Lost causes in physics

Before you start your brand new research programme, you may be interested in at least skim over R.F. Streater‘s twenty-six lost causes in physics, if only to have a laugh at some of them (like, e.g., number seventeen, converting R. Penrose to the Copenhagen view). But make no mistake: the list is not intended as a humorous compendium and many of its entries come with a quite detailed rationale and pointers to the literature, which make it an interesting, if highly opinionated, reading. On a more positive note, in Regained Causes in Theoretical Physics, Streater gives advice on research topics, according to him, worth pursuing.

In case you need a refresher, Streater, now seventy, besides having Erdös number 3, wrote his thesis under Abdus Salam‘s supervision, and is the coauthor (with A. S. Wightman) of the classic book “PCT, Spin and Statistics, and All That”. Most of his almost five decades long research career has been devoted to axiomatic quantum field theory. Not that bad for getting an advice, i think. He has also a bit to say about many, many physicists, present and past. Pretty interesting.

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