# Physics

CodeBuns

How much of physics is wrong? What is the "most correct" theory we have now? Is it something to do with Relativity or something related to Quantum Mechanics?

New_Cliche

@CodeBuns
Most likely all current theories are wrong but does it really matter? They still work well enough for practical purposes.

Nojokur

@CodeBuns
How much of physics is wrong

All of it (except thermal)

Need_TLC

@New_Cliche
Then what's the point of trying to develop a grand new theory? I fucking hate that mindset.

iluvmen

If I'm not wrong, current physics can describe all the 4 fundamental forces except gravity. But when you include gravity into the picture you get exotic things like string theory which still isn't testable because of the energy scales involved.

SomethingNew

current physics tries not to explain reality, but to simply guess the equations between measured numbers. this is anything but science.

idontknow

@CodeBuns
There's nothing correct about quantum

likme

@Need_TLC
So it works even better in practice.

hairygrape

@SomethingNew
Thays not true you numpty. It attempts to determine the underlying structure that produces these numbers.

Deadlyinx

@idontknow
Please explain. It makes sense when you let go of your presuppositions and predicts incrediblu accurate results from very dew assumptions.

Methshot

@CodeBuns
If/when something better comes along, Relativity and Quantum Theory will both be found to be "excellent approximations" within their respective, limited, domains. They do make extraordinarily accurate predictions.

The physicists will say of the TOE, "well, if you neglect THIS term, it reduces to the old theory.
Same way you can pull Maxwellian electrodynamics out of Special Relativity. So you shouldn't say, current theories are "wrong" in the sense that Aristotle was wrong; i.e. heavier bodies don't fall faster. We agree very well with experiment -- but that doesn't mean we should give up because it's "good enough".

Sharpcharm

@likme
If the assumptions are wrong it is unlikely that any scientific theory will resolve itself into a grand theory of everything. That being said with each revision an approach to something of the sort is more likely, we just have to be ready to question, rigourously test and if necessary abandon some of our most cherished sacred cows.

Methnerd

General Relativity is wrong. Trust me, I am a scientist.

StonedTime

@Methshot
My guess is that real progress in physics will start to happen when we start to re-examine and re-interpret familiar results/experiments through different philosophical assumptions. Even if you don't agree with the Pilot Wave theory of quantum physics, the fact that someone can have a realist explanation of quantum physics which does not rely upon the "observer causes a wavefunction collapse" meme is noteworthy and worthy of more discussion/consideration. The modeling of quantum effects using a macro system (oil-drop systems) is also significant, and should encourage us to be willing to rethink the current scientific models. Maybe aether theories will start to make a comeback? I see no reason to exclude them from the discussion when the current models have so consistently failed (impressive as they are at predictions)

Bidwell

If space were curved, we should be able to create perfect Euclidian structures algorithmically and see them either fail to form or measure their sides and find discrepancies. If I am a two dimensional being, and I wanted to know if I lived in Euclidian space, all I have to do is draw a right triangle and measure the sides. If the Pythagorian theorem does not hold, I am in curved space. The same applies to us.

All the experiments that "confirm" General Relativity could be and will be explained by fields of quantum particles acting in Euclidian space.

You know I am right, brainlets.

TechHater

@Methshot
But heavier bodies (with the same surface) do fall faster in atmosphere.

AwesomeTucker
Need_TLC

@CodeBuns
How much of physics is wrong?
What do you mean by "wrong"?
Read some Asimov: http://hermiene.net/essays-trans/relativity_of_wrong.html

Soft_member

@Need_TLC
OP asked what is the "most correct" theory, so there's your answer.

girlDog

@Bidwell
what is scale
our instruments are many many orders of magnitude too imprecise

haveahappyday

@girlDog
So I just have to wait a little while to be proven right?

Snarelure

Physics theory student here. When you ask if physics is wrong, what you should have in mind is the energy scales of the experiment and which rules you are using to compute expected results at that scale.

When Newtons or Hamilton's physics is applied to objects moving with kinetic energies comparable to their mass energy, it's wrong. In many respects, Maxwell's equations of classical electromagnetism fail to describe physics on short distance scales, even though the theory has a manifest scale invariance.

Even quantum field theory, the most successful class of models ever considered by physicists, fails in many regards when new energy scales are concerned. It's a fully relativistic theory, but we often run into problems when attempting to apply the procedures of QFT for solving problems at different energy scales.

