Thursday, February 15, 2007
I spent about an hour yesterday explaining what I knew of the state of contemporary physics to a rock 'n' roll publicist who clearly felt his job wasn't quite enough to fill his eager mind. He is right to be interested. Now, it seems, we have discovered dwarf spheroidals, galaxies composed almost entirely of dark matter. The universe is made, I learn from reading the superb Lee Smolin, of more than 90 per cent dark energy and matter of which we know nothing. Hamlet was on to this - 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' - but he probably had no idea how much more. Smolin also thinks that most of the physics of the last thirty years has been barking up the wrong quantum-cosmological tree. I have suspected as much myself and previously posted on this suspicion. Modern physics is the theology of our time and, like theology, is never quite clear about its subject matter - or, more exactly, about its subject, matter.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:52 am