Thinking about a calendar epoch based on the field of physics

In summary, Rutherford's 1917 alpha-nitrogen-nuclear breakthrough was a fundamental act that led to the development of statistical mechanics.
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I was thinking about an idea of a calendar epoch based on the field of physics, and its thinking about which event should be used as the epoch
so I have this idea and just wondering what you guys might think about it

I initially landed upon two ideas, one pretty ancient and the other kinda modern. The ancient idea is about the first application of maths to physics in history, which was probably the Law of the Lever, the formula of torque:

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Though its so ancient and simple that we probably won't ever know when it was first discovered

And so its now on to the kinda modern one, and I should probably declare that I’m not a Kiwi lol, and thus I’m not biased in that manner. Well I was inspired by a quote from Richard Feynman:
If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.

And yeah, the atom is a fundamental building block of nature. Of course not the most fundamental, though its quite an important piece of the puzzle

And the heart of the atom is the nucleus. And so the idea is the action of artificially affecting the nucleus

Looking at history, it seems that the first recorded instance was Rutherford beaming alpha particles through various gases in 1917, resulting in the nuclear fusion of a nitrogen nucleus with an alpha particle to form fluorine

Or more clearly, the effect observed was the emission of protons from the fission of the resultant fluorine atoms, and Rutherford was able to determine that nitrogen was the primary reactant, that he wasn’t just propelling existing hydrogen atoms; a clearer picture of the nuclear reaction, and discovering the fluorine and oxygen products, was later determined by Patrick Blackett when he was following from Rutherford’s results

And Rutherford also said that what he considered this suggestion of the artificial disintegration of the nucleus of an atom was “of greater significance” and/or “of far greater importance” than World War I, when he had forgotten to attend an important meeting of a war research committee

Rutherford was no doubt a real atomic experimental powerhouse, discovering the widely conceived model of the atom and the atomic nucleus with the observed backscattering of alpha particles together with Geiger and Marsden and winning the 1908 Nobel Prize in chemistry "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances"

So yeah do let me know what you think, would like to hear your feedback and opinions, thanks
 
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Modern physics is usually explained as the time since invention of quantum mechanics and relativity.

But Wikipedia says:
In chronology and periodization, an epoch or reference epoch is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

So you can define it as anything from 1 minute to 1 billion years ago. It is a totally open ended word.
 
  • #5
anorlunda said:
Modern physics is usually explained as the time since invention of quantum mechanics and relativity.

But Wikipedia says:So you can define it as anything from 1 minute to 1 billion years ago. It is a totally open ended word.
yeah true, so i was looking at the field of physics in general, and my idea for the epoch is Rutherford's 1917 alpha-nitrogen-nuclear breakthrough
 
  • #6
You might consider this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Boltzmann#Physics
Boltzmann's most important scientific contributions were in kinetic theory, including for motivating the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution as a description of molecular speeds in a gas. Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics and the Boltzmann distribution remain central in the foundations of classical statistical mechanics. They are also applicable to other phenomena that do not require quantum statistics and provide insight into the meaning of temperature.

He invented an entire new branch of physics called statistical mechanics.
 
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  • #7
anorlunda said:
You might consider this:
He invented an entire new branch of physics called statistical mechanics.
cool thanks, so I was thinking that rather than theoretical developments or just observational discoveries, the focus could be on acts, and i was thinking that quite a fundamental act would be artificially affecting the atomic nucleus
 
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  • #8
1895. H.G. Wells publishes "The Time Machine".

Or one could do a negative offset from A.D. 802,701 and the Eloi.
 
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  • #9
jbriggs444 said:
Or one could do a negative offset from A.D. 802,701 and the Eloi.
oh i see, using A.D. 802,701 as the epoch
 
  • #10
jbriggs444 said:
1895. H.G. Wells publishes "The Time Machine".

Or one could do a negative offset from A.D. 802,701 and the Eloi.
@pinball1970 by the way what do you guys think about my idea based on the field of physics
 
  • #11
anorlunda said:
He invented an entire new branch of physics called statistical mechanics.
And then killed himself. :frown:

What exactly is the point of this proposal? It solves no problem, and seems to exist solely to promote argument.
 
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  • #12
Vanadium 50 said:
And then killed himself. :frown:

What exactly is the point of this proposal? It solves no problem, and seems to exist solely to promote argument.
oh, is it referring to my proposal, or to anorlunda's

and of course I'm not trying to promote argument, let alone solely, its just that I'm just thinking about an idea of a calendar epoch based on the field of physics, and I also hope that discussing the epoch would not be contentious
 
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  • #13
Vanadium 50 said:
What exactly is the point of this proposal?
I ask the same question.

There is a tendency in science that the greater the step change, the longer it takes to be generally accepted. That suggests a significant change, cannot also be instantaneous.

The process of change often takes an academic generation, maybe 25 years.

I wonder if the epoch should be marked by the first publication of the predictive theory, or the conclusive experimental demonstration.

This all suggests to me that the epoch concept is inapplicable to physics or science.
 
