We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to the library. Find a location near you.

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

Book Cover
Average Rating
Published:
Basic Books 2018
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
In this "provocative" book (New York Times), a contrarian physicist argues that her field's modern obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science.
Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades.
The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink their methods. Only by embracing reality as it is can science discover the truth.
Also in This Series
Formats
Adobe EPUB eBook
Works on all eReaders (except Kindles), desktop computers and mobile devices with reading apps installed.
Kindle Book
Works on Kindles and devices with a Kindle app installed.
OverDrive Read
Need Help?
If you are having problem transferring a title to your device, please fill out this support form or visit the library so we can help you to use our eBooks and eAudio Books.
More Like This
Other Editions and Formats
More Copies In LINK+
Loading LINK+ Copies...
More Details
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/12/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781541644601
ASIN:
B0763L6YR7
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Sabine Hossenfelder. (2018). Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray. Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sabine Hossenfelder. 2018. Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray. Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sabine Hossenfelder, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray. Basic Books, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sabine Hossenfelder. Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray. Basic Books, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
Copy Details
LibraryOwnedAvailable
Shared Digital Collection11

There is 1 hold on this title.

Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
ba6bdec1-a805-9deb-3763-ceb94d11b664
Go To Grouped Work
Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:40:48
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:45:25
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 26, 2022 09:22:27
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 26, 2022 09:22:27
Last Availability Check:
Jun 25, 2022 00:19:52
Last Availability Change:
Jun 08, 2022 10:49:31
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jul 01, 2022 02:36:59

OverDrive Product Record

images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0017-1/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0017-1/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0017-1/ADB/5D0/0F/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0017-1/ADB/5D0/0F/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
formats
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781541644601
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • identifiers:
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B0763L6YR7
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781541644601
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781541644601
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
mediaType
eBook
primaryCreator
    • role: Author
    • name: Sabine Hossenfelder
title
Lost in Math
dateAdded
2018-06-07T13:42:00-04:00
contentDetails
      • href: https://link.overdrive.com/?websiteID=141&titleID=3580095
      • type: text/html
      • account:
          • name: Sacramento Public Library (CA)
          • id: 1151
sortTitle
Lost in Math How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
crossRefId
3580095
subtitle
How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
id
adb5d00f-54bd-405c-a3b0-9f00d9deb1fa
starRating
4.8

OverDrive MetaData

isPublicDomain
False
images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0017-1/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0017-1/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0017-1/ADB/5D0/0F/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0017-1/ADB/5D0/0F/{ADB5D00F-54BD-405C-A3B0-9F00D9DEB1FA}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
isPublicPerformanceAllowed
False
formats
      • fileName: LostinMath_9780465094264_3580095
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 6702953
      • identifiers:
            • audience: library
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781541644601
      • rights:
            • type: Copying
            • value: 0
            • type: Printing
            • value: 0
            • type: Lending
            • value: 0
            • type: ReadAloud
            • value: 0
            • type: ExpirationRights
            • value: 0
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • onSaleDate: 06/12/2018
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=adb5d00f-54bd-405c-a3b0-9f00d9deb1fa&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: LostinMath_3580095
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 0
      • identifiers:
            • audience: retailer
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B0763L6YR7
            • audience: library
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781541644601
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • onSaleDate: 06/12/2018
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=adb5d00f-54bd-405c-a3b0-9f00d9deb1fa&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: LostinMath_9780465094264_3580095
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 5185319
      • identifiers:
            • audience: library
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781541644601
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
      • onSaleDate: 06/12/2018
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=adb5d00f-54bd-405c-a3b0-9f00d9deb1fa&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
languages
      • code: en
      • name: English
creators
      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Hossenfelder, Sabine
      • bioText:

        Sabine Hossenfelder is a research fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, where she studies the phenomenology of quantum gravity. She has published more than fifty research articles on physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. She resides in Frankfurt, Germany.

