How the Hippies Saved Physics
Coming of age when their employment prospects were dim, a group of young physicists migrated to San Francisco and began to explore theoretical physics and consciousness, the potential real-world applications of quantum theory and the big metaphysical questions that had drawn them to the field in the first place.
What did they have to lose?
In this video about his latest book, "How the Hippies Saved Physics," David Kaiser, History of Science professor at MIT, says that their "curious and idiosyncratic explorations" are hard to separate from the cultural ferment of the time. But on the other hand, the members of the “Fundamental Fysiks Group” were doing physics in ways that would be recognized as solid science. Many of the earliest citations for Bell's theorem, for example, can be traced to these beaded scientists, bent on exploring the counterintuitive nature of contemporary physics.
So did the hippies save physics? Find out at IdeaFestival 2012. All-access passes go on sale this week!