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Thread: Hawking and Susskind

  1. #1 Hawking and Susskind 
    Forum Ph.D. Heinsbergrelatz's Avatar
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    i know this is not a real inquiry of much, but since they are both physicists, and are pretty famous, i would like to ask..

    is leornard Susskind a good physicist like hawking???

    by the way im asking this because i recently got to know this physicist, through his lectures at Stanford, and was wondering if he is an excellent physicist.


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  3. #2  
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    How do you define 'good'?
    By the number of papers each has published?
    By the number of honours they have received?
    By the number of original ideas they have come up with?
    By the number of times their work is cited by other physicists?
    By how correct their ideas are? (And how would you know?)


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  4. #3 Re: Hawking and Susskind 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    i know this is not a real inquiry of much, but since they are both physicists, and are pretty famous, i would like to ask..

    is leornard Susskind a good physicist like hawking???

    by the way im asking this because i recently got to know this physicist, through his lectures at Stanford, and was wondering if he is an excellent physicist.
    Susskind is a good physicist, but he is not in Hawking's class. Hawking is a great physicist.

    Susskind's vodeo lectures are pretty good. I recommend them.

    On the other hand, Susskind has made some statements advocating string theory that are just outrageous, and IMO has made statements in popularizations that are somewhere between gross exagerations and outright fabirications.

    In short, I can recommend his classes, in which his work is mathematical and therefore checkable, but cannot put much faith in his opinions.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Heinsbergrelatz's Avatar
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    How do you define 'good'?
    By the number of papers each has published?
    By the number of honours they have received?
    By the number of original ideas they have come up with?
    By the number of times their work is cited by other physicists?
    By how correct their ideas are? (And how would you know?)
    when i mean good, it means his general performance, his theories, his research and his lectures in his field. of course there could many more ways in which good can be defined to a physicist ( some like you have already mentioned above) , but im sure you get the idea.


    Susskind's video lectures are pretty good. I recommend them.
    yes you are indeed right, i have listened up to 5 lectures on him talking about QM, and GR. and surely they were excellent though not in 100% i could fully comprehend.

    O yea also, do you know the some adversary argument as a physicist to a physicist between hawking and Susskind??
    thank you for any facts and informations.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    and surely they were excellent though not in 100% i could fully comprehend.

    O yea also, do you know the some adversary argument as a physicist to a physicist between hawking and Susskind??
    thank you for any facts and informations.
    yes.

    Susskind wrote a book about the disagreement entitled The Black Hole War. That book contains statements that misrepresnt conjectures in physics, particularly the AdS/CFT correspondence as being a fact,when it is in reality only an unproven conjecture. He makes evern more outrageous and falacious claims in his book The Cosmic Landscape. That is why I caution against taking Susskind's statements as reliable, unless they are in the nature of checkable hard physics and unless you are capable of doing the necessary checking.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Heinsbergrelatz's Avatar
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    Susskind wrote a book about the disagreement entitled The Black Hole War. That book contains statements that misrepresnt conjectures in physics, particularly the AdS/CFT correspondence as being a fact,when it is in reality only an unproven conjecture. He makes evern more outrageous and falacious claims in his book The Cosmic Landscape. That is why I caution against taking Susskind's statements as reliable, unless they are in the nature of checkable hard physics and unless you are capable of doing the necessary checking.
    i also am aware that these two great physicists were debating on the facet that "information was lost" in a black hole for like two decades, of course for the sake of Quantum Mechanics.

    But what was the logical conclusion to all this??
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    Susskind wrote a book about the disagreement entitled The Black Hole War. That book contains statements that misrepresnt conjectures in physics, particularly the AdS/CFT correspondence as being a fact,when it is in reality only an unproven conjecture. He makes evern more outrageous and falacious claims in his book The Cosmic Landscape. That is why I caution against taking Susskind's statements as reliable, unless they are in the nature of checkable hard physics and unless you are capable of doing the necessary checking.
    i also am aware that these two great physicists were debating on the facet that "information was lost" in a black hole for like two decades, of course for the sake of Quantum Mechanics.

    But what was the logical conclusion to all this??
    Susskind claimed victory and Hawking conceded his bet with Preskill.

    Thorne, who was also a party to the bet, has not accepted Hawking's rationale.

    Susskinds claim to have solved the problem and Hawking concession both rely on the AdS/CFT correspondence from string theory which is nothing more than an unproven conjecture.

    The logical conclusion is that there should be no conclusion unless and until the underlying theory is more fully developed.

    Susskind is an unabashed supporter of string theory as a true representation of fundamental physics. He as no basis for that position and offers none other thana belief in the underlying mathematical beauty. That is adequate for mathematics, when the mathematics is rigorous. It is completely inadequate for physics since one can formulate mathematically beautiful theories that utterly fail to describe nature. In this case the mathematics is not rigorous either, and much remains to be clearly defined and actually proved. Susskind iw WAY out on a limb with respect to physics.

    I would pay little attention to Sussking and perhaps more to 'tHooft who was also involved and who is a FAR better physicist than Susskind.
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    so again its all about " the unproven conjecture"? the string theory?? long time ago they try to relate everything with quantum mechanics of the physical world to the quantum world.. now it all has to make sense with string theory ... this is indeed troublesome...

    'tHooft who was also involved
    Wait so he was also involved?? the physicist who was working with Quantum gravity?? which also involves string theory?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    so again its all about " the unproven conjecture"? the string theory?? long time ago they try to relate everything with quantum mechanics of the physical world to the quantum world.. now it all has to make sense with string theory ... this is indeed troublesome...
    Yep. It is troublesom. String theory has produced conjectures that have resulted in some spectacular mathematics.

