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End of physiscs

  1. May 2, 2013 #1

    adjacent

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    I was wondering if any more can be discovered.There are no mind blowing advancements made in physics these days,but in 1600 to 1900 there were continuous advancements and now,the rate is decreasing.My point is is there any more mind blowing discoveries to discover like relativity and newtons gravitation?
     
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  3. May 2, 2013 #2

    micromass

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    Who says that?
     
  4. May 2, 2013 #3

    Danger

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    Ever hear of the Higgs bosun?
     
  5. May 2, 2013 #4

    adjacent

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    Certainly not greater than relativity or principia of newton(of his time)
     
  6. May 2, 2013 #5

    Danger

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    You can't know that. The whole idea of "undiscovered" means that it might be anything that hasn't been thought of.
     
  7. May 2, 2013 #6

    micromass

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    I would dare to say that in the 20th century, more physics was discovered than in the entire history of humans combined. I know for sure that it's true for mathematics, so I guess it's also true for physics. Just because you don't know the physics, doesn't mean that it isn't there.

    The theories we develop now are far more complex and more difficult than what Newton or Einstein ever did. I'm not dissing Newton and Einstein though, they are rightfully some of the greatest physicists ever.

    So no, physics isn't going to end in a long time. Exciting discoveries are made every day. It just gets less media coverage than relativity theory.
     
  8. May 2, 2013 #7

    adjacent

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    But now a days there are no sudden BIG discoveries that revolutionize the fundamental concepts Like Newton and einstein.In einsteins time one could see thousands crowding einstein.
     
  9. May 2, 2013 #8

    You're completely ignoring the non-linear component of change; it doesn't always flow smoothly and often has jump-discontinuities. Sometimes the smallest of change can lead to the biggest of effect, causing a fire-storm of futher developements like what happen when the transistor was introduced. And because the Universe is so massively non-linear, it may also be dense in it's diversity. Recall the Lorenz attractor. It never, ever crosses trajectories and thus in some sense has infinite diversity. This may be true of the Universe as well: there may be no end to discovery.
     
  10. May 2, 2013 #9

    adjacent

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    As einstein once said"Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper"
    So we have to discover things only then we will be the way we are.Am I right?
     
  11. May 2, 2013 #10

    Danger

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    I suspect that the main reason for the appearance to the public that nothing earthshattering is happening is mass media/social media being everywhere including the labs and theoreticians' offices. For the most part, science is a massive collaboration (often among scientists who have never actually met in person) rather than a lone genius hunched over a desk, and a lot of it is done in the public eye. Popular scientific shows like Daily Planet constantly show work under way. Even a huge event such as finding the Higgs bosun isn't surprising because we've all been part of the search through our TV's and magazines, and have been expecting it for years.
    Who would ever have heard of Thomas Edison if he had worked for Bell Labs? Although some of you can, I sure can't name the guy who invented transistors.

    edit: Your last post went up while I was writing this one, so I just now saw it.
    Remember that Einstein was wrong about Determinism. Quantum mechanics kills that whole idea.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  12. May 2, 2013 #11

    FlexGunship

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    There's an odd amalgam of ideas here which I'm not following as a consistent thread of thought.

    Relativity modified or replaced much of Newton's mechanics from about 200 years earlier. I say we give relativity at least as much time before removing the "EDIT" button from physics. Furthermore, there are amazingly huge problems left to be solved: quantum gravity, explanation of the strength of the gravitational force, the existence of dark matter, and the grand-freakin'-unification theory just to name a few.

    I'll pose a counter-question to you, Adjacent:

    As we understand more about our universe we uncover new questions that need to be answered; is the total number of questions about physics/reality/existence increasing or decreasing? Correspondingly, should we expect more breakthroughs or fewer?
     
  13. May 2, 2013 #12

    Office_Shredder

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    I have heard that in the late 1800s, people were advised NOT to study physics, because it had basically all been worked out already
     
  14. May 2, 2013 #13

    DEvens

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    Actually, there are. You just didn't notice because they are pretty darn subtle.

    Look up Bell's theorm. Contemplate that it means that quantum mechanics in fact says that there is no such thing as objective reality, at least not while we are not looking. Then note that Bell's theorm only got published in the 1970s.

    Or contemplate the Aharonov-Bohm effect. A region in which there is no electric or magnetic field can still have an effect on a charged particle. Whee!
    Dan
     
  15. May 2, 2013 #14

    WannabeNewton

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    I love how you only mention Newton and Einstein. What happened to Maxwell and Faraday and Thompson and Kelvin etc? Just because discovery channel makes documentaries about Einstein doesn't mean he was a god amongst physicists. If anything, Faraday was a god amongst physicists.
     
  16. May 2, 2013 #15
    That's what Michelson said too, the other century

     
  17. May 2, 2013 #16

    micromass

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    That's funny, because it was (among others) his experiment that is the basis of relativity...
     
  18. May 2, 2013 #17
    Exactly :smile:
     
  19. May 2, 2013 #18
    The difference between today and the days of Newton and Einstein is twofold: 1) in their time, science was not as revered as it is now and 2) dissemination of knowledge was archaic. Therefore, the threshold the average person to recieve "science news" was high, and it was only the major advances or breakthroughs in science that came to the public consciousness through discontinuous jumps. This made these advances seem more dramatic than those today.

    Today, everyone is hammered daily on even tiny advances in science, so nothing "dramatic" ever seems to happen. But its happening. Imagine that you had tuned out to science over the last 20 years and then tuned in one day to find out that the universe was accelerating, it was 13.7 billion years old, and that only 5% of it is visible matter. I think you might think that was a breakthrough. It may not seem so because you've followed this development day by day.

    It's kind of like when you hit middle age and you start gaining weight. It's so small and imperceptible you don't even notice it until you re-unite one weekend with your old college buddies and they don't even recognize you. They look at you and certianly see a "breakthrough." You didn't even notice it...:tongue:
     
  20. May 2, 2013 #19

    ZombieFeynman

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    I see a lot being mentioned about cosmology and high energy physics. There have exciting advances in condensed mattermand biophysics in just the last decade or two.
     
  21. May 2, 2013 #20
    If the realm of physics is to include high level, complex or emergent phenomenon then there is plenty left to model.
     
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