studiot

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

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18 minutes ago, studiot said:

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.

I think it does.

Its hard to do gradation and Newton might have been the biggest physics genius we’ve ever had but only relatively speaking...looking objectively, Newton’s infinitesimal calculus is childs play compared to the math which Edward Witten came up with in his work on supersymetry and quantum field theories. I think physics gets much harder when we go deeper down the rabbit hole.

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10 hours ago, swansont said:

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.

I think Special Relativity and Brownian Motion were more than enough to call Einstein clever even had GR been disproven.

Have you ever read Newton's Alchemy or Kepler's "music of the spheres" nonsense?  The mistakes are forgotten and don't tend to count against the genius of the great scientists.  The column most remember is the things they get right, and Einstein got plenty right without GR, just as Newton and Kepler also got plenty right in spite of some glaring errors.

 

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8 hours ago, MathGeek said:

I think Special Relativity and Brownian Motion were more than enough to call Einstein clever even had GR been disproven.

Have you ever read Newton's Alchemy or Kepler's "music of the spheres" nonsense?  The mistakes are forgotten and don't tend to count against the genius of the great scientists.  The column most remember is the things they get right, and Einstein got plenty right without GR, just as Newton and Kepler also got plenty right in spite of some glaring errors.

 

Right on the button +1

 

10 hours ago, koti said:

I think it does.

Its hard to do gradation and Newton might have been the biggest physics genius we’ve ever had but only relatively speaking...looking objectively, Newton’s infinitesimal calculus is childs play compared to the math which Edward Witten came up with in his work on supersymetry and quantum field theories. I think physics gets much harder when we go deeper down the rabbit hole.

You have totally missed my point.

Newton introduced the inverse square law and had nothing (mathematically) whatsoever to look back to. (despite the giants stuff).

There are all sorts of Newton's equations for this that and the other (eg in fluid mechanics, heat etc)

Witten has all the preceeding maths to work from.
Of course modern maths makes much of Newton's stuff look simple, but the greatness was in the ideas.
 

BTW I'm not a fan of Witten's hypotheses, what fundamental maths has he introduced?

 

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13 minutes ago, studiot said:

Right on the button +1

 

You have totally missed my point.

Newton introduced the inverse square law and had nothing (mathematically) whatsoever to look back to. (despite the giants stuff).

There are all sorts of Newton's equations for this that and the other (eg in fluid mechanics, heat etc)

Witten has all the preceeding maths to work from.
Of course modern maths makes much of Newton's stuff look simple, but the greatness was in the ideas.
 

BTW I'm not a fan of Witten's hypotheses, what fundamental maths has he introduced?

 

So whats your point and where does it contradict with my opinion that physics gets harder the more we discover?

You seem to miss my point...which is that relatively speaking Newtons contributions to math and physics are invaluable but when compared to modern physics and math the complexity is beyond of what Newton could have imagined. 
Edward Witten is the only physicist in history to receive the Fields Medal so its pretty safe to say he's a brilliant mathematician. I never claimed he introduced fundamental math, I just stated he invented math wich is more complex than what Newton came up with. 

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1 hour ago, koti said:

So whats your point and where does it contradict with my opinion that physics gets harder the more we discover?

 

You still haven't appreciated my point, and I am somewhat at a loss how to put it differently.

Equally I have no idea what you mean by relatively (other than the pun)?

But my point is that I don't like draw inference about the comparative greatness of A v B from what they did in vastly different circumstances.

I tried to give some examples from other walks of life.

For instance how do you compare the greatness of an amateur runner on an average day on an average track of the 1950s

with

The greatness of a modern professional runner equipped with very high tech clothing, training, diet, and energy return running track?

1 hour ago, koti said:



You seem to miss my point...which is that relatively speaking Newtons contributions to math and physics are invaluable but when compared to modern physics and math the complexity is beyond of what Newton could have imagined. 
Edward Witten is the only physicist in history to receive the Fields Medal so its pretty safe to say he's a brilliant mathematician. I never claimed he introduced fundamental math, I just stated he invented math wich is more complex than what Newton came up with. 

With respect, I honestly don't think you know enough to properly discuss complexity or new maths in that context.

If I use the long known Wallis formula to calculate pi to a trillion places have I done new or complex maths?

How about If I use Green's theorems to solve the energy flux in an engineering structure?
This would be an unconventional but feasible solution, is it therfore new maths? It would be a very complex way of going about the subject, at least as complex as anything Witten has done.

We like simplification in Maths, which is why Witten has the advantage over even Einstein, let alone Newton, of group theory.
During the 20th century group theory has come to the fore and pointed, particularly particle physics but many other areas as well, in the correct direction for further research, experiment and simplification/rationalisation of Physics.
He has truly stood on the shoulders of all the giants who have been involved in the linking of maths, previously thought just abstract, with the material Sciences.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, studiot said:

You still haven't appreciated my point, and I am somewhat at a loss how to put it differently.

As I am at a loss and I can only deduce that we are probably in agreement.

Quote

Equally I have no idea what you mean by relatively (other than the pun)?

