There is a vast class of things that science has so far almost entirely neglected: facts about what could be—counterfactuals. According to physicist Chiara Marletto, counterfactuals may generate an alternative way of providing explanations, giving us tools to face technological challenges, from creating devices beyond the universal quantum computer to designing AIs. Examining seven scientific problems that can be solved by this radically different approach, Marletto also crafts short fictional stories that explicate the main point.
"[A] lyrical yet complex debut…. References to Greek mythology, Shakespeare, chess, and Legos add life to her survey…. Marletto's love of physics shines through."—Publishers Weekly