What exactly is a postulate?

  • Thread starter Gamble123
  • Start date
2
0
If some one could explain the concept it would be most apreciated.
 

chroot

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,166
34
It is something that is assumed at the "beginning" of a theory. The remainder of the theory's predictions are conclusions derived from its postulates. Postulates can be tested for correctness, but they are assumed, not derived.

Some examples of postulates:

The speed of light is constant for all observers.
Gravitational and inertial mass are the same.

- Warren
 

dextercioby

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
12,949
532
Each physical theory should be endowed with an axiomatical structure.From my reading and understanding experience,the best of them all is the one of (Nonrelativistic) Quantum Mechanics.Each if its 6 axioms has more fomulations (wording and mathematical expressions) depending upon the formulation of the theory:Dirac's (a.k.a.traditional),von Neumann's,Feynman's,...
There's one postulate (the IV-th,i.e.the time evolution postulate) which,in every formulation aforementioned,can be expressed in 3 different ways,depending upon the picture one adopts:Schrödinger,Heisenberg or interaction (a.k.a.Dirac-Tomonaga-Schwinger).And then of course you have the representations:eek:ccupation number,occupation number-energy,position,momentum.Then of course you have the original formalism of matrix mechanics and wave mechanics,but this is not really a part of the axiomatical structure,as one finds them as particular realizations of the various ways of describing the concept of "physical state".

Daniel.
 

Related Threads for: What exactly is a postulate?

Replies
0
Views
5K
  • Posted
2 3 4
Replies
87
Views
23K
  • Posted
Replies
13
Views
3K
  • Posted
2
Replies
27
Views
6K
  • Posted
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Posted
Replies
1
Views
984
  • Posted
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
9
Views
4K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top