First Public Reaction From String Theorist to “Not Even Wrong”

Last month I made the following prediction:

String theory doesn’t make any predictions, but I can make one: Lubos will be among the first reviewers of my book on Amazon, and I’ll get two stars.

This prediction was confirmed today, with a certain Harvard faculty member acting exactly the way you would expect. The reason for the two stars is that Lubos is well aware that Amazon usually deletes one star reviews.

His Amazon review is nutty in so many ways it’s hard to know where to start. It begins with:

I have read a different edition of the book than one offered here, and I apologize in advance for any inaccuracies in my review that this fact could cause. In fact, if any errors from the list below have been corrected, it was because of my feedback, so I think it is fair to list them anyway.

I have no idea what “different edition” of the book he is referring to, perhaps it is the earlier version that Cambridge considered a couple years ago, which was circulated by them and by me to various people. Whatever it was he was reading, I never received any feedback from him correcting supposed errors. Besides this weird delusion, pretty much everything else he quotes as an error in the book is something he has made up out of whole cloth. He doesn’t directly quote a single word of mine or give page numbers, so I can’t even figure out where he is getting this nonsense.

I’ll just ignore the ranting and ad hominem attacks, trademarks of someone on the losing side of an argument, and address the very few substantive errors he claims I make where I can actually locate the exact place in the book he claims an error is being made:

Woit writes that the energy of the LHC beam will be 14 GeV, instead of 14 TeV

Page 31: “[the LHC] is a proton-proton collider with a total energy of 14 Tev”

Note that the original is correct, his correction is wrong (the beam energy is 7 TeV).

In his description of the history of supersymmetry, he forgets Pierre Ramond.

Actually I explain carefully in the preface of the book that the history is quite sketchy and many people are left out. One of my main fears after writing this book was realizing how many enemies I would make by not putting their names in. In this case however, Pierre Ramond is in the index and I write:

Page 154: “The first string theory with fermions was constructed by Pierre Ramond late in 1970”

Page 155: “Early string theorists discovered that string theories with fermions involved a version of supersymmetry…”

He misunderstands how SU(2) can be embedded to SO(4)

There’s nothing in the book about embeddings of SU(2) in SO(4). Presumably this is a reference to a mistaken statement I made once on this weblog. Yes, dear reader, among the by now probably thousands of pages of material I have written on this blog, I have sometimes said something incorrect. The book is written a lot more carefully than my blog postings.

Even more seriously, he builds his case upon e-mail messages from undetermined sources that supported Woit’s viewpoint. Most of these e-mails were obviously written by crackpots.

In the book I’m quite careful to attribute things I quote and there are very few e-mails quoted. There’s only one unattributed e-mail that I can think of, it was written by someone visiting the Harvard string theory group at the time of the Bogdanov scandal, who wrote:

“So no one in the string group at Harvard can tell if these papers are real or fraudulent. This morning told that they were frauds, everyone was laughing at how obvious it is. This afternoon, told they are real professors and that this is not a fraud, everyone here says, well, maybe it is real stuff.”

This is unattributed since I don’t know who wrote it. Maybe they were a crackpot, one visiting the Harvard string theory group.
The problematic statement that string theory makes no prediction is repeated hundreds of times, and in many particular contexts, such a statement becomes not only boring but also patently false.

I doubt it’s actually in the hundreds, but sure, I do repeatedly claim that string theory makes no predictions, and this is not “patently false”, but completely accurate.

he never mentions names like Weinberg, Gell-Mann, Hawking, Randall, Arkani-Hamed

Weinberg, Gell-Mann, and Hawking are each mentioned many times in the book, and I list Lisa Randall’s book as the suggested place to learn more about brane-world scenarios. It’s true that Arkani-Hamed is not in the book.

I could go on about the rest of the review, but really, what’s the point?

I would like to think that Lubos is a huge embarrassment to the string theory community, but the sad thing is that there’s little evidence that they’re embarrassed.

