Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Physics: The Beginning

According to one science writer1, when it comes to physics, most scientists do not really care if their theories resemble the real world; it only matters if the math fits. In fact, some have even come up with the idea that there are up to ten dimensions, you just cannot see six of them. Others have found what they believe to be convincing evidence of wormholes in the universe. A sort of tube that would allow you to go backwards and forwards in time.

There is much disagreement and misunderstanding in some places, and scientists change their minds. Stephen Hawking is a scientist in England, who currently holds the professor’s chair that Isaac Newton once held at Princeton University. He is paralyzed in all save one finger, which he uses to type words into a computer, which in turn speaks through an electronic voice. He has written books stating black holes are singularities, and have event horizons. Now he is stating they may not, after all, have event horizons.
The history of physics has been long, and constantly changing. To understand the current realms of thought, and the widely held beliefs, we must first discover the history of the science.
Physics, or the study of the “knowledge of nature,” is science of matter and how it moves. The Greeks were probably the first ones to begin to study in earnest the world around them in an empirical fashion. Although certainly men as far back as Adam have been in their own way, scientists.
The original theories were that, of course, the sun went around the earth, as did everything else. Heavier objects fell faster than light objects. There were four forces in the universe. Air, fire, water, and earth.2 In their minds it was all really quite simple. Of course the earth was not moving, if it was, when you threw something into the air; it would be left behind as the earth continued to hurdle through space.
The idea was that the empiricist -or person who looked at the world and logically deduced things- although he could never quite understand all the complexities of the gods and their world, he could “save the appearances.” That is he could explain in a logical and rational way the way everything appeared to work.
As ones studies the history of science, one will find something Thomas Kuhn, an American physicist, who wrote a book in 1962, very true. He stated that science is in a sort of paradigm of thought. Students are taught the prevailing idea, and those who find evidence which seems to support it will be praised.
However, there will be the occasional anomaly, the occasional blip in the graph that does not agree with the theory. Eventually there be so many disagreements between the theory and what is observed that the theory will be trashed, and a new one will come. The old guard will fight desperately, but they will always lose. Such the history of physics. The four forces of the Greeks, and their geocentric universe were nowhere the way the universe worked. It would take a man named Galileo, almost two thousand years after Aristotle, the Greek who above all the others set down their ideas, to bring down this paradigm.

To be continued.

Andrew C. Abbott

1: Tom Siegfried. Writer: ScienceNews.org
2: There was also sometimes a fifth force cited, called quintessence, or eather. Also spelled ether.

No comments:

Post a Comment