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Physics Theories which have been found to be incomplete

  1. Aug 11, 2009 #1
    I need a topic for a physics research paper on Physics Theories that have been found to be incomplete/inaccurate. Anyone out there that can throw an idea to me??? Thank you for your time!


    Justin
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2009 #2

    dx

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    Can you describe in more detail what you will be writing in this paper?
     
  4. Aug 11, 2009 #3

    Nabeshin

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    A good place to start might be Newton's law of gravitation, or more generally, some of the problems with newtonian mechanics which were solved by relativity.
     
  5. Aug 11, 2009 #4
    The class that I am taking is being offered at ITT Tech, Physics GE253 to be exact, getting back to the question you have for me sir, we are to write a 500 word report on a "Physics theory that was found to be incomplete or incorrect, how the problem was discovered and how a new theory was developed that ""Fixed"" the problem"
     
  6. Aug 11, 2009 #5

    kuruman

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    Look up the "phlogiston" theory. That's a good one.
     
  7. Aug 11, 2009 #6

    Dale

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    All of them. There is no "theory of everything" so they are all incomplete.
     
  8. Aug 11, 2009 #7

    dx

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    If you want examples of theories that have been replaced by better and more general theories, here are a few:

    - Newtonian mechanics, replaced by relativistic mechanics (or Galilean spacetime replaced by Minkowski spacetime).
    - Thermodynamics, replaced by statistical mechanics.
    - Newtonian gravity, replaced by general relativity.
    - Classical ray optics, replaced by Maxwell's electrodynamics.

    (The relationship between quantum physics and classical physics is very subtle, so don't do that unless you are willing to spend a lot of time thinking and reading about it.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  9. Aug 11, 2009 #8
    Wow, Thank you EVERYONE that responded to my post!!! I truly do appreciate your time and concern!

    J
     
  10. Aug 11, 2009 #9

    atyy

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    Maybe not thermodynamics?
     
  11. Aug 11, 2009 #10

    dx

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    Why not?
     
  12. Aug 11, 2009 #11

    atyy

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    Well, I was thinking that equilibrium stat mech produces the same results as thermodynamics - but just gives a different picture of reality.
     
  13. Aug 11, 2009 #12

    atyy

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    Also, thermo is existence of temperature, conservation of energy, increase of entropy - all still good, I think. Maybe only the third law is not always true? And that "equilibrium" is subjective, since it just means steady over many times the time scale of the measurement.
     
  14. Aug 11, 2009 #13
    I literally laughed out loud.
     
  15. Aug 11, 2009 #14

    kuruman

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    Especially when others in this thread discuss the ontological significance of thermodynamics.
     
  16. Aug 11, 2009 #15

    Chi Meson

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    The Caloric Theory of heat is a significant historical wrongness, following the heels of the lost phlogiston.
     
  17. Aug 12, 2009 #16
    Einstein's cosmological constant in his original theory of general relativity?
     
  18. Aug 12, 2009 #17
    An interesting story is how Faraday was poor at mathematics, so he documented his discoveries by making up the diagrams that show the "lines" of the electric field. (Somewhere around the year 1830.) Maxwell later restated Faraday's discoveries mathematically.
     
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