[ExI] Discontent with the path physics is taking

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Aug 17 23:38:32 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
Subject: Re: [ExI] Discontent with the path physics is taking

2011/8/17 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
>> ...  But even I see string theory as an exclusive playground of the top
level physicists.  They left me behind soon after general relativity was
discovered in the early 1900s...

>...Come on spike, you may remember the early days of the space program, but
I seriously doubt you were current on physics' state of the art in the early
1900's.  :)

Whaaat, you don't believe I am 130?


When one studies college sophomore physics, it is learning what Newton
discovered in the 1600s.  All you really need is calculus and differential
equations, you have the math you need.  Most physics and engineering
students never go past Newton really, all of it state of the art in the
1600s.  So most science and engineers are left behind around 1687.  The
chemists go into what was understood in the 1700s.  The later years of
engineering student may get some concepts that were 1800s, but if you take
modern physics, that first covers relativity, then radioactivity, which was
early 1900.  Quantum mechanics was 1930s-ish, along with expanding universe
radio spectrum cosmology, all state of the art in the 1930s and 40s.  

As far as understanding the theory is concerned, I don't really get anything
beyond about 1900, and really even that is a stretch: I may be able to use
the equations of general relativity for instance, but that inertial frame
dragging business, oy, how the hell can mass drag spacetime?  I don't grok,
even if I can spin the equations on my finger.  So theoretical physics left
me behind around 1900.  I don't get the math for multidimensional space-time
manifolds.  Quantum mechanics, string theory, forget it.


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