      • name: Sabine Hossenfelder
subjects
      • value: History
      • value: Mathematics
      • value: Science
      • value: Nonfiction
publishDate
2018-06-12T05:00:00+01:00
publishDateText
06/12/2018
mediaType
eBook
shortDescription
In this "provocative" book (New York Times), a contrarian physicist argues that her field's modern obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science.
Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades.
The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink their methods. Only by embracing reality as it is can...
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Lost in Math
fullDescription
In this "provocative" book (New York Times), a contrarian physicist argues that her field's modern obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science.
Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades.
The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink their methods. Only by embracing reality as it is can science discover the truth.
sortTitle
Lost in Math How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
crossRefId
3580095
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2018
        A theoretical physicist delivers an entertaining attack on her profession, arguing that it has fallen in love with theories that bear little relation to reality.In her first book for a popular audience, a "story of how aesthetic judgment drives contemporary research," Hossenfelder (editor: Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity, 2017), a research fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany, expresses despair that the golden age of physics ended with her parents' generation. By the 1970s, a torrent of Nobel Prizes went to physicists who unified a confusing mélange of subatomic particles into the elegant standard model and did the same for three out of four fundamental forces. While a brilliant achievement, the standard model failed to answer basic questions such as the nature of dark matter and energy, matter-antimatter asymmetry, and the impossibility of quantizing gravity. The author maintains that fashionable new theories addressing these issues are preoccupied with beauty and naturalness to the neglect of actual observation. Thus, supersymmetry solves several problems by predicting dozens of new subatomic particles that the most powerful accelerators have failed to find. String theory seems to explain almost everything, but its basis is pure mathematics, and its postulates are untestable by any conceivable technology. "I can't believe what this once-venerable profession has become," writes Hossenfelder. "Theoretical physicists used to explain what was observed. Now they try to explain why they can't explain what was not observed. And they're not even good at that....But there are so many ways not to explain something." A take-no-prisoners interviewer, the author asks pointed questions of the giants of physics and is not shy about arguing with them.Even educated readers will struggle to understand the elements of modern physics, but they will have no trouble enjoying this insightful, delightfully pugnacious polemic about its leading controversy.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 30, 2018
        Science writer and researcher Hossenfelder argues persuasively that physics has stalled because of a focus on mathematical “elegance” rather than reality. Hossenfelder begins with supersymmetry and the standard model of particle physics, created to explain all the elementary particles discovered in the 20th century. Supersymmetry theory, she writes, is accepted because it fits so well into previous theories. But it also predicts that more particles should be found at energies just above where physicists discovered the Higgs boson, but none have yet been discovered. Though physicists from Newton to Einstein have prized mathematical beauty in theories, Hossenfelder sees this belief as a dangerous limitation. Elegant theories, she observes, don’t explain dark matter and dark energy, or how to find multiverses. Along the way, Hossenfelder introduces an array of important researchers, including stoic Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg and social media-savvy Australian astrophysicist Katherine “Astrokatie” Mack. This layreader-friendly, amusing treatise gives an enlightening look at a growing issue within physics.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2018
        The Romantic poet John Keats anticipated the thinking of modern physicists when he declared, Beauty is truth. To be sure, when Paul Dirac, Henri Poincar�, and Werner Heisenberg identified beauty as their guide to truth, they defined that beauty as the elegance and simplicity of mathematics. But after decades of working closely with the world's leading physicists, Hossenfelder challenges her colleagues' single-minded commitment to mathematical beauty. That commitment, she argues, has led to experimental futility and intellectual confusion. Readers indeed see how physicists irrationally committed to mathematical beauty have drifted away from empirical checks as they have researched supersymmetry, multidimensional string theory, and loop quantum gravity, generating aesthetically appealing formulas but few verifiable predictions. Even when physicists have teased predictions out of their formulas, they have repeatedly failed?despite costly and technologically sophisticated attempts?to confirm those predictions. Emphasizing how much researchers have achieved in quantum mechanics while using math that is decidedly ugly, Hossenfelder urges her colleagues to start focusing on reality, not conceptual style. A provocative appeal for unattractive but fruitful science.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

subtitle
How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
popularity
565
publisher
Basic Books
links
    • self:
        • href: https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BWwAAAA2I/products/adb5d00f-54bd-405c-a3b0-9f00d9deb1fa/metadata
        • type: application/vnd.overdrive.api+json
id
adb5d00f-54bd-405c-a3b0-9f00d9deb1fa
starRating
4.6