A ‘Theory of Everything’?

Manjit Kumar at The Guardian:

Unsurprisingly from the author of The Strangest Man, an award-winning biography of Dirac, Farmelo has offered a thoughtful, well-informed reply to those who believe the quest for mathematical beauty has led theoretical physicists into adopting sterile, ultra-mathematical approaches divorced from reality. He makes a persuasive case as he argues that theorists have not spent the last 40 years wasting their time writing quasi-scientific fairytales and that many of the ideas and concepts that have emerged will endure.

Most of this is not conventional science, Farmelo admits. Rather, it is speculative science. But it is science nonetheless because it’s rooted in the two great theories of the 20th century: quantum mechanics and relativity. At the heart of this book is an account of how physics has stimulated mathematical breakthroughs and maths has led to advances in physics.

more here.