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Philosophy of Physical Science

Edited by Hans Halvorson (Princeton University)
Assistant editor: Joshua Luczak (University of Western Ontario, Georgetown University)
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  1. added 2016-09-24
    Hamze, PLATO AND SPECIAL RELATIVITY.
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  2. added 2016-09-24
    Harold F. Blum (1957). On the Origin of Self-Replicating Systems. In D. Rudnick (ed.), Rhythmic and synthetic properties in growth. Princeton University Press 155–70.
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  3. added 2016-09-22
    Alberto Vanzo (forthcoming). Corpuscularism and Experimental Philosophy in Domenico Guglielmini's Reflections on Salts. In Peter R. Anstey (ed.), The Idea of Principles in Early Modern Thought. Routledge
    Several recent studies of early modern natural philosophy have claimed that corpuscularism and experimental philosophy were sharply distinct or even conflicting views. This chapter provides a different perspective on the relation between corpuscularism and experimental philosophy by examining Domenico Guglielmini’s ‘Philosophical Reflections’ on salts (1688). This treatise on crystallography develops a corpuscularist theory and defends it in a way that is in line with the methodological prescriptions, epistemological strictures, and preferred argumentative styles of experimental philosophers. The examination of the ‘Reflections’ (...)
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  4. added 2016-09-20
    Andrew Wutke, About The Nature of Gravitational Constant and Rational Metric Systems.
    This is a scanned draft of my very early work, not completed due to the loss of the original electronic version. The gravitational constant G has been a subject of interest for more than two centuries. Precise measurements indicate that it is equal to 6.673(10)xl0-11 m^3/kgs^2, with relative standard uncertainty of 1.5x10-3. The need for such constant is discussed. Various systems of units of measure have emerged since Newton, and none of them is both practical, and useful in theoretical research. (...)
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  5. added 2016-09-19
    Alyssa Ney, Separability, Locality, and Higher Dimensions in Quantum Mechanics.
    This paper describes the case that can be made for a high-dimensional ontology in quantum mechanics based on the virtues of avoiding both nonseparability and nonlocality.
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  6. added 2016-09-19
    Marko Vitas & Andrej Dobovišek (forthcoming). On a Quest of Reverse Translation. Foundations of Chemistry:1-17.
    Explaining the emergence of life is perhaps central and the most challenging question in modern science. Within this area of research, the emergence and evolution of the genetic code is supposed to be a critical transition in the evolution of modern organisms. The canonical genetic code is one of the most dominant aspects of life on this planet, and thus studying its origin is critical to understanding the evolution of life, including life’s emergence. In this sense it is possible to (...)
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  7. added 2016-09-16
    Francisco Caruso (2016). Life and Space Dimensionality: A Brief Review of Old and New Entangled Arguments. Journal of Astrobiology and Outreach 4 (2):152.
    A general sketch on how the problem of space dimensionality depends on anthropic arguments is presented. Several examples of how life has been used to constraint space dimensionality (and vice-versa) are reviewed. In particular, the influences of three-dimensionality in the solar system stability and the origin of life on Earth are discussed. New constraints on space dimensionality and on its invariance in very large spatial and temporal scales are also stressed.
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  8. added 2016-09-13
    Robert Rovetto (2016). Ontology Archtecures for the Orbital Space Enironment and Space Situational Awareness Domain. In Stefano Borgo, Loris Bozzato, Chiara Del Vescovo & Martin Homola (eds.), Proceedings of the Joint Ontology Workshops 2016 at 9th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems. CEUR
    This paper applies some ontology architectures to the space domain, specifically the orbital and near-earth space environment and the space situational awareness domain. I briefly summarize local, single and hybrid ontology architectures, and offer potential space ontology architectures for each by showing how actual space data sources and space organizations would be involved.
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  9. added 2016-09-12
    Towfic Shomar (2008). Phenomenologism Vs Fundamentalism: The Case of Superconductivity. CURRENT SCIENCE, 94 (10):1256-1264.
    This article argues that phenomenological treatment of physical problems is more powerful than fundamental treatment. Developments in the field of superconductivity present us with a clear example of such superiority. The BCS (Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer) was accepted as the fundamental theory of superconductivity for a long time. Nevertheless, Landau and Ginzburg phenomenological model has so far proven to be a more fruitful theoretical representation to understand and to predict the features of superconductivity and superconductive materials.