Quantum Electrodynamics as it's own theory (outside the context of the standard model) has a concerning problem at some very high energy scale. If you take the calculations of QED seriously at all energy scales, you cannot avoid the conclusion that at some finite (though sufficiently large) energy, the electric charge becomes infinite. (This is called a landau pole).

Quantum Chromodynamics has the same type of behavior, though it happens at a low energy (roughly the same order of magnitude as the Pion rest energy), and the color charge decreases with an increasing energy scale, in contrast to QED.

So one might say that QED is valid at low energy where the electric charge is small, and QCD is valid only at high energies. In fact we know that at high energies (much below the QED landau pole), QED unifies with other forces to become the Electroweak force. Prior to the 1960s one would call this "new physics."

In this sense, physics (quantum field theory) is wrong, but only in the sense that it's being used to extrapolate information about a scale at which other (perhaps unknown) things start to become relevant.

SniperGod

@likme
"grand new theories" are usually regressions from the practical, though.

RavySnake

@StonedTime
The current models never failed any predictions, they may need some corrections but it they were "wrong" the numbers would be significantly different from reality, which doesn't happen. They don't account for all phenomena as far as we know but that doesn't prove disprove them.

You don't need philosophy to do physics. Quantum mechanics is at least on the same foot as classical mechanics since it makes the same predictions and more, while also being mathematically consistent and clearly stating its axioms, how to interpret measurents and how they relate to the math. It's a well formulated theory and describes reality, it doesn't need an interpretation.

BunnyJinx

@Snarelure
t. Reddit

Fuzzy_Logic

@haveahappyday
pffft, but yea

Ignoramus

@SomethingNew
As a physics student, this is something I've been thinking about a lot recently and it's disappointing to say the least.

Fuzzy_Logic

@CodeBuns
Spontaneous virtual particles and "true vacuum" states are basically all bullshit.

You can formulate a QFT easily without it.

Don't take my word. Do it yourself and see how it still works if you attribute the Casimir effect to normal VdW forces.

It explains all other phenomena in the standard model.

Sir_Gallonhead

@Snarelure
Please explain what it means when the forces unify into an electroweak force.

Does it mean that the equations become symmetric similar to Maxwell equations or the physical parameters change.

When physicists explain this to me they never show me the equations behind the model so I still don't understand what it means. I also don't understand why they don't just try to fit new fundamental models instead of hanging on to what basically amounts to string (in the trivial string wave sense) equations.

It seems to me that every phenomenom requires its own theory these days, including ones at the same energy levels. Perhaps you should give up on fitting simple linear models already? Just because you're fitting it on hyperdimensional manifolds does not add complexity to the model.

King_Martha

@SomethingNew
Physics describes, it does not explain

lostmypassword

@CodeBuns
What is the "most correct" theory we have now?
Nothing is and will be "correct". Everything we will ever develop are just effective field theories for other effective field theories at yet higher/lower energy hierarchies.

Flameblow

@lostmypassword
How does Haag's theorem tie into this?

Need_TLC

@CodeBuns
Physics is false at a fundamental level. It won't tell you how to live your life.

It is simply a tool to make really accurate and precise predictions about observable phenomena.

So far all the quantum stuff is probability based so anything past that point isn't super set yet.

Harmless_Venom

@Deadlyinx
I'm guessing he's talking about how probability based argument isn't very strong compared to like Maxwell's equations. And it's true Maxwell's equations give a more precise definition of the thing they refer to than Schrodinger's.

Sir_Gallonhead

@Methshot
True

Bidwell

@Fuzzy_Logic
Spontaneous virtual particles and "true vacuum" states are basically all bullshit
Virtual particles are relics of perturbation theory
$\theta$ is the true vacuum

You can formulate a QFT easily without it.
This is false

Don't take my word. Do it yourself and see how it still works if you attribute the Casimir effect to normal VdW forces.
It explains all other phenomena in the standard model.
I can string words together too.

@Flameblow
How does Haag's theorem tie into this?
Haag's theorem is a non-issue for phenomenology physics because transitional symmetry is broken explicitly. In terms of feeling good about the foundations of field theory, I think realistically it will not matter. Regulating a theory in the IR is probably a well-defined procedure. Non-existence of the interaction picture is less of a problem (in my opinion) than the fact we use asymptotic series to compute finite quantities.

