Date: Jun 5, 2014 11:03 AM
Author: Sam Wormley
Subject: The Role of Mathematics and Rational Arguments in Science
The Role of Mathematics and Rational Arguments in Science
> Mathematics is so entwined with parts of science that is has become
> its de facto language. That is certainly true of physics where the
> mathematics is an integral part of our thinking. When two physicists
> discuss, the equations fly. This is still using mathematics as a
> tool, but a tool that is fully integrated in to the process of
> science. This has a serious downside. People who do not have a strong
> background in mathematics are to some extent alienated from science.
> They can have, at best, a superficial understanding of it from
> studying the translation of the mathematics into common language.
> Something is always lost in a translation. In translating topics like
> quantum mechanics?or indeed most of modern particle physics?that loss
> is large; hence nonsense like the ?God Particle?. There is no ?God
> Particle? in the mathematics, only some elegant equations and,
> really, considering their importance, quite simple equations. One
> hears question like: How do you really understand quantum mechanics?
> The answer is clear, study the mathematics. That is where the real
> meat of the topic and where the understanding is?not in some dreamed
> up metaphysics-like the many worlds interpretation.