Probing Reality the Human Way
Can we ever be really sure we’ve learned everything about nature?
“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature expose to our method of questioning.” — Werner Heisenberg
How much can we know of the world? This, of course, is the central question for physics, and has been since the beginning not just of modern science as we know it, but of Western philosophy.
Around 650 BCE, Thales of Miletus first speculated on the basic material fabric of reality. The essential tension here is one of perception. To describe the world, we must see it, sense it, and go beyond, measuring it in all its subtle details. The problem is the “all.” We humans are necessarily blind to many aspects of physical reality, and those aspects that we do capture are necessarily colored through the lenses of our perception.
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