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The Scientific Failure Of The Original Elegant Universe

6 Feb 2018, 15:01 UTC
The Scientific Failure Of The Original Elegant Universe
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The eight planets of our Solar System and our Sun, to scale in size but not in terms of orbital distances. Mercury is the most difficult naked-eye planet to see; all planets are moving not in circular orbits of any type, but elliptical ones. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user WP.Elegance, beauty, and mathematical precision makes for a compelling story and an exquisite model. But it doesn’t make it right.Scientific theories, at their best, are simple, straightforward, full of predictive power, and contain an elegance or beauty all their own. Newton’s simple F = ma and Einstein’s E = mc² are simple equations that house profound truths and enable so much to be derived; the quark model and General Relativity are simple to describe but incredibly deep theories that govern the interactions of particles; ideas like supersymmetry, grand unification and string theory extend the known physical symmetries to even greater levels. Many physicists think the way to new, profound truths about existence is through more symmetries and greater elegance. By applying new avenues of mathematics to the Universe, we seek a deeper truth to reality than our current understanding. But the original “elegant Universe” model, Kepler’s Mysterium Cosmographicum, was symmetric, beautiful, ...

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