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Saturday lecture and forum

The Philosopher’s Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room
Teachco course number 4253
Professor Patrick Grim, State University of New York at Stony Brook
24 lectures: June[masked] - November[masked]

Each 30 min video lecture is followed by one hour long moderated discussion. Attendance is open. New members are welcome!

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  • James I D.

    Leonard, it will be very difficult to overturn particle physics because it is fundamental to the standard model. Nevertheless, there is a rebel movement in physics to abandon the particle theory and replace it with a relational theory--an ancient idea going back to Leibniz. I say lot's a luck! But anyway, the rebel argument goes something like this: Particles are not things at all but rather are excitations in a quantum field, the modern successor of classical fields such as the magnetic field. But fields, too, are paradoxical.

    If neither particles nor fields are fundamental, then what is? The rebels think that the world, at root, does not consist of material things at all but rather of relations or of properties, such as mass, charge and spin.

    November 15, 2013

    • Leonard H.

      I ain't never said nuthin' about overturning no particle physics. But I do feel that the whole particle-vs.-wave debate has resulted because the current models aren't viewing reality from the correct vantage point. So, say I, more power to the relational theorists and to anyone else who's trying to find that correct vantage point.

      November 16, 2013

  • Linda F.

    Leonard, YES!!! The photon is the particle that carries the electromagnetic force. We observe photons as the smallest units of light energy. Other bosons have similar properties.

    November 15, 2013

    • Leonard H.

      Yep, Linda, I get the Standard Model. What I'm saying is that the Standard Model is just a model--a model that will be replaced someday by until a better model come along. It doesn't explain what particles, forces, and fields really ARE. The idea of a "field," which is something that exists in every point in spacetime, doesn't really square very well with the idea of a particle, which supposedly exists at a point (or set of points) in spacetime. So, YOU tell ME: what does it MEAN to say that a particle "carries" a field? Does a photon CARRY the electromagnetic force, or does it CREATE the electromagnetic force? Or, maybe the photon IS the electromagnetic force?

      November 16, 2013

  • Linda F.

    Here's a reference for intermediate vector bosons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_boson

    November 9, 2013

    • Leonard H.

      Linda, does anyone REALLY believe in the actual existence of "force-carrier particles?" That just sounds WRONG--like maybe it's a bad explanation for what's going on with the math.

      November 14, 2013

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