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Old 2006-02-15, 15:03
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johnmansley johnmansley is offline
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Originally Posted by far_beyond_sane
Proved, no. This isn't mathematics, where we prove theorems. Physics, as the name implies, is a physical science. Of course, we use what we could corasely call mathematical techniques to get theories about different phenomena. What's different is then we have to make them fit environmental and experimental evidence... and sometimes 'good' theories fuck up spectacularly when it comes to mating them with the available evidence.

Very true. The mathematics behind physics is based on a "modelling" concept - it models what we observe, sometimes good enough to derive very accurate predictions. But whether nature itself is embodied and somehow, for want of a better word, "aware" of the special relationships within these mathematical models is very much a subject for philosophers.

Unfortuantely, even the most rigourous of theories will be chock full of assumptions that are highly unlikley to occur in reality, i.e. planets are assumed to be perfect spheres, many fields are assumed to act uniformly, etc, etc. Basically, there's only so much detail that can be contained within a mathematical model, or else it becomes impractical to solve. I'd actually venture to say that a perfect model of the universe would take an infinite amount of time to solve.
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