@Sir_Gallonhead
Please explain what it means when the forces unify into an electroweak force.
I suggest you read Sean Carroll's book, The Particle at the End of the Universe

When physicists explain this to me they never show me the equations behind the model so I still don't understand what it means
Are you sure you would understand the equations though?

It seems to me that every phenomenom requires its own theory these days, including ones at the same energy levels. Perhaps you should give up on fitting simple linear models already? Just because you're fitting it on hyperdimensional manifolds does not add complexity to the model.
These words don't describe what a physicist does; they're nonsensical.

Playboyize

I have noticed something in these threads. Posters, knowledgable posters, in both Physics and Math openly embrace constructivism/relativism. It is strange. I wouldn't have thought I would see the day. I think the cause is that so many disciplines in both math and physics are so removed from the possibility of verification that the polite thing to do is just to say "it depends on your assumptions/energy level/context" as to not tell a huge portion of the community that they study bullshit. The problem is this isn't philosophically coherent. Even the Later Wittgenstein would be troubled by how nonchalant this relativism in math and physics is. I have actually become disturbed by it, and I am very far from being a Platonist.

Carnalpleasure

@Playboyize
"physics is different at different energy scales"
this isn't verifiable

Have you considered the possibility that $you$ are not the smart one? Pic related.

Emberburn

@Carnalpleasure
all the time

SniperGod

@StonedTime
Check out electric universe theory. Thunderbolts project on YouTube.

It's petty incredible as an observation based.. actual science.

Fuzzy_Logic

@SniperGod
electric universe theory
It's petty incredible as an observation based.. actual science.
No.

TurtleCat

@Carnalpleasure
@Emberburn
Yeah, I probably shouldn't included energy levels with the other categories. These are areas I don't fully understand. But there is a lot of willful relativism going on in physics and math and it should disturb everyone.

CodeBuns

@Playboyize
I have noticed it in physics but not in math, care to give an example? I'm a to-be-physicist and it makes me inexplicably sad, I'm thinking of switching to mathematics and I think I'll be crushed if I find the same thing there too.

New_Cliche

@CodeBuns
Sure. Constructivism, where mathematicians defer to the assumptions of say a certain model of Set Theory, and forgo debating whether or not the assumptions are right.

There is a meme on this forum of the mathematicians who claims that Real Numbers aren't real and we need to redo all of math to take out this erroneous assumption. I have heard here and on another forum on how his ideas really aren't disturbing because his math is right given his assumptions. This is basically relativism.

Nojokur

@Playboyize
Welcome to academia. You're only surprised because science is still (wrongly) reliant on the (outdated) "scientific method." You're either still an undergrad or you've only recently enrolled in grad school. You'll get used to this eventually.

Methnerd

@CodeBuns
Every single thing starting from " Bosons " and " Higgs " so 60's and on is just bullshit

@SomethingNew
this

Lord_Tryzalot

@Methnerd
You heard it here first, integer spin particles are figments of our imagination.
Time to pack up shop and go home

TalkBomber

@Bidwell
I remember you and your stupidity. Not about to argue with you, because you're beyond retarded but just wanted to say hi.

BinaryMan

@CodeBuns
It's all wrong, dipshit

RumChicken

@TalkBomber
Hello

VisualMaster

All of it. If it's not 100% correct, it's wrong.

PackManBrainlure

@TurtleCat
a lot of willful relativism going on in physics and math and it should disturb everyone

I regularly attend meetings with particle theorists and experimentalists part of the ATLAS experiment. I think your observation about physicists are incorrect. Most of the people on Veeky Forums are undergrads who really have no idea what they're talking about. When in a room with actual scientists, I've not seen any relativism.

@Methnerd
" Bosons " and " Higgs " so 60's and on is just bullshit
By bullshit you mean "I don't understand it," right?

haveahappyday

@BunnyJinx
Sadly he is the only nigga knowing his stuff. All post above him are objectively wrong

hairygrape

The theory of infinite complexity is the best theory. Unlike Witten's "not even wrong" M-theory, the TOIC (theoretical orbit ion cannon) demonstrates cleanly how to unify the disparate mathematical frameworks used in the theories of gravitation and quanta.

