The Elegant Universe

I have read The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. My colleague pushed me to read it and now I am pretty happy that I have followed his advice. The book is written extremely well, actually I envy the author, his ability to express the logic and the sense of the superstring theory in so plain English. The book gives a very good overview what the theory is about.

Just one note. I have been working with statisticians for long time and I personally share their opinion that a physical law is actually some kind of a model. I am not sure if I understand why physicists insist that their models could be the ultimate truth. The main problem is the extrapolation, how one could even know that a model must work outside of the range where the model has been validated? An example that has struck me most is the statement that blacks holes and elementary particles could be the same thing (Chapter 13).

P.S. There is a related movie from NOVA on PBS (follow Watch the Program)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/


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  1. I have asked folks at ics-l@listserv.umd.edu if they know any paper where people use chemometrics to determine a model automatically:

    strings theory as a chemometrics problem
    https://listserv.umd.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A1=ind1006&L=ics-l#1

    Aosheng Wang has cited

    Distilling Free-Form Natural Laws from Experimental Data — Schmidt and Lipson 324 (5923): 81 (2009) — Science

    The paper is available at

    http://ccsl.mae.cornell.edu/natural_laws

    Looks interesting. Some problem there is that according to Paul Feyerabend (see Against Method) there are no pure facts. Any measurement depends already on some background theories. Hence there is some egg-and-chicken problem to solve as well.