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How to make a new theory?

  1. Oct 13, 2007 #1

    How to make a new physics theory? I mean mathematically valid theory that says something about physics. It could be a toy theory/model, of course (like the bosonic string theory). I just want to know "how to get started". Yes, I know; that was a very vague question...

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2007 #2


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    One would research the background and state of the art, much as one would do when inventing something, to see if such a theory has already been proposed.

    Then one would develop the system of equations that describes the physics of whatever phenomenon is being addressed or described by the theory.
  4. Oct 13, 2007 #3


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    Learn from the masters of the art.
  5. Oct 13, 2007 #4


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    will learning from the masters make you a master yourself?

    i think not.

    edit: im saying this cause it's not enough to learn from the masters to be able to propose a consistent and coherent mathematical model, usually you need to read a lot in the field and sometimes also only tweaking known parameters may do the job, but to do so you ofcourse need to read a lot about the field and also read on other fields and look for potetnial connections between them.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2007
  6. Oct 18, 2007 #5
    Ok. Thanks!

    How did Einstein invent his theories of relativity?
    How did Newton invent the Newton laws?
    How did Nordström invent his theory of gravitation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordström's_theory_of_gravitation)?
    How did Milgrom invent the Modified Newtonian dynamics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOND)?
    etc, etc...

    Should one just try to read and understand the original publications, e.g. Einstein's original publication of the special relativity? Or should one just read the modern physics books to understand the concepts? Which one is the better way to learn "inventiveness"?

    Are there any tips and tricks to learn "inventiveness"? How do I know when I have a real scientific theory and not just a pseudoscientific junk? They say that even string theory is pseudoscience. How about the Heim theory?

    I want to learn to distinguish real science from pseudoscience.
  7. Oct 19, 2007 #6
    I think you have to analyze different theories and judge if they're logical or not. If you find any theories which you don't believe in, try finding out yourself how it could be, then try to prove it.
  8. Oct 21, 2007 #7
    For me science is like a computer program. I liked dos, then it changed... The new program apparently does the same but more. A new theory would have to account for all of the previous known phenomenon and then go even further. The only way to do this is to actually consider the explained phenomenon and the unexplained phenomenon, and then construct a theory that accounts for both. Not an easy task to say the least. Then again, how much has science changed in the last 100 or so years?...
  9. Oct 22, 2007 #8
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  10. Oct 22, 2007 #9


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    Master of science in physics, and not done QM, QFT, GR and/or elementary partcile phyiscs? :O

    String theory is graduate course here in sweden, but you can do diploma work in it. My friend does now diploma work in simulating Higgs boson decays in theoretical particle physics. So if you really want to go deep into something, doing diploma work then PhD are perhaps the best, then you get personal help from teachers and so on. But I dont know how you have it at your university, so best is maybe to ask your teachers overthere.

    Good luck =)
  11. Oct 22, 2007 #10
    Yes, I have. "Quantum Mechanics I" and "Particle Physics". I am right now taking "Quantum Mechanics II". :)

    But, but. I want to learn everything. LOL.

    Ok. Is diploma work = Licentiate Thesis?

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  12. Oct 22, 2007 #11


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    diploma work here = the final thing you do your semester as undergraduate.

    knowing everything is impossible i think..but its very good aim to have atleast knowledge corresponding to first course at graduate level (i.e phd course) in stuff =)

    I personally enjoy subatomic physics a lot, and nuclear astrophysics. But I must choose one thing to be very very good at, to do my PhD in. You cant really master everything as they did in the old days, cos now there is so much in each branch of physics =/ =)
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