The TOIC grew out of the modified cosmological model.

http://vixra.org/abs/1712.0598
The General Relevance of the Modified Cosmological Model

Techpill

@hairygrape
forgot pic. Compares Higgs' famous result to the main MCM result. People think somehow my equations are less than Higgs' because the PDF that contains them gets DLed from viXra instead of APS... which is almost "A Piece of Shit"

Emberfire

@hairygrape
Did you really name a theory after a ddosing program?

DeathDog

@Playboyize
That's not true. Scientific work was always messy. People do 573847273 things and get one thing right. There were so many mistakes in the past even by great thinkers (Maxwell famously postulated Aether whereas Einstein said "God doesn't play dice" or called any non local theory wrong with "spukhafte Fernwirkung" which are three objectively wrong claims by todays standards the latter i.e. the latter disproved by bell inequality violation).

In Germany we say "rumstochern" which roughly translates to "digging into it with a stick until you find something useful" which is exactly the thing people do.

I give you an example. String theory as thought by many untestable provided us with a new formalism, namely Conformal Feld Theory which is a new branch of topological QFT giving us many useful results. That's the thing. Even when string theory (right now) is messy and provides not that much, it can provide useful tools.

When people say: "it depends" they mean "at given assumptions not every model is useful and/or helpful"

Physics approximates and models reality nothing more or less.

They don't study bullshit, it's the exact opposite. Just most things are not entirely useful right now (which can always change). I.e. Grassmann was a not well known mathematician and many thought he is stupid even when he derived Grassmann numbers. But later they became useful in QFT

Fried_Sushi

@Emberfire
Please don't feed the schizo, it only encourages him.

Evil_kitten

@CodeBuns
It's less about being wrong, but more about being incomplete - all the major physics theories work, including the strange ones like Relativity and QM, which have been more rigorously tested than just about any of the others, often making predictions correctly to sixteen decimal places or more, something you often can't even do with the more intuitive classical physics.

The problem is when you come across two theories that work perfectly, within their own scopes, but aren't compatible with one another.

...and then there's all those observations that we don't have good explanations for, or at least no hard evidence for the hypotheses we have cooked up.

Really, all in all, we have verified working physics for about 5% of the universe - but in the end, that largely covers the only bits of the universe that affect us directly in the short term. The rest is hard to access.

Just about everything in that 5% is correct. It has to be - we regularly build and use machines that depend on it being so. At best, the reasons behind why those models of physics work might change. Newtonian physics of half a millenia ago is still correct, still works under normal circumstances, and is still largely used to this day - it's only now we have a different understanding as to the mechanics behind it, and the extreme circumstances under which it may begin to break down. Much the same will probably be true of all the more modern physics - they'll always work, always be right, within the scope they cover, only the understand as to the reasons why reality behaves in this fashion will change.

w8t4u

@Evil_kitten
Fuck off /popsci/ fag

iluvmen

@w8t4u
Well, he's not wrong...

likme

@iluvmen
Yeah he is not entirely wrong but there are some inconsistencies and still popsci repeated

TurtleCat

@Methnerd
Solid argument, solid preface point. This post is what sci should aspire to. Do me a favour and dont procreate or vote.

BinaryMan

@Evil_kitten
5%
How did you arrive at this number
It has to be correct
No it doesnt you dipshit, it has to be consistent and match experimental results. Newtonian physics was not and still isnt correct.
Modern physics will always be right
Modern physics is in full on fucking crisis mode right now because the LHC just took a shit on every theory. Additionally claiming something to be correct when no one has any idea how the fuck it actually works is beyond retarded.

FastChef

@BinaryMan
Not him, but I suppose he's going off the usual 5% of the universe is made out of actual matter meme, while the rest is dark meme shit.

And Newtonian physics work fine, under normal circumstances - only really starts getting wrecked in the sort of circumstances that Newton didn't have access to (scales too large or too fast). Engineers still use it all the time. It's not "wrong", it just frays in extremes.

And I don't recall the LHC shitting on much of anything that wasn't already widely accepted, Boson found, more or less as expected, seems only various fringe theories didn't pan out. The accelerating expansion of the universe, discovered a bit over a decade before, now that shit on a lot of stuff and opened a Pandora's box of new problems.

