here? I like crazy ideas, but I dislike it when crazy ideas are presented as if they're true. And, for a topic like this, the references should indicate that the author has mastery of both gravitation and quantum field theory; else I'd conclude its just pseudoscience, failing to even qualify for "crazy idea" status. linas 14:47, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Sure thing. I haven't finished the article yet because I had to go to the library for the journals which I don't have an electronic subscription to. I think I might be able to get a first draft of the article done tonight. Anyways, it all started in 1991 with Nieto and Goldman critically reviewing the old arguments in what is currently the best(and most referenced) article on the issue. They give a special mention to the work of Chardin(in the Errata), where he reversed the 'Good argument' and showed that the degree of Kaon regeneration(CP violation) is correctly predicted by this 'antigravity'. Chardin went on to show how any resulting vacuum instability(Schiff's argument against antigravity, I think) would be no worse than Hawking radiation. Chardin also showed how all of this would be framed in terms of the Kerr-Newman solution of GR. Chardin doesn't seem to deny the possibility of energy non-conservation(Morrison's argument against antigravity) but he argues that even if it did it still wouldn't violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I couldn't find anything refuting Chardin's assertions(anything which Google Scholar said cited him anyway). Oh yeah, SN 1987A is good evidence otherwise, but there is a ~10% chance they didn't observe any normal neutrinos. Anyways here they are:
  • M.M. Nieto and T. Goldman, Physics Reports 205 (1991) 221. -note there is an errata issued in 1992 in volume 216
  • G. Chardin and J.-M. Rax, Physal Review Letters B 282 (1992) 256.
  • G. Chardin, Nucl. Phys. A 558 (1993) 477c.
  • G. Chardin, Motivations for antigravity in General Relativity, Hyperfine Interactions, Volume 109, Issue 1 - 4, Mar 1997, Pages 83 - 94
-- Intangir 01:28, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, it's up. There is still a lot that I haven't added yet, but it is getting late. I'll finish it after finals =). Intangir 06:54, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Redshift RfC

Please help us out of a pickle: Talk:Redshift.

Modern geocentrism

Can we have some physicists here look over the modern geocentrism article and check for physics errors? --ScienceApologist 08:01, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Project - More Images!

Perhaps it's my own shallowness, but I tend to evaluate wikipedia articles as being more "complete" when they have an accompanying image or two. Many concepts or entities in physics can be visually represented, and I believe that many physics articles would be much better with interesting/informative companion images. I've been working at this for a few articles on my own recently, and want to invite any other WikiProject Physics members to help contribute/link to more helpful imagry in relevant physics articles. I've found the US government laboratories to be a gold mine of public domain images about physics. (watch out for contractors, like JPL, however!) Who's with me? - JustinWick 21:02, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I am 100% with you, although I have limited time for WP rifht now. Karol 07:29, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
What is a short list of needed images? PAR 08:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Most DOE labs have copyright policies that exclude such usage. See Template_talk:PD-USGov-DOE. I think they can do this because they're usually run by somebody other than the government. -- SCZenz 08:30, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, most are run by contractors for the DOE, and have their own copyright arrangements. Kind of a sham in my opinion, but such is how it works. --Fastfission 03:12, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps we should add a link to Wikipedia:Requested pictures#Physics on the project page. If there were more requests there it'd be more likely that someone into making diagrams would find something they want to illustrate. I'm certainly not averse to making diagrams on topics I know something about, although I've only done a couple here so far. — Laura Scudder 20:14, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Request peer review for Wave-particle duality

I've created a request for Wikipedia:Peer review for Wikipedia:Peer review/Wave-particle duality/archive1. History, physics, and style comments solicited. linas 14:53, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Requests for comment page now lists: Piper (temperature)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Maths, science, and technology now lists:

  • Piper (temperature) This looks like a page documenting a joke shared by a small group of people i.e. an 'in-joke'. 14:35, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

External peer review by Nature

I turn your attention to this article by Nature and Wikipedia's response. Karol 06:04, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

