A Conversation for Physics and the Knowledge of Ignorance
Marjin, After a long time of procrastination back lurking Started conversation Jun 14, 2001
Maybe the second law of thermodynamics should become: 'The ignorance of the universe tends to a maximum'.
I can suggest some fields where we seem to be busy to expand our ignorance. What about the big bang, that gives us more and more ignorance about what did happen in the real far away past.
Also the field of astronomy lookes deeper and deeper into space, to show us things that less and less can be explained with our current level of ignorance.
We will asymptotically approach the ideal situation, where some people wearing sandals will know absolutely everything about nothing, and all the others will be completely ignorant about the rest.
Jack Dinn Posted Aug 28, 2001
I have a worry about physics at the moment that either came to me in a dream or was on Radio 4; I sometimes can't distinguish. The idea is that it is a gross assumption that the laws of physics do not change over time. Seeing that the universe is ever expanding, surely it is not too crazy a possibility that the rules that govern it change along with its size. I'm not talking about grand scale changes that would threaten to take out the universe at a moment's notice, more that the very slight measurements of mass, velocity, radiation decay, or even particle behaviour, may have changed over time in a way we do not yet understand. Of course it's one of those types of theories that niggle at physicists in that there's nothing we can actually do to prove or disprove it, or put it to any kind of use other than, possibly, aggravating scientists.
Marjin, After a long time of procrastination back lurking Posted Aug 28, 2001
That's a long time since that thread started.
I cannot see whether you are seriously worried, or just try to find a new field of ignorance. In both cases: Don't Panic!
If there is a change in the laws, and it is large enough to measure, physisists will just have to accept this new measurements of their ignorance, and try to find a theory that describes the reason.
Nothing new, business as usual.
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