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Guiding principles from the great physicists to take us beyond the standard model!

  1. Aug 7, 2010 #1
    Perhaps if we focus on the common philosophy of the great physicists as to what physics is and ought be, expressed in their simple words reflecting infinite wisdom, we will be better prepared to advance physics beyond the standard model.

    Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the
    present, but an equation is something for eternity. –Albert Einstein

    It is the perfection of God’s works that they are all done with the
    greatest simplicity. He is the God of order and not of confusion. And
    therefore as they would understand the frame of the world must
    endeavor to reduce their knowledge to all possible simplicity, so must
    it be in seeking to understand these visions. Truth is ever to be
    found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of
    things. . . –Sir Isaac Newton

    When the solution is simple, God is answering. –Einstein

    The only real valuable thing is intuition. –Einstein

    A person starts to live when he can live outside himself. –Einstein

    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. –Einstein

    Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by
    understanding. –Einstein

    No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess. –Newton

    For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope. – Einstein

    If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the
    shoulders of giants. –Newton

    In questions of science, the authority of thousands is not worth the
    humble reasoning of one individual. –Galileo

    Books on physics are full of complicated mathematical formulae. But
    thought and ideas (the fourth dimension is expanding relative to the
    three spatial dimensions at c), not formulae, are the beginning of
    every physical theory. —Einstein/Infeld, The Evolution of Physics

    But before mankind could be ripe for a science which takes in the
    whole of reality, a second fundamental truth was needed, which only
    became common property among philosophers with the advent of Kepler
    and Galileo. Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of
    the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts from experience
    and ends in it. Propositions arrived at by purely logical means are
    completely empty as regards reality. Because Galileo saw this, and
    particularly because he drummed it into the scientific world, he is
    the father of modern physics—indeed, of modern science altogether.
    -Einstein , Ideas and Opinions

    .. my dear Kepler, what do you think of the foremost philosophers of
    this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations,
    they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at
    the planets or Moon or my telescope. –Galileo

    A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents
    and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents
    eventually die, and a new generation grows up with it. –Planck

    Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It
    forces us to change our thinking in order to find it. –Niels Bohr

    …my observations have convinced me that some men, reasoning
    preposterously, first establish some conclusion in their minds which,
    either because of its being their own or because of their having
    received it from some person who has their entire confidence,
    impresses them so deeply that one finds it impossible ever to get it
    out of their heads. Such arguments in support of their fixed idea …
    gain their instant acceptance … whatever is brought forward against
    it, however ingenious and conclusive, they receive with disdain or
    with hot rage … Beside themselves with passion, some of them would not
    be backward even about scheming to suppress and silence their
    adversaries…. No good can come of dealing with such people . . . their
    company may be not only unpleasant but dangerous. –Galileo

    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both
    true and sufficient to explain their appearances. –Newton
    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. –Einstein
    A physical theory can be satisfactory only if its structures are
    composed of elementary foundations. The theory of relativity is
    ultimately as little satisfactory as, for example, classical
    thermodynamics was before Boltzmann had interpreted the entropy as
    probability. –Einstein
    When two systems, of which we know the states by their respective
    representatives, enter into temporary physical interaction due to
    known forces between them, and when after a time of mutual influence
    the systems separate again, then they can no longer be described in
    the same way as before, viz. by endowing each of them with a
    representative of its own. I would not call that one but rather the
    characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its
    entire departure from classical lines of thought. By the interaction
    the two representatives [the quantum states] have become entangled.

    Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, that when we
    grasp it – in a decade, a century, or a millennium—we will all say to
    each other, how could it have been otherwise? How could we have been
    so stupid? –Wheeler

    Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find
    harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. –Einstein

    A people that were to honor falsehood, defamation, fraud, and murder
    would be unable, indeed, to subsist for very long. –Einstein

    Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more
    violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in
    the opposite direction. –Einstein

    Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas
    which mere human language is as yet unable to express. Let them make
    the effort to express these ideas in appropriate words without the aid
    of symbols, and if they succeed they will not only lay us laymen under
    a lasting obligation, but, we venture to say, they will find
    themselves very much enlightened during the process, and will even be
    doubtful whether the ideas as expressed in symbols had ever quite
    found their way out of the equations into their minds. –Maxwell

    I don’t believe in mathematics. –Einstein

    Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure you that
    mine are greater. –Einstein

    Geometry is not true, it is advantageous. –Poincare

    A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. –Plato

    Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can
    be counted counts. –Einstein

    Mathematics are well and good but nature keeps dragging us around by
    the nose. –Einstein

    The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is
    the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is
    a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,
    is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. –Einstein

    The important thing is not to stop questioning. –Einstein

    Before I enter upon a critique of mechanics as a foundation of
    physics, something of a broadly general nature will first have to be
    said concerning the points of view according to which it is possible
    to criticize physical theories at all. The first point of view is
    obvious: The theory must not contradict empirical facts. . . The
    second point of view is not concerned with the relation to the
    material of observation but with the premises of the theory itself,
    with what may briefly but vaguely be characterized as the
    “naturalness” or “logical simplicity” of the premises (of the basic
    concepts and of the relations between these which are taken as a
    basis). This point of view, an exact formulation of which meets with
    great difficulties, has played an important role in the selection and
    evaluation of theories since time immemorial. –Einstein

