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Contests Home

Current Essay Contest


Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discusswinners

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discusswinners

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.
read/discusswinners

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discusswinners

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Luigi Foschini: on 4/20/15 at 8:32am UTC, wrote Thank you very much for your kind post.

vincent douzal: on 4/17/15 at 22:06pm UTC, wrote Dear Luigi, Congratulations for your essay, With very sound ideas,...

Joe Fisher: on 4/3/15 at 16:27pm UTC, wrote I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about...

Luigi Foschini: on 2/27/15 at 7:55am UTC, wrote Thank you for your nice... and abstract post!

Sujatha Jagannathan: on 2/26/15 at 17:18pm UTC, wrote Yes, your trick is deviated from the truth. Sadly, Miss. Sujatha...

Koorosh Shahdaei: on 2/23/15 at 11:34am UTC, wrote Dear Luigi, Thank you for your contribution, I have brought up this...

basudeba mishra: on 2/23/15 at 11:16am UTC, wrote Dear Sir, Though after starting well you deviated from the topic, still it...

adel sadeq: on 2/22/15 at 18:26pm UTC, wrote Dear Luigi, I think you misunderstood the purpose of the...


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FQXi FORUM
September 26, 2021

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: The scientific construction of the world by Luigi Foschini [refresh]
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Author Luigi Foschini wrote on Feb. 20, 2015 @ 21:38 GMT
Essay Abstract

There is no mysterious link between mathematics and physics, because both of them are human inventions designed to study the world.

Author Bio

Tenured Researcher at INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Merate, Italy). I work mainly on active galactic nuclei and relativistic jets.

Download Essay PDF File

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Vesuvius Now wrote on Feb. 20, 2015 @ 23:46 GMT
"As Niels Bohr wrote, physics is

not the study of something given, but rather the development of methods to organise

and to measure the human experience [2]."

If that's true, then all we ask of science is to explain correlations in our inter-subjective reality, and not objective reality.

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Feb. 22, 2015 @ 13:59 GMT
Well, I don't like the words subjective-objective reality: things are much more complex than this easy dichotomy. But more or less I can say that - yes - we build the world by inter-subjective correlations. I can also cite more of his words:

It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is.

Physics concerns what can we say about nature.


reported by A. Petersen, "The philosophy of Niels Bohr", The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 1963, p. 8.

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adel sadeq wrote on Feb. 22, 2015 @ 18:26 GMT
Dear Luigi,

I think you misunderstood the purpose of the contest. The question being asked is why do you think that mathematics(in physics) seems to represent physical reality(not physics) faithfully.

Also you said

"It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is."

Why? Physics is NOT like asking where does god come from.

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basudeba mishra wrote on Feb. 23, 2015 @ 11:16 GMT
Dear Sir,

Though after starting well you deviated from the topic, still it is interesting reading. We have extended your ideas.

Wittgenstein’s definition of thinking is correct, but too sketchy, which you have elaborated. Thinking is a conscious action. Perception requires prior measurement of multiple aspects or fields and storing the result of measurement in a centralized system...

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Koorosh Shahdaei wrote on Feb. 23, 2015 @ 11:34 GMT
Dear Luigi,

Thank you for your contribution, I have brought up this question in the forum before, and also would like to ask your opinion in this regard. If we consider general relativity for spacetime curvature around mass (stellar bodies) that causes gravitational lensing, then I would argue for the plasma or dust that exists around luminous stars, and this plasma or dust regardless of its charge would bend the electromagnetic wave as the density of the plasma gets higher when getting closer to the star, which in its turn causes refraction of the light. This was not even touched in general relativity and no corrections are considered either. This means that explaining a physical phenomenon by math doesn’t necessarily tells us the whole story. This is also addressed in my article.

Kind Regards

Koorosh

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Sujatha Jagannathan wrote on Feb. 26, 2015 @ 17:18 GMT
Yes, your trick is deviated from the truth.

Sadly,

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 3, 2015 @ 16:27 GMT
I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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vincent douzal wrote on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 22:06 GMT
Dear Luigi,

Congratulations for your essay,

With very sound ideas, clearly stated. I feel very much at home with your exposition.

I completely adhere to your position that we interpret changes of state (information) as signs, that empirical facts do not speak by themselves, nor really exist by themselves, but as a result of an interpretation.

You would probably...

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Apr. 20, 2015 @ 08:32 GMT
Thank you very much for your kind post.

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