Under Review

Why mathematicians should learn more physics and physicists should learn more mathematics and all of us should learn more philosophy

Science Philosophy String Theory Ontology

Cite as:

Oliver López-Corona and Gustavo Magallanes-Guijón and Igor Barahona (2019). Why mathematicians should learn more physics and physicists should learn more mathematics and all of us should learn more philosophy. RESEARCHERS.ONE, https://www.researchers.one/article/2019-08-24.

Abstract:

The idea of the paper is to think about the result presented in Numberphile (http://www. numberphile.com/) talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-I6XTVZXww) where they claim that 1 + 2 + 3 + ..., the Gauss sum, converges to −1/12. In the video they make two strong statements: one that the Grandi’s Series 1 − 1 + 1 − 1 + 1 − 1 + ... tends to 1/2 and the second that as bizarre as the −1/12 result for the Gauss sum might appears, as it is connected to Physics (this result is related with the number of dimensions in String Theory) then it is plausible. In this work we argue that these two statements reflect adhesion to a particular probability narrative and to a particular scientific philosophical posture. We argue that by doing so, these (Gauss and Grandi series) results and String Theory ultimately, might be mathematical correct but they are scientifically (in the Galileo-Newton-Einstein tradition) inconsistent (at least). The philosophical implications of this problem are also discussed, focusing on the role of evidence and scientific demarcation.