nLab criticism of string theory



String theory


physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics

Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes

theory (physics), model (physics)

experiment, measurement, computable physics



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

See also

(under construction)

Last revised on April 29, 2023 at 13:39:49. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.