32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Might Just Be Right,
This review is from: Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics (Hardcover)String theory: grand unification, theory of everything or just bad science? For Woit it's devoid of predictive capability, falsifiability or experimental result - a daydream of academics all too enraptured by the `beauty' of its (possibly) self-referential mathematics. Woit feels aggrieved at string theory's domination, and therefore hindrance, of progress in particle physics - with much research funding funnelled into `string physics' at the expense of other lines of investigation. Throughout, Woit painstakingly champions quantum field theory as authentic science and the route forward.
He also takes laudable pains to demonstrate the (mostly unsung) significance of mathematicians and mathematics to the progress of all physics. This is a considerable strength of the book.
This is cold, dry, but worthwhile read, addressing deep mathematics using words (succeeding here only partially) but it is surely a refreshing counter to the stacks of popular science books peddling p-branes and other such might-just-actually-be examples of `fantasy physics' (`phantom physics'?).
All around us are people who might just be hollering the truth while most ignore them: whether noble atheists calling religious belief for the cultural fantasy it is, or possibly those such as Woit - who's one among the crowd raising his hand to declare that strings, superstrings, M-theory and p-branes are actually not wearing any clothes at all ...