Big Trouble in Little Particles
Remember FANTASTIC VOYAGE? Particle physics has discovered how to shrink an entire field of science! Soon physicists will be reduced to the size of electrons, and we will only perceive them only as anonymous commenters. They will forever whirl around in a wave function, muttering that the speed of light is constant and "GM=tc^3" is too simple to be right.
The 30-year decline has been documented in Smolin's THE TROUBLE WITH PHYSICS and Woit's NOT EVEN WRONG. Almost no one in the mainstream press has taken notice. Perhaps the New York Times, which usually follows physics, will write about this. Most of the taxpaying public quit caring about particle physics long ago. The decline has been happening a long time, so long that physicists have sought jobs in fields like cosmology. Key members of the Supernova Cosmology Project have no training in astronomy, which may explain their strange conclusions.
Before they all cry into their milk, we should remember that working in science is a great privilege. Most of the world, no matter how hard they work in farms or factories, will never have the opportunities that these physicists take for granted. Physics enjoyed a free ride after WW2 because of nuclear power. The people's tax dollars have lavishly supported high-energy physics for decades. After all the funding, what has particle physics given back to the public? "Dark energy?"
Quietly, out of the mainstream, some big advances in physics are being made. Predicting the speed of light may be just a first step. The product hc is to a link between the Universe of Relativity and the small-scale world of quantum mechanics. Future observations may lead to new theories of planet formation, explaining Earth's core heat and magnetic field. This may lead indirectly to sources of energy that make nuclear fusion look crude. If all this were known, funding for physics would be no problem at all. Fermilab should think about that.