A section of thermodynamics on AfD

See Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Log/2005_December_15#Thermodynamic_evolution. Karol 06:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

RW Ziolkowski and Localized Wave Transmission

Can anybody give an informed comment whether RW Ziolkowskis papers on Localized Wave Transmission have any connection with the pseudoscientific Scalar field theory? He is called as witness there, and I suppose unjustly. --Pjacobi 20:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Myron Evans

This new article sounds like pseudoscience to me, but my last physics class was in high school. I put {{npov}} on it, but perhaps someone from this group can come clean it up or AfD it or whatever is required. Thanks. | Klaw ¡digame! 02:52, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

He is the archetypical crackpot. See point 25 in John Baez' Crackpot index. --Pjacobi 07:55, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
That was one of the clues that made me think this was nonsense. I didn't recall a massive marketing campaign by Schrödinger for his Wave Equation™. | Klaw ¡digame! 15:14, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Lordy, Lordy, Lordy. ---CH 22:05, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
P.S. Tom Bearden (see Scalar field theory above) and Myron Evans are both lionized by many free-energy websites, of which there are quite a few. Freelunchers appear to be quite active at WP, so these situations will continue arise. ---CH 23:21, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Redshift FA nomination

I have nominated the redshift article for FA. Please leave comments on the Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Redshift page.

Thanks, --ScienceApologist 19:10, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Faraday paradox - problem

Help please! We have a section in Faraday paradox that even the author can't explain. Can someone who understands electrodynamics please have a look at the Faraday paradox#Configuration without a return path section and tell us whether it's true or not? Thanks a lot. --Heron 18:49, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm thinking about it PAR 01:52, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


A post at Wikipedia:Village pump (assistance) brought the article Flutoride to my attention, which starts "Flutoride is a placeholder particle constructed primarily as a vehicle for representing in concrete fashion the notion of particulate timeliness." This sounds even stranger than the usual string theory / cosmology to me, but I thought the same about modified Newtonian dynamics which is apparently not totally nonsense. Does anyone know about this or should it go to AfD? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 23:39, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Speedy delete request added. It looks like nonsense to me.--Srleffler 23:56, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, let's see what happens. It doesn't look like Wikipedia:Patent nonsense to me, but I won't mind seeing it deleted. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:07, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay, it worked. Good, saves one trip to AfD. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:07, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

New stub types

A notice: two new physics-related stub types, {{classicalmechanics-stub}} and {{fluiddynamics-stub}}, have been created. Conscious 17:09, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Gravitational interaction of antimatter

This article seems to be largely based upon a (possibly cranky) paper in a Springer journal which I cannot convenientyl access. I have seen the abstract, but this didn't tell me enough to make even a tentative guess about whether or not the paper is cranky. However, on the basis of general background knowledge and reading the abstract, I guess that User:Intangir may be misunderstanding negative mass part of the Kerr metric. The paper is by Gabriel Chardin and appears in a Springer journal called Hyperfine Interactions, which is described by Springer as devoted to "border areas", which may or may not be suggestive. Can anyone contribute any useful information? ---CH 13:14, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I can tell you that the article has been cited only 4 times in peer-reviewed journals since 1997. If you want to read it, I can send you a PDF copy. In my opinion, it's really still OR and doesn't belong here. Karol 14:06, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm... I haven't enabled the email option because I have a low maintanance low level mailfilter (post the usual spamassassin) which dumps everything not originating from a small whitelist. Jitse Niesen has been very kind in forwarding email addies to me so I can put them in my whitelist, but I don't know how long he'll be willing to do that. If you know EMS, he can also forward your email addie to me. (Why do I use this whitelist? That's a long and ultimately unedifying story!) I wouldn't mind being put in email contact with WikiProject Physics members, but if this roundabout procedure seems like too much trouble in connection with this particular matter, it probably is! It seems to me that the burden is upon User:Intangir to either provide reliable verification that the article in question is not cranky, or else to delete the article.---CH 14:46, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Fine mess you got there ;) I'll make it easier - download from here during the next 24h. Karol 15:15, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

