To develop fundamentally new laws of nature, theoretical physicists often rely on arguments from beauty. Simplicity and naturalness in particular have been strongly influential guides in the foundations of physics ever since the development of the standard model of particle physics. In this lecture, Dr Sabine Hossenfelder argues that arguments from beauty have led the field into a dead end and discusses what can be done about it.
Sabine Hossenfelder has a PhD in physics and a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She graduated from Frankfurt University in 2003. After doing postdoctoral research in the USA, Canada, and Sweden, Sabine returned to Germany in 2015. She is presently a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany, and has published more than 70 research articles about the foundations of physics.
Sabine has written about physics for a broad audience for more than 10 years. Besides her blog BackReaction which currently sees about 300k visits per month, she has also written for Scientific American, New Scientist, Quanta Magazine, Aeon, NOVA, Nautilus, NPR, and The New York Times (among others). Her first book “Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray” was published in June 2018 by Basic Books.