Knowledge Production in Physics

  • #1
12
1

Main Question or Discussion Point

How is knowledge in physics produced?

When I think about how Newton's First Law of Motion was produced, it first came from intuitive thought experiment due to the observations made. Can one actually observe an object moving with a constant velocity without any force acting on it? Or is reason (e.g. mathematical proofs) used to validate this knowledge.

So are there knowledge in physics that rely heavily on intuitive thought experiments or reason for it to be produced?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Suraj M
Gold Member
599
39
In case of newtons 1st law, Look at this, it's Galileo's observations,
WIN_20150211_192110.JPG

so there isn't much mathematical proof in this case.
Hope this was helpful.
 
  • #3
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,535
4,306
How is knowledge in physics produced?

When I think about how Newton's First Law of Motion was produced, it first came from intuitive thought experiment due to the observations made. Can one actually observe an object moving with a constant velocity without any force acting on it? Or is reason (e.g. mathematical proofs) used to validate this knowledge.

So are there knowledge in physics that rely heavily on intuitive thought experiments or reason for it to be produced?
There is no one single way. In fact, it comes via many different ways, including serendipity!

Rabbi was famously quoted with the exclamation "Who Ordered That?!" when he saw something unexpected in the data. Harry Lipkin went even a step further and listed out http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/53/7/10.1063/1.1292467 [Broken] that no theory at that time had expected.

So you need to included serendipitous experimental discovery as part of your "knowledge" producing mechanism. It isn't just "thought experiment" or reasoning.

Zz.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Related Threads on Knowledge Production in Physics

  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
12
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
921
Replies
9
Views
3K
Replies
17
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
839
Top