# What's wrong with Physics?

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21 minutes ago, Macavity said:

(Apparently) Sabine can sell her "Chat with a Theorist" at *50 Bucks* for 20 mins!
Ever think you were in the *wrong* profession? Or maybe a job opportunity...

You may have hit on an opportunity there Chris - ever fancied being a YouTube Influencer or whatever they are called?  CERN could be a patron and send you free particle colliders to review

Jim

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Just reflecting on this topic more. Most physics ends up with differential equations, which are deterministic, but often lead to unpredictable outcomes unless the boundary conditions are known to infinite precision (which is clearly impossible). For example, in weather prediction, the differential equations for fluid flow (air is treated as a fluid) are well known, but since the boundary conditions are only poorly known, a range of different boundary conditions are used (consistent with measurements from a discrete number of weather stations) and many simulations are run - if the weather system is in a "stable" configuration, then good weather predictions are available for 5-10 days ahead. If, however, the weather system is in a "chaotic" configuration, then the forecasters just give probabilities of the possible different outcomes. Although the differential equations are deterministic, our lack of knowledge of the right boundary conditions means we cannot make precise predictions.

However, the issue with relying on differential equations for physics is that it is assumed everything is continuous. It is thought that space is not continuous at the Planck scale, and so you would think the best way to treat space-time is to use difference equations (rather than differential equations). In practice, numerical simulation of differential equatioins (by finite difference methods) basically takes this approach, but analytical solutions of differential equations may not be accurate when you get down to the Planck scale and instead you may need to solve discrete difference equations.

This is why some researchers are trying to "build up" space time from simple rules (e.g. Wolfram's cellular automata approach, or the approach used by loop quantum gravity theorists).

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52 minutes ago, iantaylor2uk said:

This is why some researchers are trying to "build up" space time from simple rules (e.g. Wolfram's cellular automata approach, or the approach used by loop quantum gravity theorists).

Worth a read is Shell Beach https://jespergrimstrup.org/blog/

A third unfunded contender for a theory of everything behind String theory and LQG is Quantum Holonomy, and it is hated by both groups if you read the book, even if it shares some aspects of LQG dna (its the wrong kind of math), the author seems to say that research is very tribal.

It appears to be maintained by a team of 2 who struggle to get traction with mainstream physics. I don't know if its correct, but it is a compelling 'start from the bottom' with no assumptions approach and claims to show gravity is NOT quantum in nature and the standard model can be derived from first principles (and black holes have no singularities)

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, iantaylor2uk said:

It is thought that space is not continuous at the Planck scale...

This is often stated in pop science but it is just a unit of measure.

Test at the Planck scale don't show any effects. Here is an example using cosmic gamma rays. If space had become discrete at the Planck length then Lorentz invariance would not have held.

It may not be continuous but if it isn't it will most likely be so well below the Planck scale.

Regards Andrew

PS This is a simple discussion on Planck length.

Edited by andrew s
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Posted (edited)

Returning to the "human aspect" (Sorry, Physicists! lol) I suppose it depends on whether you
agree with the (Popular on the Internet!) "Collective Guilt" idea?

Sabine Sez: If the rest of particle physicists doesn't speak up and instead allows their spokespeople to propagate nonsense, they are equally guilty. Giudice and Gianotti aren't anyone. They're the leading people of the world's leading particle physics institution.
Of course all the people who work on not "freaky" things have a reason to allow this to happen. Because without the big claims about new and exciting things, no one would fund their research, and they all know that.

So, we are not allowed ANY excuse! lol. But what real power does an average Ph.D. Student
or Research Associate have to criticise the system. Almost all of these "outspoken scientists"
seem to have secured themselves "independent means", via Media, Youtube... or Patreon?

Hmmm - I see the above discussion is OLD and CLOSED!
But I could make my point if I were to contribute to:
https://www.patreon.com/Sabine

There are things I could say... Both Good & BAD about my experience with Particle Physics.
But, unlike Sabine(?), I do not "Regret my Association"? It is a "workplace" like any other.
In that sense, there are Good and Bad. Overall, I feel *Scientists* are "better than many"!

I still recall ONE "Theorist" who turned up to offer HELP "build our experiment" (We were
desperately short staffed!). He felt unable to "sit doing theory", while we "worked hard"...
He was "terrrifyingly clumsy" at first. lol. But he ended up working harder than most of us!
He solved the problem by "theorising" AFTER his eight hours doing hard graft! I prescribe
Sabine a good dose of 80m inch-thick 16-way *Cable Dragging*  up a 5m high magnet.

P.S. Of course I am joking. (I think) But when people devote their LIVES to these things...

