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The Oxford questions

  1. Jul 20, 2013 #1
    Recently a group of academics came together to draft a set of questions in physics that are still open which lack definitive answers. The questions are as follows:


    Specifically they wanted to "avoid rehashing various aspects of the status quo in debates about the foundations of quantum physics."
    and instead focus on "issues that can be specifically investigated with current methods and theories."

    Relevant links:



    I am hoping that this thread could A) be a place where those just beginning to learn physics can learn about some of the most current relevant challenges in physics, b) all members can learn from the discussion of members who have knowledge that they do not so their understanding can be increased, and c) be a place where members with advanced knowledge can discuss these issues and other information in relevant fields in order to help tackle these questions and lead to greater understanding of the world we inhabit.

    Note: I am unaware if this forum has a philosophy section so I posted it here. I hope it will not get swallowed up in this section as other new threads arise. If a moderator sees this I would appreciate this discussion be moved to a more relevant section and possibly stickied if found useful over time.

    So how do you approach these questions? What experiments could be designed to find answers to them? Do you lean more toward the view that quantum processes have effects on the macro world or not? Could these questions be tackled by other fields such as computer science as sensors embedded in technology become more ubiquitous within society (and presumably could be used to take many real-time measurements across the surface of the earth? What is the arrow of time? Is reality discovered or created by measurement? Are you familiar with any recent discoveries in physics or interpretations of physical experiments that are novel or perhaps long forgotten that could illuminate our understanding of how to approach these challenges? Do you have any challenging questions of your own?

    Thank you in advance for your participation. I hope this discussion can be approached in a spirit of cooperation, curiosity, and discovery.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I think it would be better if this was a whole forum in itself, with threads for each question otherwise the discussion will turn into a mixed bowl of spaghetti.
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