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  10. added 2016-09-12
    Towfic Shomar (2008). Phenomenologism Vs Fundamentalism: The Case of Superconductivity. CURRENT SCIENCE, 94 (10):1256-1264.
    This article argues that phenomenological treatment of physical problems is more powerful than fundamental treatment. Developments in the field of superconductivity present us with a clear example of such superiority. The BCS (Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer) was accepted as the fundamental theory of superconductivity for a long time. Nevertheless, Landau and Ginzburg phenomenological model has so far proven to be a more fruitful theoretical representation to understand and to predict the features of superconductivity and superconductive materials.
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  11. added 2016-09-12
    George Lendaris (1964). On the Definition of Self-Organizing Systems. Proceedings of the IEEE 52 (3):324-325.
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  12. added 2016-09-12
    M. C. Yovits, G. T. Jacobi & G. Goldstein (eds.) (1962). Self-Organizing Systems. Spartan Books.
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  13. added 2016-09-10
    Edward R. Floyd (forthcoming). Neutrino Oscillations with Nil Mass. Foundations of Physics:1-19.
    An alternative neutrino oscillation process is presented as a counterexample for which the neutrino may have nil mass consistent with the standard model. The process is developed in a quantum trajectories representation of quantum mechanics, which has a Hamilton–Jacobi foundation. This process has no need for mass differences between mass eigenstates. Flavor oscillations and \ oscillations are examined.
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  14. added 2016-09-10
    Nicholas Maxwell (forthcoming). Relativity Theory May Not Have the Last Word on the Nature of Time: Quantum Theory and Probabilism. In G. Ghirardi & S. Wuppuluri (eds.), Space, Time and the Limits of Human Understanding. Springer
    Two radically different views about time are possible. According to the first, the universe is three dimensional. It has a past and a future, but that does not mean it is spread out in time as it is spread out in the three dimensions of space. This view requires that there is an unambiguous, absolute, cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. According to the second view about time, the universe is four dimensional. It is spread out in both space and time (...)
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  15. added 2016-09-10
    Frédéric Hélein & Dimitri Vey (forthcoming). Curved Space-Times by Crystallization of Liquid Fiber Bundles. Foundations of Physics:1-41.
    Motivated by the search for a Hamiltonian formulation of Einstein equations of gravity which depends in a minimal way on choices of coordinates, nor on a choice of gauge, we develop a multisymplectic formulation on the total space of the principal bundle of orthonormal frames on the 4-dimensional space-time. This leads quite naturally to a new theory which takes place on 10-dimensional manifolds. The fields are pairs of \,\varpi )\), where \\) is a 1-form with coefficients in the Lie algebra (...)
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  16. added 2016-09-10
    Nicholas Maxwell (2005). A Revolution for Science and the Humanities. Dialogue and Universalism 15 (1):29-57.
    At present the basic intellectual aim of academic inquiry is to improve knowledge. Much of the structure, the whole character, of academic inquiry, in universities all over the world, is shaped by the adoption of this as the basic intellectual aim. But, judged from the standpoint of making a contribution to human welfare, academic inquiry of this type is damagingly irrational. Three of four of the most elementary rules of rational problem-solving are violated. A revolution in the aims and methods (...)
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  17. added 2016-09-10
    Scott Barrton (1994). Chaos, Self-Organization, and Psychology. American Psychologist 49 (1):5–14.
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  18. added 2016-09-10
    P. Bak & K. Chen (1991). Self-Organized Criticality. Scientific American 264 (1):46–53.
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  19. added 2016-09-10
    G. Caglioti, H. Haken & L. Lugiato (eds.) (1988). Synergetics and Dynamical Instabilities. North Holland.
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  20. added 2016-09-10
    P. Berge, Y. Pomeau & C. Vidal (1987). Order Within Chaos. Wiley.
  21. added 2016-09-09
    Gregory Lavers (2016). Carnap on Abstract and Theoretical Entities. In Ontology After Carnap.
    Carnap’s ‘Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology’ (Carnap (1950a), ESO hereafter) is certainly a classic of twentieth century analytic philosophy. For decades now, most undergraduates are expected to read it at some point in their studies. Lately, it is being seen as the inspiration for a host of positions in the field of metaontology. Despite the widespread agreement on the importance of the paper, there is a lack of agreement on what Carnap attempts to do in the paper. My main aim in (...)
