Monday, September 26, 2016

10 Years Of Not Even Wrong

Physics World has a provocative article and podcast to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Peter Woit's devastating criticism of String Theory in his book "Not Even Wrong".

Not Even Wrong coincided with the publication of another book – The Trouble with Physics – that had a similar theme and tone, penned by Woit’s friend and renowned physicist Lee Smolin. Together, the two books put the theory and its practitioners under a critical spotlight and took string theory’s supposed inadequacies to task. The books sparked a sensation both in the string-theory community and in the wider media, which until then had heard only glowing reports of the theory’s successes. 

Interestingly enough, the few students that I've encountered who told me that they want to go into String Theory have never heard or were not aware of Woit's book. I can understand NOT WANTING to read it, but to not even be aware of it and what it is about sounds rather .... naive. This is a prominent physicist who produced a series of undeniable criticism of a particular field of study that you want to go into. Not only should you be aware of it, but you need to read it and figure it out.

It is still a great book to read even if it is 10 years old now.


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