David Suzuki and Applied Physics vs. Theoretical Physics

In summary, the conversation discusses Suzuki's definition of something being "real" as having at least one piece of retrievable information. One example he gives is a point in space, where even if it may be nothing, as long as it can be shown to exist within a coordinate system, it is considered real. Theoretical physics deals with information that cannot be proven or lacks retrievable information. Suzuki also mentions the concept of "effects" not being information, using gravity as an example. It is noted that Suzuki is not a physicist and philosophy is not discussed in the forum. The conversation concludes with questioning if Suzuki's ideas have changed in the last 40+ years.
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Another thread reminded me of this. Sometime, probably in the 70's Suzuki said something like this, for something to be "real" it has to have a least one piece of retrievable information. One example he gave that I remember was a point in space. I remember this example because of his explanation. The point may be absolutely nothing but as long as it can be shown to exist within a dependable and representative coordinate system, that point in space is there. I don't remember exactly how it put it but he was getting at had to do with possible points in other theoretical places that lack a coordinate system location.

Theoretical physics was something like this. Information that can't be proven to be associated to a "this and only this," or anything that doesn't have retrievable information is from the realm of theoretical physics.

He also said "effects" are not information. Again I don't remember exactly how he put it but his example was gravity. All the information associated to gravity is by effect which makes the true nature of gravity theoretical. His point being theoretical doesn't always mean inaccessible or unusable when effects are consistent, reliable and measurable.

It's the retrievable information that sticks with me the most. I'm wondering if I remember this right or if in the last 40+ years anything has changed?
 
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For one, David Suzuki is not a physicist. For two, we don't do philosophy at PF.

Thread closed.
 
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Related to David Suzuki and Applied Physics vs. Theoretical Physics

1. What is the difference between applied physics and theoretical physics?

Applied physics is the use of physics principles to solve real-world problems and develop practical technologies, while theoretical physics is the study of the fundamental laws and principles that govern the universe. In other words, applied physics focuses on the application of physics, while theoretical physics focuses on understanding the underlying theories.

2. Who is David Suzuki and what is his connection to physics?

David Suzuki is a Canadian scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster. He has a PhD in zoology and has taught and researched in the fields of genetics and ecology. While he is not a physicist, he is known for his work in science communication and promoting environmental awareness, which often involves discussing topics related to physics.

3. How does applied physics benefit society?

Applied physics has many practical applications that benefit society. For example, it is used in the development of new technologies such as renewable energy sources, medical devices, and communication systems. It also helps to solve real-world problems, such as improving transportation systems, designing more efficient buildings, and developing new materials.

4. What are some examples of theoretical physics research?

Theoretical physics covers a broad range of topics, including quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, and particle physics. Some specific examples of research in theoretical physics include studying the behavior of subatomic particles, exploring the nature of dark matter and dark energy, and understanding the origins of the universe.

5. Can applied physics and theoretical physics work together?

Yes, applied physics and theoretical physics are closely connected and often complement each other. Theoretical physics provides the foundation for applied physics, while applied physics can inspire new theoretical research. For example, theoretical physics principles are used to develop new technologies in applied physics, and applied physics experiments can provide data to test and refine theoretical models.

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