Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law

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Basic Books, 04.09.2006 - 291 Seiten
At what point does theory depart the realm of testable hypothesis and come to resemble something like aesthetic speculation, or even theology? The legendary physicist Wolfgang Pauli had a phrase for such ideas: He would describe them as "not even wrong," meaning that they were so incomplete that they could not even be used to make predictions to compare with observations to see whether they were wrong or not. In Peter Woit's view, superstring theory is just such an idea. In Not Even Wrong, he shows that what many physicists call superstring "theory" is not a theory at all. It makes no predictions, even wrong ones, and this very lack of falsifiability is what has allowed the subject to survive and flourish. Not Even Wrong explains why the mathematical conditions for progress in physics are entirely absent from superstring theory today and shows that judgments about scientific statements, which should be based on the logical consistency of argument and experimental evidence, are instead based on the eminence of those claiming to know the truth. In the face of many books from enthusiasts for string theory, this book presents the other side of the story.
 

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Nutzerbericht  - antao - LibraryThing

(Original Review, 2006) Peter Woit: “Wow it seems this is a contentious subject with many different views . My two pence worth bearing in mind I am no butcher. Well, the bacon should be good quality ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

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Nutzerbericht  - BakuDreamer - LibraryThing

This is actually about Weyl and gauge / symetries, but they needed to market it as ' anti-string theroy ' It's very good, lots of important stuff. Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Particle Physics at the Turn of the Millennium
1
The Instruments of Production
5
Quantum Theory
29
Quantum Field Theory
49
Gauge Symmetry and Gauge Theories
59
The Standard Model
67
Triumph of the Standard Model
85
Problems of the Standard Model
91
On Beauty and Difficulty
193
Is Superstring Theory Science?
203
The Bogdanov Affair
213
The Only Game in Town The Power and the Glory of String Theory
221
The Landscape of String Theory
237
Other Points of View
247
Conclusion
255
Acknowledgments
265

Beyond the Standard Model
95
New Insights in Quantum Field Theory and Mathematics
105
String Theory History
139
String Theory and Supersymmetry An Evaluation
161
Notes
269
Index
279
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Über den Autor (2006)

Peter Woit is a lecturer in the mathematics department of Columbia University, where in recent years he has taught graduate courses in quantum field theory, representation theory, and differential geometry. His math and physics blog, Not Even Wrong (www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress), has been featured in Discover, Seed, and New Scientist. He lives in New York.

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