    String Theory has been the leading candidate … for a theory that
    consistently unifies all the fundamental forces of nature, including
    gravity. It gained popularity because it provides a theory that is UV
    finite.(1) . . . The footnote (1) reads: “Although there is no
    rigorous proof to all orders that the theory is UV finite…” –STRING

    We don’t know what we are talking about . –Nobel Laureate David Gross
    on string theory

    It is anomalous to replace the four-dimensional continuum by a
    five-dimensional one and then subsequently to tie up artificially one
    of those five dimensions in order to account for the fact that it does
    not manifest itself. -Einstein to Ehrenfest (Imagine doing this for
    10-30+ dimensions!)

    String theorists don’t make predictions, they make excuses . –
    Feynman, Nobel Laureate

    String theory is like a 50 year old woman wearing too much lipstick.
    -Robert Laughlin, Nobel Laureate

    Actually, I would not even be prepared to call string theory a
    “theory” rather a “model” or not even that: just a hunch. After all, a
    theory should come together with instructions on how to deal with it
    to identify the things one wishes to describe, in our case the
    elementary particles, and one should, at least in principle, be able
    to formulate the rules for calculating the properties of these
    particles, and how to make new predictions for them. Imagine that I
    give you a chair, while explaining that the legs are still missing,
    and that the seat, back and armrest will perhaps be delivered soon;
    whatever I did give you, can I still call it a chair? –‘t Hooft, Nobel

    It is tragic, but now, we have the string theorists, thousands of
    them, that also dream of explaining all the features of nature. They
    just celebrated the 20th anniversary of superstring theory. So when
    one person spends 30 years, it’s a waste, but when thousands waste 20
    years in modern day, they celebrate with champagne. I find that
    curious. -Glashow, Nobel Laureate

    I don’t like that they’re not calculating anything. I don’t like that
    they don’t check their ideas. I don’t like that for anything that
    disagrees with an experiment, they cook up an explanation-a fix-up to
    say, “Well, it might be true.” For example, the theory requires ten
    dimensions. Well, maybe there’s a way of wrapping up six of the
    dimensions. Yes, that’s all possible mathematically, but why not
    seven? . . . So the fact that it might disagree with experience is
    very tenuous, it doesn’t produce anything; it has to be excused most
    of the time. It doesn’t look right. -Feynman

    But superstring physicists have not yet shown that theory really
    works. They cannot demonstrate that the standard theory is a logical
    outcome of string theory. They cannot even be sure that their
    formalism includes a description of such things as protons and
    electrons. And they have not yet made even one teeny-tiny experimental
    prediction. Worst of all, superstring theory does not follow as a
    logical consequence of some appealing set of hypotheses about nature.
    —Nobel Laureate Sheldon Glashow

    The great irony of string theory, however, is that the theory itself
    is not unified. . . For a theory that makes the claim of providing a
    unifying framework for all physical laws, it is the supreme irony that
    the theory itself appears so disunited!! Introduction to Superstrings
    & M-Theory –Kaku

    If Einstein were alive today, he would be horrified at this state of
    affairs. He would upbraid the profession for allowing this mess to
    develop and fly into a blind rage over the transformation of his
    beautiful creations into ideologies and the resulting proliferation of
    logical inconsistencies. Einstein was an artist and a scholar but
    above all he was a revolutionary. His approach to physics might be
    summarized as hypothesizing minimally. Never arguing with experiment,
    demanding total logical consistency, and mistrusting unsubstantiated
    beliefs. The unsubstantial belief of his day was ether, or more
    precisely the naïve version of ether that preceded relativity. The
    unsubstantiated belief of our day is relativity itself. It would be
    perfectly in character for him to reexamine the facts, toss them over
    in his mind, and conclude that his beloved principle of relativity was
    not fundamental at all but emergent (emergent from MDT!) . . . It
    would mean that the fabric of space-time was not simply the stage on
    which life played out but an organizational phenomenon, and that there
    might be something beyond. (MDT!) -A Different Universe, Laughlin,
    Nobel Laureate

    [String Theory] has no practical utility, however, other than to
    sustain the myth of the ultimate theory. There is no experimental
    evidence for the existence of strings in nature, nor does the special
    mathematics of string theory enable known experimental behavior to be
    calculated or predicted more easily. . . String theory is, in fact, a
    textbook case of Deceitful Turkey, a beautiful set of ideas that will
    always remain just barely out of reach. Far from a wonderful
    technological hope for a greater tomorrow, it is instead the tragic
    consequence of an obsolete belief system-in which emergence plays no
    role and dark law does not exist. —A Different Universe, Laughlin

    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the
    easiest person to fool. … You just have to be honest in a conventional
    way after that. . . I would like to add something that’s not essential
    to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you
    should not fool the layman when you’re talking as a scientist. . . I’m
    talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying,
    but bending over backwards to show how you are maybe wrong, that you
    ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our
    responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I
    think to laymen. . . If you’re representing yourself as a scientist,
    then you should explain to the layman what you’re doing—and if they
    don’t want to support you under those circumstances, then that’s their
    decision. –Nobel Laureate Feynman, Cargo Cult Science

    To me there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or
    distinction than that connected with advances in science. –Newton

    Errors are not in the art but in the artificers. –Newton

    I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin
    not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations .