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  22. added 2016-09-03
    Ori Belkind (2013). William L. Harper.Isaac Newton's Scientific Method: Turning Data Into Evidence About Gravity and Cosmology. Xvii + 424 Pp., Tables, Bibl., Index. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. £40. [REVIEW] Isis 104 (1):189-190.
  23. added 2016-09-02
    Antonio Vassallo, Dirk-André Deckert & Michael Esfeld (2016). Relationalism About Mechanics Based on a Minimalist Ontology of Matter. European Journal for Philosophy of Science.
    This paper elaborates on relationalism about space and time as motivated by a minimalist ontology of the physical world: there are only matter points that are individuated by the distance relations among them, with these relations changing. We assess two strategies to combine this ontology with physics, using classical mechanics as example: the Humean strategy adopts the standard, non-relationalist physical theories as they stand and interprets their formal apparatus as the means of bookkeeping of the change of the distance relations (...)
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  24. added 2016-09-01
    Bryan W. Roberts (forthcoming). Three Myths About Time Reversal in Quantum Theory. Philosophy of Science.
    Many have suggested that the transformation standardly referred to as `time reversal' in quantum theory is not deserving of the name. I argue on the contrary that the standard definition is perfectly appropriate, and is indeed forced by basic considerations about the nature of time in the quantum formalism.
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  25. added 2016-08-31
    Leszek Wroński & Michał Tomasz Godziszewski (forthcoming). Dutch Books and Nonclassical Probability Spaces. European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-18.
    We investigate how Dutch Book considerations can be conducted in the context of two classes of nonclassical probability spaces used in philosophy of physics. In particular we show that a recent proposal by B. Feintzeig to find so called “generalized probability spaces” which would not be susceptible to a Dutch Book and would not possess a classical extension is doomed to fail. Noting that the particular notion of a nonclassical probability space used by Feintzeig is not the most common employed (...)
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  26. added 2016-08-31
    John Stachel (2016). Review of Eddington/Callaway, The Nature of the Physical World: Gifford Lectures of 1927: An Annotated Edition. [REVIEW] Isis 107 (1):199-201.
    The Nature of the Physical World is one of a series of semi-popular books, extremely popular and influential in the English-speaking world, that Arthur Eddington wrote between the 1920s and the 1950s. Not only were they masterful scientific expositions, but they included attempts to defend a definite philosophical position: dualism.
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  27. added 2016-08-31
    V. Allori, S. Goldstein, R. Tumulka & N. Zanghi (2014). Predictions and Primitive Ontology in Quantum Foundations: A Study of Examples. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):323-352.
    A major disagreement between different views about the foundations of quantum mechanics concerns whether for a theory to be intelligible as a fundamental physical theory it must involve a ‘primitive ontology’ (PO), i.e. variables describing the distribution of matter in four-dimensional space–time. In this article, we illustrate the value of having a PO. We do so by focusing on the role that the PO plays for extracting predictions from a given theory and discuss valid and invalid derivations of predictions. To (...)
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  28. added 2016-08-31
    Bradford Skow (2009). Relativity and the Moving Spotlight. Journal of Philosophy 106 (12):666-678.
  29. added 2016-08-27
    Nathan Lackey & Cory Wright (2016). Review of Poincaré, Philosopher of Science. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 36 (4):157-159.
  30. added 2016-08-27
    Raffaele Pisano (2016). Tunnel Visions: The Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider. [REVIEW] Centaurus:271-273.
    Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson and Adrienne W. Kolb, Tunnel Visions: The Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2015), xiii+448 pp.
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  31. added 2016-08-27
    Raffaele Pisano & Paolo Bussotti (2016). A Newtonian Tale Details on Notes and Proofs in Geneva Edition of Newton's Principia. BSHM-Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics:1-19.
    Based on our research regarding the relationship between physics and mathematics in HPS, and recently on Geneva Edition of Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1739–42) by Thomas Le Seur (1703–70) and François Jacquier (1711–88), in this paper we present some aspects of such Edition: a combination of editorial features and scientific aims. The proof of Proposition XLIII is presented and commented as a case study.
