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Thread: Why Such Simple Laws in Physics

  1. #1 Why Such Simple Laws in Physics 
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    “Perhaps the most surprising aspectof physics is that its results can be described by a small number ofrelationships, or laws.” Why? These laws often can be expressed usingmathematics, which has been called the language for physics, and how is it alanguage at all?

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  3. #2  
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    mathematics, which has been called the language for physics, and how is it alanguage at all?
    Long English sentence. Seven groups of eight objects means that you have fifty six objects altogether.
    Short English sentence. Seven eights are fifty six.

    Arithmetic sentence. 7 x 8 = 56

    Maths is a language. It's a language that is stripped right down to the very minimum for arithmetic, discarding and simplifying everything it possibly can.

    By the time you get to calculus and physics, it's the other way around. Instead of discarding unneeded surplus, symbols are used to compress quite complicated concepts into a single number-like representation.

    Either way it's still language.

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  4. #3  
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    I understand what you mean. Those symbol is just a way we say about something. There's no easier way to say about 56 billiard balls than "56" itself!

    Also I agree that in calculus & physic those symbol represent some concept and doesn't mean anything special about it. For example: in physic one may write "dx" because we want to say "very very small change, approach 0", or we may write "S" to mean "summation of really really tiny stuff". Its just something really simple (in calculus textbook it is just that they are really really rigorous in trying to define a concept, with alot of proof and graph).

    Its like having extra alphabet.
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  5. #4  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    As for the small number of laws and relationships, that's because when you get down to the most basic levels, the universe is fairly simple.

    When you get into the subsequent levels, like chemistry and biology, it gets horrendously complicated.

    But physics is comparatively simple and straightforward.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    Its an amazing stroke of luck that we can use mathematics to describe the universe though - and no deep reason anyone knows for certain why this should be the case.
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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