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Questions tagged [physics]

Physics is the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.

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Is the conventionalism re: the terms "electron" and "positron" an article of evidence for the inversion account of negation?

From the SEP article on negation: In Hintikka’s (1973) game-theoretical semantics, negation is modeled by a role-switch between two players in a semantic game (cf. the entry on logic and games). A ...
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Relationism, Substantivalism, and Simultaneity?

I've been breaking my head open lately over special relativity and its conception of spacetime's dynamical as well as kinematical features. One thing that has stuck in my head is that of whether the ...
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How is the causality of mind consistent with the law of conservation of energy?

Intuitively, the mind can influence the physical world causally. However, it is difficult to understand how such causality does not require energy. According to dualists, who argue that the mind is ...
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Model and implication of bidirectional time

I have thought about it and currently it is mostly considered to be an absolute fact that time is uni dimensional and only goes one way, or naturally only go one way, or forward, but if time weren't ...
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How do physicists talk about spin of individual particles when the universe is massively entangled?

The following two things seem to be true: (1) The universe is massively entangled because the wave function that describes the entire universe has measure 1 of being entangled. Further, given how ...
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One big theory of Everything (TOE) or multiple "domain specific" theories?

It's common to hear that physicists are trying to find a Theory of everything (TOE). We "logically" consider the more elegant / concise theory as true ... because beauty is thruth ... or is it ? What ...
2 votes
1 answer
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How does mathematical atomism do away with the classical conception of man?

I've been reading E.A. Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science. I keep going back to Galileo and his idea of motion, space, and time. I still can't internalize what he means by man ...
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Is David Deutsch correct in stating that the Copenhagen interpretation of QM has few defenders left? [closed]

In his site here, he says Confusion, obfuscation or inconsistency, including non-dynamical ‘wave function collapse’ theories, the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’ (which is in some sense still the ...
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Did Bell rule out all possible kinds of local determinism in the world?

From what I can understand, Bell proved that a certain particle is expected to behave a certain way if there is a hidden variable that determines its eventual state beforehand. Because this doesn’t ...
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Why things don't happen all at once?

Why was there a time between Big Bang and now? Why it did not happen all at once? Why is there a delay between two changes? Why delay (time) exists? Why are not all changes compressed into extremely ...
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Are there examples in the literature of rigorous mathematical models of libertarian free will that take the laws of physics into account?

What I'm looking for is a detailed description of the decision-making process of an agent that possesses libertarian free will, when this agent is on the verge of making a choice, at some time t. For ...
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Does free will require an event to occur without a predecessor (thereby violating causality)?

From my understanding, a Mixed Quantum State defines the set of all probable outcomes for a system, but isn't there still only one outcome determined through the succession of factors leading up to it ...
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Kant vs Scientific Rationalism - Do we need the Ding an Sich

I actually like Kant's distinction between noumena and phenomena. But I have a nagging doubt. If we look at modern physics, appearances can be explained by entities such as atoms, electrons and quarks ...
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Is something physical if and only if we can perceive it (directly or indirectly) with our bodily senses?

What is the relationship between the physical and our senses? If something is physical, must it necessarily be the case that we should be able to perceive it, at least in principle, directly with our ...
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Causation in physics

Electromagnetic radiation phenomena exhibit a temporal asymmetry: we observe radiation coherently diverging from a radiating source, such the light emitted by a star, but we do not observe radiation ...
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What is the motive of the universe? [closed]

If you look at the options, the universe is either temporally bounded temporally unbounded is either bounded spatially or unbounded spatially and is any of these permutations with our uncertainty. ...
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Does space behave like a logical operator that applies rules to its elements?

I am asking due to being inspired by the following: Consider a particle system with uniform motion in vacuum not sensitive towards fluctuations, such that classical mechanics applies. Now, consider ...
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What aspects of the physical and metaphysical aspects of human existence limit humans from perceiving all of reality? [closed]

It might be a naive question, but just like light, which in a way has a ‘cosmic trait’ of the constant speed of 299,792,458 m/s, due to which light cannot perceive time; so similarly is it possible ...
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What is wrong with the following case against determinism?

I am thinking of determinism in the following way: if we knew all the laws of nature and the complete state of the universe at a given time, we could predict everything that would happen in the future....
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A terrifying variant of Boltzmann's brain

I am new to this forum even though I have read a lot on the subject of boltzmann's brains and have come to a terrifying conclusion, the classic argument which for example Sean Carroll used, "The ...
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Is it theoretically possible for a bottomless pits to exist in a finite universe?

Assuming that our universe is finite, is it still theoretically possible to have a bottomless pit? This all really depends on the definition of bottomless pit. I don't know that I can accurately ...
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Does the universal "step-by-step" property of knowledge eg in The Meno conflict with the fluctuation theorem from statistical mechanics

Background: There seems to be a universal property of knowledge, which is captured under Plato's reminiscence theory (remembrance), that acquiring knowledge necessary involves a series of steps that ...
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Deterministic or stochastic universe?

Just a little bit before my graduation from computer science, I attended a course about computational intelligence, and my professor then challenged us to debate on whether the world/universe follows ...
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What is the physical interpretation of a Godel sentence?

If I think of the laws of physics as a system of axioms then what is the physical interpretation of a Godel sentence? I'm trying to wrap my head around what Godel's theorem means for physics? More ...
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Consciousness and Understanding of Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy

I just finished watching a youtube video Bernard Carr - Why Did Consciousness Emerge? on consciousness and the talkers spend a great deal of time talking about emergent aspect of consciousness and its ...
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Can several logic systems coexist physically in the same world?