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142 Responses to First Public Reaction From String Theorist to “Not Even Wrong”

  1. Chris Oakley says:

    I could forgive him all of these things. I could even forgive him for calling Dirac and Feynman “crackpots”. But the music on his blog … ? I struggled in vain for a way of turning it off, but in the end had to turn the sound off for the whole computer. This is an invasion of my personal space that I resent.

  2. anon says:

    This may be relevant to why the string theory community relishes Lubos Motl instead of being embarrassed:

    ‘Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power … of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.

    ‘Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one’s own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body.’ – George Orwell,

    This is of course the explanation for how brainwashing works.

  3. Bert Schroer says:

    The Lord of misuse again. The string community feels so powerful that, like Royal Courts in the past, they can afford themselves a court jester at Harvard.

  4. MathPhys says:

    I just read the blurb of Lee Smolin’s forthcoming book, on amazon, and he’s damning of string theory in words that are at least as strong as Peter uses in his book.

  5. Lubos Motl says:

    Dear Peter Woit,

    I will give you the pagenumbers later, when someone gives me this edition. If you were able to turn your brain on for a while, you would easily determine that I have read the book in extreme detail, and it was certainly not years ago.

    It is also not true that “usually” erases 1-star reviews. I have written dozens of 1-star reviews and they are still there.

    Only corrupt crackpot authors such as Mark McCutcheon make erase all inconvenient reviews – not just 1-star reviews – and indeed, you would not surprise me too much if you acted like McCutcheon.

    I insist that if you corrected any of the errors I mentioned, it was because of my feedback, and I have a proof.

    Best wishes

  6. Lobert Smythe says:

    Professor Motl, we will all laugh together at Peter’s loss of dignity, and we will respect you as a conquering hero and a force to be reckoned with, if you present the proof that you are talking about and it is actually a sufficient proof.

    Please, show us the proof.

  7. sunderpeeche says:

    Why not contact Amazon and point out that LM based his review on an earlier manuscript different from the one submitted to Jonathan Cape? In particular that (at least some of) the errors he mentions in his review are in fact not in the book?

  8. sunderpeeche says:

    There is some inconsistency in the Amazon web pages

    The review by Sam is only in the first, not the second, link. The “number of people who found the review useful” is different.

  9. Luboš Motl says:

    Sentences with the statements that Peter Woit would like to deny:

    14 GeV: in Accelerators: Future prospects

    The energy of a ring scales linearly with its size and the magnetic field, so one could double the energy of the LHC to 28 GeV either by building a ring twice as large or by finding a way to make magnets with twice the field strength.

    Ramond: Peter Woit accepts that I am right. Yes, the only place where his name appear, is a link to his QFT book, and the sentence that he constructed a theory with fermions. But by doing so, he has constructed the first supersymmetric theory in the West. The first supersymmetric theory in the West was written in the context of string theory, with worldsheet SUSY. Peter Woit either does not know this fact, or he hides it in his comments about the history of supersymmetry. It’s like describing Christianity without mentioning Jesus Christ.

    SO(4): yes, I know this piece of ignorance of Peter Woit from this blog where he proposed the “off-diagonal” embedding of groups, but it also appears in the book in the section


    The whole page is kind of wrong, much like the rest of the book. It tries to describe SU(2) rotations as actions on the two-complex- i.e. four-real-dimensional space. However, it pretends that rotations in the 4D space are given by 1D axes, and they are “unvisualizable”. They are unvisualizable for Peter Woit because he has no idea about higher-dimensional orthogonal groups. He does not understand that the SU(2) transformations act on the four-real-dimensional space as SO(4) rotations and how they’re embedded. I insist that this is the reason of the errors in that section.

