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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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Are electron fields physically real?

Although atoms had been discussed since antiquity as a theory of matter it was only at the beginning of the 20th century that convincing evidence was found, through brownian motion - in fact this was ...
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What are the philosophical implications of the fact that Rule 110 is universal?

I just read the Wikipedia article on Rule 110 and there was a short remark that the simplicity of that rule might imply that it can exist in physical systems in nature. "Physical systems may also be ...
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Physics and Nozick's explanatory self-subsumption [closed]

What happened with Nozick's idea of the self-subsuming explanation after his Philosophical Explanations? In particular and actually only, I'm interested to learn about published attempts to use or ...
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Is time “Unreal”? [closed]

In 5th century BC Greece, Antiphon the Sophist, in a fragment preserved from his chief work On Truth, held that: "Time is not a reality (hypostasis), but a concept (noêma) or a measure (metron)." ...
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What does Einstein's quote “If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts” mean? [closed]

What did Einstein really mean by saying: If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.
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287 views

How would you describe the relationship of science and philosophy of science?

How would you describe the relationship of science and philosophy of science? Is it a worldview that sets a tone to scientific jargon? I mean that statements of eg. physics are under submission of the ...
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5answers
684 views

Can anything truly be simultaneous?

I was looking at a discussion about simultaneous causation and something that came up was that all physical processes take time. So nothing can truly be simultaneous. And yet, we have philosophers ...
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549 views

How did materialists historically fit magnetism into their model?

Going by its Wikipedia page, materialism has been largely discredited due to advances in physics as it cannot explain phenomena such as gravity which apparently exist without the connivance of matter. ...
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Is there a known limit to relationship between physics and mathematics?

I am much interested in discussions such as Wigner's "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences". It's quite amazing that mathematics so well applies to our universe, and ...
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Does the Weak Anthropic Principle make certain assumptions about the nature of sentient biological organisms?

There are various forms of the Anthropic Principle, and the Weak Anthropic Principle in the version stated by Barrow and Tipler roughly says that the observed values of the physical and cosmological ...
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How to understand numbers that become really large?

If we begin with a notion of number N that we denote F(N) as a function of time, can a decidable procedure exist on definability of the growth of numbers? Inspired by Tipler's Omega point and Thomson'...
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What is the “New Essentialism”?

Is the "New Essentialism" simply a return to Aristotelianism masked in new terminology, or is it a novel contribution to modern philosophy? See: Brian Ellis's Philosophy of Nature: A Guide to the ...
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Where does Aristotle's Posterior Analytics disagree with modern philosophy of science?

Aristotle's Posterior Analytics is the basis of the modern scientific method of arguing from effects to the causes of things ("demonstration quia" or "a posteriori"). The ideal [of a unified ...
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2answers
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Can an extensionless atom be also round?

In Nyaya-Vaisesika atomic theory atoms are both considered to be both without magnitude and round. How is this possible? For anything to be round, it must have at least a non-zero radius which ...
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Is time a physical factor or just a concept?

When thinking of cycles and myths, one cannot pass the idea of Kronos or Kali. That brought me to form some questions about the nature of time. Three definitions for time: Time is a measure of the ...
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5answers
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Can we be Boltzmann brains? Or, how can we be sure there is no conspiracy about the past?

The way things are traditionally presented about time, there is the present, the past is fixed, and the future is open. The second law of thermodynamics is invoked. But how can we be so sure the past ...
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2answers
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Is the conservation of matter/energy principle and 'quanta' of Physics implicit in Lucretius ontology?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophys entry on Lucretius has: "First comes, in effect, Lucretius' ontology. Nothing comes into being out of nothing or perishes into nothing. The only two per se ...
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How much philosophy should a physicist know?

I began to read Hawking's recent book 'A Grand Design' some time ago and noticed that he savages philosophy. He says '...philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in ...
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Do fundamental concepts in physics have any logical basis?

After years of studying physics I am suddenly struck by the question - What is energy? Wikipedia defines it thus: Energy is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on ...
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9answers
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What distinguishes cause from effect when they are simultaneous?

At a high level, distinguishing cause and effect is typically easy enough: the cause comes first. I drop a ball off a roof; therefore, it falls and hits the ground. But on a fundamental level, physics ...
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Was Einstein a philosopher?

Albert Einstein described the fact that he believed in 'god'; yet, he did not define that god as a personal god who actually existed as a separate being. He used the concept to describe everything ...