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Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law (2006)

af Peter Woit

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4011162,048 (3.7)12
"What happens when scientific theory departs the realm of testable hypothesis and comes to resemble something like aesthetic speculation, or even theology? The legendary physicist Wolfgang Pauli had a phrase for such ideas: He would describe them as "not even wrong," meaning that they were so incomplete that they could not even be used to make predictions to compare with observations to see whether they were wrong or not." "In Peter Woit's view, superstring theory is just such an idea. In Not Even Wrong, he explains that what many physicists call superstring "theory" is not a theory at all. It makes no predictions, right or wrong, and this very lack of falsifiability is what has allowed the subject to survive and flourish." "Woit tells the story of how the field of particle physics arrived at its current state and how it is in some ways a victim of its own success. He describes the exciting dialogue between mathematics and physics as well as the important role that mathematical beauty plays in the ongoing quest for new levels of understanding."--BOOK JACKET.… (mere)
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(Original Review, 2006)

Peter Woit: “Wow it seems this is a contentious subject with many different views . My two pence worth bearing in mind I am no butcher. Well, the bacon should be good quality from a real butchers, rind on unsmoked. The Bread? Another issue with many counter arguments but for me a good quality sliced white; Jacksons make my favourite lightly buttered. The Bacon should be fried in dripping until just vaguely crisp (Not Burnt!!!) at least three rashers (I like six but I am a big lad ) and of course a dollop of HP a smear of mustard is acceptable. So to recap B+SB+B+HPπ = Heaven. No Tomato or Lettuce that is BLT and needs discussion in a different forum. Hope my opinions don't upset the traditionalists too much.”

Brian Green: “I disagree in regards to the unsmoked bacon. I make my own and apple wood smoked bacon cannot be beaten. Peer review of this is invited.”

Susskind: “Wow!! but that means SB+SB+B=HPπ = Heaven !!!! a bold theory sir.”

Peter Woit: “I stand by it, sir, but I concur with your statement in regards to tomato and lettuce. Lesser minds may quibble over it but I am resolute.”

Lee Smolin: “I read that as "I like six but I am a big lard".

Peter Woit: “Well yes ...... that works too. My arse is especially Lardy !!!”

Brian Green: “Peter Woit: B+SB+B+HPπ = Heaven; Susskind: SB+SB+B=HPπ = Heaven !!!! Thus began the holy war that dominated the third post-Christ millennium. Also, maple syrup is the one true topping.”

Peter Woit: “ABOMINATION stone the heretic Brian Green!!!”

Bottom-Line: Forget relative, quantum, string and LQD; I want to know when someone is going to produce a filter that stops all spam. BTW, where does all the spam go to? All that information loss must surely one day impact on the universe and either speed up the expansion by overpowering dark matter, or draw all of the matter in the universe towards it and cause another big bang. Only Donald Trump's tweets are as tiresome as string theory. ( )
  antao | Nov 4, 2018 |
ottima overview sulla storia, le potenzialità e i difetti delle teorie delle stringhe ( )
  Eva_Filoramo | May 3, 2018 |
This is actually about Weyl and gauge / symetries, but they needed to market it as ' anti-string theroy ' It's very good, lots of important stuff. ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
This is actually about Weyl and gauge / symetries, but they needed to market it as ' anti-string theroy ' It's very good, lots of important stuff. ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
I actually thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took me on a very clear journey on the development of the standard model and the personalities involved with it in the first part of the book. I have to thank the author for pointing me in the direction of Hermann Weyl's "Symmetry", which I enjoyed very, very much. I am glad that he did not dumb down the physics too much in the book; I understood much more about particle theory after reading the first part of the book. Woit is a careful writer, never engaging in ad hominem attacks on those he disagrees with, and does not behave like an egotistical jerk like some figures in the field do lately.

The latter third part of the book is admittedly contentious where it gets very critical about string theory, but I always support the critical voice to be heard. It may well be the case that string theory is simply a theory before its time, however. ( )
  hypatiaa | May 11, 2012 |
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"What happens when scientific theory departs the realm of testable hypothesis and comes to resemble something like aesthetic speculation, or even theology? The legendary physicist Wolfgang Pauli had a phrase for such ideas: He would describe them as "not even wrong," meaning that they were so incomplete that they could not even be used to make predictions to compare with observations to see whether they were wrong or not." "In Peter Woit's view, superstring theory is just such an idea. In Not Even Wrong, he explains that what many physicists call superstring "theory" is not a theory at all. It makes no predictions, right or wrong, and this very lack of falsifiability is what has allowed the subject to survive and flourish." "Woit tells the story of how the field of particle physics arrived at its current state and how it is in some ways a victim of its own success. He describes the exciting dialogue between mathematics and physics as well as the important role that mathematical beauty plays in the ongoing quest for new levels of understanding."--BOOK JACKET.

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