    Relying on crackpots

    Peter is also saying untrue things when he denies that he builds on support from undetermined sources. Chapter “The only game in town…”:

    “A huge number of congratulatory messages arrived, many with an aspect that surprised me. These messages remarked on my courage and expressed the hope that I would survive what they expected to be a fierce personal attack from superstring theorists. I hadn’t known that so many people in the physics community not only were sceptical of superstring theory, but even felt that the subject was perpetuating itself through some sort of intimidation.”

    The correct wording should have been: “I became a hero among the crackpots, and in fact one of them: Chris Oakley, MathPhys, Tony Smith, Juan R, Peter Woit, Danny Lunsford, and innumerable anonymous ones”.

    Another lie of Peter is that he mentions Weinberg’s opinions about string theory, much like the opinion of others. I can’t provide you with any quotes here because they don’t exist.

    Not having Arkani-Hamed in a book that pretends to be about particle physics beyond the Standard Model and the struggle not to spend all efforts on string theory is unforgivable. 10% of the reasons above – and the dozens of lethal problems with the book that Peter Woit did not mention here – would be enough to identify the book as nothing else than junk.

  10. Luboš Motl says:

    Dear Peter Woit,

    you should realize the idea of one of your uncountable crackpot fans, and contact and ask them to erase my review. Mark McCutcheon who has rather similar opinions about physics as you have has done it about 200 times. 😉 I think that this idea quite accurately describes who you are and how you imagine that a discussion should look like.


  11. Luboš Motl says:

    Dear Sunderpeeche,

    I understand that some people simply can’t recognize that Peter Woit’s writing is a gigantic pile of nonsense, but you could at least try to understand that and are two different companies with two different websites that don’t have to contain the same datas. It’s hard, is not it?


  12. Lobert Smythe says:

    The proof, Lubos. The proof. If we don’t get to see it then we all end up thinking that you had no proof.

  13. robert says:

    This ranting is too sad for words. I’ve ordered the book nonetheless.

  14. sunderpeeche says:

    Indeed, there was no need to have this post in the first place. But anyway, verify the various statements (e.g. the 14 GeV). Actually it is the momentum which scales with B and R (p \propto eBR). But for ultrarelativistic motion one can say energy.

  15. Luboš Motl says:

    Dear Lobert, I could easily give you a proof by sending you the full file with the book, but I am afraid that the crackpot king here could sue me for copyright violations, so I prefer if you – and all people like you – will think that I have no proof. 😉

  16. Lobert Smythe says:

    So be it.

  17. woit says:


    The and sites are different, but at least for a while the review from “Sam” was on both sites, but recently was deleted from the site. I’m curious if anyone knows why.

  18. woit says:


    Honestly I don’t know what version of the book you have been reading. The last version I have in electronic form is from last summer, since then all the proofs have been sent to me to deal with in paper form. The publishers have pdfs of these, but I don’t. Over the years I have circulated various versions to people who expressed an interest or whose advice I was seeking. It’s quite possible I sent you a copy at some point if you asked. But I would definitely remember if you’d helped by sending me back “corrections”, if you have some record of doing that, please remind me of it.

    You have now helped with this, you did find one typo. After listing the total energy at the LHC as 14 Tev, on the next page when I discuss the possibility of doubling it, there’s a “28 Gev”, which is obviously a typo (although perhaps you think that this is evidence that Peter Woit doesn’t know how to multiply by two…). Thanks for the help, next week I’m working on the proofs for the US edition and can fix that typo. If you find any others, let me know, preferably before the end of next week.

    Your other comments are pretty much complete nonsense. Anyone who wants to can read the sections in the book you describe and decide for themselves whether what you say makes any sense.

    The history of supersymmetry I give is not a “history of supersymmetry in the West”, it’s a history of supersymmetry, which first appeared as space-time supersymmetry in the East, not the West. The statements about Ramond I make are completely accurate.

