1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is there a good book on only observational evidence

  1. Dec 15, 2015 #1
    Do you know of a resource that expunges all theory and all mathematics and focuses solely on observable facts?

    Example: This resource would list Faradays experiments but leave out Maxwells equations.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Yes, these exist, but per decree they are confined to a special, undocumented section of the library where they may be consulted merely for the purpose of historical research, and only with written permission from the public health authorities.
  4. Dec 15, 2015 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Why would you want such a resource?

    Also, where do you draw the line between "observable fact" and "theory"? For example, is the statement "the Earth orbits the Sun" an observable fact, or a theory?
  5. Dec 15, 2015 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I am aware of no such book, and would be somewhat surprised to find one - it would be sort of like finding a book that exhaustively documents the observed motions of the planets and the observed trajectory of every artillery shell that was ever fired but that never mentioned gravity, Newton's laws, and the math that we use to apply them.

    If you're looking for the experiments and observations that support relativity, the FAQ at the top of this forum (https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/faq-experimental-basis-of-special-relativity.229034/) lists a tiny subset of all the observations we have.
  6. Dec 15, 2015 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    There are almost infinitely many "observable facts". How can anyone compile them into a book?

    Furthermore, a collection of observable facts is useless without context, i.e. without any theory that interpret these facts. It is why Rutherford was quote as saying "All Science is either Physics or Stamp-Collecting". Your collection of observable facts are nothing more than a "stamp-collection", as series of disconnected, disjointed pieces of information. This isn't knowledge, nor are they useful.

    It is why there is no such book.

  7. Dec 15, 2015 #6


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    In school books you may find many "observable facts" with a minimum of mathematics to explain them. Or as Krylov mentioned in history documentations. 'The History of Physics' or similar titles.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook