>The laws of physics are deterministic thus everything (the movements of atoms within the universe that is succumbing to these laws) else is deterministic?
The universe is not only atoms, there are other elementary particles swirling around without being part of an atom. But still, that's the gist of it. With the right state-vector no hidden variables
and the right model, the universe becomes perfectly determined, no randomness or free will involved.
Of course, it is impossible to predict the future of a chaotic system analytically or computationally. We can not even predict the double-pendulum very well. There are no analytical solutions to the governing equations Not "they have not been found", but "they do not exist."
, and small differences in input lead to big differences in outcome over short periods of time. But that's not in conflict with determinism.
>I'm not sure how to imagine the cascade of causality in this. Does it always go back to the atomic level and the laws to explain all the rest?
No, to the quantum level. No idea what Dr. Hossenfelder has to say about that.
Accepting determinism as premise for the sake of the argument, I suggest not to think of casuality as something like "This nucleus decayed, that's the cause, and so the world became what it is now." but something like: "Because the entire universe was in state X at t_1, it arrived at state Y at t_2", where X and Y are immensely huge vectors. When you say 'cascade of casuality', you possibly think of bifurcations in the phase state as the beginning of the cascade. But in the light of determinism, that thought seems moot to me. Even if the phase state is theoretically rough(er) at some points, the system can only ever go one direction at each bifurcation, since its trajectory already has been determined at t=0. We can not predict that trajectory, but the system is still deterministic.
More casually, I think we can take Conway's Game of Life as an analogy. The rules are simple, each state is perfectly determined by the previous state, yet complex interactions emerge.
>What's her position within her discipline
She's a research fellow in Frankfurt. Theoretical physicist, quantum mechanics. Contributed to some well-quoted articles.
>I only know she says "mathematics lead us astray".
When she says that, she argues that some theories have been developed simply because they seemed to be mathematically neat and then theoretical physics went on a generations-long excursion to develop a whole zoo of related theories, while those theories were not very useful in predicting experimental results, since they can only be tested in immensely large, immensely expensive particle accelerators that might never get built.
>So what does she really criticize within contemporary physics
that people spend decades of their lives and billions of taxes on theories that have 'neat' math, when those theories can not be tested with reasonable means, and that, in absence of data, some people use the aesthetic value of a theory as a measurement of quality
>and what's her solution to that problem?
consider maybe not wasting your time on anything SUSY, string-theory or any other theory that you picked for its neat looks.
'Lost in Math' might not only be 'Sabine Hossenfelder writing about the state of theoretical physics', but also 'Sabine Hossenfelder dealing with her midlife crisis'.
I do not have strong opinions. But I am not a theoretical physicist or any kind of physicist, so why should I.