Physical Reality and the Unobservables of Physical Nature

21 Jan 2020  ·  Unnikrishnan C. S. ·

The fundamental physical theories that interpret and explain behaviour of matter in nature are dependent on several unobservables and insensibles in their construction. While a rigorous natural philosophy cannot take them for granted, there does not seem to be a way of avoiding such unobservables in our theories... While a program to banish all unobservables from physical theory is unlikely to succeed, and perhaps even unnecessary, they are both the strong and weak points of the theoretical descriptions of physical nature. Analyzing them for empirical and philosophical consistency and integrity is always a promising path towards a better theory. In this paper, I examine the nature of physical reality in the context of unobservables in physics and discuss three examples. One is about the apparent loss of physical reality due to the need for a consistent quantum mechanical representation. The second example deals with the conflict between the assumed reality of quantum fields, so fundamental and essential to our standard physics worldview, and the dynamics of the observable universe. The third deals with an all-important difference between conventional modern physics constructed in the unreal and unobservable empty `space' and an empirically and logically determined physics with matter-filled universe as its arena. The acknowledgment of the observable matter-filled universe necessitates reformulation of dynamics with total relativity. Not surprisingly, this paradigm with its universal cosmic links also holds human concepts of harmony and beauty. read more

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History and Philosophy of Physics