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I have watched the film “Particle Fever” for the second time last night. There is a nice PBS article about this film.

“Particle Fever” was produced by David Kaplan who is a theoretical physicist at Johns Hopkins University. The film director was  Mark Levinson.

In the film, Stanford physicist Savas Dimopoulos shines through as a Yoda-like wise old man of physics.  He is one of the pioneers of particle physics but to me he is also a modern representative of the ancient Greek tradition of natural philosophy.

Savas Dimopoulos was born in Istanbul, His family had to move to Greece when he was a young boy. This is a sad subject. Hostilities between the Turks and Greeks have a long history. My paternal grandparents were forced to move to Turkey from a village near Salonika (Thessaloniki). This happened in 1923 as part of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey involving 2 million people. My grand-parents were traumatized by this experience all their lives. When they arrived in Anatolia the local people rejected them wherever they went. I am sure the people who were forced to move from Anatolia to Greece in 1923 experienced similar difficulties. The events of  late 50’s and early 60’s that caused the second wave of migrations of the Greek speaking citizens of Istanbul was another sad chapter in the saga.

Towards the end of the film, Savas Dimopoulos talks about the meta-theory.  After I watched the film I found this “Interview with Savas Dimopoulos” where he says

“Humans tend to be quite dismissive of the things they learn. There is a famous saying: “Yesterday’s sensation, today’s calibration, tomorrow’s background”. We get bored, and want to move immediately to the next level. For many decades, if not centuries, we have been trying to find a model that explains all the interactions to any conceivable energy that we have experimented with so far. We came up with the Standard Model that may describe almost all known phenomena, but now we want to effectively build a meta-theory that explains the theory itself. However, I am sure that even if we find this meta-theory, we will still come up with more questions. That’s what makes us, as humans, a progressive species: we get excited, we investigate, we discover, and then we get bored and want to get excited again by moving to the next questions.”

I feel a certain affinity to his way of thinking possibly because we grew up in the same part of the world. On various occasions I said that science will provide infinite number of perspectives on Reality and there will never be a single unified theory of the universe.

Further reading

On multiple perspectives

Metaphysics is a misunderstood word

Simple, explanatory, predictive

Model of a Model




About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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