FYI, I was concerned that the article would be cranky, however, it looks reasonable to me. John Baez has a usenet FAQ on it, which reviews the supernova results better than this article. Also there are several experimental proposals to measure this stuff, they appear to be reasonable, from real people who do this stuff for a living. Finally, there is also a Arxiv preprint about the theoretical motivations, I added it to be bottom of the references section. I recognize at least one author as being "reputable". (Disclaimer, haven't read it, I'll do that now). linas 15:46, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

After looking through it, I also think the article's fine, but don't you think the whole topic is still really OR? That's how I see it, but then again I'm not a gravitationologist. Karol 15:58, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The entire article is definitely not based on the (potentially cranky) Hyperfine Interactions reference. More like the last two sentences! Most of the article is based around Nieto and Goldman's very highly cited 1991 paper, "The arguments against 'Antigravity'...". I cited the Hyperfine Interactions just to have a discussion involving GR in the article, its not even necessary. I don't think this qualifies as Original Research, as I have merely compiled a couple (mostly) peer-reviewed results together. Also, I would be happy to email any articles to anyone without electronic access. -- Intangir 17:23, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, Karol, and a couple of quick comments addressed to Intangir: First, I definitely think you should avoid non peer reviewed papers unless you are sure you know what you are talking about, which you agree you do not entirely. Second, having glanced at the paper in question, I think you did misinterpret "negative mass region". I suspect this refers to part of the "deep interior" of the usual maximally extended Kerr vacuum (see any good textbook with a Penrose diagram and look near one of the timelike singularities). It would be tedious to explain why this region is sometimes held to be associated with "negative mass". Unfortunately, Chardin fails to clarify (at least to me) whether he also has in mind some quite different notions often called "repulsive gravity". This is a whole nother can o worms and has to do with an alleged "reversal of direction of centrifugal force". In my view, people who talk this way are misinterpeting their mathematics. It would be even more tedious to try to explain why mass parameters are so tricky in gtr and why various exact solutions are so often so drastically misinterpreted, even by physicists who really ought to know better. Anyway, I think we all agree that this is a controversial topic but too complicated for a non expert to write the article, so I am flagging it and making a few short term suggestions for you in the talk page. ---CH 17:54, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Main article of critical mass

There is currently a vote going on at Talk:Critical mass (nuclear) regarding whether the main article, critical mass, should be a disambiguation page or about the physical concept of critical mass. Interested parties might want to join in the discussion there. --Yath 19:47, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Christmas wishes

I'd just like to wish all the other Christmas-going wikiphysicists warm and peaceful holidays, and a successful New Year! Karol 16:09, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

And a merry Winter solstice or Neopagan sabbat for the pagan and neopagan wikilinkers! linas 02:47, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Casimir Effect Dispute

I'm disputing recent edits to the virtual particle and casimir effect articles. I'm not an expert, so I would appreciate it if interested experts would contribute to the discussion. As enticement, I have included a quote of Feynman's musings on the uncertainty principle there. On a lighter note, for my alliterative amusement, I have endeavored for my position to be supported solely by citing several scholarly Stephen sources. Also, I've decided to join this project. =) -- Intangir 08:40, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm putting this up on PNA/Physics, and rolling back changes until they can be vetted, for reasons discussed more fully on the talk page. --Christopher Thomas 19:57, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
I rewrote most of the article. linas 06:38, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Stochastic electrodynamics

While looking at the casimir effect, I tripped over the above, which as far as I can tell is 100% unadulterated pseudoscience masquerading as something real. Anyone up for this? linas 06:38, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

