Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Inquiring minds

  1. Aug 7, 2005 #1

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    Due to a peculiar combination of events, I've been thinking about human nature and the nature of scientific inquiry... a scary thought. For example, how does a scientist answer the question 'why is the universe exactly the size it is [feel free to insert the gravitational constant, speed of light, or alpha to taste]? Of course, being a scientist, your initial reaction is 'what size did you have in mind?' And the inquisitor immediately replies 'You call yourself a scientist and you don't even know how big the universe is?'
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2005 #2

    HallsofIvy

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    One of the first things you have to understand to be a scientist is how little you understand! I doubt that any scientist would be bothered by 'You call yourself a scientist and you don't even know how big the universe is?'!

    A scientist, researching "how big is the universe" would have to start by defining exactly what was meant by "how big". What kind of measure are you using? He/she would also need to think about what kinds of models might be used. How about a closed universe without boundary? How would you measure size then? Notice I said models (plural). It is very difficult to do any kind of research without some kind of model in mind but one should never feel bound to one model.

    Of course, after having determined what definitions and what models you are using comes the important part- the "donkey" work: making the observations and doing the experiments.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Inquiring minds
  1. Mind (Replies: 9)

  2. Mind-2-mind in uk . (Replies: 11)

  3. The mind (Replies: 4)

Loading...