The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next

The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next

In this groundbreaking book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that physics ? the basis for all other sciences ? has lost its way. For more than two centuries, our understanding of the laws of nature expanded rapidly. But today, despite our best efforts, we know nothing more about these laws than we knew in the 1970s. Why is physics suddenly in trouble? In this groundbreaking book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that physics ? the basis for all o...

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Title:The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next
Author:Lee Smolin
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Genres:Science
ISBN:The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:416 pages pages

The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next Reviews

  • Jafar
    Mar 29, 2007
    This book attempts to explain why physics is in such a sorry state, and why no new revolutionary ideas have been put forward in the past few decades ? certainly nothing that can be compared with relativity or quantum physics. John Horgan said the same thing about all branches of scie...
  • Amar Pai
    Jul 07, 2007
    If I had to summarize this book in one sentence, I would say: nothing, because I didn't understand hardly any of it. It's not the author's fault, as his pop-science explanations of recondite scientific theories and phenomena (supersymmetry, gauge theory, quantum electrodynamices, strin...
  • David
    Nov 10, 2013
    It is well known now, that a very large cadre of talent in theoretical physics has been working on string theory. The theory solves a lot of problems in physics, and Lee theoretical physicist Lee Smolin has published a number of papers on the subject. The problem is that, the theory do...
  • Rob
    May 06, 2009
    I first came across The Trouble with Physics when Richard mentioned Manny's excellent review in a comment on my review of The Elegant Universe. I left The Elegant Universe feeling invigorated about physics [1] but sour on string theory. Simply put, for as elegant as string theorists...
  • Trevor
    Feb 15, 2009
    Manny got me to read this book (admittedly it has taken me a while to get around to it) not so much with this review here http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/..., but rather with the trouble I was having with reading another book on string theory that had maths that was well over my h...
  • DJ
    Apr 19, 2008
    It is obvious that Lee Smolin cares deeply and sincerely about the future of his field of physics. I read this with the intent to get a balanced view of string theory (having already read Brian Greene?s gushing pro-string theory book ?The Elegant Universe?) but got so much more. ...
  • Nikki
    Aug 03, 2017
    I came out of reading this book with a pleasing illusion that I understood something of the state of modern physics. Smolin?s style worked for me in explaining things well enough that, for once, I wasn?t left boggling and having to reread pages over and over again to cram the conce...
  • Dr M
    Sep 10, 2007
    Smolin's polemic is often misconstrued as a criticism of superstring theory as a physical theory. Indeed Smolin is harsh on string theory, but not because it is a bad theory per se, but because the string-theory community provides a prime example of the problem Smolin is really address...
  • Marcus
    Dec 29, 2010
    This is possibly the best physics book I've ever read. Most physics books acknowledge that there are certain unknowns such as dark matter or certain aspects of string theory, but they all cleverly hide the real, and somewhat desperate, situation with contemporary physics. It's rare to ...
  • John
    Jun 21, 2008
    I really liked this book. I've been curious for years about what all the fuss was about, regarding string theory. I've watched a few shows on TV that had string theorists that tried to explain it, like Brian Greene, but they always seemed to just talk around it with flowery language, n...
  • Félix
    Jan 25, 2017
    My rating of this fine work reflects mostly my own shortcomings in making my way through a subject that quite often was beyond my comfort zone in physics. Spoiler alert: the science has hit some formidable brick walls in terms of being able to support many years of expanding theoretica...
  • Robert
    Jul 22, 2009
    Here's a book that is good but could be better. It has the general aim of explaining the current state of fundamental physics, first in terms of the physics itself and second in terms of how it is practised (with particular reference to the USA). THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN ...
  • Manny
    Dec 01, 2008
    An interesting and well-written book. Smolin started out wanting to write about the sociology of research funding in the US. He is extremely worried about the fact that it has become difficult for young researchers to get money to pursue novel ideas, with most funding concentrated on a...
  • Szplug
    Feb 07, 2012
