Illusions in physics — answers to FAQ

The period of unprecedentedly rapid development of fundamental physics in the XIX – XX centuries is called the golden age of theoretical physics. The theory constructed in that years has led to a revision of concepts which seemed clear and immutable: time, distance, causality and determinism. Like a hundred years ago, a fairly complete picture of the world has been formed nowadays. There are some quantity of phenomena not explained by the existing theory though. The process of understanding of the structure of matter and space has not been uniform and rectilinear. On its way, there were both unexpected breakthroughs and a lot of dead end directions and delusions. In the words of Martin Schwarzschild, although the laws we seek to discover may be perfect, the human mind is far from perfect. Left to itself, it is prone to err, of what we see confirmation among countless examples of the past. We rarely missed an opportunity to be misled. Only new data, hard-won from the nature, tоок us back to the right way. Often theories built by analogy with already well-proven knowledge turned out to only be approximate over time. Eventually they were replaced by others, sometimes very unlike and leading to unexpected discoveries.

The mind can be deceived even more easily than vision.

Our mind used to be deceived even more easily than vision.