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Subject: RE: Physics theory
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2001 17:52:56 -0600

Dear Philip,

 Checked it briefly, and like what you are doing there.

 Suggest for the "standard" two-slit experiment you reference Feynman in his three volumes of physics.  That's far more accurate and exact than the limited papers I write, sometimes in haste under the press of affairs.  Also, for the full treatment, check publications by Wheeler and others, particularly on the "Delayed choice" two-slit experiment, which just about totally destroys our na´ve concept of a "fixed thing moving through space" like a ship through water. 

The earlier that students can be introduced to such novel but valid concepts and foundations experiments, the more comfortable they will be with these things when they are hit by them in sophomore and junior physics at a whale of a pace.

 In my personal view, the young students -- even still in high school -- should also be introduced to the fact that there are still questions on foundations in physics, and that a literature exists on these foundations issues, some of which still are not solved.

 The other thing that is terribly important is that the students be at least conceptually acquainted with the fact that there are two major types of thermodynamics, that of systems in equilibrium with their active environment (the standard classical thermodynamics) and that of systems far from equilibrium with their active environment.

 Another thing that would really be nice is for the student to be introduced to the fact that we use "models" in physics, and these models themselves are never to be taken as absolute or impeccable (Godel's theorem).  Instead, we make a model that fits the phenomena in a given area of experiments, and then in that area the model is "valid" (i.e., it can be used to make predictions).  For other areas outside that "fitted" area, the model may not capture the phenomena and may give the wrong results.  Either we improve the model in that case, or we form another model for that new area.  E.g., for the photon there are at least four different models of the photon, all contradicting each other.  But each applies well in its own area.  So physicists quit arguing a long time ago on that question, and just use the appropriate one of those models in its appropriate area.  One of the biggest problems in young students is that somewhere along the line it got drummed into them that the models were "perfect" and Moses brought them down off the mountain with him on those stone tablets.  Once this notion is very firmly implanted, then that student is in risk of going on to become a dogmatic scientist who never will progress past the "usual accepted models". He may do good applied work, but will likely never do very much to make some new advances in physics.

 Best wishes,

Tom Bearden


Subject: Physics theory
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2001 11:44:06 -0800

Please check my physics page I hope to
add a sectior on the two slit expt.
I would like to refer to your paper

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Philip J. Lawson