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Scope of physics

  1. Nov 16, 2013 #1


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    I have finished 2 years studying physics, and 1 year studying teaching physics.

    From the first lecture in the university, students are taught that physics is an experimental science. The strength of physics is that it could be verified experimentally. If someone has some doubts regarding any principle, he/she can check it experimentally.

    My problem is that in modern physics, it seems that physics started to study things that could not be verified repeatedly by experiments. At best, we can seek for some motivations for our theory. The problem is that such theories give the rise of much arguing. Physics seems to lose its strength due to the lack of repeated experimental verification. For example, consider the Big Bang theory, although there are many of motivations to think about it, yet it could not be verified experimentally, and so we have much of arguing about it. Google can give tons of doubts about Big Bang.

    Does the Big Bang theory lie within the scope of physics, so it could be verified without any doubts by experiments?

    I thought that there is no place for arguing in physics because everything could be judged by experiments. Was I wrong?

    May anybody please help me understands this issue? I have got tired thinking about it, please help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2013 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    The Big Bang Theory makes a great many testable predictions, and personally I think it's incredible that our current understanding of the universe is as complete as it is. A good article that discusses the BBT and some of the common misconceptions is here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/astronomy/bigbang.html

    Also, I'm reminded of a quote about evolution. "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
    Similarly, nothing in astronomy makes sense except in the light of the Big Bang. The distribution and composition of matter, the CMB, the ages of stars, all of it agrees with the Big Bang Theory.
  4. Nov 16, 2013 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    This isn't the place for revisionist rants.

    The Big Bang is not a theory on its own. The theory is general relativity which admits a solution which starts with a "Big Bang". That theory makes a number of experimentally testable predictions, many of which have been confirmed and others of which are under investigation. Additionally, the solution which motivates the Big Bang has some experimentally observable consequences, which seem to fit the data as well.

    Before you decry something as being an experimentally unverified theory you should first actually learn what the theory is and second actually learn what experimental observations support the theory.
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