  • #14
Baluncore said:
I ask the same question.

There is a tendency in science that the greater the step change, the longer it takes to be generally accepted. That suggests a significant change, cannot also be instantaneous.

The process of change often takes an academic generation, maybe 25 years.

I wonder if the epoch should be marked by the first publication of the predictive theory, or the conclusive experimental demonstration.
so the point is a calendar epoch based on the field of physics

and do you mean like when a scientist predicted something and then an experiment conclusively demonstrated it
 
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  • #15
tade said:
do you mean like when a scientist predicted something and then an experiment conclusively demonstrated it
If that was a question, I don't understand it.
The prediction needs to be the publication of a theory, that sets a priority date.

The experiment needs to demonstrate the old theory was insufficient, while the new theory is more reliable. Maybe there should be a requirement that the experimenter be at arm's length to the propounder of the theory.

There may be a significant time delay between publication of the theory and a conclusive experiment.
 
  • #16
Baluncore said:
The prediction needs to be the publication of a theory, that sets a priority date.

The experiment needs to demonstrate the old theory was insufficient, while the new theory is more reliable. Maybe there should be a requirement that the experimenter be at arm's length to the propounder of the theory.

oh I see, thanks, and I think that you have quite a good idea there, and it can also be made into quite a specific calendar epoch @anorlunda

so i think that the idea can be the making of an operative scientific prediction which was proven correct, and the epoch would be the first known time in history that this occurred

and now the question would be, which one is the first known in history

some examples come to mind, though not necessarily the first known, such as Gell-Mann's prediction of the existence of quarks that hadrons were composites of, or Poisson's infamous prediction of the Poisson/Arago spot in 1818, though apparently it had already been discovered way earlier, and I think that Poisson's 1818 prediction wasn't the first known anyway
 
  • #17
tade said:
oh I see, thanks, and I think that you have quite a good idea there, and it can also be made into quite a specific calendar epoch
And it will be useless to everyone but you.
 
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  • #18
tade said:
oh I see, thanks, and I think that you have quite a good idea there, and it can also be made into quite a specific calendar epoch @anorlunda

so i think that the idea can be the making of an operative scientific prediction which was proven correct, and the epoch would be the first known time in history that this occurred

and now the question would be, which one is the first known in history

some examples come to mind, though not necessarily the first known, such as Gell-Mann's prediction of the existence of quarks that hadrons were composites of, or Poisson's infamous prediction of the Poisson/Arago spot in 1818, though apparently it had already been discovered way earlier, and I think that Poisson's 1818 prediction wasn't the first known anyway
oh yeah, just thought of quite an early example, Eratosthenes calculating the circumference of the planet, he figured a spherical earth, and that the Sun's rays would be nearly parallel (plus he had the help of two unbeknownst errors almost neatly cancelling each other out), enabling him to get quite an accurate figure
 
  • #19
Baluncore said:
And it will be useless to everyone but you.
oh, hmm, why so stark, because I was thinking that it can be as a calendar epoch which might not be just for me
@Vanadium 50
 
  • #20
tade said:
oh, hmm, because I was thinking that it can be as a calendar epoch which might not be just for me
You are too late. If we needed an epoch, one would have evolved earlier. Creating more speed bumps out of jargon, simply makes the subject more complex than it is now.

If you want to create a widely understood and accepted epoch, you must publish a widely-read paper that employs that conceptual epoch in a useful way.
 
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  • #21
Baluncore said:
If you want to create a widely understood and accepted epoch, you must publish a widely-read paper that employs that conceptual epoch in a useful way.
So I'm still wondering about the epoch, apart from the basic idea that it is from the field of physics, and so that's why I made this thread, to discuss the possible choices of epoch

Baluncore said:
You are too late. If we needed an epoch, one would have evolved earlier. Creating more speed bumps out of jargon, simply makes the subject more complex than it is now.
And no worries, I'm also not thinking about immediate widespreading of the epoch, and just floating ideas first, I was inspired by stuff like the Universal Century epoch of Gundam, and the Unix epoch, and there are also other sci-fi settings which have similar ideas

And sorry, what do you mean by "speed bumps" and what's the subject which you're referring to
 
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  • #22
tade said:
And sorry, what do you mean by "speed bumps" and what's the subject which you're referring to
Your whole concept is basically pointless to an understanding of physics and thus spending time on it is a speed bump along the way to knowledge.
 
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  • #23
phinds said:
Your whole concept is basically pointless to an understanding of physics and thus spending time on it is a speed bump along the way to knowledge.
thanks for the clarification, and if that's also your view, i hope i can clarify, and i think that perhaps the concept can highlight certain important aspects of physics with the event which is being used as a calendar epoch
 
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  • #24
tade said:
thanks for the clarification, and if that's also your view, i hope i can clarify, and i think that perhaps the concept can highlight certain important aspects of physics with the event which is being used as a calendar epoch
But why is agitating for the adoption of Archimedes' explanation of buoyancy (for instance) as a zero date for a new calendar any more helpful than making a Facebook post stating that "Archimedes is cool!" or composing a textbook page explaining how to determine whether a crown is made of pure gold.
 
