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The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a… (2006)

by Lee Smolin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1422612,164 (3.9)49
"In this book, physicist Lee Smolin argues that physics - the basis for all other sciences - has lost its way. One of the major problems, according to Smolin, is string theory: an ambitious attempt to formulate a "theory of everything" that explains all the particles and forces of nature and how the universe came to be." "But as Smolin reveals, there's a deep flaw in the theory: no part of it has been tested, and no one knows how to test it. In fact, the theory appears to come in an infinite number of versions, meaning that no experiment will ever be able to prove it false. As a scientific theory, it fails." "Smolin charts the rise and fall of string theory and takes a look of at what will replace it. Smolin not only tells us who and what to watch for in the coming years, he offers novel solutions for seeking out and nurturing the best new talent - giving us a chance, at long last, of finding the next Einstein."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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» See also 49 mentions

English (25)  German (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Here's a book that is good but could be better.
It has the general aim of explaining the current state of fundamental physics, first in terms of the physics itself and second in terms of how it is practised (with particular reference to the USA).

THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT GOODREADS' CENSORSHIP POLICY

See the complete review here:

http://arbieroo.booklikes.com/post/334959/post ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
If you are looking for an uptodate discussion of the controversy of string theory and whether it's a cult or just a hoax, The Multidisciplinarian has posted a nice essay complete with lots of further reading: The Trouble with Strings. One of the things Smolin discusses is the sociology of string theory. The Multidisciplinarian comments:

A telling example of the tendency for string theory to exclude rivals comes from a 2004 exchange on the sci.physics.strings Google group between Luboš Motl and Wolfgang Lerche of CERN, who does a lot of work on strings and branes. Motl pointed to Leonard Susskind’s then recent embrace of “landscapes,” a concept Susskind had dismissed before it became useful to string theory. To this Lerche replied:

“what I find irritating is that these ideas are out since the mid-80s… this work had been ignored (because it didn’t fit into the philosophy at the time) by the same people who now re-“invent” the landscape, appear in journals in this context and even seem to write books about it. There had always been proponents of this idea, which is not new by any means.. . . the whole discussion could (and in fact should) have been taken place in 1986/87. The main thing what has changed since then is the mind of certain people, and what you now see is the Stanford propaganda machine working at its fullest.”

You can find it here: http://themultidisciplinarian.com/2016/02/01/the-trouble-with-strings/


I'm afraid that what follows here is what came out of my pen after I read Smolin's very interesting book. It has nothing to do with the book, but I had fun writing it. The book is worthy of another sort of review altogether, and if I'd been in another sort of mood altogether, I dare say that's what would have come out.

A review written in the straightforward three dimensions.
The dimensions God intended us to have.

What I have learned about string theory from this book.

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/the-trouble-with-physics-t... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
If you are looking for an uptodate discussion of the controversy of string theory and whether it's a cult or just a hoax, The Multidisciplinarian has posted a nice essay complete with lots of further reading: The Trouble with Strings. One of the things Smolin discusses is the sociology of string theory. The Multidisciplinarian comments:

A telling example of the tendency for string theory to exclude rivals comes from a 2004 exchange on the sci.physics.strings Google group between Luboš Motl and Wolfgang Lerche of CERN, who does a lot of work on strings and branes. Motl pointed to Leonard Susskind’s then recent embrace of “landscapes,” a concept Susskind had dismissed before it became useful to string theory. To this Lerche replied:

“what I find irritating is that these ideas are out since the mid-80s… this work had been ignored (because it didn’t fit into the philosophy at the time) by the same people who now re-“invent” the landscape, appear in journals in this context and even seem to write books about it. There had always been proponents of this idea, which is not new by any means.. . . the whole discussion could (and in fact should) have been taken place in 1986/87. The main thing what has changed since then is the mind of certain people, and what you now see is the Stanford propaganda machine working at its fullest.”

You can find it here: http://themultidisciplinarian.com/2016/02/01/the-trouble-with-strings/


I'm afraid that what follows here is what came out of my pen after I read Smolin's very interesting book. It has nothing to do with the book, but I had fun writing it. The book is worthy of another sort of review altogether, and if I'd been in another sort of mood altogether, I dare say that's what would have come out.

A review written in the straightforward three dimensions.
The dimensions God intended us to have.

What I have learned about string theory from this book.

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/the-trouble-with-physics-t... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Super interesting discussion of
- string theory
- the baselessness of string theory
- the dissolution, weakness & collapse of the academic physics system
- modern non-string theory developments
- some very fundamental ideas (movement & the Planck length, for example)

Thought it was great. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
I'm really interested in this topic, but I just don't have the stamina for long-winded and complex nonfiction. I mean, I finished the book and I checked out another book on a similar topic so who knows what I'm doing. ( )
  captainbooknerd | Jan 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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