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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

What are nature's deepest secrets? Why is there something rather than nothing? The eagerness with which many in modern cultures look to physicists for answers to these and other ultimate life-questions testifies to the aura of prestige and power that surrounds the oldest of the modern natural sciences. Physicists are currently struggling to unite the various theoretical developments surveyed in this article under one conceptual framework. At present, relativity theory, quantum theory, and chaos theory each provide quite distinct lenses onto the world's physical structures and processes. Although both relativity theory and chaos theory transform various aspects of Newton's account of space, time, and causation, they also essentially sustain the determinism of the classical framework. Quantum theory, on the other hand, at least according to the most widely held interpretation, dramatically overturns this tradition.

Keywords: nature, physics, reductionism, relativity theory, chaos theory, quantum theory, Isaac Newton

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