In any case, it's about how the theories predict things, and all the accepted theories predict things very well, within their limits. Ya don't have to know every minutia of how something works to predict the motion of objects and build contraptions that work under those rules. Just because the folks who design cars don't worry about quantum effects, or what not, doesn't mean they are wrong about how cars work.

5mileys

@FastChef
Newtonian physics isnt as correct as GR and SR demonstrably, yes it is is still useful and accurate enough in many situations. However neither are truly correct as we havent plumbed the totality of the universe as of yet, tomorrow someone could create a theory superior to GR and SR and we would use it instead. This applies to all frameworks we create, test, and use.

The LHC is on its last legs with the current run before it gets upgraded because it failed to find any of the new physics particles at expected energy ranges consistent with super symmetric theories in particular, among others.

People have this concept that there can be such a thing as wholly correct in science, but in truth we simply search for frameworks that align with our currently obtainable experimental evidence. QM is the ultimate example of the point as it is perhaps the most powerful predictive theory ever created but is also quite clearly not correct in the truest sense.

TalkBomber

Its all wrong. Until we have a unified theory of everything, we are just looking at small, specific cases.

FastChef

@Sharpcharm
What we have now are limiting cases. A GUT will obviously yield a lot of current physics when taken to the appropriate limit. So they are worth studying.

But yes, if you want to discover a unified theory, you need to throw out everything and start fresh, but we clearly arent on the right track since all we've hit for 30 years is deadends.

whereismyname

@iluvmen
Explaining the 4 forces forces is just glorified fitting math to expirement, no different than people have done for 1000 years.

The question we cant answer is why these forces at these strenghts? Why not more or less forces? Why do we have the particles we have instead of others?

Raving_Cute

@Flameblow
"This" as in the OP or "this" as in what I said? It should be obvious if you meant the former but it's not directly related to what I said if you meant the latter. Also the picture is a joke so you don't nee to take it so seriously.
@Bidwell
Regulating a theory in the IR is probably a well-defined procedure
"Well-defined" only in a very limited number of cases. There are theories (e.g. Yang-Mills with boundaries, AdS/CFT, non-Abelions on non-compact manifolds, chiral QCD, etc.) where the thermodynamic limit breaks internal symmetries that generate possibly unwanted Goldstone modes. The treatment of anomalies on a mathematically rigorous ground has only been done for TQFTs, CFTs and Yang-Mills, as far as I'm aware.
In terms of feeling good about the foundations of field theory, I think realistically it will not matter.
Part of the reason why people find divergent S-matrices back in the 1950's is because they didn't know what Borel convergence is. Haag's theorem poses a problem in our fundamental understanding of what a QFT is (though there had been some ad hoc solutions such as considering families of Hamiltonians instead https://arxiv.org/abs/1501.05658), but this is still unsatisfactory.
Non-existence of the interaction picture is less of a problem (in my opinion) than the fact we use asymptotic series to compute finite quantities.
Except we understand fundamentally what goes wrong in the latter but not in the former.

w8t4u

None of physics is “wrong”, it’s just approximately correct. That’s the way it always has been and likely always will be.
We don’t care so much about whether or not we have the exact answer, we’re more just concerned with how we improve upon what we already have.

TreeEater

classical mechanics and SHO

Firespawn

@5mileys
Incomplete != Incorrect

If your theories can predict 8-ball goes into corner pocket consistently, your theory is correct, whether or not it takes into account electromagnetic exchanges or the history of the inventor of the pool cue.

TurtleCat

@DeathDog
This is so philosophically and scientifically empty that I don't know what to tell you. If this is all physics is, why study physics? Glorified applied math? That is it? Physicists are just engineers with harder to understand models (on average)? That is just sad if you actually believe it.

Dreamworx

@TurtleCat
This is what I feel like when I do physics.

Ignoramus

@TurtleCat
Physics and some other core sciences are about finding reality's instruction manual. You are born in this reality without a genuine instruction manual given by the Creator, so you do physics to try to write one yourself.
Of course since you don't know how things really work your manual is probably not even close to the real thing, but that's the thing, for every line of bullshit you find there's a chance you get to something more tangible and true

Nojokur

@Ignoramus
This is so fucking pathetic. You are an engineer with less ambitions. Just kill yourself now.

Inmate

What do you mean by "wrong"?

