World Science Scholars

1.4 What is Fundamental?

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    • Do you think it is a natural progression in science for us to give up things we thought to be fundamental? Explain your answer.

    • yes

    • It is possibly not a natural progression; I’d like to think of it as an ongoing struggle, the ongoing fight to either confirm or falsify a theory. In addition, it needs corresponding characters to do so. The perhaps most interesting “fight” might have been that between Einstein and Bohr about quantum physics, where Einstein agreed in principle, but thought the theory was incomplete. The struggle can only continue with enough scientific education and some experience – and that, in my view, is a looming danger.

    • 12345

    • Yes, to have an understanding of how things work at a much deeper level we need to have a flexible attitude as to what lies beyond the fundamentals that we currently know.

    • The aim is to figure out what actually is fundamental. The definition of that seems to be that everything else that is true can be built up from the fundamental thing/s. Naturally, we are sometimes going to be mistaken about which things are fundamental and which are not, so we have to be prepared to accept that. Even string theory may turn out to be a useful way of formulating reality wihtout actually being fundamental itself – it might be nothing more than in intriguing matehmatical or geometrical model. When Cumrun was talking about symmetry-breaking and round-about routes from A to B possibly being the only available routes, it made me think that the “strings” might be nothing more than conceptual contour lines in spacetime. This could certainly provide a way of derving quantum gravity, but contour lines are not real – they are a mathematical abstraction.

    • Yes, everything we know now might be wrong in the future, change is the only constant in the universe and changes means we’re improving. Coz after all are aim is to know the real truth that hidden from the deepest part of nature and to be able to achieved that we have to have an attitude to let go things that are not necessary even if we grow up thinking that it was, in this quest of find the truth we should always open to sacrifices and changes.

    • Yes,everything is changed. Change is the only constant in this universe. If evolution of biological organisms is a natural progession, then the evloution and changes in the fundamentals is also a natural progession. Our aim is to find which is actually fundamental and to understand the universe as ellaborate as possible. Even fundamental thinking can be a obstacle to our journey of the research.

    • The classical Bekenstein entropy of a black hole is argued to arise from configurations of strings with ends which are frozen on the horizon. Quantum corrections to this entropy are probably finite unlike the case in quantum field theory. Finally it is speculated that all black holes are single string states. The level density of strings is of the right order of magnitude to reproduce the Bekenstein entropy.

    • Yes it is. This is more or less likely due to Moore’s law. Despite it is originally describing the semiconductor industry, it seems to be that the knowledge domain follows even more aggressive slope. Every new invention generates two or three new ones. Of course resources shall reduce the pace at some point as there is somekind of a limit for our knowledge. In the mean time we must be prepared to give up some fundamental things in ordet to make room for the new ones.

    • We do not enter the forest knowing the best path to the other side.

    • yes it should be

    • yes it should be

    • We should give up but we must have their knowledge what they were.

    • An experiment to prove string theory would be a challenge to the senses, because in the magnitude of 10 exp -30, what is the meaning of measuring or seeing or weighing or…?
      The only physical entities that could interact with strings are other strings. The experiments should seek to combine o separate strings in order to change the properties of those elementary particles which they belong to. And next would come the task of measuring these elementary particles, which is still quite another feat!

    • Fundamentals necessarily do change, similarly to scientific theory. If an experiment or observation challenges a fundamental idea, then the fundamental must be adjusted to account for it. For example, the Euclidean fundamental of flat space allows for geometric postulates such as the sum of the interior angles of a triangle totaling 180. That fundamental is replaced by general relativity, which demands curved space in the vicinity of mass and/or energy. Or, the ancient notion of atoms as the fundamental building blocks of the elements had to be replaced as soon as it was discovered that atoms have constituents, and their constituents have constituents as well. All of the progressions have one thing in common: a fundamental allows the derivation, through physical laws, of all the other applicable properties of the subject t hand. If string theory is fundamental, then all the properties of matter and energy will emerge from it.

    • Yes, at this point in time we can be sure that in science there is a history of discoveries that challenged previously accepted fundamental principles.
      So much so that nothing that we are now accustomed to accept as immutable, permanent, granted or inscrutable may remain as such in the future.
      There are however these 3 principles I believe will never change, and which if questioned will demolish forever our understanding and logical reasoning,
      1) the Principle of Causality, that states that effects can only happen after the causes that originate them
      2) the Principle of Repeatability, that the same phenomenon repeated under the same conditions must yield the same results
      3) the Principle of the Maximum Universal Speed, that the speed of light cannot be exceeded under any circumstances.
      Let nobody ever dare challenge these, because he will be considered an Apostate of Science and the Worst of Evils will befall upon him and he will fall into disgrace forever. QED

    • I believe it is fundamentally inevitable to be flexible and accepting of nuance ideas that may, and perhaps will, reshape what we thought we once knew. Throughout the course of history, every major discovery reshaped ideas that were once perceived as fundamental and written in stone. This has occurred at every paradigm shift, so it’s safe to say that history is repeating itself, as it always has, and as it always will.

    • In my opinion, yes! I think science is evolving as we study and understand nature.
      In physics, for example, we have models that are always improved. Unlike Mathematics, that a theorem is eternal.

    • Well maybe we need to give up or modify some of the fundamental ideas but not necessarily all the fundamental ideas are wrong. Honestly the more you learn or experiment the things that we knew to be a fact seems to be completely false. But going by this logic we will never have anything fundamental or anything concrete.

    • No. We still need more convincing evidence.

    • I believe the words to “give up” on what we previously thought to be fundamental is not the right way of looking at this. We don’t so much as give up our fundamental notions but evolve them based on our changing environment. Take special relativity for instance, Newton’s laws haven’t been given up just because of the constancy of the speed of light and Einstein’s special theory, rather they evolved based on findings as Einstein explored what happens as we move at velocities close to light speed. Newton’s laws haven’t been given up or abandoned even though they could be considered outdated. They have just evolved.

    • Yes, if we demonstrate with the time these fundamental ideas are wrong or not sufficiently exact. It is a natural selection process which supports the best idea/theory in the evolution of human knowledge/science.

    • O senhor acredita que uma teoria unificada resolveria todos os problemas físicos?

    • Physics is the study of quantum mechanics it is not that we change our beliefs but that we discover truths in our continued study that allow us to rethink and redesign some beliefs in order to become more accurate. accuracy is at the heart of any science.

    • Absolutely. As new knowledge and truths are gained through experimentation and experience, it is necessary to revisit and revise fundamentals that had already been established. We’ve seen this all through history and will continue to see it as we move into the future.

    • Things we thought we knew as absolute turn out to be scale-specific (ex: water is a fluid at our physical scale but atoms at the molecular level). So as we change the scale we investigate it is reasonable to expect new ‘absolutes’ associated with that scale. The more interesting questions is how many scale regions are there in nature?

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