Existential Physics: A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions

Viking. Aug. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781984879455. $28. SCI
Physicist and self-described “general explainer” Hossenfelder (Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray) offers another excellent book on physics for general readers. She asks what people can learn about themselves through the current understanding of the fundamental laws of nature? What can physics tell one about consciousness, creation, and time? Hossenfelder uses current and historical research to show the deep connections between philosophy and the scientific method. She relates how physicists struggle with language and metaphor in sharing how quantum mechanics addresses big questions with wider audiences. She intersperses short chapters organized by topic with interviews of Nobel Prize winners, Royal Society members, popular science authors and science journalists who answer questions about both spiritual beliefs and scientific pursuits. She concludes with the applications of quantum mechanics to real-life problems such as weather forecasting, development of nuclear power, and regulation of economic systems.
VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in philosophy of science and the sorts of questions that current science can and can’t answer.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing