My knowledge on this subject is admittedly limited, but as I've recently read about four or five books on cosmology, I'd say my knowledge on the subject is slightly more than the avergae person, who seem to always have opinions on it.
It's the funniest thing, at dinner tables and pubs, to hear people expound the "truth" about the particle collider experiment, with absolutely no capacity to try and understand what's really going on.
I've had friends turn to me, and in all sincerity tell me how the CERN experiment is in fact testing for parallel universes (which is obviously a serious misinterpretation of the higher dimensional coordinates used to bring mathematical theories under control), and that the we will also learn how to travel great distances by creating black holes through which we simply walk and arrive at destinations light years away. The person who told me this then looked around curiously and asked, "but how long is a light year actually?"
Then, on a radio show during which they were interviewing an astrophysics professor, one caler phoned in and proclaimed that experiments like this are in fact a religion. "Science is not about having a theory then trying to prove that theory" he exclaimed proudly. I turned the radio off, despite wanting to desperately hear what the prof had to say about the actual technicalities of the project.
Why is it that those least in the know more often have the most stubborn opinions?
Apparently certain scientists on the project have received death threats! Will this experiment bring us any closer to a theory of quantum gravity?
I'll be following this quite closely. How will cosmology actually benefit from understanding what happened moments after the bug bang? Are there any practical benefits? Or, as I understand it, is it simply a deep curiosity that we finally have the technology to satisfy? Either way, I thinks it's pretty damn awesome!
My introduction to the subject was in the way of Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books by James Garvey. Also, I'm currently reading a book called 50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Should Know by Tony Crilly, it's very interesting and easy to access, and I see there's another more relevant 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Should Know by Ben Dupre. If the one I'm readin is anything to go by, this book should be fun, with just enough technical content to make you feel like you're getting a slightly advanced tutoring, as opposed to a ver beginner level tutoring.
Hi parsec, to understand your question perhaps you could help me understand a little more about the physics involved.
First, doesn't the double-slit experiment only confirm the wave-particle duality of light?
Second, as for the paradoxes mentioned above concerning the apparent nonexistence of motion, what are the implications for our understanding of space, as an integral apsect of time?
Finally, and excuse my lacking knowledge here, if everything is in fact waves, what are the waves made of, or, what is the matter being displaced to cause the waves (this question pertains the wave nature of light too, obviously)?
[Judging by your username I guess you know that today's the day they fire up the CERN large hadron particle accelerator in France? Very exciting.]
She seems very interesting! Perhaps you could ask her what her standpoint is on the teaching of the history of science as part of science courses. Not a very technical question, but I'd be interested in hearing her justification for her answer.
I can understand that from a practical point of view. As a science student I don't necessarily need to know how the subject developed, I just need to know what rules and axioms govern contemporary knowledge, as these are what I'll be using when I apply what I've learnt.
I've always considered philosophy enthusiasts as people with an interest in history, whether they know it or not. Whereas someone studying science for the sake of becoming a scientist within a specific field doesn't really need to know how wrong scientists of the past were in their formulations.
For philosophy of science enthusiasts this is simply a preference, but when deciding on how to teach science, I see how this could become a contentious issue.
Hugo is there a specific thread in which you and Rusty had this discussion, or was it a component of various discussions?
Agreed. It's the same with the study of philosophy. You need to study Aristotle's physics regardless of how trivial it may seem today, as it provides the foundations for contemporary philosophy and physics. I wonder if there actually is even an argument against this...
If anything my interest in science has taught me it's that an analysis, or at very least basic knowledge, of the history of the subject is vital. Well, to me anyway. I mean, even my interest in math has led me first to explore the history and development of the subject. I must agree, the historical approach does make more sense.
I'd be very interested to see the argument against this. Could you perhaps link me to the aforementioned discussion?