A contrarian argues that modern physicists' obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science. Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades. The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink their methods. Only by embracing reality as it is can science discover the truth....
|Title||:||Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray|
|Number of Pages||:||291 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray Reviews
Like Sabine writes and tries to address, physics has worked itself into a state where all our experiments result in null result after another, and our cutting edge theories are mere speculations of science fiction. The way she approaches this problem, trying to figure out how we got here, what we can do to fix it, and whether what we’re doing is justified in the first place, is wonderful. This is an excellent popular work on the cusp of physics and philosophy, but it comes with a little requirem ...more
Sabine shares her experience with physics and math inside a chaotic world where beauty can bright up. She brings a fresh and new perspective to classic theories. This book is a most for new science students. It will encourage them to explore unconventional and innovative paths.
Really interesting approach to looking at math, theories of physics. Its always great to look at things we have been taught for granted, and it can be a little disconcerting, if not liberating to look at things through a new prism.
Really enjoyed, made me use my brain. Try it, you will like it.
WSJ review, by Graham Farmelo
"When Ms. Hossenfelder reiterates in her final chapter that many of the world’s most accomplished theorists are “lost in math,” we cannot help wondering whether it is she who is lost. Time will tell whether many of the world’s leading theoretical physicists have spent decades barking up the wrong tree. Meanwhile, it is pleasing to read that Ms. Hossenfelder now has a research grant and has resumed work on the subject she plainl ...more
I figured that if Luboš Motl hated the book this much, it had to be worth reading. It's usually a sound principle, and it didn't let me down this time either.
The author is someone who rates their own books on Goodreads...
Thematically similar to Smolin's "The Trouble with Physics" but not so similar as to be uninteresting. Contains some brief excerpts from interviews with a variety of physicists with widely differing views on the relevance of aesthetic principles in cooking up new physics. I found the style informal in a pleasant way, and there was enough technical detail (especially in the notes) for my taste as well.
Sabine Hossenfelder says the book description was not written by her. For a better idea of what the book is about, see her blog post on it.