Modern Physics and 'The Illusion of Understanding'

By Robert Wright

The big news about the Higgs boson has led to reflection--by me, for example--on whether laypeople, or for that matter physicists themselves, can truly understand the reality described by theories of modern physics.

Here is a really good exchange, between two of America's best science writers, that bears on that question. While acknowledging the limits on our intuitive comprehension of things like the Higgs boson, they press against those limits and shed some light on the subject.

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/07/modern-physics-and-the-illusion-of-understanding/259542/

You can watch the whole conversation on BhTV.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/07/modern-physics-and-the-illusion-of-understanding/259542/