I’ve just completed the book A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design by Nobel Prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek.
This book is a long meditation on a single question:
Does the world embody beautiful ideas?
Our Question may seem like a strange thing to ask. Ideas are one thing, physical bodies are quite another. What does it mean to “embody” an “idea”?
Embodying ideas is what artists do. Starting from visionary conceptions, artists produce physical objects (or quasi-physical products, like musical scores that unfold into sound). Our Beautiful Question then is close to this one:
Is the world a work of art?
To answer this question Wilczek takes us on a thoroughly enjoyable journey from Pythagoras to Supersymmetry and at the end of that journey his answer “…is a resounding Yes!”
Does the world embody beautiful ideas, and if it does, what are we to make of that?
Are these questions worth asking?