No New Worlds to Discover?

 Alexander at 30 something grieved that there were no more world's to conquer.  Robbert Dijkgraaf writing in Quanta, asks whether physics has reached that sad state.  While he concludes in the negative, his denial sounds more like "hey, we can still add a few decimal points here and there."

Lubos Motl and Peter Woit both have commentaries up today, and Lubos is predictably outraged at his one time coauthor, and Peter is more measured.

The Universe still has some puzzles for us of course, but it is not clear that their understanding will have the same kinds of revolutionary import that the discoveries of Newton, Maxwell, Einstein and the quantum theorists have had.  In particular, the Cosmos is starting to feel a bit cramped.  Of course it is indeed large beyond our imaginings, but there don't seem to be dragons out there, or at least not dragons that we don't already know about.  Black holes, quasars, gamma ray bursters all seem to fit pretty neatly under known laws.


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