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Some dumb Physics questions

  1. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 3 years ago

    Please, someone who knows more about physics than me, will you help me with a few "dumb" questions?

    The reason I say they're dumb is because I should be able to grasp it, but can't.

    Here's the first one:

    Are inertial mass (as in p=mv where p is momentum) and "rest mass" the same thing? I know they're somehow "different", but I'm not sure how. I can see how rest mass is equivilant to energy. But I don't understand inertial mass.

    Light has energy and momentum, so has inertial mass. (Right? or is that wrong?)

    But light doesn't have rest mass.

    Is inertial mass just another way to say "moving energy", while rest mass is a way of saying "still energy"?

    I hope I'm making some kind of sense.

    1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
      EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Rest mass is just mass at rest in a particular reference frame. Inertial mass is mass that is being accelerated by a force that is not accelerated by gravity.



      Yes, they are both particles, so they will exhibit energy and momentum.



      Light is never at rest, it always travels at 'c'.



      Those terms are not used because the cause confusion.

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        How does light change direction 180 degrees without curving and without stopping at the point of reflection?

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
          EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          For the most part, light follows Fermat's Principles. Although, at the quantum level, photons can be absorbed and emitted to follow various paths, depending on the surface.

          1. wilderness profile image94
            wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            And the next question is once the photon is absorbed into the silver on a mirror, how does it "know" what exact angle to leave it at?

            1. profile image0
              Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Are you testing him? I hope you are only using nongoogleable questions. (I want full credit for that word.)

              1. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Somewhat.  Someone else (or the same person) said that a while back, but I always understood that photos DO have a rest mass, and that they can be at rest. 

                Time marches on, though, learning advances and I certainly have not kept up the studies in physics.  Always open to learn new things.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Impossible, photons are never at rest. The instant they are emitted, they travel at c and never stop traveling at that speed until they hit something and are absorbed.

                  If they have any mass at all, it is the derivative in which the energy of the photon would have to be transformed into mass.

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
              EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I'm not sure if photons actually "know"anything. But, to answer your question, they take the path of least time which also happens to be the least distance path. When reflecting on a very smooth surface, the least time path is where the angle of incident (incoming light) is equal to the angle of reflection (outgoing light).

              If point A is the source of light and point B is the point somewhere beyond the angle of reflection, we set the derivative of L with respect to x = zero. Here we get the pathlength from A to B:

              L = 1/2 sq/rt. a^2+x^2 + sq.rt. b^2+(d-x)^2

              a is the distance from mirror surface to A
              b is the distance from mirror surface to B
              x is the distance from A to point of reflection along mirror surface
              d-x is the distance from B to point of reflection along mirror surface

              If we follow through we get:

              dL/dx=1/2 2/xsq.rt.a^2+x^2 + 1/2 2(d-x)(-1)/sq.rt.b^2+(d-x)^2 =0

              d is the distance from A to B along surface of mirror

              This reduces to:

              x/sq.rt.a^2+x^2 = (d-x)/sq.rt.b^2+(d-x)^2

              which is:

              sin0i = sin0r

              which further reduces to 0i=0r

              Law of Reflection

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
                MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                That's crystal clear. Thank you ED.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  My pleasure. smile

                  1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
                    MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Would you believe me if I said that reading that was like reading a Chinese manuscript using a Russian dictionary while underwater...and drunk...and sleep deprived...and juggling...while carrying on a simultaneous conversation with Richard Simmons by text?

                    I don't do hard sciences. The only reason I have achieved a high-school level understanding is because I have to teach my kids.

                2. janesix profile image60
                  janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  OMG. I hope I'm NEVER that smart:) That looks totally painful.

                  1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
                    MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I was pretty sure he caught the sarcasm. He knows I'm intellectually limited.

                  2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                    EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this before, but you too could easily understand that stuff if you wanted. It just takes the same methodical process to get there as anything else. You just start with the basics and work your way up. No problem. smile

                  3. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                    EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    One thing to remember about physics is that most of it is counter-intuitive and is difficult to grasp unless one let's go of their "intuitive" nature.

                    An example of this is the earth itself, it appears flat from our perspective, yet counter-intuitively, it is a sphere.

                    "Counterintuitive means contrary to what seems intuitively right or correct. A counterintuitive proposition is one that does not seem likely to be true when assessed using intuition, common sense, or gut feelings."

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterintuitive

              2. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                No, the law of reflection merely says that the angle of incidence = angle of reflection.  I'm asking why, as you said that the photon was absorbed.  After being absorbed I cannot see any reason it cannot be emitted in any direction.

                In addition, imagine a half sphere, radius B center at point of reflection.  Your math works for every point on that sphere, does it not?  Plus sinOi (whatever angle that represents, you didn't say) - sinOr does NOT mean that angle oi=or.  There are two angles with the same sine function value.  Or, looked at another way, the same angle in one plane and an infinite number in another plane in the 3D universe.

                1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
                  MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Yeah, same thing as with ED, except this time the manuscript is in Yiddish and I'm talking to that kid that played Urkel.

                  1. wilderness profile image94
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    big_smile

                2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  So, you didn't want to see the math and find out why it is a law? Did I waste my time showing you that?



                  I just showed you that.



                  Sorry, but I don't what you're talking about.

                  1. wilderness profile image94
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Did you understand the comment with the sphere?  There are an infinite number of possibilities, each of the same length, to various B's.  What makes one more likely as the same math works for all?

                    And ED, I'm not one of your religious basketballs.  You want to discuss this, I'm game; you want a punching bag, I'm outta here.

      2. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you. I appreciate it.

        1. profile image0
          Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I've always said he was a retired science teacher in GB. Maybe someday he will reveal himself.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Lol. Maybe. I know he's got a brain.

