Re: A Boot to Physics' Head
Posted by Uncle Al on Jun 02, 2002 at 20:15
Re: A Boot to Physics' Head (DA Morgan)
John and I have talked. He kindly corrected some of my egregious mistakes early on.
1) He has no enthusiasm for the thing working. If it did work, *all* of physics comes crashing down. General Relativity loses the Equivalence Principle and spacetime curvature can no longer be rationalized (affine models and teleparallelism take over short term). Quantum mechanics loses default point interactions. Suddenly, nobody knows what forces act upon.
2) Baez and his fellow adepts admit there is nothing *preventing* it from working. If it did work, no prior measurement or observation would be invalidated. Newton is still mostly good enough unless you want to diddle particle accelerators or computer chips. GR and QM would still be mostly good enough.
3) The excitement comes in creating better theory from better knowledge. The apparatus is just sitting there. The numbers are calculated. Somebody should look!
Or somebody should come up with a good reason why it isn't worth looking. Theory doesn't lead experiment. Experiment defines theory. Should Bednorz and Mueller have waited for theory to discover high temperature ceramic superconductors? BCS theory said it couldn't be done. Everybody *knew* nothing could go supercon above 25 kelvin. Thd equations said so. Magnesium boride is a BCS supercon at 32 kelvins. Should we undiscover it?
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