I've asked 9 months ago the post below on MathOverflow. The post with identifier 423567 and same title (see below) was closed and deleted, there was an answer from a professor, and several comments from professors, on MathOverflow eight months ago. I'm not physicist, I'm mathematician, but not a professional mathematician.

Question for Meta Physics Stack Exchange. I would like to ask if I can to ask on Physics Stack Exchange the post below (see title, body and I would to add also a choice of tags, if I edit the post on the main site Physics Stack Exchange). Is this post (see below) suitable for the main site Physics Stack Exchange? Many thanks.

I think that this is an interesting and important question for MathOverflow and for Physics Stack Exchange that isn't opinion-based. I'm going to read your answers on Meta Physics Stack Exchange and comments that I appreciate.

Crisis in physics: great picture for professional mathematicians, and the interplay of mathematics as optional question

After I've read several articles published in a popular science magazine and books*, I've wondered that the following question could be suitable and interesting. Notice that I'm inspired in these but the authors didn't assert that there is a crisis in physics, thus I'm asking the following question.

Question. A) Is there a crisis in physics? Why? B)(Optional) In case that you think that there is a crisis in physics in theoretical or experimental physics can the (mainstream mathematical theories or models) mathematicians help about it? Many thanks.

For A) you can to add/refer the literature and/or explain the symptoms/clues about why there is a crisis in physics or well your discussion and considerations if you think that there is no such crisis to ellucidate a good answer for my question, at level of graduated students in mathematics. For B) that is optional, you can to add your ideas about if it is possible that mathematicians can to help with the available theories and models.

Below I add the comment that I had added in the original comment thread of the cited post of MathOverflow.

Motivation: I know the Spanish edition of the book [1] by professor Sabine Hossenfelder of Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, that was the starting porint of my research about my concern (the starting point of my motivation to think that there is a crisis in physics). She is author of videos on YouTube as [2] (I don't this video, I've read the mentioned book and I know [3]). The Senior Editor Natalie Wolchover of Quanta Magazine edited [4], she was awared at 2022 with the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, see Wikipedia. Maybe you know better that I, the site [5], the author is the professor Peter Woit of Columbia University.

I've edited the comment below with the link for the slides 41/53 of [6], by professor David Tong, University of Cambridge. I read the article, and I've read the claims by professor of the Radboud University Renate Loll, in last section of the article [7]. In penultimate paragraph of [8] the Senior Contributor and theoretical astrophysicist as refers Wikipedia Ethan Siegel and, respectively, the cited Contributor Group, of a column in Forbes refer the scale of the particle collider that you need to probe some theories in physics. Physics of a star is [9], where the Spanish astrophysicist explains (if I refer well) a discussion about the chemical composition of our Sun, and Richard Panek a journalist who specializes in the topics of physics that refers Wikipedia, in particular he edited articles in Scientific American, awared with many notable awards in his profession.


[1] Sabine Hossenfelder, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, Basic Civitas Books, (2018).

[2] The crisis of particle physics | Sabine Hossenfelder, John Ellis & Jim Baggott, from the official channel The Institute of Art and Ideas, edited on YouTube two years ago.

[3] Is science about to end? | Sabine Hossenfelder, from the channel Big Think uploaded two weeks ago on YouTube.

[4] Natalie Wolchover, A Deepening Crisis Forces Physicists to Rethink Structure of Nature’s Laws, Quanta Magazine (they have a website) March 1, 2022.

[5] The website Blog Not Even Wrong, edited by Peter Woit professor of Columbia Math Department.

[6] David Tong, Are the slides Physics and the Integers (Trinity Maths Society, 2010) University of Cambridge.

[7] George Musser, La paradoja más famosa de la física se acerca a su fin, Investigación y Ciencia, Febrero 2021, Nº 533 (the article was also published in Quanta Magazine).

[8] Ethan Siegel and Starts With A Bang, Ask Ethan: Why Can't The Large Hadron Collider Put More Energy Into Its Particles?, Forbes (Feb 1, 2020).

[9] Héctor Socas Navarro, El gran problema de la física solar, Astronomía Época II Año XXXVII, Nº 281 (Noviembre 2022).

[10] Richard Panek, La crisis en torno a la constante de Hubble, Investigación y ciencia (it's the Spanish edition of Scientific American), Nº 524, 2020, pp. 20-27.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a screen capture of the deleted MO post? It is only visible to 10k MO users. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ I have not a screen capture of such post, as you are a moderator you can to decide if to edit a screen capture of the post can to help here. I think that I can not edit it. Many thanks @Qmechanic I'm going to accept your activity as a moderator of Physics Stack Exchange $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 8:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question. In general, to find out whether a specific question is on-topic, just ask the question on the main site and trust the close/review/reopen process. Meta discussions are typically about why the close process has done something unexpected, or about the topicality of an area of inquiry, such as meteorology, quantum gravity, physics education, academic career advice, binding energy, semiconductors, or crises (plural). $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 12:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I’ve deleted a bunch of comments. If another user is posting in a way that breaks our code of conduct, raise a flag and disengage from the discussion. It is not okay to resurrect an argument on an unrelated post. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Many thanks professor @rob now I see that you're right, in this way you will a website in which the users are respectful of others. I also want to add about the content of body of the posts that I edit, in particular the post edited on Meta with identifier 14385 , that I am a mathematician, and I have ideas and equations on the table at my home. Many thanks again for you and the Moderator team of Physics Stack Exchange for this last comment that you've edited. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented May 14, 2023 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


