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Physical laws are they material?

  1. Feb 10, 2012 #1
    Physical laws .... are they material?!!

    There was an old question about physical laws , where do they come from? as they are considered separated from the material of the universe. Of course I know that they are produced by the human brain or human consciousness (which is material in turn) , but this leads to another problem that the human brain had not made them (physical laws) from nothing. This means that they exist "out of the human conscious" , if we can say , and not just fully related to it. They are a common thing between the universe and the human brain. There is another thing , physical laws , which are produced by the human brain , control the work of human brain, or we may say that although they are a product of human brain , we can consider a producer of it , and maybe they are the same not different two things.

    Ok ,,, I think all of this was debated and discussed , but I want to ask if we can consider them material and not separated from the substance of the world. I know that in the past philosophers made difference between material and motion. This was based on the "absolute position" ( I don't know how to express it) or the absolute place or the Newtonian physics , or non-relativistic physics ,, they needed the concept of separating motion from material to prove the existence of the "first mover" in theological literature. No matter the existence of the first mover , the argument is physically invalid now, because It had been based on the idea of that the motion is , to some extent , not physical as the substance. Now we know that motion is a type of energy (Kinetic Energy) , and energy and mass can be equalized by Einstein's equation E=mc^2 , and each of them may turn or be turned to the other.

    I think no need to attribute the physical laws to metaphysics , because they are mainly nothing more than equations which tell us finally that a=a. Physical laws are a complicated form of the self-evident axiom that a thing is it self or a=a , and this does not need to suppose a non-physical interpretation , because this reality accompanied by the existence of material and they are the same thing.

    Waiting for your opinions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2012 #2
    Re: Physical laws .... are they material?!!

    The mathematical formulas we use to describe the behaviour of the physical realitye (E=mc² is a very famous example) are in a philosophical sense no laws at all. The are just descriptions of what we see.

    Physicist assume that nature has a consistent deeper inner working, the real LAWS natures seams to obey, and they try to understand and describe them with formulas.

    Are those LAWS material? My picture of the word material is not totally unambiguous but I would not say the rules themselves have a physical reality.
    Although there is some doubt in my mind: physics research has transformed some former rules, such as forces into fields and has proven that these fields have a physical reality. Force carrying particles have replaced mysterious action at a distance formulas.
    There is still a part of me that tells me that there will always be one or more conceptual laws with no physical reality of its own.

    What surprises me most is that our mathematics seems to do the job so well that we are able to predict phenomena we have never witnessed. Then we do an experiment to try to detect it... and it works. Mathematics looks like magic that really worked in modern physics the last decades.
  4. Feb 10, 2012 #3
    Re: Physical laws .... are they material?!!

    Thanks for reply,,,

    I think that laws just describe what we see, more precisely what we observe. It is their job , to describe what we observe.

    Ok,,, That's what I wanted to debate, that we don't need to adopt deeper interpretations for physics laws , because they are , to some extent, based on self evident concepts. For
    example the Einstein's law E=mc^2 , we can prove it starting from simple equations.(I know we will face some problems , but most of them are attributed to that we analyze a problem belongs to modern physics which depends on what we can' see or feel unlike classical physics)

    We can't search for further interpretations for physical laws because this means that the word "interpretation" will , I think , lose its meaning. Does the question : "Why a=a?" have any meaning? It will be absurd then.

    Because if it had not done that , there wouldn't have been existence. Mathematics , I think , are the existence.

    1=1 self-evident and no meaning of asking why.
    1+1=1+1 self-evident and no meaning of asking why.

    1+1=2 Just another expression of the second axiom.

    x= 1 no proof. Just there was a thing you didn't know (x) , and you found it.

    x+1=2 ,, x+2=3 ,, x^2+5x -6=0 ,,, (x^3-10x^2+11 x^(1/3))/15.2x^11+7.5)=(22/36.7)x

    and so forth ,,,, you can make very complicated expressions (equations) depending on x's value , but they still different forms of 1=1.

    I think this is the relation between maths and physics , physics is x and maths is 1. No surprise about the ability of math to predict (or describe !!!) the nature , the real surprise if it couldn't !
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