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Unsolved Problems In Physics - Wikipedia

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#1 rhertz



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Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:50 PM

At this link:




there is a wiki-consented (whatever it means) about problems still withouth solution in today's physics.


Maybe the list can generate controversies and also help to create some new threads. I found a couple of them rather

amusing, because if you do a proper research, some of them are considered solved by many. It is, maybe, a good

sample that Wikipedia is a biased tool to be considered reliable as a source of information.


The list is sumarized as:


1. General physics/quantum physics (9)
2. Cosmology and general relativity (12)
3. Quantum gravity (6)
4. High-energy physics/particle physics (14)
5. Astronomy and astrophysics (17)
6. Nuclear physics (2)
7. Atomic, molecular and optical physics (2)
8. Classical mechanics (1)
9. Condensed matter physics (11)
10. Plasma physics (5)
11. Biophysics (5)

The list gives a total of 84 unsolved problems at physics.


I'm shure (intuition) that many problems are missing the list and that, perhaps, there are overlapping areas

which create more problems due to such overlap.


In particular, I found some of them interesting, as they can have an open debate here. Other problems are

too specific to discuss here, and that would require a high number of participants.


I quote here some which I considered suitable for this forum:


  • Interpretation of quantum mechanics: Question the capability of QM to describe reality,due to its statistical nature sensitive to human observation, the violation of casualty and its apparent "violation" of human logic.
  • Problem of time: Question the dual interpretation of the flow of time as relative in themacrocosmos and absolute at quantum level.
  • Size of universe: Even when assume that an observable universe is real and spans in a sphere of 93 Gyl (which, for me, is a problem itself), question the real size of the universe.This one has to be merged with another in the list: Shape of the Universe.
  • Magnetic monopoles: Question the current existence of magnetic monopoles carriers.
  • Proton radius puzzle: Question the definition of electric charge radius versus thegluonic charge radius.
  • Supernovae: Question the mechanism by which an implosion of a dying star becames an explosion.
  • Sonoluminescence: Question the transformation of acoustic energy into light bubbles of high energy.
  • Coronal heating problem: Question the huge difference in temperature between the Sun's corona and its surface.

I remarked, in red, the one that I'd like to discuss. I have to make an effort stopping myself to choose the first on the list. This

would be highly controversial and hurt some feelings.


Finally, I wanted to say that the problems which are NOT LISTED make me think: How come this one is not in there?




#2 rhertz



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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:16 PM

Maybe I could contribute by adding my own list of unsolved problems at physics, and so could you.


I have some, just to start:


1. What is mass: with all due respect to the 2013 Nobel Prize award Englert and Higgs, what is mass really? About 1,220,000 results in Google.

2. What is gravity: No respect for anyone on this topic. About 1,700,000 results in Google.

3. What is a photon: While writing this one, I remembered Feynman saying: "I don't have any f* idea". About 965,000 results in Google.

4. What is time: And with this, I have 2 out of three members of the MKS SI. About 82,300,000 results in Google. Absolute winner.

5. What is length: Without being recursive with time, what is length really. About 298,000 results in Google.

#3 Dubbelosix



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Posted Yesterday, 06:03 AM

Your list may be considered non-problems because we have reasonably satisfactory answers for them. The list you took from wiki, are considered real problems because there is no clear cut definition or answer to many of things stated. Though, this doesn't mean there are no satisfactory answers to find. I studied Sonoluminscence for a while, it turned out the equation was able to be described mathematically like a Friedmann equation for an expanding or contracting bubble. The bubble has analogy to the observable horizon. Another one on the list was, how big is the universe?


We tend to think these days, the universe is much larger than we had thought (according to Susskind). The observable universe could really just be a portion of the holistic picture since we require to measure the size by the time it takes for light to reach a detector, which over extremely vast area's, takes a very long time. Questions like ''what is length,'' seems like a strange question, when length depends on the measuring stick. Questions like what is time, could be seen as a valid question, but it is really called ''the problem of time,'' which in physics translates roughly from the Wheeler de Witt equation, a very ill-applied equation in physics but clearly at the core of many investigations, including those taken by Hawking who has used the equation a few times to explain different models.


What is gravity? Well, we know what gravity is in relativity and it is not a real force, it is a pseudo force, so these kinds of questions seem like they have valid answers. Just to pick a few.

Edited by Dubbelosix, Yesterday, 06:27 AM.

#4 Flummoxed



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Posted Yesterday, 08:21 AM



What is gravity? Well, we know what gravity is in relativity and it is not a real force, it is a pseudo force, so these kinds of questions seem like they have valid answers. Just to pick a few.


We know what gravity does. It is not 100% clear what the mechanism is behind what it does. For instance if gravity does not work in the way described by Einstein then Dark matter may not exist. However Dark thingys can be used to describe any observed thing in the universe we do not have a valid explanation for.

#5 Dubbelosix



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Posted Yesterday, 09:55 AM

I wouldn't say gravity doesn't work as Einstein said, but I would say there are additional factors to gravity we are yet to fully understand which may lead to a better understanding of why these ''dark matter effects'' exist.