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Author Topic: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)  (Read 8401 times)

odie

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13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« on: June 30, 2009, 11:27:51 am »
Well, title says it all.....

This is a continuation of a conversation in thread tat is offtopic when i asked romanovzky about something.

13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)

Have a looky. :D

Offline romanovzky

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 04:16:41 pm »
I'll be glad to join in a conversation about physics, maybe tomorrow I'll have a sneak peak at that article and comment some topics.

But I'll say something about quantum entanglement and the idea that some physicists don't believe in  quantum mechanics. This was a question posted by Darkpriest667:

Quote

my major isnt in science or physics.. Its actually history.. But perhaps you would care to explain how entanglement is possible... Seems entanglement and a few other things have really thrown the physics people into two groups... those that believe quantum physics and those that dont.

Quantum physics is not a thing you believe in or don't.

In the beginning it was a theoretical formulation that greatly explained prior problems in physics, and made new predictions, many of which are already experimentally proven. Hence is not a theory per se, is the best model and formalism we now have for explaining things at a micro scale (quantum level). So it's as valid as classical mechanics is when the former explains classical systems (falling bodies, projectile trajectories, etc).

Since physics is a Science (it follows the scientific method in which experimental validation plays the main role), then quantum mechanics is proven to be the best done so far (with amazing experimental success, contrary of some "ideas" spreading around in "books" and in the Internet).

To understand quantum mechanics you must have some bases on physics, although not difficult at all you can imagine why quantum mechanics courses are only at 3rd year of a BSc lever, near the end. So I'm trying not to go too deep in my explanations, anything you didn't get just say so I can clarify.

Entanglement is one of the spooky effects of quantum mechanics. The formalism of quantum mechanics gave birth to a group of predictions a little spooky, never intuitive nor obvious, that made people suspect the formalism. Not quantum mechanics! Einstein made seriously important breakthroughs  in quantum theory, although he was critical of the formalism because of some of the spooky effects. Experience, once again, proved Einstein (and many many many physicists at that time) wrong in their fears and strangeness about quantum mechanics.

Experience proved the formalism right (or at least not wrong).

And entanglement is just one of the spooky effects of quantum mechanics, it is experimental verified and theoretically explained. It states that the state of two particles born/created in the same reaction are bond to each other, and hence when you "see" one the other changes apparently faster than light.

It brings an apparent problem of violation of the causality principle (no information can move faster than light), but in entanglement there is no transmission of information that can verified à priori, then it is no violation of that principle.

Nevertheless, it is conceptually difficult to accept. But hey, quantum mechanics has this spooky effects that are experimentally verified, who are we to judge nature for its peculiar and strange phenomena?

The fact that we are not used to some ideas is not an argument for that ideas to be wrong. We are very used to our empirical knowledge of the world, but as we never lived at a quantum scale or (for example) at the speed of light it's natural that some conclusions and theoretical ideas seem absurd to us.

Then again, experimental validation is very important to clarify how nature works, instead of letting us "imagine" or "wish" how it would work with our prior knowledge.

odie

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2009, 08:53:15 pm »
I'll be glad to join in a conversation about physics, maybe tomorrow I'll have a sneak peak at that article and comment some topics.

I be looking forward to tat. :D

Then again, experimental validation is very important to clarify how nature works, instead of letting us "imagine" or "wish" how it would work with our prior knowledge.

romanovzky,

Wonder abt this: Have u ever wonder what if Newton's basic law is wrong?

Or if Einstein's basic E=MC^2 is wrong too?

What if there was an unknown X to the equation .......

Hence, sometimes, i wonder how much our 'prior knowledge' of stuff / things / nature / everything is valid...... (Remember the ancient days when ppl say earth was flat?) (Or those days when 'medicine' -> A most highly valued knowledge in Ancient Goody O Wise Egypt, was deciphered as having the need to mix urine / shit into herbs to make it work)......

A Few Good Mutons

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 03:15:36 pm »
Quote
Wonder abt this: Have u ever wonder what if Newton's basic law is wrong?

Or if Einstein's basic E=MC^2 is wrong too?

What if there was an unknown X to the equation .......
These things have been observed time and time again in rigorous experimentation.  Countless practical applications require them to be true, and validate them by functioning as predicted.

Offline shevegen

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2009, 02:38:42 am »
Quote
Or if Einstein's basic E=MC^2 is wrong too?

I do not want to discredit Einstein, however what I dislike is that the media has idolized Einstein so much that the claim is he was never wrong and always right.

Even if that would be the case - which IMO was not - such claims hinder research and new ideas, they stifle discussion and evolution of science. In general, by the way.

