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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Physics, Theoretical Understanding and the Limits of Human Knowledge/Understanding

During an interview with Discover magazine, Roger Penrose makes the claim that a lot of the most theoretical physics, a la the physical theories that try to account for the discrepancies and ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Black hole information paradox implications

What are the philosophical implications of the black hole information paradox? Would the creation of a small super dense residue of the black hole evaporation give rise to a philosophical issue anyway?...
2
votes
0answers
104 views

I am a physically dying human. Will I limit myself to consideration of physics or will I consider that which is extra-physical? [closed]

Humanity has understood the physics of proton bound to neutron orbitted by electron as atom. As a human aware of my impending demise, I determined to consider is death or cessation of mere physical ...
1
vote
3answers
110 views

Being transcendental and contingency of constants of nature

Given an arbitrarily chosen constant of nature (say, the speed of light c), we can confidently say that the fact that it is equal to 299 792 458 meters per second is a contingent fact about our ...
1
vote
1answer
390 views

What is less than a bit? [closed]

I mean a bit of information (data). Some say (do not know exactly who) everything on its smallest level consists of information. What does the information consist of?
0
votes
4answers
144 views

Why can social sciences apply hard science concepts to other things than what they apply to?

Why can social sciences apply hard science concepts to other things than what they apply to? E.g. suggesting that social groups can be modeled using thermodynamics: http://www.eoht.info/page/...
2
votes
2answers
750 views

Shouldn't Last Thurdayism be able to be proved wrong by Physics?

From what I understand, Last Thursdayism is the belief that the universe was created last thursday. Supposing Last Thursdayism is true, if you consider going at a really fast speed when Thursday ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

What is the entropy of the universe at the time of the Big Bang? [closed]

High entropy generally means high disorder; and low entropy low disorder; the two paradigmatic cases that illustrate these two possibilities is a gas, for the first, and a crystal for the second. ...
5
votes
1answer
426 views

Why do philosophical discussions of the teleportation paradox seem to ignore the physics involved?

When I read philosophy treatments of the teleportation paradox and related subjects like swampman, they seem to focus primarily on drawing analogies to various entirely different scenarios (...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
301 views

Is eternalism notion of time consistent with quantum mechanics (all of its interpretations)?

Is it consistent with quantum mechanics to think that:"We live equally in all past, present and future events" which is suggested by Einstein's relativity?
3
votes
3answers
235 views

How do we learn math and science?

I have very little experience in philosophy, so I am not sure if this question is common (I could not find anything on it). This site seemed to be most fitting for the question, but if this question ...
7
votes
5answers
466 views

Are artificially synthesized chemical elements natural?

Humans have synthesized elements that do not exist in nature, at least not around here. This strikes me as a serious philosophical hairball: where does a philosophical naturalist put these critters? ...
5
votes
2answers
106 views

If we aren't approaching the final theory, does it mean there's an infinite number of natural laws?

A lot say that with every next step we make in science comes always a set of new questions. I think this means there's an infinite number of questions we can ask about the natural laws. And that means ...
6
votes
4answers
360 views

Does Aristotle inspire late-20th or 21st century physicists?

Is there anything a late-20th or 21st century physicist can learn from antique philosophy of nature as stated by Aristotle? Is there any new inspiring notion or thought? Note. I do not ask about the ...
4
votes
6answers
501 views

What is the basis for attributing discontinuity to space-time?

Speaking of the discrete orbits of electrons, Bertrand Russell asks the following: "Do we know that, between one orbit and the next, other orbits are geometrically possible? Einstein has led us ...
1
vote
3answers
570 views

Aristotle's Physics: Why do objects strike the ground harder when dropped from higher?

It's my understanding that Aristotle believed 1) that gravity is a constant force toward the center of the earth, and 2) forces cause objects to move but not accelerate. It seems to me if those are ...
0
votes
2answers
342 views

Is entropy a circular reasoning concept?

After reviewing several texts about the second law of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy, from a systemic point of view, it seems to me that entropy is only a circular reasoning concept. ...
3
votes
1answer
876 views

What is the difference between a scientific theory and a model?

What is the difference between a scientific theory and a model? Can someone explain the ideas with the help of a theory in physics and a model of physics?
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Unphysical terms appearing in mathematics applied to physics

Sometimes in physics, the mathematics leads to "un-physical solutions or terms", that are readily tossed by the physicist. For example, when deriving absorption and emission rates for via quantized ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Is a sound made? [closed]

"If a tree falls in the forest with no one around does it make a sound?" Seems the answer is no. It creates a wave, but with no ear to receive it and no brain to interpret it, it can not be sound. It ...
1
vote
4answers
187 views

Is the reasoning behind this proof that a unified scientific theory of everything in physics is impossible correct?

