The approximation of classical mechanics

  • #1
Rehashing this topic because I believe a clear misconception is stated in many threads. Classical mechanics is an incorrect ( by the definition of correct ) theory which is only an approximation that uses incorrect assumptions ie. Constant time but yet makes accurate predictions in its regime. GR replaces the very fundamental principles of classical mechanics with other principles to describe the same regime as well as an extended regime. That being said is classical mechanics a correct theory?
 

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  • #2
Nugatory
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  • #3
Hard to say until you state the definition of "correct theory" that you're using....

Meanwhile, the old-timers here are rolling their eyes and muttering that "Nugatory's gonna link to that Asimov essay AGAIN!"
Thank you for the article but I still don’t feel that suffices based on the way I presented my question. It’s not a matter of accuracy ( decimal places) if 2 theories regardless of them accurately describing the same thing use totally different fundamentals. One theory with forces and another without forces describing the same phenomena “accurately”.
 
  • #4
My definition in this context of the word correct is that nature abides by rules that can be described entirely( which obviously it may not ) but that is my assumption.
 
  • #5
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see the "classical physics is wrong" insight
 
  • #6
see the "classical physics is wrong" insight
Thank you, I don’t see much of a consensus their. And the idea that because a theory gives you the correct answer in a certain domain makes it correct doesn’t sit well...
 
  • #7
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i think the idea is, you can never know if your model is "correct" rather all you can know is if it gives good predictions. within its range.

many are disappointed to find the purpose is not to find "the truth".

but the truth is unknowable
 
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  • #8
i think the idea is, you can never know if your model is "correct" rather all you can know is if it gives good predictions. within its range.

many are disappointed to find the purpose is not to find "the truth".

but the truth is unknowable
That could be the case but it could not be as well. I think it is plausible to imagine a set of rules which in and of themselves are the very thing you are describing.
 
  • #9
DrClaude
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Even within the realm of classical mechanics, why would Newtonian physics with forces be more "real" than the Lagrangian formulation?

These kind of musings are not within the scope of PF, so thread closed.
 
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