# Are there Universal Laws? Can you break them?

## Recommended Posts

An axiom is a proposition regarded as self-evidently true without proof. The word "axiom" is a slightly archaic synonym for postulate. Compare conjecture or hypothesis, both of which connote apparently true but not self-evident statements.

How does that apply to the triangle inequality and the Physical laws that flow from it?

Is it because the triangle inequality is not self evident?

Look at that; there is another level of description "a conjecture". What is that?

Merriams dictionary defines Conjecture (archaic definition not included).

2

a : inference from defective or presumptive evidence
b : a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork
c : a proposition (as in mathematics) before it has been proved or disproved

Edited by Robittybob1

##### Share on other sites

An axiom is a proposition regarded as self-evidently true without proof. The word "axiom" is a slightly archaic synonym for postulate. Compare conjecture or hypothesis, both of which connote apparently true but not self-evident statements.

Is it because the triangle inequality is not self evident?

Look at that; there is another level of description "a conjecture". What is that?

Merriams dictionary defines Conjecture (archaic definition not included).

I wouldn't know but I can tell you that The Sausage Conjecture has been tested beyond 42 dimensions and found to hold true, although it does not hold true at some lower dimensions.

Reference Conjecture : Toth

Most recent test Betke, Henk and Wills

##### Share on other sites

Look at that; there is another level of description "a conjecture". What is that?

Merriams dictionary defines Conjecture (archaic definition not included).

The third definition is the one that seems most relevant. A simple example is the Goldbach Conjecture (which there is a current thread on): Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.

This seems to be true (it is true for every value that has been tested) but no one has yet managed to prove (or disprove) it. One would imagine that a simple statement like that would be easy to prove. But apparently not.

##### Share on other sites

How does that apply to the triangle inequality and the Physical laws that flow from it?

The fact that ZF is well-founded, accepted foundation for virtually all mathematics does not and cannot rule out the future possibility of other set theories/model theories which together can also create a foundation for a different mathematics.

I would provide historical (far far simpler) examples - the belief that all objects were once seen to obey commutative law, the root of -1, irrational numbers, abstract algebra, and the parallel postulate. Any change would be on a far more complex level that these examples and it is possible the human race might never get there - but we cannot rule it out.

We already have satellites whose purpose is to measure by how much if at all the angles of a celestial triangle vary from 180 degrees - it's a triangle equality rather than inequality but it was founded on a postulate which was later superseded

##### Share on other sites

The fact that ZF is well-founded, accepted foundation for virtually all mathematics does not and cannot rule out the future possibility of other set theories/model theories which together can also create a foundation for a different mathematics.

I would provide historical (far far simpler) examples - the belief that all objects were once seen to obey commutative law, the root of -1, irrational numbers, abstract algebra, and the parallel postulate. Any change would be on a far more complex level that these examples and it is possible the human race might never get there - but we cannot rule it out.

We already have satellites whose purpose is to measure by how much if at all the angles of a celestial triangle vary from 180 degrees - it's a triangle equality rather than inequality but it was founded on a postulate which was later superseded

With all due respect, I think that is like throwing the bathwater out with the baby.

Just because there is a new baby it doesn't necessarily invalidate the bathwater.

There was indeed a time, before negative numbers, where the equation x + 3 = 0 had no solution.

But the introduction of negative numbers did not invalidate the known solution to x - 3 = 0.

##### Share on other sites

The are laws of gravity and physics and some others and we are not able to break them by now because we think that they are absolute so we design things accordingly which can never break those laws,

So to break the laws we have to make new stuff which don't follow them from the start

and yeah there may be many consequences to that

##### Share on other sites

With all due respect, I think that is like throwing the bathwater out with the baby.

Just because there is a new baby it doesn't necessarily invalidate the bathwater.

There was indeed a time, before negative numbers, where the equation x + 3 = 0 had no solution.

But the introduction of negative numbers did not invalidate the known solution to x - 3 = 0.

when you say there was a time before we knew about negative numbers we must have known about subtraction.

Even Neanderthals would have known if you see 4 bison and kill one you have 3 left. Is that -1 a negative number?

So isn't 3 - 3 = 0 a solution (3 minus 3 = zero. the minus 3 is that a negative number?

I doubt if the Neanderthals would think of this: If they kill 5 bison when there obviously only 4. Deep in the cave that night Big Chief asks: "How come you killed 5 bison when there was only 4?" Hunter replies: "No problem that's because there is negative 1 bison left out there".

Edited by Robittybob1

##### Share on other sites

The are laws of gravity and physics and some others and we are not able to break them by now because we think that they are absolute so we design things accordingly which can never break those laws,

What exactly do you mean by "laws"? As understood in this thread, the "laws of physics" are our mathematical descriptions of them. These can, as the example given show, be "broken"; i.e. they are not always correct.

What do you mean by laws that we are not able to break? Do you just mean the existence of gravity? Or what?

So to break the laws we have to make new stuff which don't follow them from the start

What does that mean?

