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Weinberg, S. (1993).
Dreams of a final theory: Search for the ultimate laws of nature
. Londres: Hutchinson Radius.
Last edited by: Dominique Meeùs 2011-05-03 08:46:32
Finally one can imagine a category of experiments that
well-accepted theories, theories that have become part of the standard consensus of physics.
Under this category I can find no examples whatever in the past one hundred years.
There are of course many cases where theories have been found to have a narrower realm of application than had been thought. Newton’s theory of motion does not apply at high speeds. Parity, the symmetry between right and left, does not work in the weak forces — and so on. But in this century no theory that has been generally accepted as valid by the world of physics has turned out simply to be a mistake, the way that Ptolemy’s epicycle theory of planetary motion or the theory that heat is a fluid called caloric were mistakes. Yet in this century, as we have seen in the cases of general relativity and the electroweak theory, the consensus in favor of physical theories has often been reached on the basis of aesthetic judgments before the experimental evidence for these theories became really compelling. I see in this the remarkable power of the physicist’s sense of beauty acting in conjunction with and sometimes even in opposition to the weight of experimental evidence.
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