The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » sci.math.* » sci.math

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: What Physics Is
Replies: 2   Last Post: Nov 7, 2013 2:16 AM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Tom Potter

Posts: 497
Registered: 8/9/06
Re: What Physics Is
Posted: Nov 6, 2013 12:45 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

About 2500 years ago,
the Greeks were exposed to the Phoenicians alphabet
and they were fascinated that it could be used to
create words, that matched sounds, that modeled observations,

and they began examine the relationships
between words and observations.

[ The Phoenicians created and used their alphabet as a means of
remembering how to ask for water, food and sex
during their trading ventures,

and as the Greeks were mainly goat herders
who had lots of leisure time,
they focused on the use of words and numbers
and their relationships to shared observations.]

This lead to philosophy,
which examines the relationship between observations and reality.

Pythagoreanism, which was an effort to
understand the future based on numbers and cycles,
originated about the same time,
and was used to fork philosophy into what is now called physics.

These two fields dominated the minds of inquiring folks,
until Newton and others showed that math models
could be used to generate numbers that modeled SOME of the the past
and SOME future observations.

The bottom line is that the Greek philosophers,
were basically working to create a good DICTIONARY,
[ Word to observation]

and the Pythagoreans were basically working to correlate
numbers and observations,

and the merging of the two to model past observations,
and some examples of future observations,
came to be called physics.

As physicists have a hard time getting laid,
and winning at the race track and in the markets,
it appears that little useful knowledge of future events
can be obtained using physics when sentient beings are involved.

Tom Potter

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.