          2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
            EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Way off base. smile

    2. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Inertial mass is determined by momentum not gravity. It results from force not gravity (Newton's Second Law).

      You can think of it as resistance to acceleration.

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you. It's still hard for me to grasp though. There's "gravitational" mass, and "relativistic" mass too. It's just hard for me to decipher what each thing means, whether they are ultimately the same thing in some way (looked at in different perspective, or under certain conditions).

        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          You're welcome. These are tough concepts.

          I try to think of gravitational mass as more/less like weight and inertial mass as trying to move that weight. Not only do you have to move X number of pounds, but you've got to get it moving.

        2. profile image0
          Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Maybe you are a multi-dimensional learner. Maybe using your eyes and ears at the same time would be helpful. Please don't think I presume to know any of this stuff... I just googled for you. smile

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1HwEh5PCIw

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePRdDzVdLV8

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks Beth. I think I probably am. I will check out your links later tonight. I did watch a couple last night on the Higgs, as it's related to mass, and that was pretty cool.

        3. EncephaloiDead profile image61
          EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Relativistic mass is when an object is moving a near light speeds. In order for any object to move at those speeds, it takes a huge amount of energy to accelerate it, this energy is actually added to the mass of the object making it appear "heavier or larger". However, when the object slows down, the energy to accelerate it is no longer needed and the object reverts back to its original mass state.

          With relativity, it works both ways from both reference frames.

          For example, if you were in a ship moving towards the sun at very near light speeds, the sun would take on a lot of relativistic mass. If that were the case in reality, the sun would have so much mass it would turn into a black hole.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            So, would that be like what takes place in a particle accelerator> Or do they not go quite that fast? I think they accelerate the particles to like 99.9999 percent the speed of light?

            1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
              EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Exactly! However, with accelerators, the energy used to accelerate it is not part of the mass, but instead is coming from the accelerator itself.

  2. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 3 years ago

    The term “pure energy” is a mix of poetry, shorthand and garbage.   Since photons have no mass, they have no mass-energy, and that means their energy is “purely motion-energy”.  But that does not mean the same thing, either in physics or intuitively to the non-expert, as saying photons are “pure energy”.   Photons are particles just as electrons are particles; they both are ripples in a corresponding field, and they both have energy.  The electron and positron that annihilated had energy too — the same amount of energy as the photons to which they annihilate, in fact, since energy is conserved (i.e. the total amount does not change during the annihilation process.) " Matt Strassler

    "Today, if one wants to talk about the world in the context of our modern viewpoint, one can speak first and foremost of the “fields and their particles.” It is the fields that are the basic ingredients of the world, in today’s widely dominant paradigm.  We view fields as more fundamental than particles because you can’t have an elementary particle without a field, but you can have a field without any particles. [I still owe you a proper article about fields and particles; it's high on the list of needed contributions to this website.]  However, it happens that every known field has a known particle, except possibly the Higgs field (whose particle is not yet certain to exist, though [as of the time of writing, spring 2012] there are significant experimental hints.)

    What do “fields and particles” have to do with “matter and energy”? Not much. Some fields and particles are what you would call “matter”, but which ones are matter, and which ones aren’t, depends on which definition of “matter” you are using.  Meanwhile, all fields and particles can have energy; but none of them are energy." Matt Strassler

    ..............................

    A couple more questions:

    Is a field a "thing", a physical structure?
    Is energy a physical thing?
    Are particles created by interactions between fields and energy?

    I have read different things, such as that fields are created by the particles, not the other way around. Or that fields are not real, just mathematical structures that explain the properties of particles and energy.


    ..............................

    EDIT:  I'm trying to get at, what are the real, constituent parts, at the lowest level, that don't depend on other things to exist. What can exist, alone, without having to have some other "property" to be formed.

    1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
      EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Of course, it is, it has to be.



      Absolutely.



      Since fields are generated by energy, that would be a bit of a misnomer as the energy itself can create particles.



      Fields have to be real. The entire universe is one giant gravitational field, for example.

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        So the basic building block of the universe, that doesn't depend on anything else, is energy? That's what I'm trying to go get at here.

        It's the only thing that can exist by itself, without anything.

        So, everything else, particles, fields, spin, mass, momentum, are formed by energy doing something(maybe vibrating in different ways or something?)

        Am I getting close?

        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          That's what String Theory suggests.

          We have these tiny "strings" of stuff and those strings of stuff are vibrating.

          The result of the vibrating stuff is the universe (or multiverses) in which we live.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I've heard of string theory, but haven't actually read anything about it. Maybe I'll check it out though. But not now, as I am having trouble just with basic concepts. Thank you for answering:)

        2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
          EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Think about just shortly after the Big Bang, the universe was nothing but an opaque ocean of electromagnetic radiation and all things formed from that.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            "Electromagnetic radiation

            a kind of radiation including visible light, radio waves, gamma rays, and X-rays, in which electric and magnetic fields vary simultaneously."

            So, an energetic field.

            ?

            Light and it's field, basically, are the basic "thing"?

            Energy is the power or force, what moves things around, and the field forms the "shape" And everything else comes from from that.

            Slowly, slowly, I may at some point get it;)

            1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
              EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Here's a picture of how the electromagnetic wave travels. The electric wave travels orthogonal to the magnetic wave. The wavelength is determined by the amount of energy in the wave. A shorter wavelength has higher energy than a longer wavelength. Hence, very short wavelengths will be gamma rays and x-rays while much longer ones will include the visible light spectrum, radio waves, etc.

              http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/CommunityCollege/RadiationSafety/Graphics/elec_mag_field.gif

              1. janesix profile image60
                janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                That is awesome. Thank you.

                A good visual model, it really helps.

 
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