    I didn’t say I mentioned Weinberg’s views on string theory. He certainly at one point was a strong supporter. What his views are now is an interesting question that I don’t know that he has addressed publicly, so don’t discuss in the book. I don’t want to quote private communications from him, but one should note that quite a while back he voted with his feet and stopped working on string theory.

    I’ll stick by my decision to not deal with brane-world scenarios in any detail and thus not mention Arkani-Hamed’s work explicitly.

  19. Steve Myers says:


    past experience taught me not to read reviews. The best criticism comes from someone who knows the subject and you. Most reviews are so far off (when not personal attacks) that they’re a waste of time to read.

  20. Andrew says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Lubos’ review. It’s as insignificant as his scientific publications. Most people know that the only way to judge a book is to read it, not its reviews.

  21. Lubos Motl says:

    Dear Peter,

    your answer makes the situation very clear. If you have not corrected even the “LHC at 28 GeV” error, then you could not have corrected a single one from my list of dozens of lethal errors in your strange book because the others must be very difficult for you to find – and no doubt, there are dozens of additional errors. So I might have read exactly the same version that was just released and my review is probably 100% relevant for the British edition.

    You should not be surprised that people have read the book because you have sent your nonsense to dozens of publishers, attempting to make it publish by a science publishing house. Of course, as a science book, N.E.W. is rubbish.

    As an environmentalist I am a moderate one but still, it does not make me too happy to imagine how many trees had to die to print this nonsense of yours.

    I am sure that you think that these are details. Confusing TeV and GeV, omitting Arkani-Hamed from the whole book, omiting any positive voices such as Weinberg, Gell-Mann, Hawking, misunderstanding what gauge symmetry and background independence is, missing that the verified QED phenomena are calculating perturbatively, and so on, and so on – these are no details. These are things that put your presentation well below a class presentation of an average 2nd year high-energy grad student.

    No person who actually thinks about particle physics would leave such an error with the GeV. No person who has learned the Standard Model well would write that the TeV neutrinos are virtually non-interacting and undetectable. And so on, and so on.

    Your ideas about the meaning of gauge symmetry are like from the 1950s. It’s completely naive. You complete missed that a gauge symmetry is just a property of a classical limit of a theory. There is no unique answer to the question “what is gauge symmetry” at generic points of the couplings (or parameters in the field theory case). There are often many dual descriptions with very different gauge symmetries. N=4 with orthogonal group is S-dual to N=4 USp(2N). Gravity with diffeomorphism local symmetry is equivalent to a gauge theory on the boundary. There are many equivalences like that. Inventing similar symmetries is only a tool to find a classical limit of a quantum theory, not the whole quantum theory.

    Best wishes

  22. That is enough, Lubos.

    I did not mean to buy Peter’s book, mainly because I have too little time to read these days, being too busy living on the new social welfare, HEP tenure.

    But your comments made it too compelling for me to buy it. Darn, I want to be a part of this. I want to find more inaccuracies, and brag about it. Any given book contains several, and if I work hard enough I am sure I will find one myself. Maybe if I find a compelling mistake in the book and I brag loud enough, people will stop saying I am stealing taxpayers’ money ?

    Anyway thank you! I’m on my way to the bookseller.

  23. Bert Schroer says:

    I find it totally pathetic that those people who imposed on others for decades the story about the fundamental aspects of “the gauge principle” in QFT when QFTists with a bit higher developed conceptual power knew that this is one of those metaphoric description did not want to spend their energies removing holy cows (nothing intrinsic, since there was never any autonomous structural property which could reveal that allegedly gauge invariant observables where coming from a “gauge” theory) now have to ram into our throats (via their jester) that after all this was not so (a kind of April fool’s joke of very long duration).
    It is to be feared that this hegemonic moloch which, as we heard from Gross in his special Princeton lecture, cannot die, will devour any kind of potentially useful idea and and make it is own in oder to survive. When it finally leaves (because nothing is forewer) it will leave such a big creater in physics that it takes longer than the time between Galilei and Newton to recover again.

