物理学的暗伤

发自普林斯顿——每年2月笔者都要在普林斯顿大学开设一门叫“电磁导论”的课程,并且在第一堂课上告诉学生们:正是在本学期所讲到的内容奠定了现代文明.

试问谁会质疑这么一个简单直白的观点?没有19世纪物理学家及其后继者的发现,当今世界简直无法想象:没有输电网,没有电视机,没有卫星,连iPad都不存在。

物理学家们有理由为他们对人类所做出的众多贡献而感到自豪。但能制造一个电灯泡或者电话并不意味着你就一定懂得其基本原理(爱迪生和亚历山大·贝尔显然都不懂)。不幸的是,我的许多同僚——特别是编教科书的那几位——将物理学描绘成一座壮丽无瑕的万丈高楼,却忽视了这个由众多古怪模型所构成的理论大杂烩其实早已千疮百孔。事实上与其说这是座光彩照人的大教堂,不如说是一座仓促搭建起来的贫民窟。

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