Beauty is Truth?

Are aesthetics a guide to truth or a distraction?

E=mc2. Einstein’s great equation represents a pinnacle of mathematical purity. But as the evidence piles up which general relativity struggles to account for, is the very elegance of Einstein's theories preventing scientists from updating them? Is there always beauty in truth, or are aesthetics a distraction from the fundamental mission of science?

Jon Butterworth is a physics professor at University College London. He is a member of the UCL High Energy Physics group and works on the Atlas experiment at Cern's Large Hadron Collider. His book, Smashing Physics: The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs was published in May 2014.

Here, he speaks to the IAI about quantum physics, the Standard Model, and the relationship between beauty and scientific truth.

 

You have said in the past that beauty is found in simplicity, but isn’t it actually the complex nature of the world that inspires awe?

Obviously it’s

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