Symmetry, beauty and belief in high-energy physics

  • Arianna Borrelli Technische Universität Berlin
Keywords: Aesthetics; High-energy physics; Particle physics; Physical-mathematical research; Physics; Symmetry; Philosophy of science;


This paper engages with the aesthetics of knowl-edge, both in its sense as the connection between knowledge and ‘aesthetic’ judgements of beauty, or ugliness, and of the many ‘aesthetic’ – that is to say sensually perceivable – dimensions of knowledge, which are always to be seen to be constituting an epistemic factor in its production and consumption. On the one hand I analyse how in recent decades the connection between beauty and truth has been systematically employed to both inspire and guide research in high-energy physics; at the same time I also show how this use of aesthetic judgement only reveals its constitutive role in physics research when paying attention to the broad range of aesthetic strategies employed for expressing scientific knowledge.

How to Cite
Borrelli, A. (2017). Symmetry, beauty and belief in high-energy physics. Approaching Religion, 7(2), 22-36.