    By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox . –Galileo

    A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand
    things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of
    them is not understanding . –Isaac Newton

    Gradually the conviction gained recognition that all knowledge about
    things is exclusively a working-over of the raw material furnished by
    the senses. … Galileo and Hume first upheld this principle with full
    clarity and decisiveness . -Einstein

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2010 #2
    Re: Guiding principles from the great physicists to take us beyond the standard model

    Physics and Philosophy follow two common traits namely. reason and the struggle to understand the universe and our existence within it. Philosophy relies on doubt, to supplement the mind with ideas that one believes to be more fashionable - more enlightening. It appears to be that philosophers refute the pervasive nature of reality for a more 'suitable' realization developed by man without truly hearing nature's whisper. Of course technology in itself has provided the nurturing to depart from historic philosophy and rely not on doubt but on the understanding of nature's true structure. Today, philosophy is insufficient in defining a purpose in our lives when pure logic, reasoning and advancement - Physics/Technology- powers the core of society. Like religion, philosophy shares a trait of providing faith and reason to understand our existence without true understanding, to seek comfortability and harmony with what surrounds us- to cure one's inability to understand what they don't understand with falsehoods. One admirable philosopher though, Socrates states "I know that I know nothing." Which is a viewpoint most of us should take and be able to embrace, because the realization of knowing nothing and becoming comfortable with this notion, as Feynman stated, allows one to understand the meaning of humanity and to become capable of listening to the true nature of our Universe.
  4. Aug 7, 2010 #3


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    Re: Guiding principles from the great physicists to take us beyond the standard model

    Other than the fact that these are nothing more than a bunch of quotations (as if knowledge is based on nothing more than a series of quotes), I find it interesting that you pick and choose what you want to quote, even from someone such as Feynman. For example, how come you ignore these two quotes of his?

    "Philosophers say a great deal about what is absolutely necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naive, and probably wrong."

    "Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds."

    Taken together, both of these quotes would render this exercise of yours as a waste of time. The only way to advance physics beyond the Standard Model is to .... wait for it .... learn physics, and not just having a series of quotes.

  5. Aug 7, 2010 #4
    Re: Guiding principles from the great physicists to take us beyond the standard model

    Are you saying that Einstein's, Newton's, Galileo's, Copernicus's, and Feynman's views on what physics is and ought to be are useless?

    Why should we embrace your philosophy of physics and not theirs?

    Who has advanced physics more--Galileo, Einstein, Copernicus, and the Nobel Laureates above, or you?

    Why the bitter vile directed against the greatest physicists of all time expressing their ideas about science?

    Feynman wasn't saying that brilliant physicists should not philosophize on what physics is and ought to be, as Feynman did this all the time.

    What Feynman was warning against was "philosopher/unphysicists" such as yourself who never really accomplished anything in the realm of physics, philosophizing about science.

    Note Feynman's quotes:

    "Philosophers say a great deal about what is absolutely necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naive, and probably wrong."

    "Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds."

    He is referring to you in the above quotes with the word "philosopher," not to Einstein/Bohr/Copernicus/Galileo/Feynman/Nobel Laureate Physicists who are not mere philosophers like you, but physicists who furthered physics with new knowledge, equations, and science.
  6. Aug 7, 2010 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Guiding principles from the great physicists to take us beyond the standard model

    Not sure what your point is, or if you even have one, are you saying Zz is not a physicist?
  7. Aug 7, 2010 #6
    Re: Guiding principles from the great physicists to take us beyond the standard model

    I am saying that the thoughts of Einstein/Galileo/Feynman/Bohr/Newton/Nobel Laureate physicists are more important to physics than the words of Zz.

    It is amazing how big his ego is--thinking that his philosophy of physics should define physics rather than the philosophy of Einstein/Galileo/Feynman/Bohr/Newton/Nobel Laureate physicists.

    Zz's philosophy would explain why these forums have failed to ever produce any new physics, as he moderates the forums in his own anti-Einstein/Galileo/Newton/Faraday/Planck image.

    His anti-great-physics ideas and philosophies are spammed all over throughout these forums, while he mocks, belittles, castigates, and impugns the great words and thoughts of the greatest physicists--Einstein/Galileo/Feynman/Bohr/Newton/Nobel Laureate physicists--invaluable, immortal ideas that Zz says are irrelevant to physics.

    And guess what?

    Neither physics nor Einstein/Galileo/Feynman/Bohr/Newton/Nobel Laureate physicists really care as his tyranny, and all his physics-free words of philosophy, shall soon be forgotten, while students yet study the Great Physicists.
  8. Aug 7, 2010 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Guiding principles from the great physicists to take us beyond the standard model

    Ok, crackpot rant is over.

    Edit (Astronuc): I'm certain that Feynman would agree with ZapperZ. :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2010
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