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Physics in Crisis: From Multiverses to Fake News (2022)

Physics in Crisis: From Multiverses to Fake News (2022)

English | 2022 | ISBN: ‎ 1800612346 | 170 pages | True PDF EPUB | 14.63 MB

Today’s physics has led to incredible advances in the technology we use in daily life — from cell phones and GPS systems to PET scans and more. Current theories in physics have been amazingly effective in practical terms. Yet all is far from well: the two foundational concepts in physics — Quantum Theory and General Relativity — are incompatible with each other, and observations of the universe show that our theories are incomplete — at best.
While physicists have tried to paper over this impasse by inventing dark matter and dark energy, they remain unobserved mysteries. Adding fuel to the fire of current crises, artificial intelligence threatens to replace our most cherished theories and procedures with arcane algorithms. Worse yet perhaps, the public understands physics poorly, either taking it for granted or fearing and rejecting it completely.
Physicists dream of a new universal theory that will completely change how we see our world, much as Einstein did with relativity and Newton with gravity. Likewise, society loves the romantic notion of a single genius heroically creating a massive paradigm shift. Still, is this scenario likely today? Perhaps the next steps in physics will be incremental rather than gigantic.
In Physics in Crisis, Bruno Mansoulié uses simple language, insightful examples, and his personal experience as a working physicist to address these fundamental questions and reflect on how today’s crises in physics might be solved.

Contents:

  • Physics: At the Heart of the Crisis in Fundamental Science
  • The Success and Limits of Today’s Physics
  • Understanding the World
  • What Is a Law of Physics?
  • Accurate, False, Incomplete, and Natural Laws
  • Modern Physics and Intuition
  • Can We (Really) Change Paradigms?
  • The End of Physics 1: Anthropic Solutions
  • The End of Physics 2: Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence
  • The End of Physics 3: Disenchantment
  • A New Age of Enlightenment?
  • Toward a Rationalist Spirituality
  • Believing in Physics Despite the Crises (Or Because of Them)?

Readership: Students and researchers in physics and philosophy of sciences; general public interested in the evolution of ideas in science.

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