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why do the laws of science apply?


taylrl
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I asked this question to somebody once, and their answer was that they dont, all we can say is that the have in the past. does this mean that theoretically we could say that the whole of existance could just disintegrate at any given moment?

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You're question is pretty confusing and you seem to be talking about several things at once...

 

However, your friend is wrong. The laws of science always apply. the problem is, is that we haven't discovered them all. The search continues for a comprehensive theory of everything, that can unite Classical and Quantum physics and basically make sense of the universe. Some people think that this theory is called "God."

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ok ill try again to explain....

 

Why do any of the laws of science, be them from classical or qauntum physics, biology, or chemistry?

 

His answer was that they dont apply per se, all we can say is that they have done in the past. This implies, that there is a possibility, (albeit unbelievably miniscule) that everything could just disintegrate.

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ok ill try again to explain....

 

Why do any of the laws of science' date=' be them from classical or qauntum physics, biology, or chemistry?

 

His answer was that they dont apply per se, all we can say is that they have done in the past. This implies, that there is a possibility, (albeit unbelievably miniscule) that everything could just disintegrate.[/quote']

Yep. You´d better confess your sins now.

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His answer was that they dont apply per se, all we can say is that they have done in the past. This implies, that there is a possibility, (albeit unbelievably miniscule) that everything could just disintegrate.

 

So, this is true, but because the laws of science have always applied in the past, we have to assume they will continue to supply. It's one of the axioms of science, I believe. Otherwise, everything we do in science is moot.

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taylrl,

 

That the laws of science apply everywhere and everywhen is an assumption of science as a methodological framework. Since no formal system can explain its own axioms, there is no scientific answer as to why this must be the case. It is accepted provisionally and will continue to be accepted until something is found to be wrong with it.

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Do some laws and constants of the Universe vary depending on the scenario or perspective in which you view them? The reason I ask is I heard that some physicists now believe that the speed of light had a different value in the past.

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Do some laws and constants of the Universe vary depending on the scenario or perspective in which you view them? The reason I ask is I heard that some physicists now believe that the speed of light had a different value in the past.

 

The second postulate of special relativity:

 

The laws of physics are the same in any inertial (that is, non-accelerated) frame of reference. This means that the laws of physics observed by a hypothetical observer traveling with a relativistic particle must be the same as those observed by an observer who is stationary in the laboratory.

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Do some laws and constants of the Universe vary depending on the scenario or perspective in which you view them? The reason I ask is I heard that some physicists now believe that the speed of light had a different value in the past.

 

You heard right, that is certainly true

one of those who has studied the variable speed of light (VSL) theories is Joao Magueijo.

 

recently he has not been working on that so much, maybe interest in those theories is declining.

 

I don't know---never was much interested in VSL cosmology.

 

Abs, do you use WIKIPEDIA? they probably have something about varying speed of light cosmology. I dont know for sure, but I think it is likely.

 

Also have you learned how to look stuff up on ARXIV.ORG?

 

check this out

http://arxiv.org/find

 

If you simply put VSL into the "abstract" blank and press search you get a couple dozen VSL papers including some by John Barrow (Cambridge) and Magueijo (Blackett Lab, Imperial College London)

I think Magueijo is British even tho the name is Portuguese. In any case he is world class bright and still fairly young----doing creative work.

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Another frontier of physics where there is a variable speed of light is DSR doubly special relativity.

 

that is becoming a hot research area, or has become in the past 2 or 3 years.

 

there will be a session devoted mostly to that at the big international conference on general relativity this summer in Berlin----the conference called MG11.

 

the idea in DSR is very different from VSL cosmology.

 

In DSR there is a universal unchanging constant called c which is the approximate speed of most light.

 

but ultrahigh energy photons like in Gamma Ray Bursts, are theorized to travel just a tiny wee bit faster.

 

A satellite observatory called GLAST (gammaray large array space telescope) is scheduled for launch in 2007 and will be used to test for DSR effects.

 

You can probably find DSR papers the same way, on arxiv.org.

 

DSR is the unintended consequence of certain quantum gravity theories. Like, the theory looks good in a lot of ways as a quantum theory of spacetime geometry and gravity----but the guy can't make it work unless he allows extremely energetic photons to travel not at exactly c but rather at (very roughly just to illustrate)

1.00000000000000000001 c

 

I know this sounds really bizarre, but that is how it is----this idea has come up and it needs to be tested. If the test is negative it will help by shooting down some of the quantum gravity theories. (Science progresses by empirically falsifying theories, most theories eventually get rejected, so that's OK)

If the GLAST test is positive, all hell will break loose.

 

this is very different from VSL cosmology, that Magueijo used to work on.

 

 

Gammarays powerful enough to show this DSR effect are the result of big explosions and they never get down thru the atmosphere. the Glast satellite will be looking for a slight skew in the spike of an explosion----where after a bunch of photons have been traveling for a billion years, the more energetic ones are just slightly out in front of the others, and arrive just a millisecond earlier.

 

so the fraction faster than c that they have traveled is as one millisecond compared to a billion years-----a very small fraction faster than c.

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Joao Miguelo wrote a nice popular book about this called "Faster than the Speed of Light." It is a great read, even just to learn regular einsteinian physics. Its divided into two parts, Einstein, then VSL. I reccomend it highly.

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