For questions about epistemology in the context of physics - what knowledge is, and how we arrive at it.

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19
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10answers
1k views

Why can't the outcome of a QM measurement be calculated a-priori?

Quantum Mechanics is very successful in determining the overall statistical distribution of many measurements of the same process. On the other hand, it is completely clueless in determining the ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

In what way are the Mathematical universe hypothesis and A New Kind of Science connected

The Mathematical universe hypothesis, mainly by Max Tegmark and A new Kind of Science, mainly by Stephen Wolfram both claim (as least as I understand it) that at its innermost core reality is ...
18
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6answers
1k views

Is there a difference between observing a particle and hitting it with another particle?

First, let me state that I'm a lot less experienced with physics than most people here. Quantum mechanics was as far as I got and that was about 9 years ago, with no use in the meantime. A lot of ...
7
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6answers
5k views

Can a scientific theory ever be absolutely proven?

I personally cringe when people talk about scientific theories in the same way we talk about everyday theories. I was under the impression a scientific theory is similar to a mathematical proof; ...
1
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0answers
91 views

Why not “black matter” instead of “non-baryonic cold dark matter”? [closed]

I would like to know if any epistemologist or science popularizer has ever think about a better/simpler name for exotic or non-baryonic cold dark matter like black matter. That would be interesting ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

When experimental search for exotic dark matter-like particles began exactly?

I am looking for information about : what was the first experiment that claimed to look specifically for non baryonic dark matter particles ; when occurred the first serious(*) reporting of an ...
4
votes
4answers
631 views

Is the wave function objective or subjective?

Here is a question I am curious about. Is the wave function objective or subjective, or is such a question meaningless? Conventionally, subjectivity is as follows: if a quantity is subjective then ...
1
vote
1answer
305 views

How widespread is the meme “QM is counterintuitive” in academic physics? [closed]

I have recently entered university — studying CS — and I have spoken to many physics students on campus. Most of these — when propmted — will gladly proclaim that QM is ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Geometry and physics [closed]

I'm searching for references, articles and books, that discussed the geometrization of modern (and contemporary) physics, in a philosofical point of view. Something in the way that Michael Friedman ...
1
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4answers
2k views

Is there anything physically infinite?

I can't think of a single thing that could be infinite. Because the universe is expanding, isn't it? But there is an ever-changing barrier, so why could there be anything infinite, both ...
1
vote
2answers
389 views

Is the big desert hypothesis a wilder assumption than the see-saw mechanism to explain neutrino masses?

Sometimes I see comments about the big desert hypothesis that I don't understand. For instance in a famous blog : ...This is based on a renormalization group calculation extrapolating the Higgs ...
31
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10answers
1k views

What is the difference between a measurement and any other interaction in quantum mechanics?

We've learned that the wave function of a particle collapses when we measure a particle's location. If it is found, it becomes more probable to find it a again in the same area, and if not the ...
1
vote
2answers
626 views

The quantum state can be interpreted statistically, again

Now there are two papers The quantum state cannot be interpreted statistically http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.3328 (It was discussed here the consecuences of this "no-go theorem") And this one (two of ...
3
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3answers
551 views

Time travel and nuclear decay

Reading a previous closed question an interesting variation has come to my mind. Suppose that time travel to the past was possible: I wait for an atom to decay and measure the time, $t_{1a}$ I ...