• Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.


New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback


(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

149 submissions , 124 unreviewed
4,015 questions , 1,439 unanswered
4,921 answers , 20,948 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
532 active unimported users
More ...

  Could the laws governing the fundamental forces of nature be inferred mathematically from some basic and simple assumptions?

+ 0 like - 0 dislike

The fundamental forces of nature include Gravity, Electromagnetism, and so on. The laws governing these basic forces of nature are typically conclusions based on repeated scientific experiments and observations over many years and which have become accepted universally within the scientific communities. Mathematically and based on the principle of general covariance, the laws governing the fundamental forces are usually expressed in terms of tensor fields.

Now the question is: "why do the fundamental forces acting on the universe (which cause all the movements and interactions) manifest in the way, shape, and form they do?", and  "could the laws governing the fundamental forces of nature be inferred (uniquely) from some basic and simple assumptions?"

asked Sep 16, 2016 in Chat by PJ [ no revision ]
recategorized Sep 16, 2016 by Arnold Neumaier

2 Answers

+ 1 like - 0 dislike

I don't think anybody knows how the laws of nature can be inferred *uniquely* from a set of basic assumptions, since that would correspond to knowing the TOE, wouldn't it? However, a usual procedure in QFT is to write down a "reasonably simple" Lagrangean functional which respects all the "basic and simple" symmetries which we assume to be universally valid, but at the same time is rich enough to contain the physics we want to describe (i.e., contains all the abelian&nonabelian, bosonic&fermionic fundamental fields necessary to produce the desired particle content). One is then left with a set of model parameters (like coupling constants, mixing angles, bare masses in the Standard Model). One almost never tries to guess the equations of nature in terms of equations of motion for the tensor (or spinor) fields from the start, since that would usually be much more difficult to do in a covariant way. So, the simple starting point that you are looking for might be the Lagrangean of your field theory.

Hope this helped.  

answered Sep 20, 2016 by Dierk Bormann (70 points) [ no revision ]
+ 0 like - 2 dislike

The answer is "No."

First of all, the nature is not mathematics and is not described with mathematics. It is we who try to describe it with mathematics for our practical purposes. And we, human beings, cannot distinguish fine differences in similar events/things, so we consider different things as the same. Now counting becomes possible.  We can count apples despite their differences. You see, we oversimplify things to be countable; otherwise we get all things different and no math is applicable.

The answer might be "Yes" if you oversimplify things.

answered Oct 26, 2016 by Vladimir Kalitvianski (32 points) [ no revision ]

Your answer

Please use answers only to (at least partly) answer questions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
This is the answer box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.

user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights