The unification of physics

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Dubious
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Dubious » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:07 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:Furthermore we still don't know what goes on inside of black holes.
This is a rather more interesting comment because the father of black hole physics, Steven Hawking, recently came out with a statement effectively casting doubt on his entire oeuvre of work in this field. His collaborator in the early years, Roger Penrose, had already come out with a similar statement decades ago but that Hawking should make such an admission is of considerable significance. He even went so far as to suggest that there may not even be such a thing as a black hole but he certainly seems very sure that they're basically back to square one with many of their original assumptions regarding these enigmatic entities. My spaceless universe model neither rules black holes in or out because it is yet to be mathematically formulated but it certainly doesn't depend on them to be viable. However what it does depend on is the big crunch, the big mama of gravitational collapse which marks the end of one cycle of the universe and the beginning of the next in the highest possible entropy state.
This is very interesting! Can you by any chance supply a reference where "He even went so far as to suggest that there may not even be such a thing as a black hole..." since this would negate most of his life's work on the subject. The reasons as to why he would doubt it's existence after all this time would be fascinating ... at least to me!

surreptitious57
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:06 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
Understanding what the universe is is not a physical question but a metaphysical question and thus beyond the remit of the physicist
While this is true the search for a Theory Of Everything / Theory Of Quantum Gravity is within such a remit as it references physical phenomena and how everything interacts with everything else. There is absolutely no metaphysics involved in this at all. So it is not understanding what the Universe is as such but how it functions which is a completely different thing altogether. Science has nothing to say on the nature of reality only how that reality manifests itself. So the search for the unification of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics is entirely a scientific one and it has nothing to do with either philosophy or religion or any other non scientific discipline. Since it is those that deal with metaphysics not science The incompatibility between G R and Q M exists in theory. But both are observable phenomena which have been subject to potential falsification and found to be true. And so the theories are not perfect as such but as perfect as can be. And given enough time the theoretical incompatibility between them will be ironed out after a Theory Of Everything / Theory Of Quantum Gravity has been discovered. As it will not remain so for ever

Remember science is an inductive discipline which uses evidence to determine the validity of hypotheses. And therefore it is not absolute unlike mathematics which uses proof which is absolute by default. However science does use proof but only in negative sense as either false hypothesis
or null hypothesis. But it is primarily inductive and as such is an eternally self correcting discipline. While the acquisition of new evidence allows for more perfect models they can never be entirely perfect. In science something is only probably true unlike in mathematics where something is definitely true. And so the current incompatibility between G R and Q M in that respect is nothing unusual. And indeed is actually to be expected

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:47 am

Dubious wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:Furthermore we still don't know what goes on inside of black holes.
This is a rather more interesting comment because the father of black hole physics, Steven Hawking, recently came out with a statement effectively casting doubt on his entire oeuvre of work in this field. His collaborator in the early years, Roger Penrose, had already come out with a similar statement decades ago but that Hawking should make such an admission is of considerable significance. He even went so far as to suggest that there may not even be such a thing as a black hole but he certainly seems very sure that they're basically back to square one with many of their original assumptions regarding these enigmatic entities. My spaceless universe model neither rules black holes in or out because it is yet to be mathematically formulated but it certainly doesn't depend on them to be viable. However what it does depend on is the big crunch, the big mama of gravitational collapse which marks the end of one cycle of the universe and the beginning of the next in the highest possible entropy state.
This is very interesting! Can you by any chance supply a reference where "He even went so far as to suggest that there may not even be such a thing as a black hole..." since this would negate most of his life's work on the subject. The reasons as to why he would doubt it's existence after all this time would be fascinating ... at least to me!
If this is true, this only makes Stephen Hawking's more worthy of credibility to the process of science. That is, if one can face their error even in light of what they've invested so much in their whole life inversely, is this NOT what a respect for science is supposedly about?