Methshot

@Bidwell
Are you sure you would understand the equations though?
Yes, they are simple linear tensor operators operating on a dynamic pde. Or what you would call a "four vector" operation.

These words don't describe what a physicist does; they're nonsensical.

No they are not. They describe current attempts to model string theories and their symmetries, which input some rather well behaved manifolds instead of a coordinate system in euclidean space. This is common practice in many fields. Have you actually studied physics textbooks or just read pop science?

Skullbone

@Need_TLC
To simplify and enhance precision across all scales. On nanometer scales we have QM fucking up things, on gigameter scales we have dark matter and dark energy fucking up things. So instead we have multiple sets of equations for each scale rather than one that works at all three.

Evilember

@Skullbone
But we have equations that work on every scale. So on that Anon's point why do we need a single set of equations when a simple mixed integer formulation can model and simulate all the scales anyway.

The are many useful systems that still need to be studied in more detail.

RumChicken

@hairygrape
vixra

idontknow

@Sir_Gallonhead
Effective field theories are theories that only "detect" a specific energy scale. After specializing to an energy scale, some symmetries being broken should be obvious from the fact that your configuration space now becomes a subset composed with low-lying modes, and it is this spontaneous breaking of symmetries that gets you different garage fields and forces.
However there's a way to (semi) go backwards via renormalization group theory. It allows us to probe into the high energy regime and investigate the properties they [math]necessarily[\math] possess, meaning that high energy configurations must have these properties, while there is no proof for the converse (this is one of the reasons why renormalization is a semigroup, not an actual group). One of these properties is the restoration of spontaneously broken symmetries, which means that you'll get the universal covering of the direct product of the low energy symmetries as your high energy symmetry, which gives rise to "unified" gauge fields as the connection 1-forms.
So far a more powerful and rigorous formulation of renormalization theory is still under development, and this has nothing to do with linearity of the model. Plenty of effective field theories such as strongly-correlated electrons, BCS superconductivity, cosmological strings, etc. are nonlinear and can only describe a certain energy scale.
This reflect back to what I've said before: all physical theories ultimately be discovered as just effective theories for some other effective theory.

FastChef

These pop-sci nerds, lol

Stupidasole

@TurtleCat
It's me again.

Why study physics? Because you get to know "how" to a certain degree. The "why" itself is never answered and is exactly the reason why philosophers exist.

And fun fact but you already know that: philosophers do the exact same thing. They try to find the relationship between the "how" and the "why". They don't know what is happening or why but they try to quantify it with models (I.e. the transcendental worldview of Kant). No philosopher ever understood the world fully and we just can't. It is not philosophically empty it is the nature of philosophy itself. The real problem is (since I am a little bit literate with philosophy) that the whole french philosophy (namely postmodernism) is more and more drifting apart from science. Philosophy is in a big crisis right now because most people don't believe in any objective truth anymore (just like you mentioned your relationship to Plato). Due to this fact there is a biiiiig discrepancy between actual "objective" models (as objective as it gets in physics) and philosophy.

Most philosophers don't know shit about quantum theory or any of its applications and physicists usually don't answer these kind of questions (just popsci physicists with a shit knowledge in philosophy)

It's not the prettiest thing to know in the world but that's how it is.

Glorified applied math
What are you implying? Math is just "one" way to express physics but it is the most precise tool to describe reality we have. For example try to explain somebody how BCS Theory for superconducting works without using math. Hint: it's fucking impossible.

And just to terminate the following preposition: >physicists are just engineers.

That's a shit way to look at things. No engineer has ever learned to derive completely new models. They just use given models and tweak with it till it gets more efficient. That's basically an engineer for you.

@Ignoramus
I also approve this.

happy_sad

@Need_TLC
Wake up. There is no point.

Spamalot

@Firespawn
True, its more accurate to say incomplete than incorrect.

likme

@CodeBuns
Is theoretical mathematics and logicism what physics should have been? Where did it all go wrong?

CodeBuns

@likme
Nature is pathological. We cant even model turbulence and thats a macroscopic phenomenon.

GoogleCat

@Stupidasole
The ' why' can only he answered when we have complete control and understanding of 'how'
Philosophy and philosphers arent needed and frankly they are just a waste of space and oxygen

Nojokur

@CodeBuns
Literally the only person who could answer this question is Stephen Hawking. This is just a bait post and should be reported.