No, "Is there a crisis in physics?" is both too broad ("in physics" can mean anything from metereology to quantum gravity) and too opinion-based/unclear (it is not clear what objective criteria something would have to fulfill to be a "crisis") to be a suitable question for physics.SE.

While one can infer from your comments that you seem to aim at specific discussions in the realm of quantum gravity, "crisis" still is far from specific enough to generate useful answers rather than personal rants reflecting opinions.

Physics.SE is for specific, objectively answerable questions about mainstream physics as a natural science. It is not for discussions of the sociology of physicists, academic turf wars or anything else of the sort.

  • $\begingroup$ (1/2) My question Is there a crisis in physics? isn't too broad, and this is clear for my person that academic as are many of the professors who known your site Physics Stack Exchange can to ellucidate objectively whether or not there is a crisis in physics. Your colleagues are professors of universities, aren't guys: I am sure that they can add reasonings editing useful answers instead of personal rants and opinions. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ (2/2) I don't want to wait two or three or five decades to know the answer to my question: do you think as moderator of Physics Stack Exchange that string theory, or nearby primordial black holes, or the exploration of the universe to find Dyson spheres or alien artifacts in our solar system, or the creation of wormholes is mainstream physics? Please... I'm asking about your profession, and the profession of your colleagues (professors). $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ (1/2) I reject you comparison (that seems your first "reasoning") in your comment "in physics" can mean anything from metereology to quantum gravity for the quantum gravity and metereology: I've read (the Spanish version of) a book by Florian Freistetter (with title Un cometa en la coctelera, Ariel, 2015) where the author refers what is the initial condition for the existence of an atsmosphere, and therefore I deduce that fopr the metereology, in our planet Earth. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ (2/2) The achievement of loop quantum gravity will have a context (as well as that newtonian mechanics and journeys of discovery had a context), this is what happened in our outer solar system. I defend your profession, while my question on Meta Physics Stack Exchange was closed as off-topic. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry professor for insistence ( and for the tone of my previous comment), but I think that you should provide me a response as moderator of Physics Stack Exchange: do you believe that questions about string theory, or concerning the creation of wormholes in laboratories, the questions related to primordial black holes in our solar system, the questions about Dyson spheres, or related to alien artifacts in our solar system are on-topic in your site Physics Stack Exchange? I require an explanation please from you, or from some member of the team of moderators. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 16:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user250478 I'm not a professor (nor indeed a professional physicist of any kind). Questions about any of these topics can be on-topic here (although I have a hard time imagining a question about alien artifacts that is on-topic), but that doesn't mean every question about these topics is on-topic here - it always depends on the specific question. I don't see what any of this has to do with the answer you're commenting on. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ You seems very friendly but comments like than "Physics.SE [...] is not for discussions of the sociology of physicists, academic turf wars or anything else of the sort." seems to me taxative. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 17:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user250478 I think I should point out that ACuriousMind is both a moderator here and one of the most respected members on the site for their knowledge of physics. Their response about your question was, IMO, not only correct but very reasonably worded. They have described how the site is intended to function perfectly reasonably and you would be better served to focus your energies on complying with that approach than arguing. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ Some comments removed. Please remember that comments should relate to the post being commented on; they are not for conversations about unrelated topics. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ You know that my comments were about related topics. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ The question "Is there a crisis in physics?" isn't broad, this is specific, this is an objectively answerable question about mainstream physics. The professors, students and contributors of your site Physics Stack Exchange can edit a thread of excellent answers. The problem (as you've deleted my comments I repeat it) is in the study of our Solar System: the previous theories that I critic don't provide us of neither artifacts made of matter/radiation nor conceptual artifacts that the human species can to exploit in the adverse situations that we suffer. Please don't delete my comments. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @user250478 Your selection of references makes it clear your question is too broad: even Sabine Hossenfelder limits her claim to particle physics, a subfield where only a tiny proportion of physics research is done. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ I draw your attention as moderator about the deficiency (in my opinion) of the posts which are illustrated your Tour physics.stackexchange.com/tour I'm the author of the post math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/32115/… edited (I got 11 downvotes!) two years ago on Mathematics Stack Exchange, and yes when I was analyzing this concern I was visiting these posts of MSE to know if the score of such posts was right. This is the kind of sites, as Physics Stack Exchange in which I try to ask an honest question. $\endgroup$
    – user250478
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 14:03

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