Press "Enter" to skip to content


EthnoPhysics is a theory about physics that is based on describing what we see, hear, taste and feel. Ideas are presented in a way that is accessible to an adventurous lay reader. We start in plain newspaper English, then as we go along, words with specialized meanings are explained in terms of common sensations. Definitions are arranged in logical order so they can be taught with minimal hand-waving. The level of mathematics is mostly high-school algebra.

EthnoPhysics describes what we see, including views like this woven image.
Textile fragment, Chancay people. Pre-Hispanic Peru, 51 x 38 cm. Photograph by D. Dunlop.

EthnoPhysics has developed scientific definitions for mass and time. This is tested by detailed mathematical analysis for hundreds of nuclear particles. Calculated results compare favorably with experimental observations, fewer than a dozen particles fall outside of experimental uncertainty. There are also some other results. The conservation laws and Pauli’s exclusion principle have been explicitly traced to their historical roots. And some muddle about phase angles and dynamic equilibrium has been addressed. However the intellectual price for all these benefits is high: The idea of perfectly continuous space has been forsaken. So some limits on the use of calculus are inferred.

Right now, work at EthnoPhysics is aiming for a logical exposition of Newtonian mechanics. This involves developing a theory of space, and lots of discussion about hydrogen. On the horizon, there is an outline for predicting the magnetic moments of some nuclear particles.

EthnoPhysics is about Humans

EthnoPhysics has almost nothing to say about the mysteries of the universe.  It is called ethno physics because it is based on the experience of all sorts of people. It explicitly includes cultural notions of classification, often a Western style, along with some other ways of organizing things. And it incorporates socially established priorities about what gets attention.  This inclusive view enriches theoretical development with an expanded library of semiotic textures.