Are Physical Laws Invented or Discovered?


After much work poring over previous research and working out new formulations, a physicist writes an equation she thinks best describes the behavior of tiny particles—or colliding supernovas. Are such equations inventions or discoveries?

It’s an interesting conundrum; scientists certainly don’t find mathematical equations by simply turning over a rock or looking around the corner.

But in this video, World Science Festival co-founder and Columbia University physicist Brian Greene talks about the creativity and insight needed to extract clean mathematics from messy reality.

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