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Learning to Cooperate for Progress in Physics

Jonathan J. Dickau


At the 10th Frontiers of Fundamental Physics symposium, Gerard ’t Hooft stated that, for some of the advances we hope to see in Physics in the future, there must be a great deal of cooperation between researchers from different disciplines, as well as mathematicians, programmers, technologists, and others. Accomplishing this requires a new mindset; however, as so much of our past progress has come out of a fiercely competitive process - especially since a critical review of our ideas about reality remains an essential part of making progress and checking our progress. We must also address the fact that some frameworks appear incompatible, as with relativity and quantum mechanics, which remain at odds despite years of attempts to find a quantum gravity theory. I explore the idea that playful exploration, using both left-brained and right-brained approaches to learning, allows resolution of conflicting ideas by taking advantage of our innate developmental strategies. It may thus foster the kind of interdisciplinary cooperation we are hoping to see.

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