Suppose Math and Logic were all there is

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  • #36
wuliheron
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Agreed, as Einstein said, creating a new theory is not like flattening an old barn and erecting a skyscrapper, it is more like climbing a mountain. The view gets better the higher you go, but this does not mean the old views are not still worth pausing for.

For the last thirty years the consensus has been growing that our definitions of spacetime must become more vague if we are to make further progress. Two steps forward, one back. If our definitions of spacetime change it means our definitions of what constitute a field must also change. In otherwords, despite the tremendous progress made in QM over the last century its central enigma remains:

Just what the heck does QM describe?
 
  • #37
Eh
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And we'll need a quantum theory of space-time (gravity) to answer that question. We'll just have to wait another 50 years or so for physicists to figure it out.
 
  • #38
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Eh
And we'll need a quantum theory of space-time (gravity) to answer that question. We'll just have to wait another 50 years or so for physicists to figure it out.

Yeah, in the meantime we must content ourselves with groping around in the dark attempting to get a feel for the shape of what only the light can reveal.

My own philosophy is that the more extreme the measurements or reasoning, the more absurd they appear to be. This is rather consistent historically, and statistical analysis of trends normally thought of as outside the perview of physics could therefore also shed a little light on the issue. It may be that the absurdities we observe on both the submicroscopic and cosmic scales are just an indication of this kind of profound uncertainty steadily creaping into our observations and equations.

To paraphrase Gary Zuckov, we've begun to look at the universe so closely it seems to be staring back at us at times. The easy observations are behind us, the more difficult ones ahead, in other words, SNAFU (situation normal, all fouled up!) As with every generation, there are a significant number of conservative people unwilling to accept this simple reality of life and willing to promote any alternative that suggests we have more control over the process. It's rather humorous really, if you are willing to see it that way. :0)
 

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