Edited by Macavity
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On 04/08/2022 at 16:05, vlaiv said:

No, not really.

It is phenomena like any other around us. We do have them, we do have at least basic understanding of what hunger is.

It is something that is evolved with complexity. I doubt that plants have hunger / urge, but dogs and cats certainly do seem to have it.

Imagine a robot that is programmed according to set of rules - like, "when battery is low, find nice sunny spot and deploy your solar panel".

Will "robot feeling hungry" make it more likely to do that if it already has a rule for it?

Under what circumstances can you see "robot deciding" not to deploy solar panel and instead perform another task. Only if it is programmed to do so.

We can add randomness in all of that (random component in rules) - and I still don't see reason for feeling hungry.

not that type of feeling, as that has physical triggers, more like I like that painting because it makes me feel x due to a memory i have of y and how it affected person z emotion's at that moment in time.

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Posted (edited)

In retrospect, I'm just OLD? lol. The "Methods of Science" have changed? These days we
can circumvent *Peer Review* and "Speak directly to OUR Public"! lol. Sabine is a pretty
good singer too? (Thanks to my Youtube "Research", I have No Escape from her Music!)

"Music Critic": "Hey, Pretty Good... But you hit a couple of wrong notes"?
Sabine: WHICH (Vitch) two notes?!?
"Music Critic": "Uhm, not being specific" - "You're not a trained singer"...
Sabine: Then your post is stupid... I cannot improve... it is of no use to me etc. lol.

Welcome to the modern world of Science Popularising?
I have doubtless MISQUOTED some of the above!
I hope she doesn't get VIND of it!

"Be Excellent to each other"? - Bill & Ted

Edited by Macavity
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7 hours ago, Macavity said:

In retrospect, I'm just OLD? lol. The "Methods of Science" have changed? These days we
can circumvent *Peer Review* and "Speak directly to OUR Public"! lol. Sabine is a pretty
good singer too? (Thanks to my Youtube "Research", I have No Escape from her Music!)

"Music Critic": "Hey, Pretty Good... But you hit a couple of wrong notes"?
Sabine: WHICH (Vitch) two notes?!?
"Music Critic": "Uhm, not being specific" - "You're not a trained singer"...
Sabine: Then your post is stupid... I cannot improve... it is of no use to me etc. lol.

Welcome to the modern world of Science Popularising?
I have doubtless MISQUOTED some of the above!
I hope she doesn't get VIND of it!

"Be Excellent to each other"? - Bill & Ted

You seem to have a thing about Sabine , I'm not saying I agree with everything she says  and I know a lot of what she implies as fact is based on her belief in her super-determinism but she also says a lot that people can relate to and IMHO I enjoy the directness of many of her videos (everyone is selling something and she is a good sales person)

The issues here are not necessarily science/academia but human nature. Whenever you get tribes of people, even in industry it is difficult to get traction if your 'idea' doesn't fit the 'plan'. I've lost count of the number of crap projects that trundle on because of sunk costs, loss of face etc. (Fortunately I have/had jobs which allow me to call them out)

My view is that if you are confident in your product you can defend it adequately, if you can't then you don't have as good of a product as you think.

If mainstream physics don't like Sabine's social media then perhaps they should have their own social media outlet. Working in particle physics is a privilege that not many have, so maybe Ed Whitten should be telling  the public why tax payers should be paying their taxes to support his ideas if they are so great. Not being open gives the impression that something on the inside stinks and the tribe would like to keep it private. The taxpayer may ask why am I paying to support this esoteric research and shouldn't the money be better spent on NHS, climate change, etc (pick your  own good cause)

Having said that I don't begrudge funding physics through my tax £ but others may

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I often think Sabine would make a great Dominatrix.

An Astrodom, so to speak. I guess i'll get 'cancelled' for that

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1 hour ago, 900SL said:

I often think Sabine would make a great Dominatrix.

An Astrodom, so to speak. I guess i'll get 'cancelled' for that

It would be "Astrodomme" in the feminine!

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36 minutes ago, Mandy D said:

It would be "Astrodomme" in the feminine!

Yes of course, apologies Mistress

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, billhinge said:

You seem to have a thing about Sabine

I honestly wish I hadn't started the thead. lol. I (genuinely) congratulate you re. the
"super-determinism" bit though! Without Wikipedia I would have no idea! lol.

I suppose I was intrigued to learn WHY she *so often* cites "Particle Physicists" as
the "bad guys" in this. I suppose I wondered how this had originated. I see Fifteen
years ago, she just seemed to be posting this stuff as not unreasonable questions.
I *did* have to wade through a lot of playground name-calling... on ALL sides.

