mercoledì 10 dicembre 2008

Heisenberg sul metodo scientifico

Una citazione molto bella di Heisenberg, dove egli parla del metodo scientifico

Source:  W. Heisenberg, Encounters with Einstein, Princeton U.P.

“This method is sometimes misunderstood by terming it ’empirical
science’, as contrasted to the speculative science of former centuries.
Actually, Galileo turned away from the traditional science of his time,
which was based on Aristotle, and took up the philosophical ideas of
Plato. He replaced the descriptive science of Aristotle by the structural
science of Plato. When he argued for experience he meant experience
illuminated by mathematical constructs. Galileo, as well as Copernicus,
had understood that by going away from immediate experience,
by idealizing experience, we may discover mathematical structures in
the phenomena, and thereby gain a new simplicity as a basis for a new
understanding. Aristotle, for example, had correctly stated that light
bodies fall more slowly than heavy bodies. Galileo claimed that all
bodies fall with the same speed in empty space, and that their fall can
be described by simple mathematical laws. Fall in empty space could
not be observed accurately in his time; but Galileo’s claim suggested
new experiments. The new method did not aim at the description of
what is visible, but rather at the design of experiments and the production
of phenomena that one does not normally see, and at their
calculation on the basis of mathematical theory.
Therefore two features are essential for the new method: the attempt
to design new and very accurate experiments which idealize and isolate
experience and thereby actually create new phenomena, and the
comparison of these phenomena with mathematical constructs, called
natural laws. Before we discuss the validity of this method even in our
present science, we should perhaps briefly ask for the basis of confidence,
which led Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler on this new way.
Following a paper of von Weizs¨acker, I think we have to state that this
basis was mainly theological. Galileo argued that nature, God’s second
book (the first one being the Bible), is written in mathematical
letters, and that we have to learn this alphabet if we want to read it.
Kepler is even more explicit in his work on world harmony; he says:
God created the world in accordance with his ideas of creation. These
ideas are the pure archetypal forms which Plato termed ideas, and they
can be understood by Man as mathematical constructs. They can be
understood by Man, because Man was created as the spiritual image
of God. Physics is reflection on the divine ideas of creation, therefore
physics is divine service.”

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento