Questions tagged [laws-of-physics]

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3 answers
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Regarding curl of electric field and Maxwell's laws

I have a doubt... Electric field is the negative gradient of potential ... But curl of vector functions that are a gradient of a scalar function is the zero vector. Then how come Maxwell stated that $\...
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When can a "theorem" be raised to a "principle"? [duplicate]

I am taking a 3rd year course in analytical mechanics, taught by a professor of mathematical physics. One of the important results of analytical mechanics is d'Alembert's principle. According to our ...
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Can I say Axioms of Quantum Mechanics instead of Postulates?

I have been attempting to clarify the difference between an axiom and a postulate, but I keep running into almost contradictory answers. Some will say they're equivalent, some will say a postulate ...
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Is there any theory of fundamental physics that proposes that there are no symmetries at a fundamental level and that they are all emergent?

Quantum gravity theories usually propose that global symmetries are not fundamental. Are there any theories that propose that all symmetries (Lorentz symmetry, gauge symmetry...) and therefore the ...
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Is thermodynamics a physical theory? [closed]

It looks like to me that whenever we need to describe something we start from observations which lead to a theory. All theories seem to rely on laws: theory of classical mechanics Newton's laws ...
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1 answer
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Why there are some the laws of phyiscs written for specific case? [closed]

I am a new physics self student. I noticed that the laws of phyiscs are written for specific case, for example Newton's second law (in Wikipedia page https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%...
1 vote
2 answers
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Difference between laws and principles [duplicate]

What is the difference between laws (e.g., Newton's Laws, Boyle's Law) and principles (e.g., Principle of Least Action , Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle)? As far as I know, both break down to some ...
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Local nature of physical laws

All the laws in physics are local in nature and that's why their formulation follows differential equations. My doubt is whether the locality is a proven theorem or it is a postulate?
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Could there be some process or event that would make the universe to be Lorentz non-invariant?

As far as we know the universe is invariant under the Lorentz symmetry and does have many other fundamental symmetries from which we derive the fundamental laws of physics. But could there be any ...
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Are there any mathematically conceivable arrangements of an indeterministic universe that are not physically possible?

Are there any mathematically conceivable arrangements of this universe (particularly ones that respect its mass-energy content) that cannot in principle be achieved through its evolution in accordance ...
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Are there any Big Bounce models where the laws of physics (even the most fundamental ones) would change between cycles?

Big Crunch-Big Bang models (usually called Big Bounce models or cosmological oscillatory models) are highly unlikely to happen due to the discovery of the accelerated expansion of the universe. But ...
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Could somehow the fundamental laws and symmetries of physics change or be broken? [closed]

There are some theoretical processes (like vacuum decay in quantum field theory) that could change the physical constants of the universe. Similarly, in inflation theory, various models predict that ...
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6 answers
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Understanding this quote by Feynman

This might be more of a question on semantics and interpretation and if this doesn't meet community guidelines, feel free to let me know and I'll delete it. It doesn't matter how beautiful your ...
2 votes
3 answers
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Is there any exact law in physics? [closed]

Even for maybe the most fascinating computation in physics, about anomalous magnetic moment of the electron, theoretical physics gives: $$a = 0.001 159 652 164 ± 0.000 000 000 108$$ which is not "...
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What is the shortest form way to fully describe the way our universse functions? [closed]

Let's say we wanted to explain to some alien living in another universe with different laws of physics to how our universe worked, what is the shortest way of doing this? A different way of looking at ...
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1 answer
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Is it possible to alter any of Newton's three laws without altering the other two? If yes what will be the consequences?

Is it possible to alter any of the newton's laws without altering the other two? (We call such a system as a non-newtonian system)
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Quantifiers in physical theories vs reality

I understand a physical theory as a set of axioms/postulates like an axiomatic system in mathematics. When we use some theory to describe the physical world we assume that the axioms hold. In other ...
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3 answers
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Am I correct in saying "falsifiability is the feature of a scientific theory to be tested"?

Falsifiability is usually defined as "the extent to which a scientific theory can be proven wrong". Does this mean that falsifiability is basically the extent to which a scientific theory is ...
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

How exactly do physicists reject and accept theories/models in physics?

I'm curious about the rejection/acceptance of a theory/model in physics. Is the only criterion to accept a model/theory is the explanation of data? Or are there more criterions? For example, we still ...
1 vote
3 answers
214 views

Measurement of force

According to Newton's Second Law, $F=ma$ which is based on the fact that force is proportional to acceleration for a constant mass. But how will someone measure force to confirm this? Suppose one ...
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1 answer
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Can postulates be proven wrong? [closed]

When Dalton gave his atomic theory, he postulated that atoms were the smallest indivisible part of matter. But now we know that they are composed of even smaller particles. So, the postulate has been ...
1 vote
2 answers
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What is a "fundamental law of nature"? [duplicate]

The trigger for this question is from "University Physics with Modern Physics" (by Young & Freedman) when they mentioned that Ohm's law is not actually a law; this sentiment was echoed ...
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If Lorentz invariance and the quantum-mechanical unitarity of time evolution would be emergent, wouldn't that mean that all physics is emergent?

I have read that Lorentz invariance and the quantum-mechanical unitarity of time evolution are the foundation of all modern physics. So, if somehow these were not fundamental characteristics of nature ...
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1 answer
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How necessary are the laws of physics given the impossibility of violating the law of conservation?

