Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:39AM
Drew Wolfe

What Would Enrico Fermi Think Of Science Today?

"I have been living with Enrico Fermi for the past four years."

"Well, I have been living with him metaphorically — as I have just completed a full-scale biography of Fermi. So, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how he would view today's scientific landscape."

"Fermi's contributions to physics were so broad ranging, his interests so wide, that he made a mark in virtually every area of the field. I find it irresistible to speculate what he would make of physics today or how he would view some of our broader debates on the role of science and society."

"Certain areas of physics have entered a true golden age — and Fermi would be absolutely delighted. Particle physicists have spent the past four decades piecing together the "Standard Model," and it seems to work, at least as far as it goes. The quark theory of matter, the unification of the electromagnetic and weak interactions, and the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2015 would fascinate and please him immensely. He was, after all, one of the first physicists to explore the atomic nucleus with high-energy accelerators."

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