Why the Progress of Physics Has Become Stagnant

The theories that scientists use to explain the observations in physics have not changed. All these theories have certain shortcomings, which has been a common knowledge for nearly a century. Some of these shortcomings are still unsolved, such as the quantum measurement problem and the dark matter.

The standard model of particle physics was only available after the 1970s. Since then, there has been no progress in the foundations of physics. Of course, confirmation on certain aspects of these theories came later on through experimentation.

The cost factor

With the progress of physics, it has become harder than ever before to probe using experiments. The technological advancements in recent times have not been able to keep the expenses and size manageable. As a result, you’ll see collaborations of thousands in physics today who operate machines costing billions.

The physicists have been conducting fewer experiments lately. This has made made the chances of discovery increasingly unlikely. The lack of discoveries also lead to a lack of technology, which is necessary to keep the experiments viable economically. Experiments soon become much more costly and result in the lack of progress. One such example is the particle collider, which cost $40 billion.

No change in the methods of physicists

Physics has changed over the years but the physicists are still using the same methods. The physicists must carefully choose which hypothesis needs to be tested. This is something that’s not being done today. Education in physics that they receive today don’t give them the ability to identify the promising hypotheses.

This requires self-reflection and it comes from the knowledge of science’s sociology and philosophy. Sadly, most of the physicists today make fun of these subjects. They believe they’re some sort of intelligent species and don’t need to think about what they’re doing. As a consequence, no evidence has been found yet beyond what everyone knows.

Naivety of physicists

It seems theoretical physicists haven’t learned the lessons over the years. They still ignore the sociology and philosophy part of science. When someone with great experience tries to explain the need for smarter ways, they just dismiss the suggestions. They put forward some entirely baseless speculations instead of examining the way hypotheses are proposed.

What they think is healthy speculation is just fictional mathematics. It’s absolutely clear that such speculations have not worked for many years. They don’t work even today. This naivety has led to a failure of the highly effective scientific methods.

History might have some lessons

Upon looking at the history of physics, the most reliable path to breakthroughs will be absolutely clear. Resolving the inconsistencies has always been the key to achieving breakthroughs in physics. So, this is what physicists of today need to focus on. They need to try new and better methods, which will be more appropriate for the present age.

The current scientific system doesn’t encourage learning. Probably this is why many believe that physicists can happily make a career writing papers instead. If experiments become increasingly expensive in the coming years, you’ll observe this problem in other disciplines. If this happens, it will affect the foundations of physics the most before anything else.

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