Trouble with Physics: Woit

Peter Woit has a review of Lee Smolin's new book The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next. It is, as Peter says, not
... a usual sort of review, since I’ll mainly concentrate on discussing the parts of Smolin’s book that I found most interesting, and my perspective here is kind of unique, having spent a lot of time writing about many of the same subjects that he covers.

I will throw in one more excerpt for flavor:
What most fascinated me about Smolin’s book is the personal story behind it. He was a graduate student at Harvard during the same years that I was an undergraduate there, and describes well that place and time. The standard model had just been formulated a few years earlier, and experimental confirmation was pouring in. Many of the people responsible for the standard model were there at Harvard, and there was more than a bit of justifiable pride and arrogance. Smolin was of a philosophical bent, and initially put off:

The atmosphere was not philosophical; it was harsh and aggressive, dominated by people who were brash, cocky, confident, and in some cases insulting to people who disagreed with them.

I strongly recommend the review, especially to those who might not read the book. It is nicely complementary to Sabine Hossenfelder's more conventionally structured (and also excellent) review of the same book.


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