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Thread: The sequential progress of physics

  1. #1 The sequential progress of physics 
    Junior Member slow's Avatar
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    I suppose that this note does not contain a personal theory or an alternative hypothesis. It only contains a historical-epistemological summary and some questions. Is the next.

    One of the activities of anthropologists is to observe communities in the stage of concrete thought. In these communities knowledge exists as accumulated experience, without a supravision that analyzes, classifies and correlates diverse experiences. When a community acquires that supravision, a form of thought appears that is not directly focused on the palpable facts. It is focused on a specific type of mental content, apt to be transmitted by education and accepted mostly. That specific type of mental content is experience. Supervision is interested in experience, understanding how it is acquired, how it serves as a basis for planning actions and accessing new experiences, etc. That is, palpable facts are not the focus of supravision. The center of attention is the conscious record of those facts, called experience.

    Supravision usually detects general characteristics, which appear in several, in many or in all experiences. While the task is limited to detecting, listing and classifying general characteristics, the knowledge does not go beyond the artisanal and artistic stages. Then people begin to ask why some characteristics are very general, that is, why they appear in everything or in almost everything. Neither the observation of concrete facts, nor experience, nor supravision can answer that question. Then reason admits that the world can contain something that we are not observing and that, perhaps, we will never be able to observe. It is the right time for hypotheses to appear and, basically, there are two types of hypotheses. 1) Magical hypotheses, which do not need to be compatible with reason. 2) Scientific hypotheses, which to be useful need to be compatible with reason and with the rules of logic, which over time converge in mathematical rules and produce schemas based on them.

    In thick lines we have shown that, in a community, science begins after a period of previous convergence, which goes from the palpable facts to supravision. The beginning of science promotes convergent activities, which reach the first consolidation. Known example of first consolidation in Western culture? Mathematical and engineering achievements, before Christ, in Egypt, Babylon, Islamic zone, Greece, etc. Second consolidation? That which Galileo knew how to expose very well. Third? Newton. Fourth? Maxwell So far, I suppose, we'll all agree. These four instances correspond to definitive consolidations of physical science.

    Each consolidation is a convergence node. Before that node, physics appears as a set of diverse proposals, which are not mutually compatible. After that node, after a secular time, mutually incompatible proposals appear again, which demand a new consolidation.

    Has physics achieved its fifth consolidation or is it still waiting for it? If the answer were obvious, we would not be asking the question. Almost like irrelevant phrase, the previous paragraph alludes to a secular time between two successive consolidations. That is, a time of the order of a century or more. But that is comparable to saying that in a paperwork office, until today, it has been observed that between the arrival of a red-haired person and the arrival of another with that color of hair, hundreds of people with hair of other colors arrive. Nothing guarantees that this must always be the case. But the comparison with science is unfair, because the arrival of red-haired people is not the result of a methodical and specific process, like the development of science. Independent scientific proposals do not appear immediately after consolidation, because the immediate task assumed by all is to fully understand the consequences of consolidation and contrast them with the facts. That takes a lot of time, regardless of how many people are engaged in intellectual and experimental tasks. If the matter is subtle, even if we allocate half of the world's finances to pay people to investigate, it will be enough time until the arrival of someone who, in addition to devoting his life to science, has dedicated his life to subtlety. The millionaire expense does not shorten the natural wait of the case.

    Let's now repeat the question. Has physics achieved its fifth consolidation? After Maxwell the physics achieved success, prestige, a lot of funding and a large number of dedicated people. Was the rule of secular time effectively fulfilled? A century and a half has passed since Maxwell. But in the course there were two tremendous military wars, a tremendous cold war, an advance of the corporations to take world power, etc. That amputated many freedoms that the scientific mind needs to reach a stage of consolidation. And we observe, currently, a variety of incompatible proposals. Each one tries to be the fifth consolidation, or at least be the foundation of that. Are they legitimate claims? Has the fourth consolidation been exhausted? That is, have all the possible consequences of Maxwellian electrodynamics been exhaustively deduced, so that nothing relevant is left uncovered in that schema? Have we extracted the complete fundamental content?

    The importance of thoroughly investigating a consolidation before attempting another was not explicitly stated, but each scientist internally assumed it as an essential part of the progress of science. After Maxwell the scientists were pressed by those circumstances alien to science. The secular wait did not fit in the accelerated plans of the militarism and the corporations. The Maxwellian consolidation was technologically exploited, diverting towards the technological progress the necessary resources to exhaustively investigate the foundations and bare all the consequences. The Newtonian consolidation was crowned, after a secular wait, by analytical mechanics. And nothing less than two formulations of analytical mechanics, which make it possible to pose phenomena of all types and at all scales. Were Maxwell's equations crowned by formulations that generalize the basic scheme, with full scope and in all scales? This is essential before attempting the fifth consolidation.

    Einstein verbally honored Maxwell, but based relativity on new and independent postulates. Planck introduced more independent postulates, to formulate the spectral distribution of the black body. In special relativity Maxwellian electrodynamics appears in terms of covariant transformation. In the Planck formula, details of the Raileigh-Jeans equation emerge, based on Maxwellian electrodynamics. Wien's formula, based on thermodynamics, has similarities with the Raileigh-Jeans equation and the Planck formula. Several independent proposals exhibit similar details. In one way or another, the similarities refer to the framework of Maxwell's equations. This, in a context of military and corporate constraints, can be a sign of something essential that has remained undetected and without deduction in Maxwellian electrodynamics. Would it be a waste to dedicate some resources to exhaustively revise that theory?

    Without intending to theorize, or to establish a bias, I admit that the concept of exhaustive revision needs examples that clarify it.

    Example Nš1. The discrete distribution of the electric charge has been detected and confirmed experimentally. Maxwell's equations consolidate all the knowledge related to the charge. An exhaustive review, would it be possible to deduce from the Maxwell equations the distribution of the charge in discrete and equal portions?

    Example No. 2 In addition to the movement of charged particles, the Maxwellian theory contains a term of another kind, which produces basically the same effects. That term has been called displacement current. Has the study of the displacement current been exhaustive?

    Example No. 3. Does the electric charge need to reside inevitably in a particle endowed with material mass (## m_o \neq 0 ##)? Or can it reside directly in the space and, consequently, be the physical foundation of the displacement current?

    Example # 4. Is the vacuum a stable condition, or does it only last while something forces the situation?

    Example No. 5. If the vacuum is not self-sustaining, what appears in the region when the sustaining action ceases? Does a dielectric polarization appear that does not need the presence of materials particles?

    Example 6: Does the displacement current agree with a polarization that does not need material particles?

    These questions, or other deeper and more decisive ones, could have been razed by the warlike-corporate flood?
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  2. #2  
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    hi slow,

    I am glad you have decided to start your own thread about your ideas, putting this in the middle of other peoples threads is not the right place for it.
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