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  32. added 2016-08-26
    Antonio Vassallo & Michael Esfeld (2016). Leibnizian Relationalism for General Relativistic Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    An ontology of Leibnizian relationalism, consisting in distance relations among sparse matter points and their change only, is well recognized as a serious option in the context of classical mechanics. In this paper, we investigate how this ontology fares when it comes to general relativistic physics. Using a Humean strategy, we regard the gravitational field as a means to represent the overall change in the distance relations among point particles in a way that achieves the best combination of being simple (...)
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  33. added 2016-08-22
    Dois Koh, Divination by Science.
    This paper attempts to decipher what we really mean when we use the word "Science" by briefly exploring the criterion of "predictive power" with respect to the demarcation problem. It is essentially an articulation of Lakatos' view of Science and attempts to show that predictive power is quintessential to science.
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  34. added 2016-08-21
    Marco Mamone-Capria (forthcoming). On the Fundamental Theorem of the Theory of Relativity. Foundations of Physics:1-33.
    A new formulation of what may be called the “fundamental theorem of the theory of relativity” is presented and proved in -space-time, based on the full classification of special transformations and the corresponding velocity addition laws. A system of axioms is introduced and discussed leading to the result, and a study is made of several variants of that system. In particular the status of the group axiom is investigated with respect to the condition of the two-way isotropy of light. Several (...)
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  35. added 2016-08-18
    Alfred Gierer (1988). Physics, Life and Mind: The Scope and Limitations of Science. In Iain Paul Jan Fennema (ed.), Second European Conference on Science and Religion. Kluwer Academic Publishers 61-71.
    What, precisely, are the ‘changing perspectives on reality’ in contemporary scientific thought? The topics of the lecture are the scope and the limits of science with emphasis on the physical foundations of biology. The laws of physics in general and the physics of molecules in particular form the basis for explaining the mechanism of reproduction, the generation of structure and form in the course of the development of the individual organism, the evolution of the diversity and complexity of organisms by (...)
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  36. added 2016-08-17
    Alfred Gierer (2000). On Modern Science, Human Cognition, and Cultural Diversity. In Preprint series, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. MPI for the History of Science Preprint 137, 1-16.
    The development of modern science has depended strongly on specific features of the cultures involved; however, its results are widely and trans-culturally accepted and applied. The science and technology of electricity provides a particularly interesting example. It emerged as a specific product of post-Renaissance Europe, rooted in the Greek philosophical tradition that encourages explanations of nature in theoretical terms. It did not evolve in China presumably because such encouragement was missing. The trans-cultural acceptance of modern science and technology is postulated (...)
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  37. added 2016-08-16
    L. S. Schulman (forthcoming). Special States Demand a Force for the Observer. Foundations of Physics:1-24.
    The “special state” understanding of the measurement process is presented, namely there is no “measurement process,” only unitary time evolution. However, in contrast to the many worlds interpretation, there is only one world. How this can be accomplished and how statistical mechanics is changed as a result are also discussed. The focus though is on experimental tests of this theory and the in-principle realization that this can give rise to feasible experimental tests. Those tests rely on the particular feature of (...)
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  38. added 2016-08-16
    Charles T. Wolfe (2016). Review of Fumie Kawamura, Diderot Et la Chimie: Science, Pensée Et Écriture. [REVIEW] H-France Reviews 16.
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  39. added 2016-08-15
    Alfonso Leon Guillen Gomez (2010). Spacetime Structural Property of Matter in Movement. In Petrov`s Symposium Contributed papers. Kazan University 101-109.
    The theoretical contradiction between General Relativity and Quantum Gravity about gravity was ended, since spacetime is not structural property of the gravitational fi eld like Einstein said. Exactly spacetime is the structural geometric property of the matter and energy that it gives their geometric dimensions. Thus, spacetime is not continent of the matter (Substantialism), since it is contained. Neither is the category of the relations between material bodies or between their events (Relationalism) since is not relational property; spacetime is structural (...)
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  40. added 2016-08-14
    Alfonso Leon Guillen Gomez, Gravity is a Quantum Force.
    The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, of the particular to the general, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their union, although, the curved (...)
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  41. added 2016-08-14
    Alexander Cox, Christopher Nebelecky, Ronald Rudnicki, William Tagliaferri, John L. Crassidis & Barry Smith (2016). The Space Object Ontology. In 19th International Conference on Information Fusion (FUSION 2016). IEEE
    Achieving space domain awareness requires the identification, characterization, and tracking of space objects. Storing and leveraging associated space object data for purposes such as hostile threat assessment, object identification, and collision prediction and avoidance present further challenges. Space objects are characterized according to a variety of parameters including their identifiers, design specifications, components, subsystems, capabilities, vulnerabilities, origins, missions, orbital elements, patterns of life, processes, operational statuses, and associated persons, organizations, or nations. The Space Object Ontology provides a consensus-based realist framework (...)
