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Insights PF's policy on Lorentz Ether Theory and Block Universe - Comments

  1. Sep 21, 2015 #1

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2015 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Nice insight!
     
  4. Sep 22, 2015 #3
    "Often a single theory is compatible with many different philosophical interpretations. There is no possible way to resolve a dispute between different philosophical interpretations through appeal to experiment because all of them make the same predictions for all experiments. The choice between philosophical interpretations is therefore entirely a matter of personal philosophical preference."
    In that case, philosophical interpretations are unnecessary, superfluous, irrelevant.
     
  5. Sep 22, 2015 #4

    Demystifier

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  6. Sep 22, 2015 #5
    This is not a "new" contribution, but for this thread I will repeat my earlier comment:
    Excellent summary! :smile:

    As that post was in fact the culmination of debates on this forum that started with a push to promote "block universe" as "truth", for interested newcomers it will be helpful if some links to the wealth of available information in the PF archives is added at the bottom of that post. That will prevent unnecessary questions about where explanations about those interpretations can be found.
     
  7. Sep 22, 2015 #6
    Mostly interpretations happen automatically in our brains: if not wittingly, then unwittingly. As a result, often an interpretation is erroneously promoted as part of the theory. To avoid such error, it is useful to be aware of these.
     
  8. Sep 22, 2015 #7

    Demystifier

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    I agree. But one cannot become aware of these if one bans discussions about interpretations.
     
  9. Sep 22, 2015 #8
    There is another way; see my first reply here :wink:
     
  10. Sep 22, 2015 #9

    stevendaryl

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    I think that conclusion is a little bit of an exaggeration. A theory (in the operational sense of a mathematical way of generating testable predictions from observable initial conditions) might have multiple interpretations that are indistinguishable from within that theory. However, every theory that we have is tentative and incomplete--we expect that one day, our current theories will be replaced by new theories. The expectation, of course, is that new theories will have older theories as limiting cases, in the way that Newtonian physics can be seen as a kind of limit of special relativity, approximately valid in the case where all objects are traveling at nonrelativistic speeds. Even though interpretations might be irrelevant to a current theory, different interpretations of a theory can suggest different ways to extend that theory. To get back to Lorentz aether theory: it's indistinguishable from SR. However, one could imagine extending LET to a new theory LET', that is inconsistent with SR, but would still reproduce the predictions of SR in limiting cases.

    I'm not actually very hopeful that such a thing will happen in the case of LET, but I do believe that it is doing a disservice to physicists to say absolutely that they should never think about interpretations, because thinking about them could very well be the way to develop future theories.
     
  11. Sep 22, 2015 #10

    stevendaryl

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    On the other hand, the charter for Physics Forums declares that it is for discussing existing theories, rather than developing new ones, so maybe my argument is not so relevant here.
     
  12. Sep 22, 2015 #11

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    That is a good idea. Most of those threads end in a closure and/or a ban. If you remember one that didn't end like that then it might be a good one to point to.
     
  13. Sep 22, 2015 #12

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

  14. Sep 22, 2015 #13

    atyy

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    That is an interpretation! :smile:

    Of course, it's the correct one. o0)
     
  15. Sep 22, 2015 #14

    atyy

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  16. Sep 22, 2015 #15

    Dale

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    Of the first ten I saw only two that even made it out of arXiv somewhere.
     
  17. Sep 22, 2015 #16

    atyy

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    If you took the first ten most recent, they would have had less time to have been peer-reviewed. Also, some of them are almost certainly correct despite not being peer-reviewed, eg. http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1404.7689 is not peer-reviewed, but is commented on in a way by http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1405.6351 that makes me think it is probably correct, because of Ted Jacobson's general reputation.

    But let me count.
     
  18. Sep 22, 2015 #17

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Even if all of the remaining ones went to peer reviewed journals, that would only be a total of 70 since arXiv started. In a field that publishes as much as theoretical physics does, that certainly qualifies as "little or no debate". It is a small sideshow at best.
     
  19. Sep 22, 2015 #18

    atyy

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    I saw your post #17, but here is the count anyway.

    Not published in peer-reviewed journal
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1508.00276
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1507.06618
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1412.2778
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1311.0437
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1310.2144
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1309.0907
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1109.5654
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1105.4845
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1102.5002
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1012.5348
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1004.2901
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1003.5366
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0801.1547
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0711.3822
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0412086
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0410001
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0109215

    Published in peer-reviewed journal
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1504.03305, http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1475-7516/2015/08/016/meta
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1503.08911
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1409.2687
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1408.4774
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1407.6014
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1312.0405
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1311.7144
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1310.5338
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1310.5115
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1309.4778
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1302.6965 (not a journal, but edited by Ashtekar and Petkov)
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1302.4189
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1301.7122
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1211.4402
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1210.4940
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1207.6530
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1206.6296
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1201.2882
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1110.3753
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1109.4495
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1109.0823
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1108.1835
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1107.1892
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1106.3955
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1104.2889
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1103.2197
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1011.6466
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1008.4351
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1007.4572
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1007.2594
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1003.1283
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1001.4823
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0907.3180
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0905.2446
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0905.0328
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0812.1050
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0811.2797
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0807.2639
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0806.4319
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0805.4067
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0802.0521
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0801.0516, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10714-008-0648-y
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0709.1011
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0706.0704
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0705.1565
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0703093
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0608052
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0605082
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0604088
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0603058
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0602004
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0509121
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0507059
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0505211
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0504005
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0502066
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0402005
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0108097
     
  20. Sep 22, 2015 #19

    atyy

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    My own take is that Einstein-Aether is not relevant to the OP. It's a pretty standard Beyond the Standard Model topic (like string theory, LQG).
     
  21. Sep 22, 2015 #20

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    As you say, Einstein aether is not relevant to LET. Of the ones in peer reviewed journals, not one of the first 10 was actually about LET. "Little or no debate" is looking pretty well substantiated.
     
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