Types of quantum field thories
The theory of fundamental physics called string theory has been the topic of many discussions, scientific discussion but also much discussion about the sociology of the higher energy physics community, concerned with the problem of how to do theoretical high energy physics “beyond the standard model of particle physics”. While during the 1980s and 1990s the “public perception” of string theory, as expressed by mass media coverage and by scientific funding, had been dominantly enthusiastic with tendentially hysterical hopeful expectations, somewhere in the 2000s the “public perception” in mass media and blogs has gradually turned towards a gloomy attitude with tendentially hysterical pessimistic expectations.
This page is to collect pointers to some of the criticisms of the theory and/or the way it is treated in the higher energy physics community, as expressed in these discussions.
For general non-technical background information see also at string theory FAQ.
The two popular books whose appearance in hindsight mark the change of the nature in the “public perception” of string theory are
More technical critical discussion is for instance in
Special issue of Foundations of physics on superstring theory Forty Years of String Theory - Reflecting on the Foundations
Glimm, Jaffe, Witten, Thurston etc. about the idea of Experimental and theoretical mathematics, Bull. AMS -discussions prompted by Arthur Jaffe, Frank Quinn, “Theoretical mathematics”: Toward a cultural synthesis of mathematics and theoretical physics , Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 29 (1993), no. 1, 1–13; MR94h:00007,math.HO/9307227, doi
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