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Physics Is A Mathematical Model

  1. Dec 19, 2014 #1


    Staff: Mentor

    I participated in a recent thread where it was obvious the poster was confused about what physical theories are.

    Of course they are mathematical models, but they say the mathematics cant be the reality etc etc. I am sure regular posters here have seen the arguments - they appear with surprising regularity.

    What I have never understood is pretty much everyone studies Euclidean geometry at school. All physics does is model itself on that. Points with no part don't exist. Lines with only length don't exist - yet everyone has zero problem applying it from surveyors and engineers, to guys that lay concrete about their house.

    But for some reason some get confused about it in physics.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Physics uses mathematics and mathematical model to quantitatively describe relationships of mass, momentum and energy of matter and non-matter in time and space.

    Physics is a lot more than Euclidean geometry or models based on Euclidean geometry.
  4. Dec 19, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Good point.

    I was thinking in terms of the principles involved where its a logical deduction from stated abstract postulates.

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