17 December 2010

Against Ideology in Fundamental Physics

The twentieth century was the time when ideology was rampant. Is the twenty-first century better? Yes and no. There are fewer wars based on ideology, maybe. But ideology has permeated all aspects of life, even aspects where it does not belong.

It is particularly sad that fundamental physics is completely driven by ideology. As I will argue in the coming posts, this is also one of the reasons that theoretical fundamental physics has made no progress since 1967, when the idea of electroweak interaction was born.

Since then, no new idea in theoretical fundamental physics was free of ideology. GUT, supersymmetry, strings, membranes, axions, preons, technicolor, multiverse, anthropic principle, etc.: all these ideas are based on ideology, and none on experiment. How could this sad situation occur?

In the following posts, I will explore these issues, using as examples the topics that are popular at the moment.

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