Is the theory of everything the theory of anything?

Philip W. Anderson, Nobel Laureate '77

Dept. of Physics, Princeton

Strict reductionism, even Laplacian determinism, seems to be alive and well in the minds of many of the leaders of physics. I will discuss how the phenomenon of emergence causes the real world to structure itself in ways which are in principle unforeseeable from the fundamental laws on which physicists expend so much money and effort. The real world is the product of complexity and chaos, not of mathematical elegance; yet science nonetheless remains a unified, multiply interconnected whole.

For more information about Philip W. Anderson, visit his website.

Additional resources for this talk: video, slides.