  24. hack says:

    Peter, I hope you properly credit Lubos in the aknowledgements for correcting your typo. After all, this is likely to be his most long lasting contribution to physics.

  25. MathPhys says:


    Do you have any work to do? The amount of time you spend on the internet is incredible. Where do you get the time?

  26. nu says:

    Lubos, I don’t see how your doubt about neutrinos is connected with the main topic of the book. Anyhow, the absorption length of a neutrino with TeV energy is more than 10^7 kmwe, comparable the thickness of the sun. This means, for example, that LHC will produce many neutrinos, but none will be detected.

  27. anon says:


    Lubos is a string theorist!

  28. sunderpeeche says:

    Reasonably mild superstrings article in June 2006 Physics Today p54. But he writes Nicholas “Kenmer” instead of Kemmer.

  29. Mentos says:

    “I find it totally pathetic that those people who imposed on others for decades the story about the fundamental aspects of “the gauge principle” in QFT when QFTists with a bit higher developed conceptual power knew that this is one of those metaphoric description did not want to spend their energies removing holy cows (nothing intrinsic, since there was never any autonomous structural property which could reveal that allegedly gauge invariant observables where coming from a “gauge” theory) now have to ram into our throats (via their jester) that after all this was not so (a kind of April fool’s joke of very long duration).”

    Since AQFT has proven to be of zero help in formulating a manifestly gauge-invariant formulation of Yang-Mills Theory (or, for that matter, providing any kind of formulation of any asymptotically-free 4d gauge theory), I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss as “pathetic” the observation that there exist, in some cases, multiple formulations with (different) local gauge-invariances.

    This desire to return to the “good old days” of the late 1960’s, when nobody knew much of anything about 4d quantum field theory and so AQFT was no further behind any other approach to QFT, is rather hard to take seriously, even by theorists without the slightest interest in string theory. For you, string theory’s just a metaphor for all the bad stuff (AKA progress) that’s happened in the past 35 years.

    By contrast, Peter would only drag us back to the early 1980s which, I suppose, should be seen as some sort of enlightened progress.

  30. island says:

    Peter, this is just a suggestion, but I think that maybe you should request that Amazon list your book with Lee’s book in what Amazon calls the “Perfect Partner”, for the impact of the combined force. It appears that possibly Lee did this too, although, that’s not a law, it’s only my theory… 😉

    My Plug for both books.

    I’ll probably add more and republish, but let me know if you have a problem with any of it and I’ll just dump it.

  31. Tony Smith says:

    Lubos, in a comment on this blog entry, referred to:
    “… the crackpots … Chris Oakley, MathPhys, Tony Smith, Juan R, Peter Woit, Danny Lunsford …”.

    Lubos, in another comment on another entry in this blog, said
    that he is “… going to guarantee to have witnesses, leading physicists, ready to confirm that Chris Oakley is a crackpot …”.

    I propose that Lubos, as Harvard Professor, invite me to Harvard to make a 2-hour talk followed by questions about my physics model, then followed by a vote among the audience as to whether or not I appeared to be a crackpot, with the proceedings videorecorded and an electronic copy given to me so that I can place it on the internet.
    If Lubos fails to make such an invitation, then it will be clear for all to see that he is too afraid of my ideas to let me talk on his home turf and let his own Harvard audience express their opinions about whether or not I am a crackpot.

    Tony Smith

  32. Kiff says:

    Doesn’t gauge symmetry leave a residue in the BRS cohomology?

  33. Bert Schroer says:

    Kiff, BRST is like a catalyzer in chemistry, it was not there in the initial formulation of the problem, and it has left no trace whatsoever one you have removed it by cohomological descend. There should be no catalyzers in particle physics, do you agree? So there is a deep unsolved problem there.

