Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories
ISBN/ASIN: 9780792309505,9789400961876 | 1984 | English | pdf | 196/202 pages | 4.81 Mb
Publisher: Springer Netherlands | Author: Nancy J. Nersessian (auth.) | Edition: 1
Einstein often expressed the sentiment that "the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility," and that science is the means through which we comprehend it. However, nearly every one – including scientists – agrees that the concepts of modem physics are quite incomprehensible: They are both unintelligible to the educated lay-person and to the scientific community itself, where there is much dispute over the interpretation of even (and especially) the most basic concepts. There is, of course, almost universal agreement that modem science quite adequately accounts for and predicts events, i. e. , that its calculations work better than those of classical physics; yet the concepts of science are supposed to be descriptive of 'the world' as well – they should enable us to comprehend it. So, it is asked, and needs tobe"asked: Has modem physics failed in an important respect? It failed with me as a physics student. I came to physics, as with most naIve students, out of a desire to know what the world is really like; in particular, to understand Einstein's conception of it. I thought I had grasped the concepts in classical mechanics, but with electrodynamics confusion set in and only increased with relativity and quantum mechanics. At that point I began even to doubt whether I had really understood the basic concepts of classical mechanics.