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Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics

Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics

Paperback

By (author) Peter Woit

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 24mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 26 June 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099488647
  • ISBN 13: 9780099488644
  • Sales rank: 177,779

Product description

Not Even Wrong is a fascinating exploration of our attempts to come to grips with perhaps the most intellectually demanding puzzle of all: how does the universe work at its most fundamnetal level? The book begins with an historical survey of the experimental and theoretical developments that led to the creation of the phenomenally successful 'Standard Model' of particle physics around 1975. Despite its successes, the Standard Model does not answer all the key questions and physicists continuing search for answers led to the development of superstring theory. However, after twenty years, superstring theory has failed to advance beyond the Standard Model. The absence of experimental evidence is at the core of this controversial situation which means that it is impossible to prove that superstring theory is either right or wrong. To date, only the arguments of the theory's advocates have received much publicity. Not Even Wrong provides readers with another side of the story.

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Author information

Peter Woit is a physicist and mathematician who is currently a Lecturer in the Mathematics Department at Columbia University. He graduated in 1979 from Harvard University with bachelor's and master's degrees in physics, then went on to get a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Princeton University. He has been a postdoc at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook and at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at Berkeley. Since 1989 he has been teaching at Columbia where in recent years he has taught graduate courses in quantum field theory, representation theory and differential geometry.

Review quote

"Highly readable, accessible and powerfully persuasive" -- John Cornwell Sunday Times "Will embolden other string critics to speak up and encourage talented young physicists to pursue other lines of research" -- John Horgan Prospect "Compulsive reading" -- Roger Penrose "It's a call to arms" New Scientist