Are Natural Laws Beautiful?


“Nature is beautiful. Nature is also cruel. And what about the laws of nature?

“Most physicists today think that the fundamental laws of nature are beautiful and simple. But the natural laws we have discovered so far are not as beautiful and simple as they could be. And so, when physicists develop fundamentally new theories, they want those to be simpler and more beautiful than the ones we know already.

“In the past 40 years, criteria for beauty and simplicity have become mathematical requirements. And they have worked badly. They led physicists to predict new symmetries, which were not found. They predicted unified forces, which were not found. They predicted new particles, which were not found.

“What do physicists mean when they speak of beautiful theories? And if requirements of beauty work so badly, why do they continue to use them? Read my book to find out.”