MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Do laws of nature last forever?

Date: Mon Apr 16 14:48:25 2007
Posted By: Benjamin Monreal, Physics postdoc
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1175820454.Ph

Hello Yevgeniy,

We have no solid evidence that the laws of nature have changed since the Big Bang, and no suggestion that they will change in the future.

It wouldn't take too much of a change to destroy life in the Universe. A fairly-small change in the constants of the Strong Interaction or the Weak Interaction, for example, could make stars burn much more quickly or much more slowly. A change in the electromagnetic force would have similar effects, as well as disrupting (for example) the chemistry of carbon.

There are sort of three classes of experiments which deal with long-term changes in the laws of Nature.

If this result is true, it's not clear what it means for the future---did the constants change in the past and "settle in" to their current value? Or are they changing continuously? Without a theory, it's impossible to make predictions or projections. It's also not clear whether to classify these changes as "changes in the laws of nature" --- it may just mean that our "laws" ("the speed of light is constant") were never laws to begin with, but merely pretty-accurate inferences based on one-time observations of an underlying phenomenon.


Current Queue | Current Queue for Physics | Physics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2006. All rights reserved.