surreptitious57
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:53 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
However what it does depend on is the big crunch the big mama of gravitational collapse which marks
the end of one cycle of the universe and the beginning of the next in the highest possible entropy state
The eternal cyclical model alternating between Big Bangs and Big Crunches has been invalidated through the observation of
gravitational waves. These are quantum fluctuations or vibrations in the fabric of spacetime which occurred during inflation

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:56 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:
Understanding what the universe is is not a physical question but a metaphysical question and thus beyond the remit of the physicist
While this is true the search for a Theory Of Everything / Theory Of Quantum Gravity is within such a remit as it references physical phenomena and how everything interacts with everything else. There is absolutely no metaphysics involved in this at all. So it is not understanding what the Universe is as such but how it functions which is a completely different thing altogether. Science has nothing to say on the nature of reality only how that reality manifests itself. So the search for the unification of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics is entirely a scientific one and it has nothing to do with either philosophy or religion or any other non scientific discipline. Since it is those that deal with metaphysics not science The incompatibility between G R and Q M exists in theory. But both are observable phenomena which have been subject to potential falsification and found to be true. And so the theories are not perfect as such but as perfect as can be. And given enough time the theoretical incompatibility between them will be ironed out after a Theory Of Everything / Theory Of Quantum Gravity has been discovered. As it will not remain so for ever

Remember science is an inductive discipline which uses evidence to determine the validity of hypotheses. And therefore it is not absolute unlike mathematics which uses proof which is absolute by default. However science does use proof but only in negative sense as either false hypothesis
or null hypothesis. But it is primarily inductive and as such is an eternally self correcting discipline. While the acquisition of new evidence allows for more perfect models they can never be entirely perfect. In science something is only probably true unlike in mathematics where something is definitely true. And so the current incompatibility between G R and Q M in that respect is nothing unusual. And indeed is actually to be expected
For those who distinguish a clear divide between the practice of science and philosophy, they have to accept their lack of being able to actually prove anything. So 'truth' is not something certain they can be assured of regardless. You can't have your cake and eat it too unless you are being insincere. The theoretical aspects of science (physics) IS philosophy proper even while it uses the practical sciences to participate in their arguments. As such, even such given theorists MUST abide by what is essential to philosophy.

So we NEED to either allow physics to be a function in sync with philosophy (and logic as its most essential component) OR prevent physicists from feigning a wisdom beyond their acceptance of science as only about the process. Even interpretation of observations requires philosophy. So things like 'metaphysics' proper through philosophy is as much a part of the appropriate way to discover truth.

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:06 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:
However what it does depend on is the big crunch the big mama of gravitational collapse which marks
the end of one cycle of the universe and the beginning of the next in the highest possible entropy state
The eternal cyclical model alternating between Big Bangs and Big Crunches has been invalidated through the observation of
gravitational waves. These are quantum fluctuations or vibrations in the fabric of spacetime which occurred during inflation
This sounds as much religious too though. At least by the way you wrote this, it sounds indistinguishable from the most obscurantist gurus' words. [I'm not in disagreement with the implicit meaning behind this by the scientists though: that the universe is 'flat' and accelerating.] 'Gravitational waves', 'quantum fluctuations', 'vibrations', and 'fabric' would require a depth of defining to make sense of any of this. And from my experience, most people are simply reiterating what they've read in general popular science books with a 'faith' rather than a direct investment in the actual meanings of these words.

surreptitious57
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:05 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
A space void of matter is NOTHING and nothing does not exist by its very definition

Nothing can most certainly exist and does so in the form of a vacuum which is defined as the absence of matter. But what can
most definitely not exist however beyond an incredibly limited period of time is absolute nothing. This is as the name suggests
not just the absence of matter but of everything else too. And while a vacuum can have dimension absolute nothing cannot for
then it would be something. It can exist at the sub atomic level but its instability causes quantum fluctuations to occur. And so
it can only exist infinitesimally. Then nature really does abhor a vacuum it would seem but to be more specific an absolute one

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:41 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:
A space void of matter is NOTHING and nothing does not exist by its very definition

