Physics without numbers?? Isn’t this a contradiction in terms?? Certainly the way of knowing about the world that we label “physics” is characterized by precise relationships. For example, consider the relationship expressed as F α a. This is clearly not a relationship of the form ‘there is a correlation of some form here’; it is rather ‘the two variables are directly proportional, a causal link we know with certainty (given a set of limitations that we also know with certainty)’. And because of this physics is also characterized by precise measurements of variables and the search to measure variables with greater precision. One characterization of physics then could be the search for mathematically precise and casual relationships, and the then necessary search for more precise ways to measure relevant variables.

Faculty Of Education. Centre for Science, Mathematics & Technology Education.

Copyright Richard F. Gunstone and Richard T. White March 2012. The use of any of the material in this document for any activity that leads to profit for a third party is expressly forbidden.