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Good definitions?

  1. Nov 17, 2007 #1
    I've always wondered what would happen if we had different definitions in physics, what theories will come out and would they turn out to be simpler or more elegant then existing ones. Moreoever new definitions may not get us into the quaral that exists in the theory of QM.

    Anyone else wondered about this? Sites that contain this sort of thing? Or are the definitions we have at the moment the optimal ones?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2007 #2


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    I don't know if they're optimal (what does this even mean?), but they're good enough.

    Optimal choices of definitions is very subjective. Typically, lots of complicated and unintuitive definitions will make the theorems simpler to prove. This is the case with exterior calculus. The definitions are heavy and difficult to understand intuitively, but with this formalism, Stoke's theorem is a proved by a mere calculation.

    A topic somewhat related to your question is Hilbert's 6th problem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert's_sixth_problem
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