Hossenfelder’s clarifications will at least help us understand what we are all confused about.
No, Sabine, you’re not crazy. But you live in crazymaking times. Cosmology has degenerated into the pursuit of cool nonsense like the multiverse via string theory. So much now seems to revolve around whether findings help or hurt the nonsense. Not about learning more about what is really happening here now.
In short, she is saying, the universe wasn’t supposed to be like this and that’s the basis for the current crisis in cosmology. One can always invent “falsifiable” theories but their falsifiability is not in itself a virtue; it is simply the basis for them being theories in science at all. The question of whether they should be pursued or funded is a quite different one.
And afterwards, we find the math works. Sabine Hossenfelder author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, asks us to consider what distinguishes a good problem in physics, hence in cosmology, from a trip through some interesting weeds.
It’s the basic problem of the coffee mug. If naturalism (nature is all there is), often called “materialism,” is true, either you and the mug are both conscious or neither of you is. The comments at BackRe(Action) illustrate the difficulty many have grasping that that is a serious problem.
They’ll find the money to continue. Consider: The Standard Model begins with the hated Big Bang. Nothing that supports string theory, eternal cosmic inflation, or a multiverse has been found. Don’t many people just have to keep looking and keep quiet about what they find that wasn’t what they hoped for?
Hossenfelder: Negative masses is “a nice idea” that “works really badly.”
When Nature’s Books and Arts editor Barbara Kiser’stop five for 2018 came out, #s 1 and 2 were Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder on the troubled state of theoretical physics, of which Kiser says, Lost in Math is a firecracker of a book—a shot across the bows of theoretical physics. […]
Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, is not enthusiastic about a new video promoting a new, larger collider for CERN. She believes that current, serious problems are being smoothed over for politicians and the public, by general soothing noises that a bigger collider might answer many questions about our universe. […]
At her blog, Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, offers a guest post spot to a fellow physicist: No current unified theory includes quantum mechanics fundamentally as part of its structure. But a truly unified theory must. And I believe the ultimate theory will be geometrically natural. Canonical quantum commutation […]
Theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, acknowledges the seriousness of the situation but isn’t sure that the term “crisis” describes the current situation well: I think stagnation describes it better. And let me be clear that the problem with this stagnation is not with the experiments. The problem […]
One must hope that Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, isn’t too worried about the people who criticize her: Let us leave aside for a moment that you have to skip half the book to not notice I question myself on every other page. Heck, if you ask me to […]
Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, explains, Three weeks ago, Steinhauer’s group reported results from a new experiment in which they have now measured the temperature of the fluid black hole: Observation of thermal Hawking radiation at the Hawking temperature in an analogue black hole Juan Ramón Muñoz de Nova, Katrine […]
Science writer David Appell suggests this, in all seriousness, in his review of Sabine Hossenfelder’s Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, at Physics World: Hossenfelder confronts physicists to ask them why their ideas aren’t working. Michael Krämer, who heads the new-physics group at the LHC and works on supersymmetry, tells her that he is “honestly […]
From Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, says science has a problem and we need to talk: For the past 15 years, I have worked in the foundations of physics, a field which has not seen progress for decades. What happened 40 years ago is that theorists in my discipline […]