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The Lazy UniverseAn Introduction to the Principle of Least Action$
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Jennifer Coopersmith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198743040.001.0001

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Final words

Final words

Chapter:
(p.192) 9 Final words
Source:
The Lazy Universe
Author(s):

Jennifer Coopersmith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198743040.003.0009

The Principle of Least Action has near-universal applicability, and the actual path taken by the system is the one that occurs in the flat region of the “space-of-paths.” While the Principle needs a whole book, maybe a whole library, to explain it, yet any candidate for a “TOE” (Theory of Everything) would share this feature. Teleological questions are dismissed, however the Principle can only be understood if concepts and philosophical implications are examined. It is probable that this must be done from within physics, that is, by a physicist. A comparison with economics is made. Finally, it is asked whether the Principle of Least Action is a necessary theory, that is, does it answer Einstein’s question: “[could] God … have made the world in a different way”?

Keywords:   TOE, Theory of Everything, philosophy, teleology, economics, necessary theory

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