The Trouble With Physics
The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next
By Lee Smolin
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780618918683, 416pp.)
Publication Date: September 2007
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In this illuminating book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that fundamental physics -- the search for the laws of nature -- losing its way. Ambitious ideas about extra dimensions, exotic particles, multiple universes, and strings have captured the public’s imagination -- and the imagination of experts. But these ideas have not been tested experimentally, and some, like string theory, seem to offer no possibility of being tested. Yet these speculations dominate the field, attracting the best talent and much of the funding and creating a climate in which emerging physicists are often penalized for pursuing other avenues. As Smolin points out, the situation threatens to impede the very progress of science. With clarity, passion, and authority, Smolin offers an unblinking assessment of the troubles that face modern physics -- and an encouraging view of where the search for the next big idea may lead.
Lee Smolin earned his Ph.D. in physics at Harvard, then went on to teach at Yale and Pennsylvania State before helping to found the innovative Perimeter Institute. He is the author of The Life of the Cosmos and Three Roads to Quantum Gravity.
"A splendid, edifying report from the front lines of theorectical physics . . . A wonderful gift." The San Francisco Chronicle
" An uncommonly clear and confident account . . . Even those who differ with many of Smolin’s contentions can applaud his bringing physicists’ anguished night thoughts into the clear light of day.”Tim Ferris
If you want to think in new ways about the interconnected universe around you, read Lee Smolin’s provocative, inspiring book.”Margaret Geller
"The best book about contemporary science written for the layman that I have ever read ... Read this book. Twice."
The Times of London