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From empirical practice to observables and the action principle



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Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
13060019

Abstract

Physical theories ought to be built up from colloquial notions such as ’long bodies’, ’energetic sources’ etc. in terms of which one can define pre-theoretic ordering relations such as ’longer than’, ’more energetic than’. One of the questions addressed in previous work is how to make the transition from these pre-theoretic notions to quantification, such as making the transition from the ordering relation of ’longer than’ (if one body covers the other) to the notion of how much longer. In similar way we introduce dynamical notions ’more impulse’ (if in a collision one object overruns the other) and ’more energetic’ (if the effect of one source exceeds the effect of the other). In a physical model - built by coupling congruent standard actions - those basic pre-theoretic notions become measurable. We derive all (classical and relativistic) equations between basic physical quantities of Energy,  Momentum and Inertial Mass and ultimately the principle of least action.