Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Question For James

I don't want to steal your traffic. If you want to answer at your own site, I will happily link to that here in an update.

I listened to Chad Orzel today, physics prof and author of the intriguingly-named How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog and How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog. Razib asked him to give an overview for the generally science-savvy listener what has been the big news in physics over the last twenty years. Of the several answers he gave, he mentioned that while the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012 was a big deal, particle physicists are starting to mutter that something may be wrong, as further particles should have been detected by now according to the major theories that seek to unite relativity and quantum mechanics.

He mentioned specifically the German physicist and physics blogger Sabina Hossenfelder and her 2018 book Lost in Math. Her belief is that the dogma that the reality of the universe must ultimately be beautiful has caused physicists to lose their way trusting in beauty as a necessary requirement in developing theories. That sounds like exactly the sort of thing an outsider can partially understand, as many of us have been exposed to that narrative in both physics and mathematics of the unending unfolding of beauty as the search goes deeper.

Very interested in your take on this.

Update:  James works quickly.  His answer is up.


james said...

I'll give it a try. "the margin is too small to contain it."

Sam L. said...

My dog's too old to learn quantum mechanics and relativity, and it's been mannnnnnnnnnnnny years since I studied them, and haven't used I couldn't teach him, anyway.