Ryan Dolley's Reviews > The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next

The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin
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Apr 07, 08

bookshelves: science
Recommended for: People are comfortable with science and curious about the universe
Read in April, 2007

This book is an excellent antidote to all the string theory madness that has gripped the public's attention since Brian Greene's publication of The Elegant Universe in 1999. Smolin exposes the gaping holes in string theory's attempt to ascent to a bona fide Theory of Everything by revealing the philosophical hoops string theorists jump through to maintain the hope that the theory possesses testability or revelatory power. While his critique of the science behind string theory is devastating to the layman familiar only with Mr. Greene's work, more interesting is the last fourth of the book, in which he attacks the institutions of science at the major research producing universities for inherent cronyism, sexism and orthodoxy, tying these trends to the puzzling fact that a theory with so many holes can be the only game in town when it comes to research dollars and Phd's granted.

I would recommend you read Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe first to get a handle on String Theory, then maybe toss some Michio Kaku in there to really get yourself excited about the wild and wacky universe that Lee Smolin will summarily destroy for you. It's worth it.
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