##### Share on other sites

What exactly do you mean by "laws"? As understood in this thread, the "laws of physics" are our mathematical descriptions of them. These can, as the example given show, be "broken"; i.e. they are not always correct.

What do you mean by laws that we are not able to break? Do you just mean the existence of gravity? Or what?

What does that mean?

Anti-gravity technology maybe possible in the future. What changes to the laws would we have to make to account for this futuristic idea?

Personally if humans did it we would make antigravity a separate case and account for it. It would not change the existing laws IMO.

##### Share on other sites

Anti-gravity technology maybe possible in the future. What changes to the laws would we have to make to account for this futuristic idea?

If we knew the answer to that, it would be possible now.

Personally if humans did it we would make antigravity a separate case and account for it. It would not change the existing laws IMO.

I don't think it would be a separate case, but obviously we would need modified laws to describe it.

##### Share on other sites

With all due respect, I think that is like throwing the bathwater out with the baby.

Just because there is a new baby it doesn't necessarily invalidate the bathwater.

There was indeed a time, before negative numbers, where the equation x + 3 = 0 had no solution.

But the introduction of negative numbers did not invalidate the known solution to x - 3 = 0.

Bif of a strawman I never said invalidate I said supersede and my example of SR must have made it clear that I believe use remained in the former as well as the latter.

A universal law based on mathematics will hold only as long as its axiomata are agreed/correct to the best of our understanding. With your example the prior axiomata included that the positive naturals were the only answers considerable, in the latter version a more useful answer is obtained because our axiomata have been changed. That is my point exactly - your rule was inviolate but limited; an endrun around the limitation was found and the rule fell into disuse. We cannot say that will not continue to happen

##### Share on other sites

Bif of a strawman I never said invalidate I said supersede and my example of SR must have made it clear that I believe use remained in the former as well as the latter.

A universal law based on mathematics will hold only as long as its axiomata are agreed/correct to the best of our understanding. With your example the prior axiomata included that the positive naturals were the only answers considerable, in the latter version a more useful answer is obtained because our axiomata have been changed. That is my point exactly - your rule was inviolate but limited; an endrun around the limitation was found and the rule fell into disuse. We cannot say that will not continue to happen

No, I'm sorry, it is you who is missing my point.

Of course later knowledge will, in general, take us further.

That is the nature of progress.

However later knowledge may add to, replace or disprove existing knowledge.

I gained the distinct impression you were only considering the last mentioned case.

I have been the only poster with a nose above the parapet offering something (in Physics as requested) that may never be proved incorrect.

Can we please discuss that without the steamroller effect?

Edited by studiot

##### Share on other sites

No, I'm sorry, it is you who is missing my point.

Of course later knowledge will, in general, take us further.

That is the nature of progress.

However later knowledge may add to, replace or disprove existing knowledge.

I gained the distinct impression you were only considering the last mentioned case.

I have been the only poster with a nose above the parapet offering something (in Physics as requested) that may never be proved incorrect.

Can we please discuss that without the steamroller effect?

We would need to apply logic laws.

Quite interesting to see the discussion develop. I'm just keeping my head down out of the firing line.

##### Share on other sites

Of course later knowledge will, in general, take us further.

That is the nature of progress.

However later knowledge may add to, replace or disprove existing knowledge.

I gained the distinct impression you were only considering the last mentioned case.

Exactly what i had in my mind from the start.

Sometimes we have to change or modify the current set of laws in order to get the new discovered things to fit in without making the current knowledge or sometimes we have to make a completely new theory to define the new discovered behavior.

##### Share on other sites

Exactly what i had in my mind from the start.

Sometimes we have to change or modify the current set of laws in order to get the new discovered things to fit in without making the current knowledge or sometimes we have to make a completely new theory to define the new discovered behavior.

I would say that teamwork is important too. I watched a documentary on Einstein and he had according to it help from brilliant physicians and mathematicians in order to come up with his GR and SR formulas.

The recent gravitational wave discovery was the effort of a huge team of up to 1000 scientists. Sending spacecraft on voyages of discovery will be the culmination of 10s of thousands of individuals.

I would say get involved with a good team.

##### Share on other sites

Sometimes we have to change or modify the current set of laws in order to get the new discovered things to fit in without making the current knowledge or sometimes we have to make a completely new theory to define the new discovered behavior.

I think that is pretty obviously true, from looking at the history of science and the fact that nearly all theories have a limited range of applicability.

I would say that teamwork is important too. I watched a documentary on Einstein and he had according to it help from brilliant physicians and mathematicians in order to come up with his GR and SR formulas.

Yep, the "lone maverick scientist" is pretty much an invention of science fiction (and people who post their personal theories on science forums).

##### Share on other sites

....

Yep, the "lone maverick scientist" is pretty much an invention of science fiction (and people who post their personal theories on science forums).

On the forum you get the same chance of having a small team (some help and others peer review). Progress is slow but it still isn't impossible.

Edited by Robittybob1

## Create an account

Register a new account