Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 14, No 1 (2018)

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Observations: The Building Blocks of the World

Vipul Arora, Laxmidhar Behera

Abstract


Physics aims at building mathematical models of the underlying nature for explaining and predicting our observations. Based on the experimental data, mathematical quantities and concepts are formulated, and physical theories are constructed, from which we derive our ontological understanding of the underlying building blocks of nature. However, at times, certain phenomena, unnoticed before, fail to agree to the predictions made by those theories. This forces us to give up the old theories and construct new ones. In this paper, we argue that we can very effectively avoid this problem by constructing physical theories with observations as the basic building blocks, or the primary properties, and the mathematical constructs as the emergent properties. We provide an outline of the mathematical framework of our approach, and use it to analyze various concepts in physics, e.g., Newton's laws of motion, conservation of energy, wave-particle duality, etc., in terms of relationships between the observations made by different detectors. This approach not only provides a new robust way to do physics, but also leads to an ontological understanding of nature that goes beyond many of the present problems and paradoxes.

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