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Why are alternate formalisms to physical phenomena altogether bad?

 

For instance I don't know how to model energy, or energetic interactions. Could you use just a graph really.

 

In terms of chemistry this is more interesting though. Why cant you try some alternate system to describe an atom, or polyatomic systems? Giving conservation laws couldn't I just try to model these interactions as noise on a number line. I mean if its regular or periodic in any way I would think this could yield patterns.

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I know a bit about modeling, and I don't have a clue what you're talking about.

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Why are alternate formalisms to physical phenomena altogether bad?

 

There's nothing wrong with an alternative formalism, providing it makes predictions of physical phenomena, and improves on the original. IOW if it aint broke, don't fix it.

 

For instance I don't know how to model energy, or energetic interactions. Could you use just a graph really.

 

Well a graph is mathematical. However, if you do plot a bunch of data, and find a trend or pattern, a mathematical model that predicts that behaviour would surely be more beneficial i.e I plug a value in, and get a result...but surely that's what you'd be striving for, once you've gathered your data.

 

It might help, if you gave more solid examples.

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Why are alternate formalisms to physical phenomena altogether bad?

 

Are you thinking about describing physical phenomena without mathematics or are you talking about re-formulations of theories?

 

Without mathematics I think one could not go beyond "stamp collecting". That is you could have rough classifications and long lists but there would be little order or understanding.

 

Re-formulations are very important in physics, as well as pure mathematics. It can be useful to have more than one approach to something.

 

Sometimes approaches can be crude but easy to use or sophisticated but difficult to use. For example, in nuclear physics we have crude bag models and non-relativistic potential models. These can describe parts of nuclear physics well, but it is believed that the fundamental theory here is QCD which is technically difficult to work with.

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