Take Darwin for example. Research has progressed a LOT after Darwin, but media still refers to Darwin and usually ignores modern day research. (And even if they *do* focus on Darwin they misquote or misattribute him often...)

odie

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2009, 07:20:22 am »
I do not want to discredit Einstein, however what I dislike is that the media has idolized Einstein so much that the claim is he was never wrong and always right.

Even if that would be the case - which IMO was not - such claims hinder research and new ideas, they stifle discussion and evolution of science. In general, by the way.

Take Darwin for example. Research has progressed a LOT after Darwin, but media still refers to Darwin and usually ignores modern day research. (And even if they *do* focus on Darwin they misquote or misattribute him often...)

*claps claps* YES!

I so agree. Esp many of the ppl debating evolution when Darwin himself discredited his own theory towards the end of his life.

And also, Einstein may be wonderful and ingenious, he is definately overly idolised. We keep forgetting many other insanely innovative and just as important scientists like Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin and so many others, whom if did not exist, we will not even have basic stuff like antibiotics, telephone and the basic of all appliances - electricity. Lol.

Offline romanovzky

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 10:05:18 am »
About the possibility of some laws being wrong.

As it was already argued, these laws have been tested experimentally over and over again. Physics is not mathematics: physics most take into account experiment.

Of course you can always argue that those same laws might not work in other cases, if that's the case we need to develop those laws and try to understanding them better, but in the end the "new version" most be in agreement with the cases already know.

Take for example de Schroedinger Equation. The equation doesn't come from anything, it is not a result of any calculation: it was constructed by hand with strong arguments. Why do we use it? It returns outstanding results for quantum mechanics AND returns classical mechanics in non quantum limits. So it is consistent and experimentally verified, hence it seems to be valid so far. But this same equation suffered a mutation little after it was born, when people made it relativistic they made the Dirac Equation, this one also is consistent and experimentally verified. As you can see things change but are always consisting with each other and with experimental data.

About Einstein. IMO, contrary to popular belief Einstein was not a super-human, he was an hard working physicist. Physics is a though subject, only really understandable through hard work and dedication. Nobody comes to this world knowing quantum mechanics, relativity, etc, in that way there are no "Genius" as the movies and tv portrait, "Genius" in physics is the same to say "hard working fellow".
Of course this is not the same as saying that it is equally easy or difficult for everybody, and in that matter I can assure you that Einstein was really clever about Physics, he had a really good intuition about the structure of physics. He was very good with ideas, much of them were only proven wrong or right many years latter from his death.

odie

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 10:30:00 am »
About Einstein. IMO, contrary to popular belief Einstein was not a super-human, he was an hard working physicist. Physics is a though subject, only really understandable through hard work and dedication. Nobody comes to this world knowing quantum mechanics, relativity, etc, in that way there are no "Genius" as the movies and tv portrait, "Genius" in physics is the same to say "hard working fellow".

Of course this is not the same as saying that it is equally easy or difficult for everybody, and in that matter I can assure you that Einstein was really clever about Physics, he had a really good intuition about the structure of physics. He was very good with ideas, much of them were only proven wrong or right many years latter from his death.

Nods nods, this one i super agree. Einstein was a super hardworking scientist with exceptional insights into the field of physics. This one is almost undisputable. :P

Then again, there still remains many things in science which are right majority of the time, but remains many 'exceptions to the rule'. Hehehehe......


Offline BTAxis

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2009, 06:39:02 pm »
And also, Einstein may be wonderful and ingenious, he is definately overly idolised. We keep forgetting many other insanely innovative and just as important scientists like Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin and so many others, whom if did not exist, we will not even have basic stuff like antibiotics, telephone and the basic of all appliances - electricity. Lol.

Well that's hard to say, isn't it? There is a tendency in science for things to appear given a certain amount of established knowledge. There are many cases of similar theories being developed at the same time by different people who had no contact with each other. Darwin and Newton are examples of this. Of course, in some cases (like electricity) new discoveries depended on sheer luck, but even so it seems likely people would have discovered them eventually in any event. So in that sense, I daresay that without the people mentioned, we might still be roughly where we are today, but through different people.

odie

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2009, 05:44:53 am »
Well that's hard to say, isn't it? There is a tendency in science for things to appear given a certain amount of established knowledge. There are many cases of similar theories being developed at the same time by different people who had no contact with each other. Darwin and Newton are examples of this. Of course, in some cases (like electricity) new discoveries depended on sheer luck, but even so it seems likely people would have discovered them eventually in any event. So in that sense, I daresay that without the people mentioned, we might still be roughly where we are today, but through different people.