I wryly admire her energies though. To opine on R-word, P-word, Gender/Sex, the
future of pro sport (Not a lot?) English/USA pronunciation and... *everything*!? lol
But there is now quite a LOT of reward in being "controversial" (or appearing so)!

Aside: I not sure that being a Particle Physicist is JUST a privilege though! ISTR a
modest amounts of work are involved - Both getting there and working therein?
I am NOT convinced it's obligatory for everyone / anyone who gets *criticised*
by "science popularisers" to appear on some "Channel" to defend themselves!
Witten... various Laboratory Directors, "Chief Scientists"... "Bill Gates" etc. etc.

Edited by Macavity
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I think Physics has a long way to go and is more "history" at the moment, when we can run our theories in reverse and predict "Humans" from nothing then we will have nailed it.

Alan

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2 minutes ago, Macavity said:

I honestly wish I hadn't started the thead. lol. I (genuinely) congratulate you re. the
"super-determinism" bit though! Without Wikipedia I would really no idea! lol.

Super determinism really surfaces as soon as you try to understand entanglement in context of special relativity.

In special relativity, simultaneity is no longer valid assumption and depends on observer. In fact - order of events is not guaranteed to be the same for every observer.

There is no problem with that because causality is limited by the speed of light. Two events that can be ordered in reverse - depending on reference frame, can't be causally connected because they are far enough apart that influence can't make it across.

Enter entanglement!

Our general notion about it is that measurement conducted by Alice - determines state of system of entangled particles and "collapses" state of Bob's particle as well. This happens "instantaneously".

See the problem there? SR does not know term "instantaneously" any more as that depends on observer.

There is reference frame that observes Bob making measurement first and it's measurement causes "collapse" of particle that is near Alice.

Who actually made measurement first? According to SR - it should not matter. This is why Einstein so much objected to this and called it spooky action at a distance that was "forbidden".

Simple way out of it would be - it does not matter who made measurement first - since Bell's inequality rules out hidden variables - we are left with A causes B AND B causes A - and that can only be if there is C that causes both A and B. Both measurements are determined by prior event - super determinism.

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Macavity said:

I honestly wish I hadn't started the thead. lol. I (genuinely) congratulate you re. the
"super-determinism" bit though! Without Wikipedia I would have no idea! lol.

I suppose I was intrigued to learn WHY she *so often* cites "Particle Physicists" as
the "bad guys" in this. I suppose I wondered how this had originated. I see Fifteen
years ago, she just seemed to be posting this stuff as not unreasonable questions.
You do have to wade through a lot of playground name-calling... on ALL sides.

I wryly admire her energies though. To opine on R-word, P-word, Gender/Sex, the
future of pro sport (Not a lot?) English/USA pronunciation and... *everything*!? lol
But thee is now quite a LOT of reward in being "controversial" (or appearing so)!

Aside: I not sure that being a Particle Physicist is JUST a privilege though! ISTR a
modest amounts of work are involved - Both getting there and working therein?
I am NOT convinced it's obligatory for everyone / anyone who gets *criticised*
by "science popularisers" to appear on some "Channel" to defend themselves!
Witten... various Laboratory Directors, "Chief Scientists"... "Bill Gates" etc. etc.

It was her debunking of the delayed quantum eraser which was the clue, I wanted to know what her beef was and why some comment accused her of misinformation so did some googling

Notice how she states her assertions are universally accepted interpretations. Another clue was her apparent idolising of that guy again who was famously anti QM

Even in GR land there are disputes over why apples fall under gravity

Is an apple falling under gravity caused by time dilation at the earths surface or is the earth accelerating up to hit a falling apple? (or are  people using the wrong language) go ponder

Recall the 2017 Jim Al-Khalili BBC documentary (free on amazon prime) in the last 5 mins at 1:22 when he quotes Kip Thorne saying matter moves to where it ages slower .

(sorry the documentary is called 'The Amazing World of Gravity' in case you want to watch it)

Edited by billhinge
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Not noticed anything wrong with physics, things still seem to fall downwards, kettle turns on when I turn it on…..

I would suggest that we pay more attention to measurement and measurement uncertainty, to help us be able to critically decide on the significance of measurements and to put limits on theories. Theorists need to dream and model and hypothesise, but without something novel that can be predicted and observed it can tend to philosophy.

Got to say that quantum weirdness seems to be coming up with all sorts of clever science applications at the moment, so physics can’t be too broken. I tend to stay at the “whack with hammer” scale of things personally, let others play with some quantum/bio stuff.

