studiot

Do you have to be cleverer than Einstein to disprove his theories?

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Well there you have my question for discussion.

 

Do you have to be cleverer than Einstein to disprove his theories?

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26 minutes ago, studiot said:

Well there you have my question for discussion.

 

Do you have to be cleverer than Einstein to disprove his theories?

I think it won't happen; it will only be extended. You could be the same intelligence but just coming from a different angle at a problem, just as he did to Newton.

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38 minutes ago, studiot said:

Well there you have my question for discussion.

 

Do you have to be cleverer than Einstein to disprove his theories?

I don't really believe so. But one would I suggest be at least educated in that appropriate discipline and be familiar with whatever he or she is trying to come up with. Seredipity could also play a part. In reality even though Einstein's theory trumped Newton, does that mean he was cleverer then Newton? Perhaps what Newton said about standing on the shoulders of giants is relevant. Einstein in that scenario, had more shoulders to stand on.

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Thanks for the replies.

Here is my take on it.

Looking back over the centuries, there were a very large number of cases where the result of a practical experiment overturned conventional wisdom and thinking.

Sometimes the experiment was actually an accident as with Rutherford and the nucleus.

Sometimes the experimenter was up to the job of explaining what happened, as with Ruthrford, sometimes not as with Hertz and the photelectric effect.

The Great Men of their day were therefore more often than not forced by practical experimental results to particular conclusions, rather than by prior theorising.

 

So if and when Einstein is superceded, it may well be a practical anomaly like the one that led to Relativity in the first place, or the Quantum theory or the structure of the atom or........

Einstein's greatness was that he realised the significance of the results, as did Newton in his time, and Maxwell in his.

However you don't need to be so great to perform the crucial experiment, just a first class technician.

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47 minutes ago, beecee said:

I don't really believe so. But one would I suggest be at least educated in that appropriate discipline and be familiar with whatever he or she is trying to come up with. Seredipity could also play a part. In reality even though Einstein's theory trumped Newton, does that mean he was cleverer then Newton? Perhaps what Newton said about standing on the shoulders of giants is relevant. Einstein in that scenario, had more shoulders to stand on.

As we stand on each other's shoulders, indeed.

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1 hour ago, studiot said:

Do you have to be cleverer than Einstein to disprove his theories?

You mean expand not disprove, right? 

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1 hour ago, studiot said:

Well there you have my question for discussion.

 

Do you have to be cleverer than Einstein to disprove his theories?

No, you need an experiment.

Theories do not disprove other theories.  Experiments disprove theories.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, to answer your question.  You would need to understand what Einstein did, PLUS more to disprove anything.  That means being a bit more clever than Albert.

Edited by Airbrush

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30 minutes ago, Brett Nortj said:

As we stand on each other's shoulders, indeed.

Standing on the shoulder's of a dwarf will not get you very far. Newton obviously meant standing on the shoulders of giants...you know, other scientists, physicists etc, such as in his case Tycho Brahe, Galileo, Copernicus etc.....

24 minutes ago, koti said:

You mean expand not disprove, right? 

Bingo!

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10 hours ago, Airbrush said:

Yes, to answer your question.  You would need to understand what Einstein did, PLUS more to disprove anything.  That means being a bit more clever than Albert.

I disagree. You don't have to be as clever to understand what he did, and coming up with an experiment may or may not require the same cleverness.

Take EPR, for example. Einstein was proven wrong.

For GR, though, we aren't going to prove it wrong at this point. There is too much evidence that it's correct. All we will do is find some limitation on where/how it can be applied, which is true of all theories.

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1 hour ago, swansont said:

I disagree. You don't have to be as clever to understand what he did, and coming up with an experiment may or may not require the same cleverness.

Take EPR, for example. Einstein was proven wrong.

For GR, though, we aren't going to prove it wrong at this point. There is too much evidence that it's correct. All we will do is find some limitation on where/how it can be applied, which is true of all theories.

The EPR paradox as far as I know is a QM thought experiment by Einstein/Podolski/Rosen which was done at times when only limited knowledge of QM was available, it's far from being a theory so I think it wouldn't be fair to compare a failed thought experiment basing on incomplete data to a theory or even a hypothesis. As for expanding on Einsteins GR, I think the main problem physics is having right now is the measurement limitation - we would need to measure several orders of magnitude smaller scales than we currently can in order to find any tangible thread to pull by to start confirming any shortcomings in GR. This would imply that if being severely limited by not being able to experimentally confirm anything on or below the Planck scales, we need a mind equally potent to Einstein to figure out anything relevant in the current situation in physics. Edward Witten is considered by most physicists to be a far more potent mathematician than Einstein and equally as witty in the field of physics yet as far as I know he's hitting walls for the past 15 years or so. I would presume we will need someone equall or beyond Einsteins genius to be able to expand on General Relativity and QM, it seems to me a giant leap has to be made.

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12 minutes ago, koti said:

The EPR paradox as far as I know is a QM thought experiment by Einstein/Podolski/Rosen which was done at times when only limited knowledge of QM was available, it's far from being a theory so I think it wouldn't be fair to compare a failed thought experiment basing on incomplete data to a theory or even a hypothesis.  

If they had endorsed what QM predicted, they would most likely be hailed as predicting quantum entanglement. So does this mean he just wasn't clever enough to figure out a then-nebulous part of QM? But that's not the question at hand. Were the people that did figure out entanglement cleverer, or just beneficiaries of work done in the interim?

