[Marxism] Fwd: Theories of Everything, Richard Feynman, and the Scale Dependence of Our Understanding of Reality

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 3 06:35:15 MDT 2015

The advent of quantum mechanics changed everything. When quantum 
mechanics is combined with relativity, it turns out, rather unexpectedly 
in fact, that the detailed nature of the physical laws that govern 
matter and energy actually depend on the physical scale at which you 
measure them. This led to perhaps the biggest unsung scientific 
revolution in the 20th century: We know of no theory that both makes 
contact with the empirical world, and is absolutely and always true. (I 
don’t envisage this changing anytime soon, string theorists’ hopes 
notwithstanding.) Despite this, theoretical physicists have devoted 
considerable energy to chasing exactly this kind of theory. So, what is 
going on? Is a universal theory a legitimate goal, or will scientific 
truth always be scale-dependent?


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