Browsing All Posts filed under »Science«

An Analogy between Math and Empirical Science

January 17, 2012

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Empirical science is distinguished from mathematics primarily in one crucial respect: while mathematics requires that its propositions conform to pure logic, empirical science requires in addition that its propositions conform to empirical data. Because mathematics is unconstrained by the contingencies and uncertainties of empirical data, it has the virtue of great certainty and generality in […]

Symmetry, Invariance, and Objectivity

May 16, 2009

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Symmetry is intimately related to the idea of invariance, the persistence of something amidst change (e.g., changes in time, space, or perspective). This is also one meaning of objectivity. Thus, symmetry is a key to understanding the objective world, as is well known in physics. The basic idea here is not confined to the esoteric […]

The Empirical Emergence of Time and Space

March 22, 2009

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A keystone of modern science is the view that everything physical exists within time and space. Of course, these notions have themselves gone through radical revision, but they still form the basis for formulations of modern physics, and only recently have some theoretical physicists begun to consider the possibility that time and space might emerge […]

The Imaginary Collapse of the Wavefunction

March 22, 2009

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The so-called “collapse” of the wave function in quantum theory is often illustrated by the wave/particle duality. When a photon propagates through a double-slit apparatus, it behaves like a wave. Yet, if it is observed, the non-local wave is collapsed into a single localized particle. However, both theory and experiment show that this is not […]