While I'm at it, can I ask folks to put Zero-point energy on their watch lists? Based on the discussion page, this article has attracted the interest of the pseudoscientific community. Also, it does not currently seem to be well-written. linas 06:55, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
One more page to be added to Wikipedia:Pages_needing_attention/Physics, perhaps? --Christopher Thomas 07:22, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I was already intending to do a lot of research on SED for a philosophy paper, so I'd be happy to start revising the article sometime soon. SED seems to be the bastard step-brother of QED. Only a handful of people contribute to it. From what I have gathered the underlying idea is neat. Basically it seems to start by assuming Zero Point Fluctuations and reinterpretes that phenomena as a fundamental principle from which they derive the uncertainty principle and all the consequent quantum-style behavior- while still using old-fashioned particles. Supposedly this has good numerical agreement with perturbative theory.
The fringe stuff enters in because those that favor it seem to feel that it is a convenient framework for thinking about the ways that inertia and gravity might arise as unforseen effects of the other forces. Some even argue that they get many of the same promising results using normal perturbabibnibble QED. Of course, many of the statements in the current revision seem misleadingly biased in SED's favor, one might come to the conclusion that any minute now SED will be shown to be a GUT, heh. I believe that many of the ideas which might lead to mass seem to have been shown to be dead ends, the Casimir Force for one isn't nearly strong enough. The prevalence of this kind of stuff probably discourages physicists from using it. Anyways, if one ignores the masscruft, the whole formulation is philosophically neat. Its yet another answer to the question asking, "which of the principles/phenomena are fundamental?" --Intangir 12:36, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Improvement drive

Thomas Edison has been nominated on WP:IDRIVE. Support the article with your vote if you would like it to be improved.--Fenice 08:14, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Moving Relativistic mass

I'd appreciate comments on moving this page to something like Mass in special relativity; please go to the bottom of Talk:Relativistic mass, thanks. - mako 08:18, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Anon's editing of Einstein

IP, (contributions) has been making edits to Albert Einstein, Henri Poincaré and David Hilbert, essentially questioning the originality of Einstein's theory of special relativity, giving as a source this: [6] (see Talk:Albert_Einstein#His Theory and Talk:Albert_Einstein#Nobel prise edit), all of which I think have been reverted (by me and others). I don't really know much about the history of the development of relativity, (beyond what little I've read on Wikipedia), if anyone can shed any useful light on this, your help would be welcome. Paul August 01:56, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Einstein's work certainly built on work by Poincare and others. Doubt about the originality of his theory should not be rejected out of hand. On the other hand, controversial edits by an anonymous user citing a questionable website promoting a particular book are justifiably viewed with some skepticism, and could perhaps be reverted without further consideration until a better source is found.--Srleffler 19:01, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes I agree with all of the above. Paul August 19:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Update I've stumbled into this controversy, and I have also noticed POV pushing by I tracked this page down after noticing an unnecessary and obviously POV edit to the Einstein article made a few minutes ago. Hopefully a few more eyeballs on these articles will help stabilize them in a consensus version. Ben Kidwell 20:37, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Cold fusion

Can somone please have a look at the cold fusion article? It is currently being edited by a number of cold fusion true believers who are starting to push it into the realm of the surreal. I would try to fix it up, but I don't have the expertise and don't fancy arguing with a cabal of highly motivated, POV-pushing editors. It is also – justly, in my opinion – up on featured article removal candidates, here. Thanks. –Joke 02:46, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I've voted that the article should be removed until it's better cited and fixed up. I urge everyone here to check out Wikipedia:Featured_article_removal_candidates/Cold_fusion and take a look. The number of pseudoscientific POV pushers on that page is disconcerting to say the least. -- SCZenz 05:30, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I cross-posted this as an RfC. I disagree with your view of who is doing the POV pushing, but it doesn't matter, the article is not a very good statement of either side in the controversy. This definitely needs more eyes on it. ObsidianOrder 02:46, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
It's an RfC? What's the link? -- SCZenz 02:50, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Link is here [7]. The discussion is here Talk:Cold fusion#RfC. ObsidianOrder 02:55, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Category Proposal

Among other things, I have proposed a new category scheme for controversial topics which somehow pertain to physics over at Category talk:Pseudophysics. We at least need some better way to organize them beyond that frightful list of controversial theories. --Intangir 07:33, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Missing figures

