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Physics: The Last Questions

There are, on the web, several people who have been making serious efforts to characterize, formulate, represent and even solve the last remaining riddles of science.   We can , if we listen, learn more about ourselves, our relationships to others and the rest of the universe through the efforts of these people who care enough, have the time, patience and energy to pursue these ultimate truths.
The links that follow will direct you to the sites of some of those who confront these problems, either head on or in their own way tackle one more essential piece of the bigger picture.


PHILOSOPHY

The Symbol Grounding Problem is a paper by Stevan Harnad presenting one of the most profound  (and darkest) areas of human reasoning -- the relationship of mind to object.  That is, how we relate intangible abstractions to reality.  This is a problem that intersects many disciplines.  In physics, there is the measurement problem (FAQ by Paul Budnik) where it seems that the presence of consciousness effects the outcome of a measurement.  In artificial intelligence there is the problem of mechanistic understanding .   Other areas affected: Cognitive science (by Francis F. Steen, psychology and philosophy (see The Internet Encyclopedia -- Thank you James Fieser) to name a few.
Kant and Mathematical Knowledge  by Thomas J. McFarlane 1995, begins with a quote from William Blake: "Reason, or the ratio of all we have already known, is not the same that it shall be when we know more."
Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" is a hallmark of science and almost impenetrable.  McFarlane's presentation exposes the core ideas of Kant's thinking to anyone with a little determination.
 

PHYSICS PHILOSOPHY

Werner A. Hofer presents an authoritative description of the core problems and the seeming paradoxes  buried in the axioms of quantum mechanics.  He succinctly characterizes the problems quantum mechanics needs to address to discover if there is, or is not a next step.  Clearly there are several (see Open Questions in Physics by John Baez)
The Principia Cybernetica Web (by Francis Heylighen, Cliff  Joslyn and Valentin Turchin)is part of an evolving document.  In fact, part of it is itself a self-organizing entity.   I found this document while searching for information discussing "representation and physics".  There is far far more content here than that.  It covers the basics for the intellectual tools needed to grapple with many of the deep problems that researchers of leading edge science face.
 

MATH

Louis Narens  has written a book ("Abstract Measurement Theory") on formal measurement abstraction, that someday could be to quantum mechanics what Riemannian geometry was to Einstein's General Relativity. 
 

VALUABLE SCIENCE RESOURCES

.Stephen Hawking's Universe When it comes to the mechanisms of universe, Professor Hawking's explanations are without a doubt some of the clearest you will find anywhere on the web.
The Millenium Frontier (By Alex Sirotkin) I would call this "Science News link central"  -- a rich source of new and inovative science ideas.
AIP Physics News
Collected Advice on Research and Writing (by Mark Leone )-- a large collection of wisdom from many writers
 

PHYSICS  ASTRONOMY COSMOLOGY

Current advances The fine-structure constant -- this represents one of the big (possibly the biggest) puzzles left to solve -- understanding the fine structure constant.
Science -- 274 (5289) 925 (Hubble's constant)  We are still struggling to find a precise value for Hubble's constant.  (I, for one need a really good value here to validate my theory)
Science -- Glanz 270 (5241) 1439 (QM - measurement is the reality)  (FYI)
Paul Davies on the meaning of Mach's principle  (After you read this, think about abstractions and constraints.)
Aether Theories - Collation of Scientific Theories of the Aether  (Mountain Man's collection of links to the theories of those who are convinced that space is a real existent.  I'm one of them.)
Center for Natural Units, by Leonard Cottrell.  
Do Atoms Get Bigger as the Universe Expands (Food for thought, then read relative expansion)
Emerging Possibilities for Space Propulsion Breakthroughs, by Marc G. Millis.  He writes:
The ideal interstellar propulsion system would be one that could get you to other stars as quickly and comfortably as envisioned in science fiction. Before this can become a reality, two scientific breakthroughs are needed: discovery of a means to exceed light speed, and discovery of a means to manipulate the coupling between mass and space-time. This article explains why these breakthroughs are needed and introduces the emerging possibilities that may eventually lead to these breakthroughs. It should be noted that either of these breakthroughs by itself would have revolutionary consequences which would be of enormous value.
Gravitational Astrophysics Group This team has published 59 publications since 1991!  Members include Dr. Henry E. Kandrup, Dr. Reva K. Williams, Dr. David E. Willmes, Dr. Brendan O.Bradley, Dr. Christos Siopis, Dr. Ilya V. Pogorelov, Dr. Barbara L. Eckstein, Dr. Eric O'Neill (this guy is a thinker), And John Drury. 
visit http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LIGO_web/LIGO_home.html LIGO is a pioneering effort to design and construct a novel scientific facility - a gravitational wave observatory - that will open a new observational window on the universe.
List of e-prints in the APS archive
Members of Cambridge Relativity  This is where Stephen Hawking works, and where some of the very deep problems in physics are being addressed.  They are going beyond even string theory and are now pursuing an alternative structure called "branes".
The Cyclotron Note Books (Of Dr. Phil Gibbs)  A really excellent collection of articles (and an electronic book) by Dr. Gibbs that discuss some of the issues related to unifying quantum mechanics and general relativity.
General Relativity A tutorial by John Baez.
ZPF article from Mercury magazine published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (by Dr. Bernhard Haishch) It seems that space is filled with energy!  Now if e=mc^2, then could this represent the missing dark matter?
A lot of physics links (anonymous) good stuff.
 General Relativity A tutorial by John Baez.
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