Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Physical Intuition

  1. Mar 30, 2010 #1
    hey,

    What is physical intuition?

    How do we use it in physics?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2010 #2

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    A blonde's ability to solve a triple integral for torque in her head (without a slide rule) while walking across a parking lot in stiletto heels on a windy day.
     
  4. Mar 30, 2010 #3
    I dont get it?
     
  5. Mar 30, 2010 #4
    I do, it's brilliant.
     
  6. Mar 30, 2010 #5
    That sounds more like my dream girl. :tongue2:
     
  7. Mar 30, 2010 #6
    Just out of curiousity, I'm wondering why you've asked questions along this line in several threads. Are you doing a project on this topic?
     
  8. Apr 1, 2010 #7
    A guess that didn't go amiss? :tongue2:

    I don't think intuition can be 'used' in physics - it can only be confirmed.
     
  9. Apr 1, 2010 #8
    That is a good point, if I understand you correctly.

    The "using" of intuition is just a method to guide us. It may be lead us in the correct path, or down to a dead end. Ultimately all scientific ideas must be judged by the scientific method: the "hanging judge" that does not care how smart and clever we are. Ideas must be consistent with experiments in the end.
     
  10. Apr 1, 2010 #9
    I think it is a fine line between use and confirmation. Eventually after working on certain types of problems for a long time, maybe intuition and experience are one and the same.

    For me, it comes down to what my research advisor would always say to us- "You should know the answer before you even start a calculation." I think he stole it from Feynman. But it essentially means that one should reason through a problem in the broad sense (order of magnitude) before getting into the details.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook