Could the law be broken?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Frank88maurice, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,665
    I agree.

    If I was criticizing something in my earlier post, it's theoretical physics' tendency to announce that various states of affairs are necessary or impossible in principle, because... followed by a little blizzard of mathematics. Sometimes the mathematics is pronounced to be a "proof" of this or that. And everyone knows that mathematics is supposed to deal in logical certainty, right? It's just "ignorant" not to believe it.

    I'm expressing skepticism about all that. It seems to me that the mathematics is basically assuming the truth and universal applicability of the various "laws" and then concluding that particular suggestions are logically/mathematically implied by or inconsistent with those premises.

    My doubts revolve around how we can possibly know the truth and universal applicability of the underlying laws.

    I'm quite happy to consider them as posits, as working assumptions in our thinking, assumptions that often produce very useful results. But working assumptions don't really possess the same kind of metaphysical necessity that supposed 'laws of physics' do. It's a lot easier for our working assumptions to be wrong than it is for the inviolable laws that God set down for all of creation to be violated.

    That's why I concluded with the opinion that I don't have a whole lot of problem imagining that there may be as-yet unknown ways to violate any of the so-called 'laws of physics'.
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, as we both well know, you cannot prove a theory in science. You can of course make a mathematical proof of something that is conditional on certain starting assumptions. What such a proof does is to show the logical consequences of those starting assumptions. But then at some level the starting assumptions will be based on generalisations made from physical observations and as such will not be provable.

    I have observed before that some people appear to fall into what I consider the trap of worshipping mathematics. I've seen people suggest that no science is any good unless it is mathematically expressed. Or even that reality is mathematics (gosh that sounds like Spellbound

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    ). Mathematical models may be the ideal goal of course, but one can fall prey to the delusion that science deals in proofs, when it doesn't. And anyway, in practice much of science is qualitative or semi-quantitative.
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    We formulate [well scientists formulate!

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    ] models of what we observe and that align with the results of experiments, and measure the success of that model by the accuracy of what we are able to predict from the model.
    The "truth" or the "reality" is not the actual goal of science I believe, but of course if that truth or reality is realized through our models, then all well and good.
    Scientific theories, models and laws all grow in certainty over time.
    We have no reason to not believe that the universal law [Newton theory] that if we jump up in the air, we will always come back down, can be applied to anywhere in the universe, assuming that the body we jump up from is dense enough to have the gravity/spacetime curvature, to "pull" us back down.
    We also assume homogeneous and isotropic nature to apply to the universe as a whole.
     
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  7. Counter Registered Senior Member

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    459
    EVERY body has mass, and that is what causes gravity. Some diagrams postulate balls rolling "down" where the floor sinks, but if you can imagine in three-dimensions, something of mass pulling in EVERY direction >\/^< simply because it has MASS. This is gravity. It is not just the Earth that has mass, we do too. We can defy gravity, and also fly (which many people claim to be impossible) with a plane, as posted by some sciforumers. Satellites stay in orbit NOT because they have departed the gravity field, but because the Earth is curved: the satellite is moving ACROSS the Earth at such speed that it is still falling, but never reaches the Earth.
    ->
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    xxx->
     
  8. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    426
    Blah blah blah idk...

    It depends on the balance of positives and negatives.

    If earth is positively charged which u believe it is... Only a high concentration of negatively charged hydrogen " ions" could defy "gravity"...

    Granted enough Nuclear pressure is enough to defy most neodyminium magnitudes...

    ...
     

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