The Damascene theologian Ibn Taymiyya believed that God originates things ex materia, not ex nihilo or without prior material conditions, arguing that this latter type of creation entails a logical ...
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2 answers
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Do all physical processes necessarily imply a computation is taking place? [closed]

I would like to understand if any and all physical processes taking place, necessarily imply computations are also taking place. As a motivating scenario for the question, consider the following: ...
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About the tautology of physics quantities and laws [closed]

Physics quantities and laws, especially some fundamental laws and quantities, show property of tautology. For instance, mass and Newton's second law. My question is why physics quantities and laws ...
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3 answers
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Why does the national center for science education say “gravity is only a theory”? [closed]

I had someone show me that when you search “gravity is fact” on google you’ll get the National Center for Science Education saying things like “gravity is only a theory” Can someone just read these ...
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Are Laws of nature independent of time? [duplicate]

There are certain laws that govern the universe and these laws make up the fundamentals of any physical observation. But were these laws present the way there are now since the beginning of space time,...
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How do we know that physical laws/postulates/principles/rules are true? [closed]

There are many principles in physics. Two examples are conservation of energy and Pauli exclusion principle. How do we know that such principles are true? What if there occur exceptional events that ...
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Equations and functions in physics and mathematics

In physics we can define velocity as the derivative of position. We can write: $$u = \frac{d}{dt}x(t)$$ or $$u = g(t)$$ where $g$ denotes the function after differentation of the position with respect ...
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Do Newton's laws of motion imply no physical difference between different inertial frames of reference?

I'm a mathematician learning physics from scratch, for my own curiosity and interest. Starting from the basics, I'm trying to get a deep grasp of Newton's laws of motion. V.I. Arnold describes Galileo'...
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Is below description of the difference between laws and principles of physics correct? [closed]

Could some one provide elaborated answer whether description of the difference between laws and principles of physics, which I found on the Internet (https://sciencing.com/difference-between-law-and-...
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What laws of physics suggest life and evolution will occur? [closed]

Do any laws of physics tell us why life and evolution occurs? From my understanding the laws of physics is about reduction/materialism and with that we can explain everything else. To that end, which ...
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Is there a foundation of mathematical logic? [duplicate]

As Mathematics has its foundations in logic and set theory in the sense that you can derive all of mathematics from such theories, does mathematical physics have such foundations? A theory or theories ...
1 vote
7 answers
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When Sean Carroll says "The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Are Completely Understood" , is he being click-baity or is he correct? [closed]

I read three posts of his on his blog: The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Are Completely Understood Seriously, The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Really Are Completely ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Do the same laws of physics hold in two different locations that are infinitely far away from each other?

Another way of asking the question: Suppose there are two locations A and B, and the distance between A and B is infinite. Suppose there are two observers, one at each location, and finally assume ...
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2 answers
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Is concept expressed in "Autodidactic Universe" article plausible? [closed]

As I understood, the authors (Lee Smolin et al) of the "Autodidactic Universe" article suggest that the fundamental laws of nature as time progresses since the Big Bang event (which happened ...
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How to know if the error is in a law or in uncertainty of the measurement?

I read these words in a (great) answer to this question: There are errors that come from measuring the quantities and errors that come from the inaccuracy of the laws themselves But how do we know ...
11 votes
6 answers
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Accuracy of physics laws

How accurate are physics laws? For example, for newtons' first law $F=ma$, if we can get a measurement of both force, mass and acceleration with a percentage of uncertainly close to $1\times 10^{-9}\%$...
2 votes
2 answers
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Is there a concept that refers to the fact that we understand systems, but we don't understand what's between those systems? [closed]

Is there a concept that refers to the fact that we understand systems, but we don't understand what's between those systems? By that I mean, we understand quantum mechanics, but if we keep asking the ...
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Do we have any example of fundamental forces not working or having errors? [closed]

When we read about DNA, we see that the laws of chemistry and biochemistry and biology are rigid. But once in a while these laws fail to act (correct me if I'm wrong) and that is the source of what we ...
6 votes
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What is the role of the laws of physics in a block universe?

Definition of a block universe - The idea that the whole universe exists simultaneously and time doesn’t flow. For those who favor this kind of theory (the few of you), what is the role of the laws of ...
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How do scientists derive equations and formulas? [closed]

How do scientists derive equations? For example, how do they know that: Work done = Force × Displacement And why is it always multiplication and not anything else? Why not addition?
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1 answer
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Are circular waves on a lake just the borders of a “bubble”?

When you throw a rock on a lake it makes circular visible waves. Can it be that the rock causes a “expansive bubble” underwater that we can only see its borders on the surface? Like the bubble made of ...
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"Law without law" in inflation?

John Wheeler proposed that the fundamental laws of physics actually were emergent from a primordial random/chaotic underlying state. According to this view, every physical law is actually emergent. Is ...
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Could the laws of physics have existed before the universe? [closed]

Alexander Vilenkin writes that perhaps the laws of physics could have existed even before the universe emerged from nothing. How could the laws of physics exist without the existence of the universe ...
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How to understand the laws of physics correctly? [closed]

Are the laws of physics something that exists separately from the universe or is it a description of the physical properties of the universe and objects in it?
3 votes
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Why are there two pressures acting on a body in opposite direction during free fall on earth?

This is how my sir explained this to me: There are more than billions of atoms present in the earth's atmosphere. All those atoms have their force acting downwards. When he explained this diagram to ...
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Are the different fields in multi-field inflation described by different Lagrangians?

The most simple models of cosmological inflation consider only one scalar field. However, there are more complex models (like hybrid inflation or multi-field inflation) which consider more than one ...
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Could some kind of vacuum decay modify the most fundamental laws of physics?

A false vacuum is a hypothetical vacuum that is not actively decaying, but somewhat yet not entirely stable ("metastable"). It may last for a very long time in that state, and might ...
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