Hey BT,

First of all, welcome back to the forums! :D I hope u have had good break from these forums. I saw ur patches coming in thru updates, and glad u have been active still! :D

And yupz, i agree with the ironies that if Einstein and the rest have not made the discoveries, for all we know, someone (s) else would. Maybe E=MC2 will be discovered and concluded by Miss Tinkerbell, while telephone might be invented by Mr Barren Obama. (No disrespect to anyone with same names, if so, its unfortunate that this is pure coincidence, and no harm intended.)

:D

Anyway, welcome back BT. :D

Offline poppadrake

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2009, 08:07:43 pm »
Any honest scientist is his own strictest critic, and peer review is his best friend.  Even accepted and proven laws are need to be constantly measured against each new possibility and situation.  Einstein was disturbed enough by the implications of his early proven work that he spent much of the rest of his later years working the math again and again to see if it would break down.  True science is more firmly established by increased scrutiny.

Offline Jeep-Eep

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 06:45:45 pm »
I'd think darwin is justly famous. Anyone who can figure out a theory that is still used 150 years later with no changes to the core ideas is pretty awsome. Not to mention he's one of the few greats of the time who wasn't a complete asshat. Sure, by modern standards, he was racist. But he was a paragon by the standards of the time. Abolitionist, you know. His familly was involved pretty heavily in the movement.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 10:46:05 pm by Jeep-Eep »

Offline Legendman3

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 07:45:02 pm »
What dosent make sense to me is that when i put hot fudge on my ice cream it hardens then i go jack off.

Offline romanovzky

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2010, 02:32:55 pm »
First of all let me apologize for not coming here in a long time, but my course has making me spent a lot of time studying, and when we need more time time to study it seems that time runs faster (another interpertation of relativity, joking).

What Darwin made was not that difficult, except for the part that he actually made it.

I'll give this as an example: the ancient greeks knew the earth whas flat, they even calculated with amazing precision (by that time's standards) the radius of earth. Never the less, european culture not only believed for many many ears the earth was flat but it was even a sin to say the contrary. But, if you think a bit there are many arguments in our daily lives that account for earth to be round: when you see a ship going through the horizon you see it "fall", when there are moon eclipses the shadow made by earth in the moon is round, etc etc

But even still people said it was flat. Why? Nobody cared to say otherwise, and hence it needs somebody to say it! The same applies to Darwin, he had the guts to do it, although he was afraid how society would recieve his ideas (and so he published them only in his late years).

We cannot criticized somebody to have said something new just because it was not really that hard, but those are to be admired in my opinion. The same goes for many scientists through out history.


Offline Prinegon

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Re: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense (In Science)
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2010, 06:12:08 am »
when there are moon eclipses the shadow made by earth in the moon is round,

Since a disc wouldn't throw a "round" shadow on another object? ;-P

What Darwin made was not that difficult, except for the part that he actually made it.

...Darwin, he had the guts to do it, although he was afraid how society would recieve his ideas (and so he published them only in his late years).

On the contrary, having the guts to do it isn't the great deal on this. Being able to break with believpattern however, is.
There are different kind of inventions one has to give different kind of credit. There are the ones that goes with the momentary flow of realization. Mainly theese inventions are improvements. Society is aware this kind of thing should be possible, or the demand for this improvement exists already, but at some point in the history someone actually sits down and works this out.
An example for this in my eyes is the DVD, eg. The technik of storing data on a disc was known to the world already, The CD already existed and it was already known how to "burn" a pattern of holes into the discs surface. The DVD is a real improvement, the advantage over the CD is really amazing, speaking in storage capacity. And I do in no means want to smallen the importance this invention was. All modern movie distribution would not have been possible without this technik. But mainly the DVD is an improved CD.

And there is the invention one does by himself all alone. For doing this one has to break with his pattern of thinking, with his believes, has to widen his horizon all by himself, because the thing he is to invent is not belived to be possible or plausible.

Darwins evolution therory belongs to this second kind of inventions. He had not only to have the guts to break with religion, he had to overcome the believesystem. He probably was educated in a christian believe, all his fellow did believe in a god, had to even realize there could be a need for research. If one says, the invention was trivial and his only effort had to be brave enough to do it, he does the mistake to value the invention from todays point of view. Someone with our education, with our view of things and our upbringing could come up with this therory quite easily, even if it wasn't done yet. But this was not true for Darwins timemates.
By the way are there many hints the evolution therory can't be entirely true. The theory leads to quite some paradoxa, like the missing of various mutations and subspecies between two related species. But probably someday one will improve this therory and will close the weak links in this theory. And for the people of that time that explanation will be totally obvious, too.