WEB LOGS: Talking Physics

Science  18 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5751, pp. 1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5751.1099e

What are people saying about the latest papers on the physics preprint site arXiv or the report that the solar system's putative 10th planet has a moon? Keep up with the latest physics chatter at this pair of Web logs. For nearly 3 years, mathematical physicist John Baez of the University of California, Riverside, has discoursed on books and papers that catch his interest,* particularly if they relate to gravitational theory. Recent indications that a moon orbits what might be the 10th planet—it hasn't received official recognition yet—inspired him to write a tutorial on the solar system's suburbs, complete with diagrams and photos.

More provocative is Not Even Wrong, in which mathematician Peter Woit of Columbia University takes a critical look at string theory and other timely topics in physics and science. In a recent commentary, he compares string theory to “intelligent design,” arguing that we might have passed the point at which further work to understand the theory “stops being science and it too starts being a nonscientific activity pursued for sociological and psychological reasons.”

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