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What does paradox mean?by BH Wiz
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#1
Jan713, 11:24 AM

P: 27

I guess the title gives it all. I understand the concept on a basic level. What i don't understand is that how does it "fit" in physics and astronomy. Any and all opinions are appreciated. Thank you :) .



#2
Jan713, 11:29 AM

P: 2,928

One type of paradox is when theory says one result but experiment gives you another so that you left with a paradox. The Michelson Morley experiment fit this kind of paradox. We assumed there was a medium that light traveled in but could find no evidence of a preferred direction.
Another kind is in the time travel paradox where if time travel is true then you could go back and kill your grandfather insuring that you aren't born assuming you've killed him before your dad or mother were conceived so that now you don't exist to do the deed. 


#3
Jan713, 11:29 AM

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The definition of the word can be found all over the place. Was there a particular paradox that's been bugging you?



#4
Jan713, 11:38 AM

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What does paradox mean?
Unfortunately, the dictionary definitions of "paradox" are somewhat paradoxical. From MerriamWebster:
"2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true 2 b : a selfcontradictory statement that at first seems true" 


#5
Jan713, 12:12 PM

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1) A situation is described (often deliberately, to create a teachable moment) badly to create an apparent contradiction. The polebarn paradox in its various forms is an example: The problem description contains the dangerously meaningless phrase "at the same time", and the teacher is working to make a point about the relativity of simultaneity. 2) A situation is described correctly in terms of some scientific theory, but the description leads to a some counterintuitive or implausible result. Here the intention is to stimulate discussion about the theory: What does it "really" mean? What are its limitations and weaknesses? Is it complete? Schrodinger's cat is an example of this sort of paradox. 


#6
Jan713, 01:40 PM

P: 27

Thank you all for your responses.



#7
Jan813, 02:37 AM

P: 571

Colloquially, it just means that something you would expect to happen doesn't happen and viceversa. No need to get too fancy about it. Like the twin paradox, you don't expect your twin to take a 10 year trip and come back only 2 years older.



#8
Jan813, 04:06 AM

P: 208

I think the twin paradox is not actually paradox, because it is logically consistent. I think paradox arises when there is a logical contradiction as a consequence. For instance the statement that the square root of 2 is rational number is paradox.



#9
Jan813, 07:00 AM

P: 928

I would say that the "set of all sets that do not contain themselves" (i.e. Russell's Paradox) is a paradox in the sense of an actual contradiction. It demonstrates that naive set theory is inconsistent.
In modern mathematics, a statement that the square root of 2 is rational is simply false. It does not demonstrate that arithmetic is inconsistent but merely that the rationals are not closed under root extraction. 


#10
Jan813, 07:11 AM

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The term 'anomalous result' can also be used inappropriately. An error is sometimes described as an anomaly but imo an anomally will be a repeatable measurement that doesn't fit the original model  and needs the model (or the measurement system) to be modified. GCSE Science coursework used the word 'anomaly' rather than 'error for quite some length of time. I think this was some misplaced politically correct way not to upset students with the idea that they could be just plain wrong when they measured something. I'm surprised it wasn't referred to as 'teacher induced error'. That would have gone down OK. 


#11
Jan813, 08:45 AM

P: 27

I think paradox is when the truth contradicts itself, the illusion would be that there is no truth. Is that correct?



#12
Jan813, 09:05 AM

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As Scientists, of course, we have 'faith' that we can get ever closer to the truth and some of us even believe that the truth may actually be attainable  not me though. 


#13
Jan813, 09:48 AM

P: 27

I'm not talking about the truth on universal standards, more like a basic level but i understand thank you.



#14
Jan813, 09:55 AM

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I was waxing a bit philosophical there wasn't I?



#15
Jan813, 12:19 PM

P: 27

A bit yeah :P



#16
Jan1313, 05:40 PM

P: 28

"A paradox is an argument that starts with apparently acceptable assumptions and leads by apparently valid deductions to an apparent contradiction." by Quantum Paradoxes: Quantum Theory for the Perplexed by Yakir Aharonov, Daniel Rohrlich.



#17
Jan1313, 05:45 PM

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#18
Jan1313, 11:41 PM

P: 124

I never tell the truth...
Or, more correctly, the statement... "this sentence is false." ← (link, btw) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liarparadox/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes I've always thought paradoxes are rather interesting... some, more than others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_of_time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel Even though Time's Arrow was one of the best, I could never quite figure out how Data could have two heads... relatively speaking, that is. OCR 


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