  34. Bert Schroer says:

    It was said, Mentos, but genuine physicists publish things and are not salesman as the 3 mentioned characters in a previous blog who have very very perishable merchandice which you are addicted to. Thats why you are also unable to understand what is acrually going on in QFT, you will only complain if one of your salesmen happen to ursurpate some of the new thinhs and hands it to you. Kleine anonyme Kanaille.

  35. Kiff says:

    I’m not sure if I agree with your philosophy that BRS is merely a “catalyst” or that catalysts ought to be avoided at all costs. There might be something real deep behind it. And besides, how else would you propose working with gauge theories without BRS?

  36. woit says:

    Lubos and Tony,
    Mentos and Bert,

    I’ve deleted a whole slew of comments from people promoting their books and attacking each other. Sorry, but since it’s my blog and a posting about my book, I insist that all personal attacks be aimed at me or my book, or I’ll declare them off-topic and delete them. I’ll leave Mentos’s last solely because at least it contains an attack on me, but please, take AQFT and LQG warfare elsewhere.

  37. woit says:


    I see, it sounds like you have a copy of the version of the manuscript that Cambridge considered and that Jonathan Cape ultimately bought. If you have found more typos or mistakes, do let me know, much of that version is the same as the published version. But so far, everything you’ve mentioned except the 28 Gev is neither a typo nor a mistake on my part (although often a mistake on yours…).

  38. Chris Oakley says:

    Hi Lubos,

    I am prepared to make the same offer as Tony Smith, but 1 hour plus Q & A’s should suffice. I can pay my own expenses.

  39. Bert Schroer says:

    Kiff, your two last phrases have the same content, It is very deep to get the gauge invariant content without BRST. This problem on which Mund Yngvason and I are working is just this and the preliminary answer is do not insist in pointlike vector potentials but use the new concept of string localization, which has the same effect as ghosts as far as improving short distane behavior, but it does not have the disadvantage to extend the physical space by ghosts. Of course the difficulty is to formulate interactions for string-localized fields, this is virgin territorry. The new free string fields are ready, but since Mund is a perfectionist and has a lot of teaching he told me he is unable to post it only after the IMP conference in Rio de Janeiro. But you find a lot of introductory remarks into this problem in
    Kiff, have a sniff

  40. SomeBody says:

    Here’s somebody else who seems to have read a pre-release version of the book (and to have points of disagreement with it):

  41. Steve says:

    On the variance of the review ratings is quite high. Oh good! That’s exactly the sort of book that I would consider buying. Thank you Prof Motl for your magnificent contibution to NEW’s ratings variance, and thus encouraging me to buy the book. Of course, I am sensitive to factors other than ratings variance, such as the eminence of those who supply the outliers in the data, and as such you have made the but/no-buy decision a no-brainer, as they say.

  42. “I’ve deleted a whole slew of comments from people promoting their books and attacking each other.”

    I don’t think I attacked anyone, nor are any of my books for sale, and hence I was not promoting any book, but, rather trying to explain something about the viewpoint of someone who writes refereed Math papers, refereed Physics papers, and science fiction. If you think that I’m abusing your bandwidth, could you at least email me back my comment, and the comment of Bert Schroer to which I responding?

    As a professional scientist/author, I am willing to give away some minutes of thought and work through blogging, but I’d rather not lose access to my own writing. Thank you.

    — Porfessor Jonathan Vos Post

  43. woit says:


    No, you were not attacking anyone, but your comment was largely links to your own material, had nothing much to do with the topic of this posting, and was an attempt (successful, unfortunately), to turn discussion to your interests in science fiction. Please don’t do this. The number of comments here is about to overwhelm my ability to deal with them in any sensible way. Lots of people would like to turn this into a more general interest blog where they could discuss things that interest them. I neither can nor want to manage such a thing. Please avoid writing comments that are not about the topic of the posting. Digressions will be tolerated only if they are especially interesting and part of the narrow focus of this blog on certain areas of research math and physics.

