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What is the biggest most fundamental question in all of physics?

  1. Feb 19, 2012 #1
    thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2012 #2

    Drakkith

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    "How does this work?"
     
  4. Feb 19, 2012 #3
    ok whats the most fundamental and controversial argument in physics
     
  5. Feb 19, 2012 #4
    Your question is rather abstract, so answers such as "Why?", or "How does this work?" would naturally be the answer.
    Then again "the most fundamental and controversial question" might be "Where is my &^$) pen again", in any science or profession.
     
  6. Feb 19, 2012 #5

    Drakkith

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    Physics is a huge area with many different things being researched and discovered all the time. I'm not sure there is an argument like the one you are asking about.
     
  7. Feb 19, 2012 #6
    String theory is both fundamental and controversial, so it fits your criteria pretty neatly.
     
  8. Feb 19, 2012 #7
    I think he is asking which question like. What is time? What is space? And I think a good answer to the question he is actually asking would probably contain more than one question :) As to what they are? I think someone else would be more qualified to answer ;p
     
  9. Feb 19, 2012 #8
    Or another good answer and someone correct me if im making an incorrect inference, would be; The conflictions with Relativity and Quantum Mechanics....
     
  10. Feb 19, 2012 #9
    What occurred at T=0?
     
  11. Feb 19, 2012 #10

    Drakkith

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    "Is there a T=0?"
     
  12. Feb 19, 2012 #11
    "What occurred before T = 0?" is an interesting one. I think questions like this are more suited to philosophy than physics ;)
     
  13. Feb 19, 2012 #12
    Ive read that before, somewere. ha
     
  14. Feb 19, 2012 #13
    meh i dont think our universe needed any magic.
     
  15. Feb 19, 2012 #14

    DaveC426913

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    Strange thing to say. Where did magic come into it?

    It is a very intriguing question what caused the universe to come into being. But there's no way we can expect any evidence that will illuminate it, which is the reason is will likely be a philosophical question for a long, long time.
     
  16. Feb 19, 2012 #15
    That's basically what I think. I don't think there needs to be any assumption of "magic" when the question is asked how the universe came to be, just that its well beyond our current understanding.
     
  17. Feb 19, 2012 #16
    That seems to me to be a rather pessimistic appraisal, what is your reasoning?
     
  18. Feb 19, 2012 #17

    DaveC426913

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    I writ my reasoning: because there's no expectation of any evidence to be forthcoming of any events preceding the BB.

    No information from T < 0 will survive the BB. No information = no evidence. We can philosophize, but we can't make any models with any predictive properties. And if it can't be falsified, it's not a theory.
     
  19. Feb 19, 2012 #18
    Agree, but I was talking about T=0, not <0.
     
  20. Feb 20, 2012 #19
    I think, as in so many areas, there's a convergence between physics and philosophy. Philosophers in the past have argued that unless there is some uncaused cause external to the universe, then the universe must be causa sui and have persisted through infinite time up to now. The notion of an uncaused event is anathema to physics, as is the notion of belief in some unseen metaphysical entity. Therefore, physics and a philosophical perspective both demand that there is no spontaneous ex nihilo creation. It is contrary to the foundational principles of physics that the universe should have just popped into existence with a cause. So there is no such thing as t<0. If something else caused our universe, then its contours will surely one day be divined just as surely as we are now probing the contours of events 14 billion years ago.

    And in any case, it's not really a question for philosophers because that sort of speculation was the preserve of philosophers centuries ago. Nowadays philosophers tend to be interested in things like logic, language, and the mind. The real heirs of that sort of philosophy are modern theoretical physicists.
     
  21. Feb 20, 2012 #20
    I think " why is there something rather than nothing " or make a universe out of absolutely nothing, says it all you could also add where does God fit in as well
     
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