Two figures are missing from superconductivity. Someone raised the issue on Talk:Superconductivity but no one has responded. I don't know enough about how WP works to figure out why or by whom the figures have been deleted. Anyone? I could make more figures with the same content if there's no way to revert the ones that were there. Alison Chaiken 19:49, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

You can look for deleted articles/images at Special:Logs. In this case:
  • 09:29, 10 December 2005 JesseW deleted "Image:Superconducting-transition.png" (WP:CSD Image #4 - "Images in category "Images with unknown source" or "Images with unknown copyright status"which have been on the site for more than 7 days, regardless of when uploaded.")
  • 09:29, 10 December 2005 JesseW deleted "Image:Superconductor-b-vs-h.png" (WP:CSD Image #4 - "Images in category "Images with unknown source" or "Images with unknown copyright status"which have been on the site for more than 7 days, regardless of when uploaded.")
Looks like they were both deleted as unsourced or un-copyright-tagged image. --Bob Mellish 20:34, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
We can all agree that leaving the article with missing figures is not a good idea, especially since superconductivity is likely one of the more highly viewed physics articles. Can we contact the user who posted them to find out if he/she owns the copyright? Or should we just make new figures? (I'm volunteering to do this myself but don't want to duplicate others' work unnecessarily.) Alison Chaiken 22:05, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
It's probably fastest just to make new figures. I'd do it, but my figure-drawing package is "xfig"... --Christopher Thomas 22:10, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Improvement drive

Asteroid deflection strategies has been nominated on WP:IDRIVE. Support it with your vote if you want it to be improved.--Fenice 22:45, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Embarassing "Auger" article

The physics content in Auger#Solid_state_physics is embarassing. I can't see why this article with its grab-bag of topics needs this discussion anyway, as Auger electron and Auger electron spectroscopy are decent articles. Unless someone objects, I will delete Auger#Solid_state_physics completely as I see no need for it anyway. As matters stands, readers may be deflected from the much better alternates articles by Auger#Solid_state_physics. Alison Chaiken 22:12, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks to Srleffler for solving this problem.

Potentially interesting proposal at Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Reddi_2/Workshop#Troika

You may like to view Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Reddi_2/Workshop#Troika. I don't know if this is going to fly - it may depend on peoples views - but its interesting. William M. Connolley 22:51, 31 December 2005 (UTC).

Images and categories

I tried adding Category: Condensed matter physics to some of the pages that contain image files I uploaded. I saw that a side-effect of doing this was to actually put thumbnails of the images at Category: Condensed matter physics. Since no one else in WP:physics has put thumbnails on a category page (at least as far as I have noticed), I assume that this is undesirable. Is there a place that we are gathering links to physics images that I haven't stumbled upon? If not, should be we be categorizing physics images? Alison Chaiken 22:40, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

There's Category:Physics images, although image categories are very underused. — Laura Scudder 22:45, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, assigning images to Wikipedia categories is considered undesirable. The better way to do it is to put the images on the Wikimedia Commons. I'm not very familiar with how the Commons works, but I do know that it has its own categories, into which images can be grouped. The Commons already has a category for condensed matter physics, Commons:Category:Condensed matter physics. You'll have to read the help pages for information on how to put images there, and categorize them. Images there can be easily linked from Wikipedia articles. --Srleffler 04:44, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
When I first started working on WP, I uploaded my images to it directly. Lately I've been uploading them to the Commons and putting them in Commons:Category:Condensed matter physics as you suggest. That's what got me to wondering if images loaded to WP directly should somehow be categorized. According to Commons FAQ, it's okay to upload images already loaded on WP to the Commons, so that's the path of least resistance, I guess. I do think that having a central repository of freely usable physics images will be useful, particularly for lecturers preparing course notes. Certainly one repository is better than two. Alison Chaiken 18:05, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject Physics participants

I see that someone made a participants table, which is a good idea. Poking around at Category:Participants_in_WikiProjects, I see that the suggested way of noting that you participate in a particular project is to put a standard notice on your user page. I did this but then I saw that so far Category:Participants_in_WikiProject_Physics lists only me. Perhaps someone who knows what they're doing can make Category:Participants_in_WikiProject_Physics a redirect to the existing participants table.

