Strung Out

String theory, which has been touted for decades as the best hope for unifying quantum mechanics and general relativity, is taking some heat these days. Critics complain that the model has yet to generate any testable predictions, meaning that experimental confirmation remains out of reach, and that progress has been slower than we might have expected if string theory is really the right description of the world.

Recently Lee Smolin, an enormously gifted physicist and cosmologist (and the author of the fascinating book The Life of the Cosmos, to which I ought to devote a separate post), and Brian Greene, who is actively engaged in string-theory research (and who has written the clearest popularization yet of the subject, The Elegant Universe), appeared on NPR to talk about this issue. If you are interested in these matters you might like to listen to the program; you can do so here.

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One Comment

  1. PDG says

    Silly me- I sent you a copy of this article as if it may be news to ya. Maybe my addition to the Papal bull site would be more apt here!

    Posted September 19, 2006 at 2:51 pm | Permalink