From Richard Webb at New Scientist, a review of four new physics books, noting:
In one sense fundamental physics is flowering like never before. In another, it is in one of its deepest funks. The past five years have seen three great experimental advances: the discoveries of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves, as well as the Planck satellite’s meticulous measurements of the cosmic microwave background. But all have served to confirm existing pictures of reality: the standard model of particle physics based on quantum field theory, and the standard cosmological model of a big bang universe rooted in Einstein’s theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity.
Yet the deficiencies of those two theories are obvious. Not only do they contradict each other, they contradict how we feel reality should behave. Can we do better? More.
The four new top books may well make good Christmas gifts but reviewer Webb clearly doubts they go far in resolving much.
If only reality would behave the way we feel it should…
Now: The physics of time, Richard A. Muller (W. W. Norton)
Reality is Not What it Seems: The journey to quantum gravity, Carlo Rovelli (Allen Lane)
QBism: The future of quantum physics, Hans Christian von Baeyer (Harvard University Press)
Fashion, Faith and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe, Roger Penrose (Princeton University Press)
See also: Once more:“What if dark matter doesn’t exist?” The principal reason that the dark matter controversy is important is that there has never been a single particle of dark matter discovered, yet it gets rent-free space as an abstraction in thousands of physicists’ heads throughout their careers. How cogently we choose to handle the problem says a fair bit about the future of science.
Follow UD News at Twitter!