Absolutely no pun... I mean that Newton's contributions to math are invaluable, he had a lot less to work with than what modern mathematicians and physicists have today, his contributions are one of the greatests achievments in science history alltogether and I'm by no means trying to take anything from Newton. The relative part pertains to the math and physics complexity which Newton and modern physicists have to deal with today - those complexities are quite different, here are a few of Edward Witten's contributions to pure mathematics:

- Jones Polynomial from Chern-Simons theory.

- Relationship between supersymmetric theories and Morse theory.

- Invariants of 4d manifolds, Seiberg-Witten invariants.

- Idea of TQFTs and mirror symmetry.

- Proof of positive energy theorem in general relativity.

Edward Witten made contributions to pure mathematics mainly in the area of geometry and topology.  His genius was in applying techniques from quantum field theories to low dimensional topology.

 

Quote

But my point is that I don't like draw inference about the comparative greatness of A v B from what they did in vastly different circumstances.

I tried to give some examples from other walks of life.

For instance how do you compare the greatness of an amateur runner on an average day on an average track of the 1950s

with

The greatness of a modern professional runner equipped with very high tech clothing, training, diet, and energy return running track?

Agreed, no question about it.

 

Quote

With respect, I honestly don't think you know enough to properly discuss complexity or new maths in that context.

You're absolutely right, my math knowledge is very limited. I can appreciate though, certain contributions and/or implications of those contributions to physics.

 

Quote

If I use the long known Wallis formula to calculate pi to a trillion places have I done new or complex maths?

How about If I use Green's theorems to solve the energy flux in an engineering structure?
This would be an unconventional but feasible solution, is it therfore new maths? It would be a very complex way of going about the subject, at least as complex as anything Witten has done.

No. Edward Witten's contributions to mathematics have nothing to do with the crudeness of calculating pi to a trillion places. 

Edited by koti

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22 minutes ago, koti said:

As I am at a loss and I can only deduce that we are probably in agreement.

OK try this

Which is it easier to do?

Light the fire in the grate

Keep the fire going once you have a roaring fire?

Which is a 'more complex' fire, the initial lighting or the fire you toast your sausages by?

Same with a car or an outboard engine or a mower, is it easier to start the engine or run it once it is going.

 

:)

It's getting started that's the hardest.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, studiot said:

OK try this

Which is it easier to do?

Light the fire in the grate

Keep the fire going once you have a roaring fire?

Which is a 'more complex' fire, the initial lighting or the fire you toast your sausages by?

Same with a car or an outboard engine or a mower, is it easier to start the engine or run it once it is going.

 

:)

It's getting started that's the hardest.

People like Edward Witten are trying to keep a lit fire going in heavy rain and heavy wind. You tell me is it easier to keep a fire going during a thunderstorm or light it up from scratch in dry sunny weather. 

Edited by koti

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12 minutes ago, koti said:

People like Edward Witten are trying to keep a lit fire going in heavy rain and heavy wind. You tell me is it easier to keep a fire going during a thunderstorm or light it up from scratch in dry sunny weather. 

Presumably you keep the fire going under the same conditions you light it, wet or dry, rough or smooth.

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6 minutes ago, studiot said:

Presumably you keep the fire going under the same conditions you light it, wet or dry, rough or smooth.

But thats not the case is it now. The measuring limit we have to deal with in accelerstors is just one example of the heavy wind and rain modern physicists and mathematicians face. I’m not trying to glorify Witten as the next Newton but his work is a bit more than your potrayal of him sitting in a chair calculating Pie.

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2 hours ago, koti said:

But thats not the case is it now. The measuring limit we have to deal with in accelerstors is just one example of the heavy wind and rain modern physicists and mathematicians face. I’m not trying to glorify Witten as the next Newton but his work is a bit more than your potrayal of him sitting in a chair calculating Pie.

I put it down to the language and the heat, but I have no idea what you are now talking about.

In any case I think we have digressed off topic enough by now.

So I will leave it at that.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, studiot said:

...I put it down to the language and the heat...

Really...

 Where exactly do you see the language issue? I’m not a native speaker but my command of the English language seems sufficient to cope with a lot more complex tasks than the posts in this thread. And its pleasantly warm here, not at all a problem. Unless, maybe...its really hot where you are? :P 

BTW everything we both wrote so far is very much on topic.

Edited by koti

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18 minutes ago, koti said:

Really...

 Where exactly do you see the language issue? I’m not a native speaker but my command of the English language seems sufficient to cope with a lot more complex tasks than the posts in this thread. And its pleasantly warm here, not at all a problem. Unless, maybe...its really hot where you are? :P 

It's scorchin'' here... 30+. When you are used to 15-20ish, with lots of clouds, this is a bit much. Not been like this since probably '83.

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 3:22 AM, 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.

That makes sense.  It takes a lot more cleverness to draw a road map than cleverness to merely read it.  Maybe someday something in Einstein's work may proven to be not absolutely true.  The person who discovers this is not necessarily "smarter" than Einstein, rather they just worked harder on an area that Einstein did not focus on.

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