Nothing can most certainly exist and does so in the form of a vacuum which is defined as the absence of matter. But what can
most definitely not exist however beyond an incredibly limited period of time is absolute nothing. This is as the name suggests
not just the absence of matter but of everything else too. And while a vacuum can have dimension absolute nothing cannot for
then it would be something. It can exist at the sub atomic level but its instability causes quantum fluctuations to occur. And so
it can only exist infinitesimally. Then nature really does abhor a vacuum it would seem but to be more specific an absolute one
Leo would agree with you on the latter note. It is me who posits an absolute nothingness. Since even 'time' needs not exist there, even space nor time need exist at such an absolute. Then you can infer this whether you believe in a beginning or an infinite existence (time always was). For Leo's statement as an infinite meaning, such nothingness IS any spacial point. If he holds to the Big Bang to Big Crunch hypothesis, the point between the crunch and the next bang is just such an absolute. At least, if it is only one of any infinite possible sets of nothingnesses, then such an original point, while being equally indeterminate to meaning the same as between any two between universes through time, exists.

If you already believe in a beginning, you are referencing the singularity but still cannot determine actually ever getting there other than to approach it as time nor space exists there even in the Big Bang model with acceleration (no crunch).

Dubious
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Dubious » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:02 am

Scott Mayers wrote:The theoretical aspects of science (physics) IS philosophy proper even while it uses the practical sciences to participate in their arguments. As such, even such given theorists MUST abide by what is essential to philosophy.

So we NEED to either allow physics to be a function in sync with philosophy (and logic as its most essential component) OR prevent physicists from feigning a wisdom beyond their acceptance of science as only about the process. Even interpretation of observations requires philosophy. So things like 'metaphysics' proper through philosophy is as much a part of the appropriate way to discover truth.
This sounds to me like philosophy clutching desperately to regain some of its old self-importance when it actually was king of the hill. But philosophy has grown old and toothless relying on its children, long grown up, to feed it. Physics is more or less, it's own independence and not allied to anything except THAT which it seeks to discover to which philosophers can only add commentary.

Perhaps philosophy will again regain or even augment its former majesty in the future but only if philosophy forgoes the directive that physics or its theories MUST abide by what is essential to philosophy. I think not. Scientific theories are not Glass Bead Games or poetry. They do not require the endorsement of philosophy, philosophers or poets. In any event by what rules would that be established? If that were so, philosophy would rule like a religion over science. Judging by the posts here, there are some who would wish precisely that, contingent on what philosophy allows usually based on nothing more than opinions and assertions it were best not to dogmatize.

There are reasons why physicists regard philosophy and philosophers as giant tapeworms in the gut of physics.

surreptitious57
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:09 am

Scott Mayers wrote:
For those who distinguish a clear divide between the practice of science and
philosophy they have to accept lack of being able to actually prove anything
Proof is the remit of axiomatically deductive systems of logic such as mathematics and syllogisms
So science can not and does not attempt to prove any thing so it is not actually a problem as such
For its sole remit is to observe natural phenomena and how that inter acts with other phenomena

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:25 am

Dubious wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:The theoretical aspects of science (physics) IS philosophy proper even while it uses the practical sciences to participate in their arguments. As such, even such given theorists MUST abide by what is essential to philosophy.

So we NEED to either allow physics to be a function in sync with philosophy (and logic as its most essential component) OR prevent physicists from feigning a wisdom beyond their acceptance of science as only about the process. Even interpretation of observations requires philosophy. So things like 'metaphysics' proper through philosophy is as much a part of the appropriate way to discover truth.
This sounds to me like philosophy clutching desperately to regain some of its old self-importance when it actually was king of the hill. But philosophy has grown old and toothless relying on its children, long grown up, to feed it. Physics is more or less, it's own independence and not allied to anything except THAT which it seeks to discover to which philosophers can only add commentary.