    I’m sorry but there is no way in this software to recover deleted comments. If you want future access to what you write here (or in any blog), write it in some other editor, save, cut and paste here.

  44. SomeBody says:

    Maybe adding a regular discussion forum to the site could take some pressure off the blog’s comment section (and the blogger)?

  45. woit says:


    I may look into discussion forum software and think about how I might use it on this blog. Basic problem though is that it would still need to be moderated somehow, otherwise you end up with sci.physics. People have suggested to me that the kind of software that Slashdot uses might be the way to go, allowing readers to in some sense moderate the thing themselves by kind of voting on which comments deserve attention.

  46. woit: you’re right. I was politely engaging someone else’s comment, but it was rude to you, and bent the blog from your intended trajectory. I’ll try to confine myself to the topic (the part about “there’s no such thing as publicity” was, in my opinion). My mentor Richard Feynman was well-known to be deeply skeptical of String Theory.

  47. Bert Schroer says:

    Very, very good Jonathan, now you comment is anti-arasing-proved. You learned very fast.

  48. Bert Schroer says:

    It is probably too long ago, but for all us admirers of Fevnman’s directness and rather reliable gut reactions (in contrast to Pauli), and assuming that your credentials Jonathan are genuine, it would be very interesting to know whether you remember any reasons Feynman gave for his critical position.

  49. anon says:

    Bert, see:

    Feynman just before dying said: “… I do feel strongly that this is nonsense! … I think all this superstring stuff is crazy and is in the wrong direction. … I don’t like it that they’re not calculating anything. … why are the masses of the various particles such as quarks what they are? All these numbers … have no explanations in these string theories – absolutely none! … “.

    Strangely, Jonathan is misleading when he said this is well known. Search the internet! Everyone who is a string theorist claims they are as scientific in objectivity as Feynman.

    All those people are LIARS or plain IGNORANT.

  50. Credentials: as menrtioned on the deleted link
    “Footnote to Feynman”, Jonathan V. Post and Richard Feynman,
    [Engineering & Science, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, Vol.XLVI, No.5, p.28,
    ISSN: 0013-7812, May 1983; reprinted in Songs from Unsung Worlds,
    ed. Bonnie Bilyeu Gordon, intro by Alan Lightman (award winning author
    of Einstein’s Dreams), Birkhauser Boston/AAAS, hardcover ISBN: 0-8176-3296-4, paperback ISBN: 3-7643-3296-4, 1985

    Lengthier explication of Feynman’s skepticism of String Theory may be found in:
    Feynman’s Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life
    by Leonard Mlodinow
    ISBN: 044653045X
    192 pages
    5-1/2 x 8-1/4

    lso availabe as an eBook

    Drawing on extensive conversations the author had with Richard Feynman, this is the story of a young physicist trying to find his place in the world, and of the famous, old, and dying colleague whose wisdom helped him. Between them, they shared talk, food, science, and laughter that led the younger man to a deeper understanding of both his own creative imagination and the nature of humanity itself.


    In the early 1980s, Leonard Mlodinow came to the California Institute of Technology to begin a postdoctoral fellowship. Mlodinow had written a groundbreaking Ph.D. thesis, but he was afraid he was simply not smart enough to be at Caltech. In danger of losing himself watching hours of Rockford Files reruns while waiting for one good idea, Mlodinow took his doubts and insecurities to Caltech’s intimidating resident genius and iconoclast, Richard Feynman. So began a pivotal year in a young man’s life and a year of awakening.

    In this funny, inspiring, and revelatory book, Leonard Mlodinow looks back at the time he shared with Feynman: the ideas they explored, the views of life and physics they exchanged…

    My experiences with Feynman discussing Quantum Computing, Nanotechnology, and String Theory have been recounted in some of my refereed papers, whose discussion has decayed here to the ground state.

    I may have more to say on Feynman’s take on why String Theory is Not Even Wrong at a later date.

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