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  • #25
jbriggs444 said:
But why is agitating for the adoption of Archimedes' explanation of buoyancy (for instance) as a zero date for a new calendar any more helpful than making a Facebook post stating that "Archimedes is cool!" or composing a textbook page explaining how to determine whether a crown is made of pure gold.
hmm, if you mean with the goal of promoting Archimedes (or another physics event), well, its that i just had in mind the topic of discussing which event should be the epoch, and its that I just brought up this current particular topic in response to Baluncore/phinds's comment
 
  • #26
jbriggs444 said:
whether a crown is made of pure gold.
Unlike this thread? :wink:
(How could anyone resist a straight line like that?)
 
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  • #27
@tade, if categorizing epochs of physics is helpful to you personally as part of your learning physics, then do it and good for you but trying to get others on board with the exercise is, I believe, what in the military is called "pissing up a rope".

If you are just into categorizing things, I recommend stamp collecting.
 
  • #28
phinds said:
@tade, if categorizing epochs of physics is helpful to you personally as part of your learning physics, then do it and good for you but trying to get others on board with the exercise is, I believe, what in the military is called "pissing up a rope".

If you are just into categorizing things, I recommend stamp collecting.
huh, categorizing epochs of physics for learning physics? cos sorry its not what I'm doing, hope i don't come across as rude, so what I'm doing is wanting to discuss which event(s) in physics history could be the most suitable epoch for a calendar epoch based on the field of physics
 
  • #29
Vanadium 50 said:
Unlike this thread? :wink:
(How could anyone resist a straight line like that?)
I cri :cry:
 
  • #30
tade said:
hmm, if you mean with the goal of promoting Archimedes (or another physics event), well, its that i just had in mind the topic of discussing which event should be the epoch, and its that I just brought up this current particular topic in response to Baluncore/phinds's comment
You sent an @ so I will pay you the courtesy of answering.
Being totally honest I don't know where you are going with this.

Do you actually want to just start a calendar based on physics just for fun? Or a short si fi story?

Ok just for fun. Reset the year to Newton's birth. So that would make today the year 380 Annus Newton.

Some iconic dates would now sound odd.

The 170 overture.
359 A space Odyssey
The Great fire of London of 24
George Orwell's 342
Battle of Hastings 576 BN
 
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  • #31
pinball1970 said:
You sent an @ so I will pay you the courtesy of answering.
Being totally honest I don't know where you are going with this.

Do you actually want to just start a calendar based on physics just for fun? Or a short si fi story?

Ok just for fun. Reset the year to Newton's birth. So that would make today the year 380 Annus Newton.

Some iconic dates would now sound odd.

The 170 overture.
359 A space Odyssey
The Great fire of London of 24
George Orwell's 342
Battle of Hastings 576 BN
hey thanks man

and no worries, so as mentioned in an earlier comment, i was partly inspired by sci-fi novels, and I think there are some which are also atomic-based, like on the Trinity detonation, or on the activation of Chicago Pile-1, and others might be based on acts of venturing into outer space

and yeah also, on this example of Newton's birth, there are also multiple different real calendar epochs, like I also mentioned the Unix epoch

and so it got me thinking about an idea of a real such calendar epoch, based on the field of physics, and so i created this thread to discuss the choices of epoch, thanks
 
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  • #32
pinball1970 said:
You sent an @ so I will pay you the courtesy of answering.
and oh yeah, I asked you about what you thought about my idea, and i think Baluncore has suggested another conditional idea which also seems interesting

tade said:
oh I see, thanks, and I think that you have quite a good idea there, and it can also be made into quite a specific calendar epoch @anorlunda

so i think that the idea can be the making of an operative scientific prediction which was proven correct, and the epoch would be the first known time in history that this occurred

and now the question would be, which one is the first known in history

some examples come to mind, though not necessarily the first known, such as Gell-Mann's prediction of the existence of quarks that hadrons were composites of, or Poisson's infamous prediction of the Poisson/Arago spot in 1818, though apparently it had already been discovered way earlier, and I think that Poisson's 1818 prediction wasn't the first known anyway
though I'm not sure what its answer is, Eratosthenes calculating the circumference of the planet came to mind
 
  • #33
tade said:
and oh yeah, I asked you about what you thought about my idea, and i think Baluncore has suggested another conditional idea which also seems interestingthough I'm not sure what its answer is, Eratosthenes calculating the circumference of the planet came to mind
Dimocratus? Atoms? Also the guy who suggested a Helio not geocentric "Universe."

Edit: Aristarchus.
 
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  • #34
pinball1970 said:
Dimocratus? Atoms? Also the guy who suggested a Helio not geocentric "Universe."

Edit: Aristarchus.
oh yeah, thanks, the Copernican Revolution does seem like a prominent option
 
  • #35
Terence McKenna had a fractal calendar system based on the I Ching, the "Timewave", in which the final epoch began with the Trinity nuclear test and ended in December 2012. :-)
 

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