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On Theoretical Physics . . .

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“…the axiomatic basis of theoretical physics cannot be extracted from experience but must be freely invented.”

Albert Einstein


“Physics constitutes a logical system of thought which is in a state of evolution, whose basis (principles) cannot be distilled, as it were, from experience by an inductive method, but can only be arrived at by free invention. The justification (truth content) of the system rests in the verification of the derived propositions (a priori/logical truths) by sense experiences (a posteriori/empirical truths).  …Evolution is proceeding in the direction of increasing simplicity of the logical basis (principles).  …We must always be ready to change these notions — that is to say, the axiomatic basis of physics — in order to do justice to perceived facts in the most perfect way logically.”

(Albert Einstein, Physics and Reality, 1936)


“The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them.”

(Albert Einstein, 1918)


“It is the grand object of all theory to make these irreducible elements (axioms/assumptions) as simple and as few in number as possible, without having to renounce the adequate representation of any empirical content whatever.”

(Albert Einstein, 1954)


“The development during the present century is characterized by two theoretical systems essentially independent of each other: the theory of relativity and the quantum theory. The two systems do not directly contradict each other; but they seem little adapted to fusion into one unified theory. For the time being we have to admit that we do not possess any general theoretical basis for physics which can be regarded as its logical foundation.”

(Albert Einstein, 1940)


“If, then, it is true that the axiomatic basis of theoretical physics cannot be extracted from experience but must be freely invented, can we ever hope to find the right way? I answer without hesitation that there is, in my opinion, a right way, and that we are capable of finding it. I hold it true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.”

(Albert Einstein, 1954)


“Physical laws should have mathematical beauty.”

Paul A. M. Dirac


“It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is.
Physics concerns what we can say about nature.”

Niels Bohr


“The main goal of physics is to describe a maximum of phenomena
with minimum of variables.”

CERN Courier


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Written by suppiya

กรกฎาคม 2, 2007 ที่ 9:04 am

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