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Mysteries in Classical Physics

  1. Feb 11, 2012 #1
    Are there any mysteries yet unexplained in Classical Physics, Thermodynamics or Statistical Mechanics? Or do all the mysteries in physics come out of Modern Physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2012 #2


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    I think the principles of classical physics are finalized, so there are no mysteries as to principle, unlike, say, elementary particle physics where the principles are not yet completely established, which yields "mysteries". However, just because classical physics is "known" does not mean that every classical problem is easily solved, and so there are mysteries as to what classical physics has yet to predict. I would think this is mostly in statistical methods applied to classical physics. Chaos theory is one that comes to mind, like explaining the rings of Saturn. Severely non-equilibrium statistical mechanics of classical particles, maybe. Fluid turbulence is another.
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    What's unsolved about fluid turbulence?
  5. Feb 11, 2012 #4


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    If anything, I guess one could ask why our formalism works so well. Why does the Lagrangian formalism work so well and what is the meaning of the Action?

    That probably crosses into philosophy, though, because even if you were to answer those questions, there would be another level that you could ask "why?" about.
  6. Feb 11, 2012 #5
    From a theoretical point of view, very first issue is: No one has been able to prove from first principles (Navier-Stokes equation) what will the spectrum of average kinetic energy (cf. Kolmogorov spectrum in turbulence).
  7. Feb 11, 2012 #6

    Define 'mystery'....
    Define 'classical physics':


    Anyway, without quantum mechanics, we'd have no standard model of particle physics...and
    would be hard pressed to understand light.
  8. Feb 11, 2012 #7


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    The three body problem?
  9. Feb 27, 2012 #8
    Sry for the late reply,
    By mystery, I mean some kind of discrepancy between two widely accepted theories or some kind of lack of knowledge of the some mechanism?
    By Classical Mechanics I mean Mechanics, Heat and Themodynamics and not QM, Nuclear phy and modern physics (string theory, etc)
    Is there anything yet to be discovered in the kind of physics often used by engineers?
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