Now you’ve got me started, we also need to do more boring scientific reproducibility… although science doesn’t like people “just repeating” things others have done…. When people try sometimes they find than things can’t be repeated and thus may have been wrong in the first place….

Scientists disagreeing is how things work, different experience and ideas, trying different things until they convince each other that they have a plausible answer (until someone finds a new insight and things move forwards). Being wrong and learning something new goes with the job, keeps things interesting.

There is a risk of thinking that science doesn’t know all the answers, true, but it knows plenty about a lot of things demonstrably better than most other approaches and knows plenty about a lot of things.

Peter

PS I always think that a good bit of optical alignment, especially involving getting light into optical fibres is good for you well-being! It’s a pity that so many lasers are now “permanently aligned”…. No fun L!

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On 04/08/2022 at 12:47, vlaiv said:

In stochastic system - well things will evolve in random manner, again - I don't see much room for being hungry or in love.

I guess hunger is there to try and force us to keep living, ie, stop eating and you'll end up suffering either/and physically/mentally.

I guess love is there to get us to procreate/make more copies of our selves in order to continue living.

How we perceive and experience those feelings I guess is yet again viewer based. Basically we haven't the foggiest idea what on earth is really going on here no matter how much we tell ourselves we know it all (or not as the case really is), our 'science' I suppose helps to reassure us in times of need (make life less painful etc), but also to satisfy our enormous level of curiosity and need to know of what ever is really going on here

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, PeterW said:

Not noticed anything wrong with physics, things still seem to fall downwards, kettle turns on when I turn it on…..

Our physics is always wrong, it can only ever be based on our current way of thinking about the universe and our current state of observational abilities and limited thinking and imagination abilities etc etc.

Throughout our entire history our race has always said it's worked it all out, or at least worked a big part of it out, when in actual fact we're most likely further from the truth than we can ever imagine. Examples are when they were certain the Earth was the centre of the universe/solar system, or questions about it's shape etc etc, the list is endless.

A good scientist must never forget that it's we who are creating our models of the universe, we are being given no clues about any of it (at least not that we know of), the models will always be totally based on our view point and on how we interpret what we observe of our fumbling's around.

Edited by EarthLife
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no single person on here or indeed alive on the planet at the moment has the answers, revive the thread in a 100 years time

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3 hours ago, EarthLife said:

Our physics is always wrong, it can only ever be based on our current way of thinking about the universe and our current state of observational abilities and limited thinking and imagination abilities etc etc.

Throughout our entire history our race has always said it's worked it all out, or at least worked a big part of it out, when in actual fact we're most likely further from the truth than we can ever imagine. Examples are when they were certain the Earth was the centre of the universe/solar system, or questions about it's shape etc etc, the list is endless.

A good scientist must never forget that it's we who are creating our models of the universe, we are being given no clues about any of it (at least not that we know of), the models will always be totally based on our view point and on how we interpret what we observe of our fumbling's around.

But that is all we can do. Physics is a human creation it is a human discipline after all; it does not belong to any other entity, the universe included. So yes the models and interpretations are ours as they should be.  Nothing wrong with that.  Physics seeks to describe "our" experience of reality, not some celestial being's experience or the inanimate universe itself but our "human" experience, shaped by our interaction.  I see no reason to apologise or back away from that, it by far the most successful human discipline in describing our physical interaction with the universe we observe.

Jim

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Yes indeed @saac, we can do nothing else, we have no other options unfortunately, we can but do our best.

An awful lot of people out there are totally under the impression that our science is based on fact, when in fact we have no facts to base it on, we can only base our theories on our interpretations of what we think we're seeing. It's just that it's good to try and get that over to the masses from time to time.

It's like various colours that we see, pink being one of them that actually doesn't exist, it's not a single frequency, it's an imaginary colour created by our minds eye.

As you say, we're doing our best, which we should certainly continue to do. The real problem now though is the harm we're doing along side our need to learn.

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Posted (edited)

It's all to easy to get bogged down in negativity about the way our sense limit out inputs and our brains limit our insights.

However, just look around you. While the ancient world achieved much the introduction of the scientific method (in which experiment is key) has revolutionised our understanding and ability to predict and transform the world.

We have technology that rest on both classical and quantum physics and while gravity is not yet under our control we can detect its waves and use it to image galaxies that otherwise would be unreachable.

My only fear is the attempt by some theorists to try to escape the harsh judgment of experimental tests.

Regards Andrew

Edited by andrew s
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… got to keep Occam’s razor nice and sharp…

Peter

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5 hours ago, PeterW said:

… got to keep Occam’s razor nice and sharp…

Peter

Always hated that expression, by whose definition do we choose?

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