A Jürg Fröhlich on the deeper meaning of Quantum Mechanics

544
326
It's not a philosophical statement to say that QFT provides the only correct description of what a "photon" is. It's a scientific statement based on observational facts.
It is a philosophical statement IF you mean that the current description of the photon given by QFT is fully sufficient such that no future possible deeper underlying mathematical theory - of which QFT might one day turn out to be an approximation - will ever meaningfully modify the core mathematical properties of the description of a photon.

On the other hand, it isn't a purely philosophical statement but a scientific one IF you merely state the above statement as a working hypothesis. If you take this route then all unfalsified mathematical theories/models which offer a different picture AND which go beyond QFT - specifically way beyond known experimental accuracies - are still on the table as alternatives; this is true regardless of more advanced perturbative, non-perturbative or renormalization group theory arguments.
 

zonde

Gold Member
2,906
203
It's not a philosophical statement to say that QFT provides the only correct description of what a "photon" is. It's a scientific statement based on observational facts.
And statistics are more fundamental than individual events, right?
 

vanhees71

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
12,260
4,615
Again, we are in this spiral to irrelevant discussions. Any natural-science statement is putative. If one day one finds a contradiction to QT we have to think about a new theory.

I've no clue what you mean with the statement "And statistics are more fundamental than individual events, right?"
 
544
326
Again, we are in this spiral to irrelevant discussions. Any natural-science statement is putative. If one day one finds a contradiction to QT we have to think about a new theory.
I disagree that this is irrelevant; this is literally encouraging bad scientific practice by focusing too much on the short term instead of the long term. Experiment has limits, the goal of theory is inherently to go beyond these limits; this is why experiments are done in the first place i.e. in order to select the (most) correct theory from the set of extent theories.

There is not much wrong with saying that some theory is valid so far without any known experimental inaccuracies. However to then pretend that there is any high degree of certainty far beyond all known experimental limits is not conducive to good science, in fact it is demonstrably counterproductive in the middle to long run.

At best, feigning certainty is a practcal guideline for doing science intended to keep beginning scientists from going too far astray from the consensus. The moment however that such a guideline is interpreted as more than just a mere guideline, it tends to quickly become a completely unwarranted propaganda method used to quiet all dissenting theorists, with those who really understood the nuances involved usually long since dead.

This form of scientific censorship is often even painted to seem 'rigorously scientific' by using Bayesian statistics, which then often are deliberately presented or misinterpreted as frequencies by frequentists. This is a real problem for science and not openly talking about it only makes matters worse. This scenario has already occurred countless times across many sciences, usually up until the scientists finally decide to get their act together and directly address the problem by first admitting that there is a problem.
 
25,267
6,400
Thread closed for moderation.
 

fresh_42

Mentor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,721
7,332
We seem to have lost track of the original paper, so this thread will remain closed.
Thank you all for your patience and participation.
 

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top