Why the laws of physics don’t actually exist

Sankar Das Sarma in New Scientist:

I was recently reading an old article by string theorist Robbert Dijkgraaf in Quanta Magazine entitled “There are no laws of physics”. You might think it a bit odd for a physicist to argue that there are no laws of physics but I agree with him. In fact, not only do I agree with him, I think that my field is all the better for it. And I hope to convince you of this too.

First things first. What we often call laws of physics are really just consistent mathematical theories that seem to match some parts of nature. This is as true for Newton’s laws of motion as it is for Einstein’s theories of relativity, Schrödinger’s and Dirac’s equations in quantum physics or even string theory. So these aren’t really laws as such, but instead precise and consistent ways of describing the reality we see. This should be obvious from the fact that these laws are not static; they evolve as our empirical knowledge of the universe improves.

Here’s the thing. Despite many scientists viewing their role as uncovering these ultimate laws, I just don’t believe they exist.

More here.