The latest trend among prominent theorists seems to be the writing of popular books hyping the unsuccessful speculative ideas they have been working on. Two new examples of this have been pointed out by Lubos Motl over at sci.physics.strings.
Both of these books are due to appear at the beginning of next May. One, by Leonard Susskind of Stanford, is entitled An Introduction To Black Holes, Information And The String Theory Revolution: The Holographic Universe. The second, by Lisa Randall of Harvard is called Warped Passages : Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions.
Randall’s book presumably is not so much about string theory as about the idea that we live on a brane inside a higher dimensional space. As far as I can tell, there’s even less evidence for this idea than there is for string theory itself. I don’t know exactly what her attitude about string theory is, but at a public debate at the Museum of Natural History here in New York a few years ago, I remember that she scornfully dismissed the argument that string theory predicts gravity, saying something like “Yeah, it predicts ten-dimensional gravity.”
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