Perhaps philosophy will again regain or even augment its former majesty in the future but only if philosophy forgoes the directive that physics or its theories MUST abide by what is essential to philosophy. I think not. Scientific theories are not Glass Bead Games or poetry. They do not require the endorsement of philosophy, philosophers or poets. In any event by what rules would that be established? If that were so, philosophy would rule like a religion over science. Judging by the posts here, there are some who would wish precisely that, contingent on what philosophy allows usually based on nothing more than opinions and assertions it were best not to dogmatize.

There are reasons why physicists regard philosophy and philosophers as giant tapeworms in the gut of physics.
Sorry, but logic is the foundation of philosophy. And while you seem to be including the aesthetic and religious functions among other areas that it also includes under its canopy, this doesn't negate the appropriate uses of it with respect to this discussion. As for 'science', the two points of most significance which ARE philosophy is to the interpretations of observations AND to the theoretical ones. So you cannot appropriately divorce science from philosophy unless you are begging it to be distinct like a particular religion might contend against all other philosophies they disagree with in competition.

The functions of science today is mostly practical. But on the fringes, things like Relativity and QM are still requiring more philosophy until they can be reconciled. Also, I've pointed out before that you cannot utilize the tools of logic without granting them as real. This is what many of today's scientists do when they discredit philosophy. And it is more about politics than anything.

The ONLY reason why some authoritative scientists may dismiss philosophy is more about their own concern to preserve consistency with their invested interests in the practice. Just as one like yourself even questions whether Stephen Hawking may alter his opinion stands to point out your concern: if he is found to have changed his mind, then you find such inconsistencies troublesome and thus lose faith in anything he might have to say afterwards. It's no wonder to me that the institution of science should be FORCED to have to maintain consistency politically because there are such people as yourself who would only disrespect them for it and lose confidence in their efforts. And this is precisely why many of them have forced a demarcation between science and philosophy! It's better to ignore what you cannot manage concretely in practice. Science (present paradigm) has simply 'given up' trying for political expediency.

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:39 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Scott Mayers wrote:
For those who distinguish a clear divide between the practice of science and
philosophy they have to accept lack of being able to actually prove anything
Proof is the remit of axiomatically deductive systems of logic such as mathematics and syllogisms
So science can not and does not attempt to prove any thing so it is not actually a problem as such
For its sole remit is to observe natural phenomena and how that inter acts with other phenomena
Science 'proves' things by recognizing patterns and try to pose an explanation that is at least consistent and to be used for practical considerations. But you can also think of even the logic through philosophy as being induced too. This process is a top-down form and logic (as with other evolved areas of philosophy) attempt to find a bottom-up argument to connect to our science (a term derived from 'senses').

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:41 am

You guys DO know that "PhD" literally means, "Philosophic Degree (or Doctrate)", right?

surreptitious57
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:52 pm

Dubious wrote:
There are reasons why physicists regard philosophy and philosophers as giant tapeworms in the gut of physics
Philosophy and physics should be entirely separate since neither has anything to do with the other
Although science is actually a branch of philosophy it is not actually regarded as philosophy per se
For science investigates observable phenomena while philosophy investigates the nature of reality
These may superficially appear similar but are in actual fact completely different from each other

Scott Mayers
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Re: The unification of physics

Post by Scott Mayers » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:39 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Dubious wrote:
There are reasons why physicists regard philosophy and philosophers as giant tapeworms in the gut of physics
Philosophy and physics should be entirely separate since neither has anything to do with the other
Although science is actually a branch of philosophy it is not actually regarded as philosophy per se
For science investigates observable phenomena while philosophy investigates the nature of reality
These may superficially appear similar but are in actual fact completely different from each other
Any initial input premises for an argument whether in philosophy proper or science uses "assumptions", "postulates", "axioms", or conclusions from some previous argument to prove from. The only significant difference is that science uses these initial inputs based on OBSERVATIONS that use the senses in a constructive way. It can still use them inappropriately though if the interpretation of the phenomena being observed (sensed) is in error. Thus this main factor is what requires philosophical introspection the most.

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