Physics, Reality & Subjectivity


The current state of Physics is such that it relies heavily on mathematics. We even have Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. That means the “mathematics” of Quantum Mechanics can be interpreted in other ways too. Quantum Mechanics may have some successful applications but it lacks overall interpretation that is fully consistent with reality.

Mathematics does make us aware of hidden relationships, which would not be obvious otherwise. But mathematics should not be confused with reality as pointed out in Mathematics and Reality.

Heavy reliance on mathematics actually started with Einstein’s theory of Relativity. Einstein was correct in establishing a relationship between space and time at the fundamental level; but that also meant that the units of space and time could no longer be used in an absolute and independent sense. By saying that these units themselves varied while still using them made space and time all the more confusing. It brought subjectivity into physics.

Einstein postulated that speed of light was a universal constant based on Maxwell’s equations, which showed that the such speed could depend only on certain physical properties of space (namely, permittivity and permeability). Einstein also declared that there was no aether based on Michaelson-Morley’s experiment, which could discover no evidence for “aether wind”.

This adds up to the classical understanding that the speed of wave depends entirely on the properties of the medium. By default, that medium for light appears to be space. However, this has been hard to accept because space has never been thought of as something material.

If material is thought of as being made up of atoms and molecules then space is definitely not that. The phenomenon of space and light somehow seems to involve a substance more basic than matter.

Let us postulate that light is a disturbance in space. It is the disturbed space, which appears to spread as light. There are physical properties involved here without anything material being present. This turns our current understanding of physics on its head. This gives rise to the disturbance theory.

The electromagnetic field is a physical reality, which is more fundamental than any material reality.

We now see electromagnetic field existing even in the absence of any material or charge. Its wavelength (a property of space) and period (a property of time) occur in a constant ratio per Einstein’s postulate of “constant speed of light”. The variable remaining then is the frequency (a property of energy). This gives us “space-time-energy” as related dimensions.

The theory of relativity gets into length contraction and time dilation because it is examining parts of the universe through other parts. This gets very confusing very fast because there are infinite frames of references all moving relative to one another. Relativity makes sense only when we examine the motion of a part of the universe relative to the motion of universe as a whole. Only then we can properly compare one part to another.

Besides, Einstein’s observer is dependent on the speed of light for its observation. Vision is only one of the many physical senses. All physical senses ultimately combine into the mental sense of abstraction, which is used by science.

The theory of Relativity gets into subjectivity by using the “speed of light” as the absolute basis for “observer”.

By making vision to be the absolute basis for his “observer” Einstein got involved into mathematics that was quite dissociated with reality.

It is the universe as a whole that provides a stable frame of reference. This can be treated adequately by the mental sense of abstraction, which is not limited by the “speed of light”. This reference frame is not absolute, but it is stable enough for the purposes of physics.

The next activity in theoretical physics should be to examine the relationship between spacetime and energy as taken up in Disturbance theory.


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