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  42. added 2016-08-11
    David Ellerman (2016). Quantum Mechanics Over Sets: A Pedagogical Model with Non-Commutative Finite Probability Theory as its Quantum Probability Calculus. Synthese 2016:1-34.
    This paper shows how the classical finite probability theory (with equiprobable outcomes) can be reinterpreted and recast as the quantum probability calculus of a pedagogical or toy model of quantum mechanics over sets (QM/sets). There have been several previous attempts to develop a quantum-like model with the base field of ℂ replaced by ℤ₂. Since there are no inner products on vector spaces over finite fields, the problem is to define the Dirac brackets and the probability calculus. The previous attempts (...)
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  43. added 2016-08-10
    Mesut Kavak (2016). On the Uncertainty Principle. American Journal of Physics 4 (4):90-123.
    Analysis of the laws which form, direct universe and of the interacting elements in the interactions emerging by these laws. Forming the theoretical, philosophical infrastructure of the some physical concepts and phenomena such as kinetic energy, uncertainty, length contraction, relative energy transformations, gravity, time and light speed to understand universe better manner as well as possible. Some informations about re-derivation of Planck constants, faster than Light, interstellar Jump and instant communication, length contraction, imaginary time, time travel, real black hole radiuses, (...)
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  44. added 2016-08-07
    Praloy Das & Subir Ghosh (forthcoming). Particle on a Torus Knot: A Hamiltonian Analysis. Foundations of Physics:1-17.
    We have studied the dynamics and symmetries of a particle constrained to move in a torus knot. The Hamiltonian system turns out to be Second Class in Dirac’s formulation and the Dirac brackets yield novel noncommutative structures. The equations of motion are obtained for a path in general where the knot is present in the particle orbit but it is not restricted to a particular torus. We also study the motion when it is restricted to a specific torus. The rotational (...)
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  45. added 2016-08-04
    Stephen Puryear (2016). Evil as Privation and Leibniz's Rejection of Empty Space. In Wenchao Li (ed.), "Für Unser Glück oder das Glück Anderer": Vortrage des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses. Georg Olms 3:481-89.
    I argue that Leibniz's treatment of void or empty space in the appendix to his fourth letter to Clarke conflicts with the way he elsewhere treats (metaphysical) evil, insofar as he allows that God has created a world with the one kind of privation (evil), while insisting that God would not have created a world with the other kind of privation (void). I consider three respects in which the moral case might be thought to differ relevantly from the physical one, (...)
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  46. added 2016-07-31
    Alfonso Leon Guillen Gomez, Gravity is a Quantum Force.
    The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, of the particular to the general, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their union, although, the curved (...)
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  47. added 2016-07-31
    Mauro Dorato, Bohr’s Relational Holism and the Classical-Quantum Interaction.
    In this paper I present and critically discuss the main strategies that Bohr used and could have used to fend off the charge that his interpretation does not provide a clear-cut distinction between the classical and the quantum domain. In particular, in the first part of the paper I reassess the main arguments used by Bohr to advocate the indispensability of a classical framework to refer to quantum phenomena. In this respect, by using a distinction coming from an apparently unrelated (...)
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  48. added 2016-07-30
    L. S. Schulman & M. G. E. da Luz (forthcoming). Looking for the Source of Change. Foundations of Physics:1-7.
    In most theories of the quantum measurement process changes in an observer’s perception of a state can take place without forces, as for example if a state is prepared in an eigenstate of \ but \ is measured. In the “special state” theory any change in wave function requires forces. This allows experimental tests to distinguish these ideas and in the present article two examples of such tests are considered. The first is a kind of double Stern–Gerlach experiment, the second (...)
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  49. added 2016-07-28
    Alfonso Leon Guillen Gomez, Gravity is a Force.
    The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, of the particular to the general, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their union, although, the curved (...)
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  50. added 2016-07-27
    Alfonso Leon Guillen Gomez, Gravity is a Force.
    The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, of the particular to the general, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their union, although, the curved (...)
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