Monday, November 22, 2004

Mathematicians and Physicists Do is Perhaps Like Sculpture

"Science is that human activity in which we aim to show towards nature that respect that in a democracy we endeavor to show towards each other."

Smolin then goes on to write something interesting here. Many would have interpreted the discusion between Peter Woit's Blog and Lubos Motl's Blog, that rebels exist, but something more define I'd say in the way Smolin describes it. Arun too helps with a interesting link, that makes one wonder about the nature of numbers

But again in response to above quote, Smolin continues here below.

I must confess that I have never been able to find its source, but I have been thinking a lot about this quote recently. I hope I may be excused for using it unattributed. The stance of respect seems to me the necessary companion to the stance of the rebel, for respect signifies that we live out our lives inside an intricately structured and enormously complicated world, containing among myriads of other living creatures, many individuals like ourselves. For us human beings, the world we find ourselves in is comprised of nature, imagination and society. Science, art and politics are the ancient crafts by which we seek to understand and define our situation in these worlds. The stance of the rebel comes from the discovery that there is much in these worlds which is unacceptable. The stance of respect arises from another discovery, that to change the world requires that we acknowledge that each of our lives is but a brief moment in the vastly complicated networks of relationships that comprise our shared worlds.

It was important to me to try and find the sources of inspiration in terms of the inconsistancies of quantum mechanics and general relativity.

The first "attempt to combine the quantum theory with the theory of gravitation," which demonstrated that "in order to avoid an inconsistency between quantum mechanics and general relativity, some new features must enter physics," was made by Bronstein in 1935. That the Planck mass may be regarded as a quantum-gravitational scale was pointed out explicitly by Klein and Wheeler twenty years later. At the same time, Landau also noted that the Planck energy (mass) corresponds to an equality of gravitational and electromagnetic interactions.
Theoretical physicists are now confident that the role of the Planck values in quantum gravity, cosmology, and elementary particle theory will emerge from a unified theory of all fundamental interactions and that the Planck scales characterize the region in which the intensities of all fundamental interactions become comparable. If these expectations come true, the present report might become useful as the historical introduction for the book that it is currently impossible to write, The Small-Scale Structure of Space-Time.

Maybe the new book should be written by Lubos?

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