    However, string theory has produced NO new testable physical predictions. The connection between string theory and physics remains a mystery, if there is one. Moreover, string theory itself is not clearly defined even as a mathematical theory. There is a LOT of work yet to be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    'tHooft who was also involved
    Wait so he was also involved?? the physicist who was working with Quantum gravity?? which also involves string theory?
    'tHooft is best known for his work on quantum field theories. As a graduate student together with his advisor he showed that the electroweak theory is renormalizable. He has done other important work since, and is the originator of the "holographic principle". He is also a great skeptic with regard to string theory.

    Lots of people have tried their hand at formulating a quantum theory of gravity, String theory is not the only approach. No one has yet been successful.
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  11. #10  
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    NO new testable physical predictions.
    the ingredients are ready, but its just that we lack the recipe of it isn't it?? or we simply haven''t even prepared the ingredients yet, and try and proceed??
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    NO new testable physical predictions.
    the ingredients are ready, but its just that we lack the recipe of it isn't it?? or we simply haven''t even prepared the ingredients yet, and try and proceed??
    Nope.

    Nobody can even define string theory clearly. So nobody knows what the ingredients are.

    String theory has provided the springboard in the form of conjectures for some struly spectacular mathematics. But it has as yet not been able to demonstrate a clear connection to physics.

    We don't have the ingredients, we don't have a recipe, we don't even have a kitchen. All we have is some tantilizing aromas. And way too many cooks trying to claim credit for the nice smells.
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  13. #12  
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    We don't have the ingredients, we don't have a recipe, we don't even have a kitchen. All we have is some tantilizing aromas. And way too many cooks trying to claim credit for the nice smells.
    now come to think of what you said, i would come to agree with this
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  14. #13 Re: Hawking and Susskind 
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    Hello Doc ...

    On the other hand, Susskind has made some statements advocating string theory that are just outrageous, and IMO has made statements in popularizations that are somewhere between gross exagerations and outright fabirications.
    What statements are outright fabrications ? I am finishing up the "Cosmic Landscape" I was curious as to what in the book may be fabrications. Though I would say there does not seem to be anything in the book that Susskind does not properly qualify as conjecture or known fact ect.. It seems honest to me.

    To be honest listening to Hawking and Susskind talk about black holes and not being a specialist in physics .. you have to conclude they are both smoking dope. :-D

    In short, I can recommend his classes, in which his work is mathematical and therefore checkable, but cannot put much faith in his opinions.
    Can you trust anyones "opinion" ?

    I don't think science must be hard cold facts and deductive reasoning .. it's a creatice process and someone has to be willing to venture out over the line of the known ? No ?

    In time things will even out. Experiment will catch up with theory. Unless your flying into a black hole anytime soon does it really matter ? I don't know.

    How does Ed Witten factor into all of this credibility wise ? He seems highly respected and yet is deep into string theory .. are his ideas much different then Susskind ?

    I think if you popularize something techinical you open the door for crticism amongst professionals. Could that be the case with your view of Susskind ?

    MB ...
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  15. #14  
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    is leornard Susskind a good physicist like hawking???

    by the way im asking this because i recently got to know this physicist, through his lectures at Stanford, and was wondering if he is an excellent physicist.
    I have no idea who is better but so far I like Susskind's writing better .. Hawking's writng is very monotone. I fall alseep reading the original "A Brief Histotry Of Time".

    I have been following Susskind's lectures online .. quite a bit of fun .. he is it seems enjoying his twighlight years and he is not a rigid lecturer and honestly I don't think he sweats covering his ass in everything he says. If he leaves a few ends loose i don't think it keeps him up late at night.

    MB ...
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohaveBiologist
    is leornard Susskind a good physicist like hawking???

    by the way im asking this because i recently got to know this physicist, through his lectures at Stanford, and was wondering if he is an excellent physicist.
    I have no idea who is better but so far I like Susskind's writing better .. Hawking's writng is very monotone. I fall alseep reading the original "A Brief Histotry Of Time".

    I have been following Susskind's lectures online .. quite a bit of fun .. he is it seems enjoying his twighlight years and he is not a rigid lecturer and honestly I don't think he sweats covering his ass in everything he says. If he leaves a few ends loose i don't think it keeps him up late at night.

    MB ...

    Susskind's online physics lectures are quite good.

    There is no question with regard to who is the more accomplished physicist -- Hawking wins that contest hands down, going away. It is not even close.

    Susskind, in his writing elsewhere, doesn't sweat a lot of things -- particularly distinguishing between his completely unsubstantiated opinions and facts. His lectures are good, but his popular writings misrepresent wild conjecture as established fact. Leaving a few ends loose doesn't begin to describe it, but he does not make clear to the reader the difference between leaving a "few ends loose" and speculating about things about which he truly has no idea (nor does anyone else) -- that is a disservice to a reader who has not the background to be able to know when Susskind is talking through his hat.
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  17. #16 Re: Hawking and Susskind 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    i know this is not a real inquiry of much, but since they are both physicists, and are pretty famous, i would like to ask..

    is leornard Susskind a good physicist like hawking???

    by the way im asking this because i recently got to know this physicist, through his lectures at Stanford, and was wondering if he is an excellent physicist.
    Dunno if Susskind is a good physicists, but his lectures sucks, saw 1 on youtube and it sucked, he couldn't answer simple questions about gravity pull. I couldn't watch more of him in sheer disgust.
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  18. #17  
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    saw 1 on youtube and it sucked
    only 1, to draw out such conclusion? hmm.... :?
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