quale wrote:I dropped out of being a physics major because everyone was just dogmatically accepting the notion of entropy as the "log of the number of states" and didn't want to question what the hell that really meant.
Me too! Not just they way they gloss over entropy, but also where the Schroedinger equation comes from, etc., and the way they avoid thinking about paradoxes (e.g. Maxwell's demon: is entropy subjective?, this one about classical mechanics). And the fact that nobody bothers to fix the very bad notation traditionally used in some physics is a pretty bad sign too (nobody except for my hero Sussman).
In college physics, I was just told to plug-and-play, which made me very unhappy. I was interested in finding logical relationships between sets physical axioms (e.g. how to prove that energy is proportional to amplitude squared using only the additiveness of amplitude and energy conservation).
Since I like my knowledge network to be dense / tight (i.e. certain), ignoring foundational questions and paradoxes is totally against my cognitive style, but I wonder if being less conservative might sometimes be a good idea, if the goal is to make the science progress: it might sometimes be a good idea to ignore foundational questions.