I would like to discuss an impression I had while reading Doron Zeilberger's 111th opinion. The impression that I had can be distilled in a simple question:

**What is to point of proving rigorously things that physicists already can `explain'?**

Doron seems of the opinion that there is usually no point. I guess in context one example Doron is referring to is the H-Theorem and Villani's work. For a moment I couldn't think of any convincing argument and momentarily became depressed as I am interested in rigorous mathematical physics.

After a little thought I came up with the following reason as to why it is worthwhile to rigorously prove things that physicists already know. Maybe the physicists knowledge about the object in question is not as deep as they think. After all if it were wouldn't a rigorous proof be easy? On the same note, the physicists may be able to predict some things in the model but their explanation for why it happens might be wrong. In the future they may, after physical experiments or theoretical arguments, realize this but the point with mathematical rigor is that after something is proven you know that your explanation is eternally correct.

In closing I would say that rigorous proofs in mathematical physics only validate the physicists reasoning most of the time. However, sometimes they show such reasoning to be faulty and as a result we gain more insight into the object in question.

Do you have any arguments for or against the above question?

Zeilberger'sstuff boring! – Todd Trimble♦ May 7 '11 at 13:34