In this illuminating book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that fundamental physics ??—?? the search for the laws of nature ??—?? is losing its way. Smolin offers an unblinking assessment of string theory and encourages a new direction for where the next big idea may lead.
Ambitious ideas about extra dimensions, exotic particles, multiple universes, and strings have captured the public’s imagination ??—?? and the imagination of experts. But these ideas have not been tested experimentally, and some, like string theory, seem to offer no possibility of being tested. Yet these speculations dominate the field ??—?? attracting the best talent and much of the funding.
Modern science has created a climate in which emerging physicists are often penalized for pursuing less popular avenues. As Smolin points out, the situation threatens to impede the very progress of science.
With clarity, passion, and authority, Smolin charts the rise and fall of string theory and takes a fascinating look at what will replace it. Smolin not only tells us who and what to watch for in the coming years, he offers novel solutions for seeking out and nurturing the best new talent ??—?? giving us a chance, at long last, of finding the next Einstein.