Questioning the Foundations of Physics

Questioning the Foundations of Physics

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The essays in this book look at way in which the fundaments of physics might need to be changed in order to make progress towards a unified theory. They are based on the prize-winning essays submitted to the FQXi essay competition a€œWhich of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?a€, which drew over 270 entries. As Nobel Laureate physicist Philip W. Anderson realized, the key to understanding naturea€™s reality is not anything a€œmagicala€, but the right attitude, a€œthe focus on asking the right questions, the willingness to try (and to discard) unconventional answers, the sensitive ear for phoniness, self-deception, bombast, and conventional but unproven assumptions.a€ The authors of the eighteen prize-winning essays have, where necessary, adapted their essays for the present volume so as to (a) incorporate the community feedback generated in the online discussion of the essays, (b) add new material that has come to light since their completion and (c) to ensure accessibility to a broad audience of readers with a basic grounding in physics. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.This essay argues that only by dropping our assumption that the universe is a computer can we fully develop such models, ... (This essay was awarded third prize in the 2012 FQXi essay contest; a new afterword compares and contrasts thisanbsp;...

Title:Questioning the Foundations of Physics
Author: Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster, Zeeya Merali
Publisher:Springer - 2015-01-24

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