Image - Sabine Hossenfelder

Past Event

Sabine Hossenfelder: Lost in Math

Join us for a virtual discussion with Sabine Hossenfelder, live-streamed direct from Frankfurt, Germany, about her concern that theoretical physicists have failed to make any major breakthroughs for more than four decades because they are obsessed with the goal that an accurate theory must be beautiful—at least to mathematicians.

Hossenfelder argues that when this belief in beauty becomes too dogmatic, it conflicts with scientific objectivity, and so may be interfering with our ability to understand black holes or why relativity theory and quantum mechanics have issues with each other. It may also be encouraging the pursuit of untestable string theory and supersymmetry explanations beyond what is scientifically useful (but which is still mathematically intriguing).

Hear why Hossenfelder is insisting, to the generation of theoreticians that preceded her, that progress will probably not be made until they conclude that physics isn’t math. It’s choosing the right math.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

MLF: Humanities

This is a free-for-members program. Members: Click on the "Buy Tickets" button above to order your tickets, and select the members link on the left side of the page. Your username is the email you used to sign up as a member. You can also request a password reset if needed. Discount will automatically be applied at checkout.

This is an online-only program; you must pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

April 20, 2021

United States

Image - Sabine Hossenfelder
Sabine Hossenfelder
Research Fellow, Superfluid Dark Matter Group, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies; Blogger, "Backreaction"; Author, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
Image - George Hammond
In Conversation with George Hammond
Author, Conversations With Socrates

10–11 a.m. (Pacific Time) program