February 22, 2004 5:37 PM   Subscribe

At the end of this book, Fritjof Capra describes a hipothesis that proposed that the properties of quarks could be wholly deduced from something that looked like a logic table. Also, I think the same book proposed a new non-hierarchical epistemology based only on the principle of non-contradiction (my memory is sketchy on this, and I'm nowhere near the book). Does anybody know what I'm talking about, and whether or not that these theories were ever taken seriously by anybody?
posted by signal to Science & Nature (2 answers total)
The key words you are looking for are: S-matrix, bootstrap, Geoffrey Chew.

Heisenberg's S-matrix seems to have been an alternate approach to field theory. It had some interesting philosophical implications since it seemed that no particle was more fundamental than any other - they were stable inter-related configurations. So it appeals to proponents of holism.

Chew tried to run with it but nothing has really been done with S-matrix theory (though some of its tools are still used for calculations) since the 70's I think. Its not so much quackery as much as it didnt lead to anything useful.
posted by vacapinta at 6:58 PM on February 22, 2004

Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for.
posted by signal at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2004

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