Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, by Sabine Hossenfelder

Synopsis: 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.

Published: June 2018 | ISBN: 978-0465094257

Author’s Homepage: http://backreaction.blogspot.com
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/skdh

Dynamic Ecology Book Review
Nintil Book Review
Science Book Review
Mathematical Association of America Book Review

Amazon Associates (SBAD gets a % of sales from books sold via these links, to help us do more work for science books)

Hardcover Edition: Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray

Advertisements

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.