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13 hours ago, studiot said:

However you don't need to be so great to perform the crucial experiment, just a first class technician.

I agree. I would add that depending on the complexity of experiment it may require large funding and a large number of engineers. Examples for comparison: LIGO's Interferometer and CERN's LHC. 

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Part of my job is to poke holes in the very well thought out and constructed plans of others. They've done the hard work and put something together that was beyond my capabilities. Yet by looking at things from a different perspective and in my area of expertise, focusing on small details, I'm often able to find problems.

It took someone special to build Relativity. Any (relative) moron can toss stones at it to see if there are weaknesses.

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48 minutes ago, zapatos said:

 It took someone special to build Relativity. Any (relative) moron can toss stones at it to see if there are weaknesses.

There's a bit of a Catch-22 here. We wouldn't be prone to calling Einstein clever if GR had actually been disproven. If Eddington's solar eclipse data had debunked Einstein, for example. Or if Hafele and Keating had different gotten results.

So really the metric has to be if the people that have come up with experiments to test Einstein are clever than he, since, if there's new physics before we get to where we know GR will fail, we really don't know where that is — any new, higher-precision experiment could uncover it. (and since I am on a very long list of people that have tested GR in that way, I say the answer is no, you don't have to be cleverer than Albert)

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

It took someone special to build Relativity. Any (relative) moron can toss stones at it to see if there are weaknesses.

Many without a mainstream education in Physics think this lack gives them special intuitive powers that will allow them to show where Einstein was wrong. I don't say they're wrong to try, but I do think you should be well-educated before attempting to disprove a theory. There's usually a staggering amount of misunderstanding when clever people who didn't study the mainstream claim it's wrong.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Many without a mainstream education in Physics think this lack gives them special intuitive powers that will allow them to show where Einstein was wrong. I don't say they're wrong to try, but I do think you should be well-educated before attempting to disprove a theory. There's usually a staggering amount of misunderstanding when clever people who didn't study the mainstream claim it's wrong.

The more you know, the greater the appreciation of the achievements of people like Einstein and if people like Witten can''t change it, what chance have I? When people post up "paradigm-changing ideas" I ask "How many spliffs has he had?". :D

Edited by StringJunky

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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

When people post up "paradigm-changing ideas" I ask "How many spliffs has he had?". :D

I ask two questions, "At what point in school did you decide science was too hard, and which pop-sci article did you read years afterward that made a weird kind of sense because your imagination filled in all the parts you didn't study?"

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21 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Many without a mainstream education in Physics think this lack gives them special intuitive powers that will allow them to show where Einstein was wrong. I don't say they're wrong to try, but I do think you should be well-educated before attempting to disprove a theory. There's usually a staggering amount of misunderstanding when clever people who didn't study the mainstream claim it's wrong.

Agreed. I meant to imply by saying "any (relative) moron" that they were only morons relative to Einstein. You need to be well versed in physics to have any hope of successfully challenging some aspect of Relativity.

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1 minute ago, zapatos said:

Agreed. I meant to imply by saying "any (relative) moron" that they were only morons relative to Einstein.

Oh, I got that. I AM that relative moron, tbh. Still learning.

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Yes Zapatos, I got the pun and the sense. +1 Thanks fir the reply. +1

Ghideon,  thought about putting in something about modern day collective activity. Thanks for brinking it up +1

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, swansont said:

... Were the people that did figure out entanglement cleverer, or just beneficiaries of work done in the interim?

We had Feynman, Penrose a couple of Russians on the way and recently Hawking and Witten, they all worked with a whole lot more than each of their predecessors had available so I guess its the latter. Besides it gets harder the deeper we dig so its not fair to compare Einstein and say Witten recently. Nima Arkani Hamed seems to be the one talking most in the media about these things and his view seems to be equally clear as to that spacetime has got to go as he is clueless as to what to replace it with due to (please correct me if Im wrong) 11 orders of magnitude beyond what we can currently measure. Since I’m keen on finding out what makes gravity tick on the small scales before I die, I would rather see some great mind emerge and tackle this instead of just waiting for next generation of accelerators to go a few orders of magnitude higher in EV’s and create useless miniature black holes. 

7 hours ago, zapatos said:

Part of my job is to poke holes in the very well thought out and constructed plans of others. They've done the hard work and put something together that was beyond my capabilities. Yet by looking at things from a different perspective and in my area of expertise, focusing on small details, I'm often able to find problems.

It took someone special to build Relativity. Any (relative) moron can toss stones at it to see if there are weaknesses.

The only holes I can poke in are in the floor mat when I drop my dumbells. 

Edited by koti

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7 minutes ago, koti said:

The only holes I can poke in are in the floor mat when I drop my dumbells. 

It's not their fault. Dumbells have a bad reputation because people do stupid things with them. 

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5 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

It's not their fault. Dumbells have a bad reputation because people do stupid things with them. 

Yep, like getting people onto operating tables so I hear. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, koti said:

Besides it gets harder the deeper we dig

Does it?

 

Much as I don't like comparing people from different eras such as Louis and Lewis, Bannister and Geurrouj etc, I will compare Newton and Einstein.

Newton's work is definitely simpler for us, but was it simpler for him?
Not only did he have to invent the Physics, he also had to invent the Mathematics to express it.
Not even the equation had  been invented in Newton's day, he dealt in proportionality.

On the other hand although Einstein put forward some outstanding Physical insights, he developed no new Mathematics.

Edited by studiot

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