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Podcast: Could 'counterfactuals' solve the biggest problems in physics? © Getty Images

Podcast: Could 'counterfactuals' solve the biggest problems in physics?

Published: 17th May, 2021 at 08:00
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Physicist Chiara Marletto, author of The Science of Can and Can't, explains what counterfactuals are and how they can show us the whole picture.

Most laws of physics tell us what must happen. Throw a ball in the air and it will come back down. But physicist Chiara Marletto, a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, says that laws like this only tell us part of the story.

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She believes that the rest lies in 'counterfactuals': things that could be.

In her new book, The Science of Can and Can’t (£20, Allen Lane), she explains how these counterfactual properties could solve many of science’s biggest outstanding problems.

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Authors

Sara RigbyOnline staff writer, BBC Science Focus

Sara is the online staff writer at BBC Science Focus. She has an MPhys in mathematical physics and loves all things space, dinosaurs and dogs.

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