Book ID: CBB845054764

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray (2018)


Hossenfelder, Sabine (Author)

Basic Books

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 304 pages
Language: English

A contrarian argues that modern physicists' 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.

Reviewed By

Review Samuel Schindler (2019) Review of "Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray". Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 345-347). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Black, Suzanne; (2005)
Domesticating the Crystal: Sir Lawrence Bragg and the Aesthetics of “X-ray Analysis” (/isis/citation/CBB000850143/) unapi

Essay Review Regt, Henk W. de; (2002)
Beauty in Physical Science circa 2000 (/isis/citation/CBB000300724/) unapi

Article Zhang, Huang; Zhu, Ya-zong; (2008)
Subramanyan Chandrasekhar: A Great Master and His Understanding of Beauty (/isis/citation/CBB000952296/) unapi

Book Vega, Jesusa; (2010)
Ciencia, Arte e Ilusión en la España Ilustrada (/isis/citation/CBB001201788/) unapi

Article Wilson, Andrew D.; (2008)
The Unity of Physics and Poetry: H. C. Ørsted and the Aesthetics of Force (/isis/citation/CBB001030601/) unapi

Book Mlodinow, Leonard; (2003)
Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life (/isis/citation/CBB000320282/) unapi

Article Engler, Gideon; (2002)
Einstein and the most beautiful theories in physics (/isis/citation/CBB000300715/) unapi

Book Gilmore, Paul; (2009)
Aesthetic Materialism: Electricity and American Romanticism (/isis/citation/CBB001020720/) unapi

Article Bangu, Sorin; (2006)
Pythagorean Heuristic in Physics (/isis/citation/CBB000720089/) unapi

Article Halina Khlyap; Svetlana Gapochenko; (2016)
Aesthetic Principles in the History of Physics (/isis/citation/CBB602310874/) unapi

Article Steigerwald, Joan; (2002)
Goethe's Morphology: Urphänomene and Aesthetic Appraisal (/isis/citation/CBB000200420/) unapi

Article Wellmann, Janina; (2015)
Folding into Being: Early Embryology and the Epistemology of Rhythm (/isis/citation/CBB001510243/) unapi

Thesis Grindstaff, Beverly K.; (2004)
Designing the Mensch als Kunstwerk: Kant, Hygiene and the Aesthetics of Health in Wilhelmine Germany (/isis/citation/CBB001561847/) unapi

Book Allison, Henry E.; (2001)
Kant's Theory of Taste: A Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment (/isis/citation/CBB000102190/) unapi

Book Charrak, André; (2001)
Raison et perception: fonder l'harmonie au XVIIIe siècle (/isis/citation/CBB000501924/) unapi

Article Martin, Morag; (2005)
Doctoring Beauty: The Medical Control of Women's Toilettes in France, 1750--1820 (/isis/citation/CBB000773941/) unapi

Article Kretzenbacher, Heinz L.; (2003)
The Aesthetics and Heuristics of Analogy: Model and Metaphor in Chemical Communication (/isis/citation/CBB000751074/) unapi

Chapter Dierig, Sven; (2010)
Apollo's Tragedy: Laboratory Science between Classicism and Industrial Modernism (/isis/citation/CBB001023234/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Allison, Henry E.
Ploeger, Joanna S.
Steigerwald, Joan
Engler, Gideon
Regt, Henk W. de
Mlodinow, Leonard
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
History and Technology
Journal of the History of Biology
Perspectives on Science
Medical History
Cambridge University Press
Warner Books
J. Vrin
Stanford University Press
Ediciones Polifemo
Oxford University Press
Science and art
Experiments and experimentation
Visual representation; visual communication
Kant, Immanuel
Wilson, Robert Rathbun
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Einstein, Albert
Feynman, Richard Phillips
Schrödinger, Erwin
Time Periods
18th century
20th century
19th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
Early modern
United States
Prussia (Germany)
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (United States)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment