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Are "Fields" Real?

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on April 18, 2002 17:32:48 UTC

Yanniru,

I ran across this quote today. Which seems to suggest that Einstein agreed with Newton that "fields" are a mathematical convenience and not a conceivable reality!

Einstein wrote to his dear friend Michele Besso in 1954:

"I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics."

If you carefully examine my work, you will see that continuity has completely vanished from what I call my "knowable data"; all is discrete. Continuity remains only in the explanation: i.e., the mathematical model of reality. As everything else vanishes, physics remains sort of like the grin on the "Cheshire Cat".

Have fun -- Dick

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