I wrote this originally as a response to another question posed on Quora as to whether or not but I was wondering if someone could reexamine this and find any possible possible gaps in logic or ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Is free will fundamental property of everything? [closed]

Photon has a probability distribution of where it may appear if measured. Seems like photon itself chooses where to appear.
14
votes
1answer
327 views

Are mathematical suppositions of physical theories determined uniquely according to Aristotle and Plato?

Does mathematics apply to physics in one way or multiple ways? What do Aristotle and Plato think? It would seem that Aristotle thinks mathematics can be applied to physics in one way only because, ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Time as a physical dimension

What is the intuition behind time being a physical dimension? I read the phrase "in cosmology terms, far away means long ago" somewhere and I got to thinking what if time is an emergent property of ...
29
votes
14answers
4k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
200 views

How can I make my friend who likes IT and physics interested in philosophy? [closed]

In Iran, the government and the people don't pay much attention to humanities. There is a sense among most parents that only Engineering and Medicine are important. That view is much worse when it ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Are Theists and physicists talking about an empty universe or no universe at all?

When they talk about the beginning of the universe, are Theists and physicists talking about an empty universe or no universe at all? It is fairly straightforward to imagine an empty Universe - an ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Is there a better answer to this argument claiming the impossibility of time extending infinitely into the past?

My friend claimed that time cannot extend infinitely into the past. He explained: "If an event A will happen in 10 years, when do you expect it to happen? In 10 years. But if event A (such as the ...
15
votes
11answers
10k views

What are some arguments against the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment?

I read this article about how this guy in Switzerland did an experiment that he thought proved the Simulation Hypothesis of reality (link: http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1847). I have also been reading ...
14
votes
8answers
10k views

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 ...
12
votes
12answers
2k views

How could our universe suddenly appear out of nothingness?

How could our universe suddenly appear out of nothingness? I understand that the big bang created all things but how could it when nothingness is purely the absence of everything?
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

Paradox of the extend of space [closed]

We are in a house, the house is in the earth, the earth is in space, so what is space in? In something bigger? Then what is it in? It can go on like this right....? What is the truth?
11
votes
2answers
798 views

Euler's 1746 philosophy paper

In 1746, Euler, a famous mathematician, published what I believe to be a little-known philosophy paper. It seems interesting, but it is difficult for me to follow as I lack adequate philosophy ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Can 'Nothing Exist before we measure it'?

Bohr famously said in relation to quantum systems: Nothing exists until we measure it This can't be right, for how can we measure Nothing, something that doesn't exist. It seems it must come into ...
5
votes
3answers
278 views

Are variational principles/Heron's principle final causes?

[EDIT: My question can be refined to, how does Heron's account of the behavior of light fit into a classical causal account of nature? Especially, is his account a kind of natural locomotion in ...
6
votes
4answers
448 views

What philosophical problem did Newton solve?

In a philosophy 101 lecture I listened to recently, the lecturer said that if a philosopher is successful and is able to solve a philosophical question for good, the topic of that question branches ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Is logic universe-dependent? [closed]

Is logic (logic rules, arithmetic and logic inference) universe-dependent or not? In other words: are logic rules ultimately physical laws of the universe (as gravity, quantum laws and ...
8
votes
5answers
575 views

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
985 views

Are “'why' questions” useful in or applicable to the study of science?

Based on the lively discussion of this question over at physics.stackexchange, I thought it might be useful to ask it here as well. The kernel of the debate is whether or not "why" questions are ...
9
votes
3answers
652 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
570 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. ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

How can I develop my critical thinking skills?

I am a freshman engineering student going to college. I want to learn how to think critically and to become a critical thinker and a sharp arguer. I am interested in philosophy, because I am curious ...
4
votes
1answer
42k views

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.
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Can the observer be the observed?

As a supplement to this question as to whether particles can be observers, supposing that the answer is yes. One could suppose a setup where particle A is observing particle B, but what to stop us ...
10
votes
10answers
14k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
114 views

Does “ens materiale” = “ens sensible”? If so, why?

As far as I know, Aristotelianism and Thomism state that a material being is always potentially sensible. For example, there are microorganisms that we cannot see with the naked eye. But if we use a ...
3
votes
2answers
491 views

Could our universe simply be abstract mathematical existence?

Say we imagined a mathematical model so detailed that it completely describes a universe like our own. Now if we simulated such a universe on a futuristic supercomputer then obviously the beings ...
3
votes
4answers
184 views

Should the easiness with which math is applied to the world be a surprise?

I study physics at an undergraduate level. Since early on, I've was a person who thought math was 'logical' and as such, its applications to the world aren't really a surprise since math is so 'self-...
6
votes
4answers
191 views

Must time pass in order for causality to operate?

Motivation; It is perhaps quite well known that things in a faster moving frame of reference perceive time as passing slower. (This is in fact special relativity and it doesn't account for behavior ...