Physics seeks its monad

A physical monad is one that could be broken up by no possible force. Leibniz doubted that one could ever find such a thing, and with good reason: such an atomic particle could only be verified to exist after it survived an infinite force, but we have no ability  to wield such a power. How does one build an infinite accelerator?  How long would it take to run the experiment? Said better,  all force equations give us gibberish when we try to give force an infinite value. If, for example, F=ma is taken for an infinite F, then either m or a is infinite too. But if we solve for the other variable, we get 1 equal to any finite number, say 2.

So body could never be experimentally verified monadic; nor could it be really isolated. Scientists are committed to being agnostic in principle on the question whether there is anything elemental and simple in nature.

But then the whole point of science is to explain the complex through the simple: this is simply what “analysis” means. So what is scientific analysis targeting if it can’t be targeting some ultimate particle? We can’t take the first step in analysis without some possible term: that would be like trying to divide a plane into the totality of surface lines, or resolve any two natural numbers to the real numbers between them.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: