Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

SilasBarta comments on [Transcript] Richard Feynman on Why Questions - Less Wrong

61 Post author: Grognor 08 January 2012 07:01PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (44)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: SilasBarta 09 January 2012 04:31:18PM 2 points [-]

The Pauli principle is not a force in the sense that gravity is not force. Yes, you can distinguish between a "force" and the phenomenon responsible for the force (gravity vs gravitational force). What is the difference between these two statements?

1) That's not a force, it's the playing out of the fundamental symmetries in quantum physics, normally phrased here as the Pauli exclusion principle.

2) There's no force on that falling object in a vacuum, it's just following the geodesic dictated by the symmetries in General Relativity.

Comment author: Ronak 10 April 2013 03:29:46PM 0 points [-]

PEP is not a force, in the sense that it's not 'dynamical:' it can't actually affect the Hamiltonian/Lagrangian of the world. And it's not a symmetry either, it's a consequence of the behaviour of 'fields' under rotations: see spin-statistics theorem. (Explanation of the field business: modern physics postulates that at every point in space and time there are a certain number of degrees of freedom, and we call them fields and 'quantising' gives us particles - and particles are just spatially localised excitations when you don't look closely at them.)

The rest of the forces, however, do come from symmetries called local gauge symmetries; roughly, since the wavefn is a complex no, change the phase by some amount which depends on the point and then requiring that physics be invariant under this. (Even gravity, though only in classical field theory as of now: it can be found by a Lorentz transformation by a different amount at every point.)

This explanation is horrible, so sorry; but on the bright side, the math is simple enough that you may actually understand wikipedia on these things.

Comment author: DanielLC 09 January 2012 11:58:02PM 0 points [-]

Gravity can be interpreted as a force. To my knowledge, the Pauli principle cannot.