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The big question

  1. Oct 14, 2003 #1
    i know that all matter "wants" to go to least potential energy state. the big question is WHY?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2003 #2
    its the laws of physics, i think its the 2nd law of thermodynamics to be specific. there is no 'why?', it just is.

    its like asking 'why do opposite charges attract eachother?'. they just do, there is no 'why?'.

    i think you can use the anthropic principle here. if matter didn't try to occupy the lowest energy state, our universe would not be the way it is and we would not be here to ask the question.
  4. Oct 14, 2003 #3
    I don't completely agree, Fuego.

    There must be a reason, we just don't know it. I think we should question everything. We may never be able to determine why, but if we don't even ask the question, then I know we won't answer it.
  5. Oct 14, 2003 #4
    to know why would be to 'know the mind of god' as stephen hawking puts it.
  6. Oct 14, 2003 #5


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    This isn't science, it's philosophy. Every hypothesis posted here will be an irrefutable hypothesis. Science can do nothing with those.

    - Warren
  7. Oct 14, 2003 #6
    The following is a description of the scientific method. Please pay particular attention to number 2.

    1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

    2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

    3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

    4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

    It don't get much more scientific then that.
  8. Oct 14, 2003 #7


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    I see you do not understand what an irrefutable hypothesis is.

    - Warren
  9. Oct 14, 2003 #8
    It must first be posed.
  10. Oct 14, 2003 #9


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    Uh yeah... right... I think I'll let myself out of this train wreck of a thread. You morons have fun.

    *door slams*

    - Warren
  11. Oct 14, 2003 #10
    My point isn't to say that we will ever find the reason why for everytime we ask it, but it is how science works.

    We wonder why, we come up with a possible reason and then we set out to prove it or at least mathmatically state it.

    Without asking "why" we do not have theories or experimentation. Without those we do not have science.
  12. Oct 14, 2003 #11
    Well, I guess the King has left the building.
  13. Oct 14, 2003 #12
    i wonder if the door hit him on the way out...

    anyways, i was thinking that it might be due to the fact that space is essentially either flat, or of a set curvature, and since energy would distort that curvature, an elastic principle wants all points to go to the least possible energy state... just putting this one out there for the heck of it.

    remember: this is a crackpot-less thread. no idea is too crazy.

    (take that, chroot! )
  14. Oct 15, 2003 #13
    that sounds like circular reasoning to me. any elastic principle already depends on the fact that matter tries to occupy lowest energy states.
  15. Oct 15, 2003 #14
    true enough...

    i wonder, then, which is the cause, and which is the effect, of the elastic principle and the lowest energy state.
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