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Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray

Category: Book
By (author): Hossenfelder, Sabine
Subject:  MATHEMATICS / General
  MATHEMATICS / Geometry / Differential
  MATHEMATICS / Group Theory
  SCIENCE / History
  SCIENCE / Physics / Mathematical & Computational
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: June 2020
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 8.25in x 5.45in x 1.05in
Our Price:
$ 22.99
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In this "provocative" book (New York Times), a contrarian physicist argues that her field's modern obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science.
Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades.
The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink their methods. Only by embracing reality as it is can science discover the truth.

Review Quote*"[A] provocative new book."-New York Times
Review Quote*"According to the physicist and prolific blogger Sabine Hossenfelder, Einstein and others who work in a similar way are 'lost in math,' the title of her lively and provocative book."-Wall Street Journal
Review Quote*"Hossenfelder ably mixes simplified explanation of the science with compelling portraits of the fascinating characters who study it."-Vanity Fair
Review Quote*"In her new book, Lost In Math, Sabine Hossenfelder adroitly confronts this crisis head on.... The book is a wild, deep, thought-provoking read that would make any reasonable person in the field who's still capable of introspection doubt themselves."-Forbes
Review Quote*"Lost in Math is self-aware and dosed with acerbic wit, and it asks bold questions."-Nature
Review Quote*"Sabine Hossenfelder's new book Lost in Math provides a well-informed take on the current situation in fundamental physical theory. The author is completely honest, utterly fearless, and often quite funny."-MAA Reviews
Review Quote*"[Hossenfelder's] critical assessment of the field is appropriately timed." -Science
Review Quote*"Eavesdrop on accessible and frank conversations in Hossenfelder's Lost in Math, which wrestles with big questions of quantum mechanics and beauty in a fun, fascinating way."-Popular Science
Review Quote*Choice award for outstanding academic title