Classical Physics Quotes (5 quotes)
[About describing atomic models in the language of classical physics:] We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.
Modern theories did not arise from revolutionary ideas which have been, so to speak, introduced into the exact sciences from without. On the contrary they have forced their way into research which was attempting consistently to carry out the programme of classical physicsthey arise out of its very nature. It is for this reason that the beginnings of modern physics cannot be compared with the great upheavals of previous periods like the achievements of Copernicus. Copernicuss idea was much more an import from outside into the concepts of the science of his time, and therefore caused far more telling changes in science than the ideas of modern physics are creating to-day.
The existence of life must be considered as an elementary fact that can not be explained, but must be taken as a starting point in biology, in a similar way as the quantum of action, which appears as an irrational element from the point of view of classical mechanical physics, taken together with the existence of elementary particles, forms the foundation of atomic physics. The asserted impossibility of a physical or chemical explanation of the function peculiar to life would in this sense be analogous to the insufficiency of the mechanical analysis for the understanding of the stability of atoms.
The ultimate origin of the difficulty lies in the fact (or philosophical principle) that we are compelled to use the words of common language when we wish to describe a phenomenon, not by logical or mathematical analysis, but by a picture appealing to the imagination. Common language has grown by everyday experience and can never surpass these limits. Classical physics has restricted itself to the use of concepts of this kind; by analysing visible motions it has developed two ways of representing them by elementary processes; moving particles and waves. There is no other way of giving a pictorial description of motionswe have to apply it even in the region of atomic processes, where classical physics breaks down.
— Max Born
Turbulence is the most important unsolved problem of classical physics.