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Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mechanics

  1. Jan 27, 2012 #1
    Seems like our general idea on the quantum level stops at predicting with great accuracy. The why, and hows seem to still evade us. Is my ideas accurate?
     
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  3. Jan 28, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Re: Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mecha

    Accurate - don't think so. Current quantum theory is strongest on it's predictive ability.
    Perhaps you are thinking of a particular example?
     
  4. Jan 28, 2012 #3
    Re: Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mecha

    That is all that a physical theory can ever do. Feynman says it better then I can...
     
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  5. Jan 29, 2012 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Re: Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mecha

    Ah that's a thought - I read that to mean that it does not predict with great accuracy.
    Sure - the quantum models are good at predicting the numbers we get but do not do much to tell us how the Universe arrives at those numbers.

    It is a philosophical point that the other models don't do this either.
    I like Feynman's "Mayan" examples illustrating the danger of trying to interpret the models ... "it's got a 22 in it and 22 is a lucky number..."

    QED lets us answer questions like: "how much light do we expect at point P" but won't tell us how those particular photons got there now we have detected them, but it can provide some insight into how photons may have got there in different circumstances.

    That's statistics for you.

    The "why" questions tend not to get answered in science much at all - that would be philosophy.
     
  6. Jan 29, 2012 #5
    Re: Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mecha

    It just seems to me that QM is lacking in something, the way newtons ideas of gravity was lacking. If that makes sense.
     
  7. Jan 30, 2012 #6

    Simon Bridge

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    Re: Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mecha

    No it doesn't. "lacking something" is too vague to have any meaning. It's like there is a Je ne sais quoi about it.
     
  8. Jan 30, 2012 #7
    Re: Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mecha

    Erm.. I don't get what you are trying to say. All theories are likely lacking something, the problem is finding what.
     
  9. Jan 30, 2012 #8

    Simon Bridge

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    Re: Is newtons theory of gravity kind of like our current pop theory on quantum mecha

    Yeh - there are not a lot of certainties in this Universe but one of them is that our theories are lacking in some way. We do not actually know everything ...
     
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