Monday, July 03, 2006

Physics - The Wait for a Breakthrough

Interesting essay in the NY Times by Dennis Overbye. The essay expresses the angst that despite many steps forward over the centuries culminating in the Standard Model (that nailed the relationship between strong, weak and electromagnetic forces), physics is stuck since the 1970's. Physicists still cannot explain some of the most basic quandaries about the universe.


In words that still haunt me, Lee Smolin, a physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, once wrote, "When a child asks, What is the world, we literally have nothing to tell her."

My own daughter, Mira, just turned 4 and she is not asking me what the world is made of, quite yet. I've managed to keep ahead of her so far, if only by reading a page ahead in the dinosaur books that occupy bedtime, but the time is coming when she will be calling me and the world's physicists to account.

1 comment:

Zakintosh said...

I realize the seriousness of your question. But, until a more sensible answer comes along, Mira might enjoy this, as good a tale as any at that age (and not too different from what many of the elders believe).

Thanks for the link. Honoured.