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I am making an analogy between the history of arts and physics and wanted to make sure that the physics side is correct. As such, the question is probably not a good fit for this site, but maybe it can be salvaged by rephrasing? Or maybe someone can answer it here?

We can try and see the progress of the history of arts as a physical phenomenon, but not the deterministic physics Ernest Rutherford had in mind, more like the light in Richard Feynmann‘s quantum electrodynamics. Indeed, any given light particle photon behaves randomly, and any given art object is random. But, just as the rays of light have predictable trajectory, defined by the environment and the objects that absorb light or allow it to reflect against, the overall trajectory of art is determined by the society within which it is created.

I am bringing up Ernest Rutherford because of the quote "All science is either physics or stamp collecting" that allegedly belongs to him.

I wanted to check the following: 1. my interpretation of Ernest Rutherford's ideas - can you say that, in his universe, the behaviour of light would be fully deterministic? 2. my interpretation of Richard Feynmann's ideas - can you say that, in his universe, any given light particle photon behaves randomly, but we can predict the behaviour of a ray of light (jet of photons?) on statistical level?

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    $\begingroup$ Are you aware of History of Science and Mathematics? Not that I know how they'd feel about this, you'd have to ask there as well. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jan 3 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee thanks, will try. I was thinking maybe I could break my question into two site-compliant questions, one about Reserford, the other one about Feynmann, to check my understanding of their views on physics? $\endgroup$ – Yulia V Jan 3 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ If the question involves discussion then you should ask it at The H bar (I believe that you should give it a try) and see what different users have to share. Otherwise make the question such that it doesn't lead to a lot of discussion and remains answerable in Q and A format. $\endgroup$ – Johan Liebert Jan 3 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ I don't actually see a question in the quote block you've given. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jan 3 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos the question (actually two questions) are just before the blockquote, they are about the correctness of the blockquote :) $\endgroup$ – Yulia V Jan 3 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ You've misunderstood me. Your question that you've posted is about "salvaging" the question in the block quote. But there is no question in the block quote. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jan 3 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with Kyle, but I don't see how the blockquote could possibly be transformed into an on-topic question. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jan 3 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I think that would be good to post as an answer. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 5 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ thank you all, and apologies for the delayed response. I have updated the question. $\endgroup$ – Yulia V Jan 5 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ Is the question "what was Rutherford thinking about light?" belong here or to the history of science group? I have updated the question above, explaining what I was asking :) $\endgroup$ – Yulia V Jan 6 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Yulia Are you asking about the actual historical figures? Or about the worldviews broadly (though not necessarily correctly) attributed to them? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jan 6 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ I am asking about what these actual historical figures were thinking (or - could be implied to think given their works) about light? E.g. do I understand correctly that Rutherford was thinking that light was a wave, like one entity, fully deterministic? I am sorry if my phrasing is not great - if I knew what the correct phrasing would be it would be the answer to my question :) $\endgroup$ – Yulia V Jan 6 at 23:09
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If there is a question in the blockquoted text, it's a question about artistic and cultural evolution, which is not on-topic for our community.

It sounds like the beginning of an interesting idea. Best of luck finding a home for it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Apologies for the delayed response! No, it was about checking 1. my interpretation of Ernest Rutherford's ideas - is it correct to call his contributions to physics as deterministic? can you say that, in his universe, the behaviour of light would be fully deterministic? 2. my interpretation of Richard Feynmann's ideas - can you say that, in his universe, any given light particle photon behaves randomly, but we can predict the behaviour of a ray of light (jet of photons?) on statistical level? $\endgroup$ – Yulia V Jan 5 at 22:03
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    $\begingroup$ If your questions are about how atoms or light rays behave, they can be made on-topic here (well, on main). If your questions are about what Rutherford thought or what Feynman thought, you're better off asking historians. If your question is "I have this idea, is it right?", search for our discussions about "check-my-work" questions and reconsider. $\endgroup$ – rob Jan 6 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ I think it is the second type, will ask the historians, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Yulia V Jan 6 at 23:10

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