## Thursday, March 15, 2007

### Sabine: rapping theoretical physicists

Sabine Hossenfelder has created an amusing
that features several well-known theoretical physicists. David Gross himself introduces string theory as the Wild West of physics. Lenny Susskind (full MP3 3:00, blog) then describes, in simple terms, the fate of all 100+ papers by Lee Smolin. Susskind continues to explain why two people, including a computer programmer, wrote certain infamous books.

George Johnson argues that no one in the public cares about string theory in one way or the other. Susskind (see another podcast) adds a few words. Amanda Peet joins by some not terribly deep comments about money, too. Susskind entertainingly quotes some silly statements about string theorists as a priesthood of scientists who are taking over science. Michael Duff explains that the real trouble with physics is that there is not just one Lee Smolin but two of them. He also adds the joke about the philandering string theorist who says to his wife: "But darling, I can explain everything."

George Johnson then entertains the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics by his rather bold conjecture that no one would call Lee Smolin a crackpot. A few more papers by Lee Smolin described by Susskind follow. Lee Smolin himself offers some philosophical wisdom how to social-engineer worlds and thoughts to keep people in trouble.

Thanks to Paul Frampton!