Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brian Greene's 'The Fabric of the Cosmos'

For better or for worse, a 4-part PBS TV series on Brian Greene's "The Fabric of the Cosmos" will air this November (at least in the US). Just barely 8 years after his series on String Theory "The Elegant Universe" aired, we will have another trip down the super-fantastic lane of speculation beyond experiment.

Don't get me wrong, I think TV series like this spurs the imagination of kids, and maybe even make them interested in physics. But I think there is a severe imbalance in areas of physics that get the publicity almost all the time, while the workhorse of physics, which occupies the MAJORITY of the subject area, does not get any type of publicity. Why? Because areas such as condensed matter seem to not be sexy enough to inspire such fantastic imagination, which is purely baloney.

So what we end up with is the impression on the public that physics is nothing more than these esoteric subject matter that has very little to do with their everyday existence. This gets very tiring very quickly.


1 comment:

Sara said...

And of course this isn't helped with every-day media focusing only on the most explosive things happening in physics. So most people think that physics is all about neutrinos and strings etc. and then proceed to assume that the entire field must be like that.
But then, I think many highly specialised fields in both science and humanities are often portrayed like this.