# Why this particular question about a physical phenomenon got closed?

I fail to fully understand why this question got closed. Yes there is a reference to a real world situation in it and at the first glance it seems off topic. But I have a different point of view on it and it seems that there are some questions on Math.SE like this and this which were well accepted and they seem to be viewed under this point of view which is described below.

There is a physical phenomenon and we try to understand and explain it using a mathematical structure without bothering too much about the details as to how the mathematical structure is manifested as a real world phenomenon. For example consider plucking a string of a Guitar and the sound we hear is nothing but the result of exciting a resonator. The phenomenon of resonance has a mathematical structure behind it.

In the situation here we are given a physical phenomenon and asked to figure out a possible mathematical structure behind it, without bothering too much about the details like the physical meaning of all the parameters in that mathematical structure. The only help to be taken is from a plain intuition about the physical phenomenon. This is not a well posed problem but it is still worth asking.

What can't Mathematicians venture into such a things once in a while. I have seen and read some books which explain some mathematical concepts using physical phenomenon (just for the joy of it) and what is wrong to try to figure out a mathematical structure behind a given physical phenomenon by taking help of some plain intuition.

And lastly I wonder if there exist mathematical concepts discovered while trying to explain a physical phenomenon or inspired by a phenomenon. If there are any such examples from history they would certainly strengthen this argument.

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I voted to close this question as off-topic because I don't see any mathematics in it. I'm far from convinced that this is even a physical phenomenon as you insist several times --- see Henning's comment to your question for more on that. The other two questions you link to have evident mathematical interpretations and thus can easily be converted into mathematical questions that can be answered. This is not the case here. Thus, I fail to see how bringing up these threads is relevant for the present discussion. – t.b. Oct 15 '11 at 22:20
+1 to t.b.'s comment is not enough, I had to add my agreement to this words (as I too voted to close for the exact same argument). – Asaf Karagila Oct 15 '11 at 22:34
There seems to be two votes for reopening; anyway, my reasons for voting to close have already been well-put by t.b. Asking it on physics.SE would have been fine; here not so much... – J. M. Oct 16 '11 at 1:10
@J.M. I'm not even convinced that asking on physics.SE would be good. It may be able to be phrased into a question at dsp.SE about applying a low pass filter when there is a high frequency noise at much larger amplitudes than a signal which contains low frequency components one wants to identify. – Willie Wong Oct 16 '11 at 12:14
@t.b. : I thought they are in the same spirit as the current question, the only thing is that the mathematical link of them, as you have said, is quite evident. As per your doubt on whether it is a physical phenomenon, which i think is, I propose to do an experiment of taking photograph of this picture in two scenarios, one when camera is still and the other when the camera is moving sideways with some velocity. I'll let you know the result...(need to find some time for it) – Rajesh D Oct 18 '11 at 3:10
@RajeshD: if it is in fact a mathematical phenomenon, you should be able to observe the same effect by applying some sort of convolution to the image, which may be easier to set-up (on the computer via MatLab or something) than an actual system with a physical camera. – Willie Wong Oct 18 '11 at 12:20
@t.b. : I have added the result of the experiment to the original question. The experiment is proving that it is some sort of a physical phenomenon. – Rajesh D Oct 19 '11 at 4:16
@Willie : I have added the experiment results to the original question. It was simple enough. – Rajesh D Oct 19 '11 at 4:16
@Rajesh: for argument's sake, do you mind adding another image where you shake the camera parallel to the black stripes (I guess that means you shake the camera vertically; or turn the picture side ways and shake horizontally). – Willie Wong Oct 19 '11 at 8:53
@Willie : Its done. – Rajesh D Oct 19 '11 at 10:55
After seeing the results of the experiments, I think there is a mathematical explanation. And so I joined three other voters in re-opening the question. – Willie Wong Oct 19 '11 at 12:21