physicsAndMetaphysics.otl

physicsAndMetaphysics.otl - Overview 1. Physics:...

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Overview 1. Physics: 1. >Definition 2. > Study of basic structures and processes of change in matter and 3. > energy 4. Three Assumptions questioned in 20th century 1. 1) Newtonian Epistemology was realistic 1. Theories describe world as it is 1. Observer has no effect 2. "Primary Qualities" 1. Mass and velocity 2. Real absolute quantities 2. 2) Newtonian physics was deterministic 1. Future is predictable from current state 2. Governed by laws 3. 3) Newtonian outlook was reductionistic 1. Smallest parts' behavior determines the whole 2. Led to Deism 2. Quantum Theory 1. Wave-particle duality 1. 19th century introduced thoughts wrt waves 2. Photoelectric effect and diffraction patterns tell of duality! 3. Cannot calculate exact location electron will be 1. Just probability 2. Complementarity 1. Niels Bohr 1. Supported using sharply contrasting models 2. Always a subject and object, even for an atom 1. It is never in isolation 2. We are actors, not spectators 3. Subject's mind and perception is not what changes it 1. It's the actual process of observation!!! 3. Conceptual limitation of human understanding 1. Reciprocal limitation 1. Can consider something as a wave, or a particle 2. Can measure momentum or position accurately 3. Cannot use both 2. Quantum in real world 1. 1) Classical Realism 1. Object is independent 1. Has primary qualities 2. Conceptual models replcate unseeable aspects of world 3. Einstein 1. Thought Quantum incomplete since it could not do above 2. 2) Instrumentalism 1. Theories: practical tools for achieving technical control 1. Human constructs for making predictions 2. Not literal representations of world 3. 3) Critical Realism 1. Bohr 2. >Theories 3. > Limited aspects of the world as it interacts with us 1. Allow us to correlate diverse aspects of world 4. Goal of science: understanding, not control/prediction
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5. Complementarity, applies to the same object! 1. Different manifestations of the same atomic system 6. Abandon sharp separation of observer and the observed 3. Extend usage of Complementarity? 1. Science and religion by C. A. Coulson 1. "Complementary accounts of one reality" 4. Nahhhh 1. 1) Complementary refers to the same entity and logical type 2. 2) Analogical, not inferential outside of physics 1. Just cause it works in physics does not mean it works elsewhere 3. 3) Provides no justification for uncritical acceptance of dichotomies 1. Cannot be used just to avoid inconsistencies!!! 3. Indeterminancy 1. Quantum theory: predictions of probability 1. Eg can predict half-life, but not when each atom decays 2. Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle 1. More accurately you determine position of atom, less of momentum 1. And vice versa 3. What does it all mean then?? 1. 1) Uncertainty as Human Ignorance
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course RELI 4530 taught by Professor Power during the Spring '11 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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physicsAndMetaphysics.otl - Overview 1. Physics:...

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