söndag 22 april 2012

Crisis of Physics as Big Science

Nobel Laurate physicist Steven Weinberg gives witness that physics in a state of crisis in The Crisis of Big Science:
  • The discovery (at LHC) of the Higgs boson would be a gratifying verification of present theory, but it will not point the way to a more comprehensive future theory.
  • The most exciting thing to be discovered at the LHC will be something quite unexpected.
  • That is going to be a very hard sell. 
  • So in the next decade we may see the search for the laws of nature slow to a halt, not to be resumed again in our lifetimes.
  • It seems to me that what is really needed... is to unite in restoring higher and more progressive tax rates, especially on investment income. 
  • Government spending stimulates the economy more than tax cuts. 
  • It is simply a fallacy to say that we cannot afford increased government spending. 
  • This is the real crisis, and not just for science.
What Weinberg is saying has that even if physics = big science does not deliver anything to society, it is meaningful for Government to spend lots of money on physics = big science, because there is lots of money to spend and spending on physics = big science would give a much need stimulus to the economy.

But Weinberg seems to feel that there is something in his argument which is not fully convincing and seeks to counter expected criticism by
  • I am not an economist.
In any case Weinberg bears witness of a state of crisis in modern physics. 

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