Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth. Jim Baggott. Pegasus, $ (p) ISBN. Two writers argue that modern science needs to get a grip on reality, rejecting ‘ timeless’ theories of the universe and the ‘fairytale’ physics of. It’s always good when a book of popular science has a clear line to argue, and Jim Baggott’s line is very clear indeed: modern physics has.
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Very strong rich-get-richer pipe. June 23, at 4: Stephen Hawking and black holes.
We have gone from elegant and empirical to seemingly impossibly complex and untestable. Baggott sees a lot of theoretical physics, M theory, string theory etc etc, as having abandoned what he sees as the perimeters of science and should be considered metaphysical speculation not scientific speculation.
With its engaging portraits of many central figures of modern physics, including Paul Davies, John Barrow, Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking, and Leonard Susskind, it promises to be essential reading for all readers interested in what we know and don’t know about the nature of the universe and reality itself. Baggot is currently a freelance science writer. This part of the book should be read only by nerds who, even though they don’t have the mathematical training, want to understand what’s going on tarewell in topics such as string theory, supersymmetry, and the multiverse.
His critique is tempered by an acknowledgment that Supersymmetry is testable, but as the expected supersymmetric particles have yet to be found even as particle accelerators operate at higher-and-higher energies, this body of work appears more-and-more to be a house of cards.
And what of conjecture without current evidence? Variations of graph theory on the Planck scale. Probably a bit over a 4. Tuesday, April 03, Book Review: Increasingly often, modern science is being attacked by people accusing it of failing to honor its own rules. Farewfll fails to tackle larger problems plaguing science at the moment.
Do good theories always show such progress before they come good? Scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider have found no evidence that the new particle discovered earlier this year is anything but the simplest — and most boring — variety of Higgs boson.
From such conflict does resolution both carewell and extra diegetic emerge. He considers numerous cases from the history of science and philosophy, and concludes that it is hard to frame clear general rules.
This book is a summary of the present state of physics and he shows it is riven by methodological and epistemological difficulties. We can no longer assume that the properties we measure necessarily reflect or represent the properties of the particles as they really are.
My take is that Baggott gets it just right. Jim Baggott completed his doctorate in physical chemistry at the University of Oxford and his postgraduate research at Stanford University.
Times changed for the better. The dream of a “theory of everything”, which might explain all of history from the instant of the big bang, assumes a law that preceded time itself.
FAREWELL TO REALITY by Jim Baggott | Kirkus Reviews
That might seem an empty bargain, but Smolin asserts that not only could it solve many problems in fundamental physics and cosmology, but that it is also more amenable to testing than current “timeless” theories.
Recommended with reservations noted. This book is not for people whose knowledge of particle physics consists entirely of what you’ve managed to glean from the CERN’s press releases. There was enough depth for someone like myself that is conversant in physics but doesn’t actually practice it himself, and yet not so much depth that you hit road blocks in understanding due to pages of mathematics that you have to digest.
This efforts include supersymetry,supergravity,the superestring theory. Confronting one of the biggest obstacles in science. Now one can argue that science writers should be more critical and not just believe what some scientist tells them to advertise their research.
This is quite amusing coming from someone who see here had his university put out a press release claiming that he had made the first discovery of a way to test string theory.
Too many scientists are doing backflips trying to justify a particular religious world view rather than actually observing the universe as if answering questions like “Is there a God? Dec 23, Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: The opening salvo was Smolin’s The Trouble with Physicswhich caused some damage; it was taken seriously within the scientific establishment and widely read outside it.
But the few exceptions happen to be very big ones.