    As to the content of this exceedingly excellent examination of the state of modern theoretical physics through the eyes of a deeply-learned and concerned practitioner, the reviews by Manny and Rob are both superb and cover all of the bases with flair. If I could go back and do it al...
  • Ericka Clouther
    Apr 19, 2018
    The beginning of the book was about physics and was maybe a 3 as it varied between being the same old, a little above my head, and kind of a bummer. The rest of the book was a challenge to change the way we think about science in general and physics in particular. I found that section ...
  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    Dec 30, 2012
    This book should actually be called the trouble with string theory :) Most of you know that I am a massive Brian Greene fan and absolutely love my world "stringy" even superly so. I find string theory to have an energy and power that sparks the imagination and excites the theorist in a...
  • notgettingenough
    Mar 19, 2010
    If you are looking for an uptodate discussion of the controversy of string theory and whether it's a cult or just a hoax, The Multidisciplinarian has posted a nice essay complete with lots of further reading: The Trouble with Strings. One of the things Smolin discusses is the sociology...
  • Daphne
    Jun 03, 2015
    Wow. This is an important work for anyone interested or concerned with the current state of science and funding. Beyond the fact that I learned more about theoretical physics and string theory here than any other pop-sci book before, I couldn't get enough of this one. I'll never be abl...
  • M.L. Rudolph
    Feb 12, 2012
    2006. Whoa. Not for the faint of heart. You gotta love your fermions and your gluons. And you need to appreciate a good brane. It took me two months to work my way through this book. Pecking away. I'm not a scientist, by far, and I plodded through determined to see what I could lear...
  • Joseph
    Dec 28, 2012
    I could talk a lot about the ideas in this book, but I'll try to keep this a review of the book itself as much as possible. I was predisposed to like this book, since I agree with many of the popular-level criticisms of string theory (not testable, not well-defined and distinct, ove...
  • Richard Thompson
    Apr 06, 2017
    It is very hard in writing a popular book about physics to strike the right balance between rigorous explanation and appeal to a broad audience. From the favorable Goodreads reviews, it is evident that a lot of people think that Smolin has struck the right balance here, but not for me....
  • BetseaK
    Nov 25, 2013
    This was a worthwhile and well-intentioned critical overview of the issues troubling the field of contemporary theoretical physics, with the emphasis on the ones concerning the string theory (or rather, theories). Being among those laypersons who find the string theory somehow detached...
  • Lohengrin
    Jan 04, 2013
    The author addresses two different, but related issues in the book: -Superstring theory's currently dominant position. This part is fairly technical at times, although it avoids equations altogether and I think it's well-explained. They key issue dealt with is that superstring theor...
  • Mark Moon
    Jun 23, 2018
    Hold up well, more than a decade later. Lots of good criticism of modern physics as an institution, and some good ideas for improving the situation. ...
  • Tuomas
    Jul 20, 2013
    The book is essentially a critique of string theory, although that really only provides a framework for a broader and deeper discussion of the state of physics and science, the philosophy of science and problems in the academia. Smolin?s writing is enjoyable and I kept nodding by mys...
  • Arko
    Feb 07, 2019
    A fantastic book upholding the bloom and crisis of one of the most coveted theories of physics which is the string theory. Holding high hopes towards finding a theory of everything , string theorists made use of esoteric mathematical forms to establish consistency in uniting the quantu...
  • Justin Tapp
    Nov 20, 2014
    To qualify my review a little better, before I read this book I read: Black Holes and Baby Universes (Stephen Hawking) The Universe in a Nutshell (Hawking) The Grand Design (Hawking) The Hidden Reality (Brian Greene) The Fabric of the Cosmos (Greene) The Elegant Universe (Greene)...
  • Dan Falk
    Mar 16, 2014
    Few aspects of theoretical physics capture the public imagination ? but string theory, which states that the universe is composed of tiny, vibrating strings rather than point-like particles, certainly has. The theory has spawned dozens of popular books and even a three-hour PBS TV se...
  • Manuel Antão
    Sep 18, 2017
    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. All Much Ado about Nothing: ?The Trouble with Physics? by Lee Smolin ?The Weinberg-Salam model requires that the Higgs field exist and that it manifest itself as the new elementary particle called the Higgs bo...
  • Bishnu Bhatta Buttowski
    Sep 29, 2017
    I thought Physics wasn't able to pickup girls anymore. [laugh][laugh] Nevertheless, the ending of the book was indeed something. I didn't expect some ethical and sociological aspect of Physics from this book. All I thought about was the technical aspect which covered almost two t...