Physicists have been searching for the fundamental building blocks and the fundamental laws that govern the universe since ancient times. I will define those sets of building blocks and those sets of laws of interactions as fundamental, which are minimum in number and yet models and explains the maximum number of observable phenomena. We have not found such minimal sets. Because we face a permanent information retrieval problem. No finite set of experiment can extract complete information about any particular object. In our evidence (data) gathering experiments, we study an unknown object by letting it interact with a “known” object. We never know any object completely. So we are forced to approximate, assume, etc. We can keep refining our knowledge through diverse iterations. Mathematical theory is immensely helpful. However, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem gives us another limiting block. Hence, our search for fundamental building blocks and fundamental laws of interactions must keep evolving.
How to guide this evolution? A working theory, based upon human created postulates and human invented mathematical theories do not automatically guarantee that we can grasp the ontological reality of the universe. We need to adopt the system engineering thinking to keep us grounded to nature’s ontological reality. If an instrument works, then the working rules behind it are allowed by nature. This is not always true for working mathematical theories.
I give an example on how the system engineering thinking, or Interaction Process Mapping Epistemology (IPM-E) applied to mathematical Superposition Principle vs. experimentally observable Superposition Effect, helped me re- discover Non-Interaction of Wave in the absence of interacting media. This has led me to appreciate that space is a Complex Tension Filed (CTF), since it allows both the EM waves and particles to emerge as diverse kinds of its oscillations. CTF is the fundamental field that generates the observable universe.