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The Trouble With Physics

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A seminal discussion on whether physics – the basis for all other science – is in danger of losing its way.

LEE SMOLIN , a theoretical physicist, is a founding member and research physicist at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo Canada. He is the critically acclaimed author of The Life of the Cosmos and Three Roads to Quantum Gravity.

The last three decades have seen little definitive progress in the search for a complete unification of the laws of physics. The imaginations of scientists and the public alike have been excited by novel proposals for new laws based on string theory, the existence of other, unseen dimensions, and multiple universes. But none of these have succeeded in doing what any scientific theory must do to become part of the truth, which is to make precise predictions that could be checked by experiment. Instead, theorists seem to be in danger of splitting into specialized communities that talk only to others who agree with them. Pioneering theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that even the smartest and best-intentioned scientists can lose their way without the discipline of having to convince skeptics.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Physics Society series.

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