02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 The Anthropic Principle

As an example of the power of the Anthropic Principle, consider the number of directions in space. It is a matter of common experience that we live in three-dimensional space. That is to say, we can represent the position of a point in space by three numbers. For example, latitude. longitude and height above sea level. But why is space three-dimensional? Why isn't it two, or four, or some other number of dimensions, hke in science fiction? In fact, in M-theory space has ten dimensions (as wel...
Folksonomies: anthropic principle
Folksonomies: anthropic principle
  1  notes
 
24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Hawking's Equation

awking has written down an equation which looks rather like Planck's equation. Hawking's equation is S = kA, where S is the entropy of a black hole, A is the area of its surface, and k is a constant which I call Hawking's constant. Entropy means roughly the same thing as the heat capacity of an object. It is measured in units of calories per degree. A is measured in square centimeters. Hawking's equation says that entropy is really the same thing as area. The exchange rate between area and en...
Folksonomies: physics equation
Folksonomies: physics equation
  1  notes
 
05 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Wave-Particle Duality

It did not cause anxiety that Maxwell's equations did not apply to gravitation, since nobody expected to find any link between electricity and gravitation at that particular level. But now physics was faced with an entirely new situation. The same entity, light, was at once a wave and a particle. How could one possibly imagine its proper size and shape? To produce interference it must be spread out, but to bounce off electrons it must be minutely localized. This was a fundamental dilemma, and...
Folksonomies: physics
Folksonomies: physics
  1  notes

The trouble with conceptualizing it.

30 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Facts VS Theories

Facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away while scientists debate rival theories for explaining them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome.
Folksonomies: data theory fact
Folksonomies: data theory fact
  1  notes

Facts are data, theories are the best truths we have extrapolated from them.

13 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Fact, Theory, and Understanding

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did s...
Folksonomies: truth theory fact
Folksonomies: truth theory fact
  1  notes

Stephen J. Gould on science's evolving understanding of the Truth.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Worship of Nature is Worship of Light

Davy’s two main essays were far the most ambitious contribution to the anthology, and announced his intellectual arrival in Bristol. He set out to champion chemistry, and speculate about its future, on the grandest metaphysical scale. In a Penzance notebook he had exclaimed: ‘What we mean by Nature is a series of visible images: but these are constituted by light. Hence the worshipper of Nature is a worshipper of light.’38 In his Essay 1, ‘On Heat, Light and the Combinations of Light...
Folksonomies: naturalism laws of nature
Folksonomies: naturalism laws of nature
  1  notes

...and other simple laws of nature.

19 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The Mesh of Science

I do not think that truth becomes more primitive if we pursue it to simpler facts. For no fact in the world is instant, infinitesimal and ultimate, a single mark. There are, I hold, no atomic facts. In the language of science, every fact is a field—a crisscross of implications, those that lead to it and those that lead from it. Truth in science is like Everest, an ordering of the facts. We organize our experience in patterns which, formalized. make the network of scientific laws. But scie...
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Science "articulates the movements of the world."