Science is the best thing we can do. And I think it is better for men to seek order in a chaotic manner instead to study chaos in an orderly fashion.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Never never, never, never give up"

Leonard Susskind este un fizician remarcabil, cu multe contributii importante in fizica moderna, dar si un ideolog de prima clasa. Iata ce spune intr-un interviu memorabil, dat pentru Edge, acum opt ani.

Physicists always wanted to believe that the answer was unique. Somehow there was something very special about the answer, but the myth of uniqueness is one that I think is a fool's errand. That is, some believe that there is some very fundamental, powerful, simple theory which, when you understand it and solve its equations, will uniquely determine what the electron mass is, what the proton mass is, and what all the constants of nature are. If that were to be true, then every place would have to have exactly the same constants of nature. If there were some fundamental equation which, when you solved it, said that the world is exactly the way we see it, then it would be the same everywhere.

On the other hand you could have a theory which permitted many different environments, and a theory which permitted many different environments would be one in which you would expect that it would vary from place to place. What we've discovered in the last several years is that string theory has an incredible diversity—a tremendous number of solutions—and allows different kinds of environments. A lot of the practitioners of this kind of mathematical theory have been in a state of denial about it. They didn't want to recognize it. They want to believe the universe is an elegant universe—and it's not so elegant. It's different over here. It's that over here. It's a Rube Goldberg machine over here. And this has created a sort of sense of denial about the facts about the theory. The theory is going to win, and physicists who are trying to deny what's going on are going to lose.

In final, Leonard Susskind se refera si la David Gross, care continua abordarea teoretica clasica mai rigida si care reclama unicitatea:
These people are all very serious people. Davis Gross, for example, is very harshly against this kind of view of diversity. He wants the world to be unique, and he wants string theorists to calculate everything and find out that the world is very special with very unique properties that are all derivable from equations. David considers this anthropic idea to be giving up the hope for uniqueness, and he quotes Winston Churchill when he's with young people, and he says, "Nevah nevah, nevah, nevah give up."

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