By the way, I've been studying the help files to figure out how to make the participants table link an internal wikilink. I can't figure out how to do it to save my life. Someone make this change if you know how so I can see how to do it! Alison Chaiken 21:10, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I think you're looking for [[Wikipedia:WikiProject_Physics/Participants|participants table]], which looks like this: participants table. The key is using piping. — Laura Scudder 21:16, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
I have set the redirect I proposed above: Category:Participants_in_WikiProject_Physics now redirects to participants table. Alison Chaiken 05:40, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Help with Simple harmonic motion

A newbie, Itzchinoboi, rewrote Simple harmonic motion. The new article is more elementary, which is good. To me both the original version looks good, and the rewritten version looks good, although the latter is full of newbie mistakes. See the diff. Anybody knowledgeble willing to spend some time understanding the changes and see how to deal with all this matter? Note that a plain revert is not an option, it seems that the user spent half a day on that article. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I'll take a look. Cheers! deeptrivia (talk) 05:53, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I tried to merge stuff from both versions. Take a look if it looks okay. Thanks. deeptrivia (talk) 06:49, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Laws of electromagnetism

This is a non-standard treatment of Maxwell's equations, sounds like a geometric algebra treatment, but not sure. Anyone care to either cleanup or initiate an AfD? linas 00:01, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Is there any evidence it's not original research? -- SCZenz 00:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
What exactly are you worried about in this article? I haven't read it in detail, but it doesn't look too bad to me... O. Prytz 07:08, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I've certainly never heard the term "homeostasis" used with respect to E&M. I'm not sure on skimming the article whether there is a language problem or a real science problem. Also I suspect that the author couldn't figure out how to make . Certainly the content is not what I would expect to find at Laws of electromagnetism. Alison Chaiken 15:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Ooooops! Sorry. I clicked on the Maxwell's equations link in Linas' post, and not on the Laws of electromagnetism link in the title! :) Now I see what you mean O. Prytz 16:23, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Stable versions#Certification gang

would you like to create certified articles in physics? -- Zondor 03:22, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a great idea. I would be happy to help out, at least in my areas of expertise. –Joke 03:56, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm interested in helping, though I'd want experts to sanity-check my edit suggestions before addition (I'm a Comp Eng who's been doing physics as a hobby for many years, as opposed to a trained physicist). I know my limits, so I feel that the edits that I do contribute will be useful. --Christopher Thomas 04:56, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
very well! please create a sign up section and add your signature at Wikipedia:Stable versions. -- Zondor 05:01, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
In the article, or the talk page? If it's the article, I'd prefer that you be the one to add it, to remove any possible misinterpretation of my edit (that, and you'll have your own preference on where it looks prettiest in the text). --Christopher Thomas 05:19, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
misinterpretation? anyway, i have created the signup section. please sign at Wikipedia:Stable versions#Certification Project Signup. -- Zondor 06:06, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
So we physicists are supposed to sign up at the main project page for stable versions? Isn't anybody else signing up? Alison Chaiken 05:01, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Although I'm generally supportive, I haven't signed up because the details haven't yet been fully fleshed out, etc. If you are interested, you should review the proposal and bring up any questions on its talk page. linas 17:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Science collaboration of the week

Physical oceanography is a current candidate on the Science collaboration. Vote for it if you want to see this article improved. --Fenice 07:19, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

H. Epstein and V. Glaser,

Does anybody have full names and bio-data for H. Epstein and V. Glaser? --Pjacobi 16:37, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure it is Vladimir Glaser, and Henri Epstein, but finding biographical details for them is hard. I found some here [8] for Glaser. Epstein was at the IHES when he retired, so you might be able to find info there on him. Salsb 01:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Added to the (somewhat strange) German article de:FQFT. Will do a Glaser bio-stub soon. --Pjacobi 13:09, 14 January 2006 (UTC)