Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hippies who love Physics

In the 1970s, some usual populist quantum physics books were published, such as The Tao of Physics and The Dancing Wu Li Masters. These authors were versed in modern physics, but they preached a lesson of Eastern mysticism. I thought that these books were a passing fad.

Similar ideas are promoted by New Age guru Deepak Chopra. Now a new book, How the Hippies Saved Physics, argues that we should thank these guys for reinventing Quantum nonlocality. The subject is now so respectable that last year's Wolf Prize in Physics was given for work in this area, after not finding anyone good enough for a couple of years. The biggest-selling physics books of the last year were The Grand Design and The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, both by respected theoretical physicists.

Up to now, I thought that most physicists recognized this junk as nonsense. Now I don't think so. Too many people accept it, and hardly anyone objects.

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