Do We Need a Theory of Everything?
I get constantly asked if I could please comment on other people’s theories of everything. That could be Garrett Lisi’s E8 theory or Eric Weinstein’s geometric unity or Stephen Wolfram’s idea that the universe is but a big graph, and so on. Good, then. Let me tell you what I think about this. But I’m […]
It’s the End of the World and This Physicist Feels Fine
I promise I have no intention to propose a quantum-model for disease spread, but like everyone else I have been wondering if I can make myself somewhat more useful in these difficult times.Screengrab via Sabine Hossenfelder / YouTube It’s week three of COVID lockdown here in Germany. Schools are closed, my institute is closed, my […]
How to Make Sense of Quantum Physics
Physics:Superdeterminism, a long-abandoned idea, may help us overcome the current crisis in physics.
Electrons Don’t Think
If a philosopher starts speaking about elementary particles, run.Pinterest I recently discovered panpsychism. That’s the idea that all matter—animate or inanimate—is conscious, we just happen to be somewhat more conscious than carrots. Panpsychism is the modern elan vital. When I say I “discovered” panpsychism, I mean I discovered there’s a bunch of philosophers who produce […]
Physicists Say Google’s Quantum Computer Is Still Far From Practical
Google and company claim that their quantum computer can do in 200 seconds what it would take a supercomputer 10,000 years to do.Illustration by plotplot / Shutterstock News on the quantum physics grapevine, Frankfurt Institute theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder tells me, is that Google will announce something special next week: Their paper on achieving quantum […]
Mind the Gap Between Science and Religion
Scientists should respect the limits of their discipline.Photo illustration by Triff / Shutterstock Have you heard that we may be living in a computer simulation? Or that our universe is only one of infinitely many parallel worlds in which you live every possible variation of your life? Or that the laws of nature derive from […]
The Real Differences Between Human and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence, it seems, is now everywhere. Text translation, speech recognition, book recommendations, even your spam filter is now “artificially intelligent.” But just what do scientists mean with “artificial intelligence,” and what is artificial about it? Artificial intelligence is a term that was coined in the 1980s, and today’s research on the topic has many […]
When Beauty Gets in the Way of Science
Physics:Insisting that new ideas must be beautiful blocks progress in particle physics.
When Gravity Breaks Down
Theoretical physicists have known since the 1930s that quantum gravity is necessary to bring order into the laws of nature, but 80 years on, a solution isn’t anywhere in sight.Photograph by Andrea / Flickr Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is more than a hundred years old, but still it gives physicists headaches. Not only […]
The Present Phase of Stagnation in the Foundations of Physics Is Not Normal
The problem is loads of wrong predictions from theoretical physicists.Photograph by Inga Nielsen / Shutterstock Nothing is moving in the foundations of physics. One experiment after the other is returning null results: No new particles, no new dimensions, no new symmetries. Sure, there are some anomalies in the data here and there, and maybe one of them will turn out to be real news. But […]