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- Thread starter chosenone
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In summary, math is used in physics to predict the results of experiments by quantitatively representing the characteristics of a phenomenon. This is done by isolating the various aspects of the phenomenon and assuming basic axioms such as the universality of physics. If a model correctly predicts the outcome of an experiment, it is considered good even if its internal workings are not fully understood. The use of math in physics has led to the development of various theories such as Special and General Relativity and SuperString Theory, which attempt to explain different aspects of the physical world. However, understanding these complex mathematical models requires a strong foundation in mathematics, starting with Algebra and continuing through Calculus and Differential Equations.

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Mathematics news on Phys.org

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I thought I was talking to the best!

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In the end, if a model correctly predicts the outcome of an experiment, the model is good -- even if we have no idea what its internal workings mean in a physical sense.

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Originally posted by chosenone

so can anyone give me a example

Well I'm afraid this is not much help, but I think this is sort of how it started:

- It's easy to notice that the moon & planets keep moving in complicated patterns with respect to the background of stars.

- The most primitive idea is, this is all caused by a god or something who moves them at his own will. Problem: What divides God from Man?

- To find out His plan, you make some measurements, draw some maps, and see there is some regularity in all this. Mathematical aspect: numbers, equations. Problem: What's behind this?

- PTOLEMY explained it by the planets being fixed on large crystal spheres which rotate. New mathematical aspect: spheres, symmetry. Problem: How can Earth be so imperfect in a perfect sky?

- KEPLER found that the observations can more simply be explained by the planets moving in ellipses. New mathematical aspect: coordinates, curves, transcendent equations, transformations. Problem: Is Earth just another planet?

- NEWTON found that the Keplerian motion can be explained by the Law of Gravity. New mathematical aspect: calculus. Consequences: Do mechanical laws determine everything?

- EINSTEIN found that the abnormity of Mercury's orbit can be explained by General Relativity. New mathematical aspect: differential geometry, higher dimensions. Problem: How about Black holes? Gravity waves?

See, I tried to illustrate how math gives solutions but also new problems. You may say this doesn't make much sense, and maybe that's true...

Please note that I don't intend to hurt any religous feelings.

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I think this is what the 2 theories are meant to explain:

Special Relativity: Explains why e.m. waves move at the same speed for any observer, even when he's moving.

General Relativity: Explains why inertia is always proportional to mass.

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If you wish to understand how mathematical models are created you must study math. This means start with Algebra, continue through Calculus and finally when you get through Differential Equations you will be at the STARTING point of mathematical modeling. This is, by the way 2 years worth of university level mathematics.

Differential equations is the key here, all we can observe is how things change, and differential equations is the math of how things change. Thus is the basic language of math models.

Albert Einstein's

first paper on Relativitiy is an execelent example of how real world changes are translated into differential equations. It is not that hard of a read and contains only simple math. Remember, this is not a novel and cannot be read casually, you will find it necessary to reread sentences and paragraphs to extract their meaning. Good luck.

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Originally posted by chosenone

how do you create a model of a black hole

OK, here's my 3rd attempt.

One of the basic ideas of General Relativity is space(time) getting curved by any mass (or energy) present.

Imagine space as a large, horizontal sheet of rubber, fixed at the edges under some tension. Now you place a metal ball in the center. The sheet will sink in, forming some sort of funnel or crater. This is a model of space being curved by the mass of a star.

Now take a small ball (say, a marble) and place it near the edge of the sheet. It will move towards the star as if it was attracted by the star. You may even be lucky and get it to orbit the star.

This is a model of how space curvature is the cause of what we call gravitation.

I think you agree that the curvature of the sheet can be calculated quite precisely, and so can the motion of the marble. Even in the full 4-dimensional theory, this can be done.

However, it turns out that there are some solutions which correspond to a hole in the sheet, at the bottom of the funnel, where the walls get vertical. This happens for very heavy and dense central objects (say, neutron stars).

It all gets difficult when we try to predict the behavior of matter or radiation close to a black hole. I think there are many theories with different results. IIRC, Hawking suggested a black hole would radiate quite brightly because of some pair production processes going in the neighborhood. I'm really no expert at this. This is as far as I can help you...

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It should be available in your liberary or local used book store.

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Dear Chosenone,

I have listened to your thread and have some observations that may be helpful. I have three books for you to find. Read and ask for help, make notes when epiphanies occur and they will. Take it slow as you develop your method of discovery. You are considering stuff that most find dry and for a small few very exciting. If occasionally you feel inadequate to the task, remember all of the great ones have felt the same.

1.”The Art of critical Thinking” by Organ Houghton Mifflin Company Boston

Copyright 1965

2. “The Riddle of Gravitation” by Peter G. Bergmann Dover Publications

Copyright 1968, 1987, 1992

3. “Relativity, the special and general theory” by Albert Einstein Crown Publishers

Copyright 1961 Einstein estate

Einstein was Bergmanns teacher and friend. Both texts will illuminate Cosmology from Einstein’s perspectives. Gravity may be the tip of Realities iceberg so book 2 is important. The art of critical thinking is very important as it assists in training the individual to organize and structure ones critical efforts.

Your original request,

Observation leads to investigation, given enough found clues a hypothesis is created. Not all of the clues need to support the hypothesis just enough to provide a reasonable standalone. The remaining clues, which at this point do not support your hypothesis, may later support it.

From this point a method of exploration needs to be developed to verify the adequacy of your hypothesis. Mathematics is an accepted tool as it is an objective method to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the hypothesis. In many cases not all aspects of a hypothesis may be modeled by mathematics. But if it stands the test of being reasonable the important parts can be.

The best way to see this is to use an established principle to demonstrate. Have you any suggestions that suit you?

Perspectives

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Chosenone,

Congrats on the test. If Mathematics is to become a tool in your chosen fields, then don't become discouraged when there are set backs in the learning process. I have been at it a long time and I discover new things each time I start a process.

Remember, Math has two parts, one, mechanics and two, why. Most schools teach mechanics and few teach why. The why is most interesting and requires the most time to learn. The changing environment of abstract thought as applied to physics is a delightful supprise. There have been rumblings about the speed of light being exceeded, variable and not necessarily a limit on it's speed. Apparently constants are not. It's a lot like being given a wood plane to remove wood and then discovering a saw exists and is more applicable to the task.

Good luck

Perspectives

Math and applied physics are closely related fields, but they have distinct differences. Math is a purely theoretical subject that deals with abstract concepts and structures. On the other hand, applied physics uses mathematical principles to solve real-world problems and understand the physical world.

Math is applied in physics in various ways, such as using equations to describe physical phenomena, calculating quantities like velocity and acceleration, and analyzing data to make predictions. Math also provides the language and tools for understanding the fundamental laws and theories of physics.

Some examples of math applied in physics include calculus for understanding motion and change, linear algebra for analyzing systems of equations, and differential equations for modeling complex systems. Other areas of math, such as geometry and statistics, are also used in various branches of physics.

Applying math in physics allows us to describe and predict the behavior of the physical world with precision and accuracy. Without math, we would not have a systematic and quantitative way of understanding and exploring the natural laws that govern our universe.

To excel in math applied physics, one needs strong mathematical skills, critical thinking abilities, and a solid understanding of fundamental physics concepts. Additionally, problem-solving, data analysis, and computer programming skills are also essential in this field.

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