Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Physicists' Dreams and Worries

A short report on a "summit" held recently in Los Angeles among top physicists (mostly theoretical, it appears) to discuss broad ideas and expectations for physics for the next decades or so.

Organized into “duels” of world views, round tables and “diatribes and polemics,” the conference was billed as a place where the physicists could let down their hair about what might come, avoid “groupthink” and “be daring (even at the expense of being wrong),” according to Dr. Spiropulu’s e-mailed instructions. “Tell us what is bugging you and what is inspiring you,” she added.

I'm not quite sure what this has accomplished or how it has set the agenda for physics for the next several years. Maybe the news report doesn't convey enough to draw such a conclusion.



Cantium said...

It seems to have accomplished a more honest view of current physics, at least for some. Joe Lykken probably summed it up best;
"We're confused, and we're probably going to be confused for some time."
Perhaps once we're ready for the 'new way of thinking' Einstein thought was needed to solve the problems created by the old way, we may see some new light?
But, to allow that, surely first the majority must be able to recognise there are problems!

Anonymous said...

But, to allow that, surely first the majority must be able to recognise there are problems!

That, or just a single thinker with a compelling argument.

Cantium said...

It's nice to think so, but even the most compelling arguments can't work if only troglodytes read them.
Look at the recent entirely compelling papers on NASA's Laser Lunar ranging by Dan Gezari. http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.3818v2 Experimental Basis for Special Relativity in the Photon Sector. and http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.3934 Lunar Laser Ranging Test of the Invariance of c. Also the consistant Wang et al 'Linear Sagnac' experiment, and the even more compelling Discrete Field Model that predicted the results. All falsifiable but ignored as they adjust (correct) ruling paradigm so didn't get into Nature Physics!
It seems we may now be stuck with the physics we have.