Is there any methodological characteristic universal in Physics?

Even if some branches of Physics lose their reproducibility, their experimental testing, their deterministic predictivity isn't some core preserved? Isn't a stochastic, probabilistic, uncertain prediction still a prediction?


Being a phenomenological science that builds/develops its axiomatic systems inductively from observation.

Being a science whose conclusions follow deductively from the axiomatic systems inductively built.

Being a science whose conclusions explain and predict and don't simply record phenomena.

Being a science whose observer is made methodologically objective. As long as you do Physics the way it is prescribed and you observe exactly what is observed by any arbitrary person who is also following the rules you are absolutely guaranteed to reach the same conclusions with them. Even if the conclusion is not precise but a disperse probability distribution.

  • 2
    I do not think most of doing physics can be characterized as axiomatic. Even in axiomatized subfields, like classical or quantum mechanics, the actual physics, as opposed to physically motivated mathematics, is in designing specific models and matching them to phenomena, and the axiomatic shell has little to say on how to do either of those things. In each subfield physicists have a cluster of heuristics and standards that guide these processes, but working them has little to do with axioms or deductions. Observe and explain/predict, in some sense, are essential, but the sense is vague.
    – Conifold
    Mar 23, 2020 at 23:36
  • @Conifold can one though build their physical models and physical theories without a set/system of axioms( its axiomatic system). In Physics the axiomatic system is the cost to pay to Prove Theorems Develop Theories and Build(Design Models). Without these axioms inductively inferred from observation one lacks the prime material to do physics. You need something out of which to build a material house (be it bricks, cement, wooden plancks, metal beams, mud, just something). Mar 24, 2020 at 0:05
  • Axiomatic framing is a recent development, about over a century old, and most physicists pay little attention to axioms and theorems in their work. Most physics papers or even textbooks avoid such format, and give heuristic arguments and calculations instead. The "prime material" are phenomena and their models, and even in mature theories axiomatization is mostly a decorative icing on the cake (although with clarifying value), only possible in mature subfields, not covering the modeling, and often done by mathematicians with interest in physics rather than physicists themselves.
    – Conifold
    Mar 24, 2020 at 0:12
  • @Conifold Is there any need for the axioms to be in Symbolic, Formal, Mathematical Language any Statement in a Natural language can be an axiom as long as it is self-evident and used for the development of Theories, Models, Theorems. Euclid's axioms in Elements were stated in a natural language. As long as these observations of the phenomena are repeated and well-known of they serve a the prime material for the Models they are Axioms. Mar 24, 2020 at 0:26
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    No, it is abductive. You have a phenomenon, you come up with an idea to explain/predict it, you refine and elaborate the idea, you test its consequences and either confirm or disconfirm it. Of course, when the idea is developed into a mathematized theory deriving the consequences can be neatly presented deductively, but this is not always possible even in physics, and even when it is this is not what the essence of scientific work is about.
    – Conifold
    Mar 24, 2020 at 6:48


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