In mathematics, each logic system is associated with an abstract model. In physics, similarly, each logic system is associated with a physical model that models a part of the universe, but I don't ...
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Order/disorder and complexity

What is the relation between order/disorder and complexity ? Sometimes I found the terms confusing and ambiguous. And higher entropy implies low complexity, does not implies low entropy implies higher ...
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How Can Computation Cause Consciousness?

The question of how consciousness arises and what, if any, effect it has on our behaviour is clearly both fascinating intellectually and of great practical and ethical significance. One very common ...
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Is there a reason for why the wave function for a particle is the way it is?

I have read that in quantum mechanics, predicting the position of an electron, say in the double slit experiment is impossible. It is thus then implied that there is no reason for the electron to end ...
6 votes
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What kind of philosophy of the foundations of physics can there be?

I'm currently trying to read into topos foundations for theories of physics and I wonder if we are really able to give a philosophical foundation for what a possible future theory of physics should ...
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Is there a need for a new field of natural-practical philosophy?

Natural philosophy is now generally known as physics. Some ancient universities still call it natural philosophy. But all of science could be included under the term, natural philosophy. There is also ...
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Is the design answer to fine-tuning sufficiently complete?

If the problem of "fine tuning for life" (SEP) is that the precise value of some constants (and laws) in physics seems necessary to the emergence of life in our universe but at the same time ...
3 votes
2 answers
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Question about Boltzmann Brain?

If all the memories contained within a Boltzmann brain were hypothetical, so would be the physical laws that enable its very existence; therefore, a Boltzmann brain wouldn't be able to explain itself?
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Is human thought itself a fundamental force?

To begin with, as far as I understand, there are four well accepted forces of nature: Gravity Weak interaction Strong interaction Electromagnetism Now, these forces are all characterized by changing ...
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Philosophy - Does Einstein's Block Universe theory prove Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory is true?

If the Past, Present, and Future all exist in exactly the same way, then every single moment would be a ‘Now’ moment for me. it would also mean that me being dead in the future is equally real in the ...
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Physics and the question of context or environment

This is a reality check type of question. I am interested in whether it's a valid distinction and whether it's been considered by others. It occured to me the other day that the issue of 'context' or '...
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Does modern physics say that everything is technically possible?

Does modern physics state that air molecules can randomly whizz around in such a way to cause a voice emanating from the clouds that is clear and coherent? Is this possible or not? Is this extremely ...
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Can we see the sciences as an art?

I always feel some kind of fulfillment when I succeed in giving Natural processes an explanation in the light of physics. It's kind of comforting to make invisible causes visible and understandable. ...
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Can there be certain events that would still be predictable under indeterminism?

Let’s take the example of a bird landing on a tree branch. Suppose now that one knew everything there is about the universe billions of years before the bird landed, like Laplace’s demon. Given this, ...
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Understanding Aristotle's argument of simultaneously and sequentially actualisable potential infinities in response to Atomism

I am reading a book about Aristotle. Aristotle lays out a potential argument against infinite divisibility by the Atomists, that infinite division would leave components of zero-magnitude which could ...
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Is much of theoretical physics nothing more than speculative assumptions?

Religion, spirituality, and other “pseudoscientific” theories are constantly seen as backwards and lacking of evidence. But if a lack of evidence before believing in something is considered irrational,...
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Reviewing Loschmidt’s paradox in the quantum case?

Boltzmann formulated the Stosszahlansatz : Stosszahlansatz is the assumption that the velocities of colliding particles are uncorrelated, and independent of position. This means the probability that ...
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Neither Presentism nor Eternalism by Carlo Rovelli

The paper in question Rovelli argues against both presentism and eternalism. Later he proposes third option in which the concept of "local present" is central. The problem is I cannot ...
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What is character, and what role does it play in the decision making of an agent, according to proponents of libertarian free will?

I understand libertarian free will as an agent's ability to choose otherwise, or having more than one course of action available to them, when making a choice at time t, given a fixed past up to t. ...
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Can non physical causes that lead to physical effects be imagined? How does this impact its logical possibility?

Logically impossible concepts mean that they contain a contradiction. For example, a square triangle contains a contradiction. However, logically impossible concepts are also often concepts you cannot ...
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Is all change movement?

Is there a change in the universe that cannot be reduced to movement? One counter-example should be enough. :) Heat is a type of change that was once thought to be qualitative, but is now realized to ...
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What would happen if the universe had no global symmetries and conservation laws?

I am asking this question in this site as it involves some philosophy of physics... I am trying to understand what would happen to the universe if it had no global symmetries (including those that ...
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Philosophy - Does the block universe theory of time mean that life will repeat after death?

I have suffered severe anxiety, sadness, regret, and depression since I was 13, I had 2 trapped-feeling panic attacks when I was 13 I am now 17 and fighting off frequent urges to have a trapped-...
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Explanatory model that accounts for universality

Hempel's DN (Deductive-Nomological) model is a kind of explanatory model, that accounts for explanation of certain type of questions. Basically If I look for explanation for the laws of motion of a ...
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Is special relativity immune to the paradox of Achilles?

According to the entry "Proper Time" in Wikipedia, for an object in a SR spacetime traveling with velocity v for a time interval Δ T c2Δ T 2 = c2 Δτ2 + v 2 Δ T2, where Δ T is the coordinate ...

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