onsdag 17 oktober 2012

Resurrected Boosted Scientific Method

Feyerabend describes in Against Method a collapse of 19th century science based on the idea that there is a "scientific method" capable of leading scientists to discover "truths" about the World. Feyerabend describes 20th century science as a science without "method" where "Anything Goes",  connecting to Kuhn's analysis with "method" replaced by "fashion".

Feyerabend thus describes a change at the turn to the 20th century from rational positivism of enlightenment and modernity into postmodern pessimism, which is essentially the change from classical physics into modern physics.

But to give up rationality and "method" if it is not really necessary, may be stupid and so it is important to understand (i) the limits of the "method" of classical physics and (ii) what caused the collapse into modern physics.

Classical physics can be described by combinations of
  • Lagrange equations of rigid body mechanics (Newton's equation of motion)
  • Navier's equations of solid mechanics
  • Navier-Stokes equations of fluid/gas mechanics
  • Maxwell's equations of electro-magnetics.
The equations express balance of forces and constitutive relations describing material properties as sets of partial differential equations and the "method" consist of finding the constitutive relations by theory or experiment and then solving the equations. 

Combined with the computer this "method" is today used on a large scale in science and engineering as a rational approach to simulating, controling and understanding the world. Combined with the computer classical physics does not seem to have any real limits. Nothing of this can be described as "Anything Goes".

The collapse of classical physics around 1900 was caused by two perceived paradoxes:
  • The ultraviolet catastrophe of blackbody radiation.
  • The Michelson-Morley paradox of perceived non-existence of an ether medium for propagation of electromagnetic waves.
The ultraviolet catastrophe led to quantum mechanics and the ether paradox to relativity theory, the two pillars of modern physics, both representing the "Anything Goes" of Feyerabend as physical theories beyond rationality and human comprehension. 

But both paradoxes may be solved essentially within the "method" of classical physics as I seek to show in Mathematical Physics of Blackbody Radiation and Many-Minds Relativity

If I am right, then maybe scientific method can be resurrected, not as limitation but as an effective tool of both rationalization and discovery combined with an open mind of "Anything Goes" as a door to both invention and understanding. 

The computer thus boosts the scientific method of classical physics into a formidable tool and opens to a new modern positivism following postmodern pessimism. The introduction of the iPad 100 years after the collapse of classical physics, may well come to signify the new modernity of resurrected boosted scientific method. After all, an iPad app is nothing but computational mathematical physics created by an inventive mind using the "method".

As an example of resurrected boosted classical fluid mechanics, discover The Secret of Flight. 

16 kommentarer:

  1. Looking at your ideas for blackbody radiation it seems as you use Plancks original approach. That approach rests on a bad model that produces the correct result. I think that Kuhns book, if I remember correctly, about Blackbody radiation elaborates around this.

    You seem to use the same bad model to calculate with computational classical physics.

    Further it seems that you only, quite vague, give some qualitative statements from this model. Have you done any deeper quantitative calculations that can be connected to real physical situations? Can you point to a concrete situation where your model outperforms a condensed matter quantum model quantitatively?

  2. What does condensed matter qm say about black body radiation?

  3. You criticise modern physics, shouldn't you know what you are criticising then?

    The important thing here is light-matter interactions, do you disagree?

  4. I am criticizing the use of statistics to derive Planck's law. Yes, blackbody radiation is about light-matter interaction.

  5. You give the impression that you do not see condensed matter theory as important for describing optical properties.

  6. I say nothing about this theory, and nothing about string theory either.

  7. Implicitly you do make a statement about it since statistics is an integral part of condensed matter theory.

  8. Why not stick to explicit statements since implicit statements are unclear.

  9. Please sir, it is you who are being vague.

    Have you done any quantitative calculations where you can show that you outperform or at least match the current theories when it comes to quantitatively calculate properties of light matter interactions.

    Your whole angle seems really fishy. If you managed to derive Planck's law from classical principals , it really says squat about if that is generally a good approach. You need allot more meat.

  10. Are you doing an AIAA now? You got no answer so you just ignore?

  11. You seem to ask me to shut up, and so I do.

  12. On the contrary indeed. I ask you to not be vague, that should be the opposite of shutting up.

    If you don't have any meat to present please inform us.

  13. Who are the "us" I am supposed to inform?

  14. I can't be the only one looking at this blog.

    I'm quite sure that I haven't visited here over 300000 times.

    So, do you have anything of substance or is it all hot air?

  15. It is up to the reader of the blog to find out if there is anything of interest. I write what I write to the best of my knowledge. It may be that you should better read something else than this blog. And I learn nothing from your comments.

  16. Ok, so we can then assume that you haven't done any real validation of your model.