Physics cannot be based on the field concept

  • Thread starter Nusc
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Can someone clarify the following quote?

I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
 

Mk

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Looks like some guy named Albert Einstein said it around 1954 to me.
 
746
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How immature?
 

Tide

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Nusc said:
Can someone clarify the following quote?
I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
Einstein simply meant that all scientific theories (his own included) should be regarded as tentative since new knowledge (data) may one day show them to be in error.
 

Mk

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Nusc said:
How immature?
Well jeez... someone's a grumpy poopoo head.
 
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Nusc said:
Can someone clarify the following quote?
I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
I'm going to guess this is an expression of disapointment at not having arrived at a Unified Field Theory. He may have been simply acknowledging that this failure was due to the possibility that the very concept of fields was not going to lend itself to analysis the way he wanted.

If we had the whole context, of course, what he meant would probably be clear. Disembodied quotes can be mysterious and easily misconstrued.
 

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