Nowadays, headlines covering the foundations of physics won’t tell you about new discoveries, but merely what “might be” or “could be”. The phrase “physicists say” is all too frequently followed by speculations about multiverses, non-existent particles, or fifth forces that we have no evidence of. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be associated with this discipline.
But the worst part is that most of my colleagues think this situation perfectly okay.
For starters, they would probably disagree that we have a problem in the foundations of physics at all. They’d tell you about lots of exciting papers that have been published in recent years. At present the biggest fad is throwing artificial intelligence at everything, closely followed by claiming that quantum simulations or quantum computing is the way forward. About this I can only say that scientific progress isn’t measured by how many papers have been written.
But this illusion of progress is the minor problem. Worse is that they seem resigned to the idea that foundational work in physics is detached from experiment and technological application.Sabine Hossenfelder, “Who’s killing physics?” at Cosmos Magazine (April 15, 2022)
We keep asking: To what extent has it become a sort of religion?