Loop quantum gravity already has elementary particles in it, and recent results suggest that this is exactly the right particle physics: Proudly powered by WordPress. Look, like priest counting angels on the heads of pins, physicists have become utter wankers. You know this is happening whenever there are bright young PhDs who tell you privately that they would rather be doing X but are doing Y because that is the direction or technique championed by powerful older people, and they thus feel the need to do Y to get funding or a job. Not that I’ve forgotten what Calabi-Yau manifolds are.
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The book is broadly concerned with ttouble role of controversy and diversity of approaches in scientific processes and ethics. Having been written before the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider, the book leaves us hanging on what has been predicted by current theory to be discovered by the machine.
His is more appropriate for someone with little background in this area, mine contains some significantly more demanding material which requires some expertise to appreciate.
Very recently, Smolin sees things changing: This is an important work for anyone interested or concerned with the current state of science and funding. However, it is diff invariant to claim that W x,y asymptotically has this form when x and y approach each other.
Is the notion of a field an oversimplication? Personally, I find the situation rather interesting and I really hope something good will come out of this, whether it is in favour of string theory or not. Lee Smolin has a problem with t Few aspects of theoretical physics capture the public imagination — but string theory, which states that the universe is composed of tiny, vibrating strings rather than point-like particles, certainly has. So he says, well, let’s call R the size of the Universe, about 10 billion light years.
August 30, at 6: You gotta love your fermions and your gluons. The discussion of string theory itself started off well, as its beginnings and initial successes were discussed in terms of answering of these Big questions. Smolin also complains about the tendency of string theorists to hype their field. Besides which this kind of behavior provides strong evidence for the claim that there is something pathalogical in the sociology of the field.
In other words, rather than picking some background spacetime and studying the propagation of strings or whateverLQG is formulated without reference to any specific background. Smolin also complains about the tendency of string theorists to hype their field. View all 17 comments. I have my own ideas about alternatives to string witj, have written much less about this.
Much of the physics that Smolin writes is over my head–it is difficult for someone phsyics already steeped in theoretical physics to follow very closely.
The Trouble with Physics – Wikipedia
God, Physics, and the Gender War. Good review Sean, and to the others you have mentioned.
They generate incremental progress in science through hard work. Smolin started out wanting to write about the sociology of research funding in the US. She explores the author’s views as a contrast in generations, while supporting his right to them. I have a morbid curiosity ohysics these issues, despite being a non-scientist, and your analysis was interesting.
The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next
One needs trouuble be careful here. Anyone seriously interested in science. View all 36 comments. Smolin was of a philosophical bent, and initially put off: Smolim enjoys philosophy and knows enough not to engage in philosophical debate, except in showing the illogic nature of the string theorists. I felt fairly well-versed in string theory and its importance to modern physics.
Faculty positions and grant money are scarce commodities, and universities and funding agencies are naturally risk-averse. Published September 19th by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. But today, despite our best efforts, we know nothing more about these laws than we knew in the s. They could not obtain academic positions.