The 20th century was the century of fundamental physics. While we saw immense progress toward discovering the basic laws governing matter, space, and time, this has slowed to a crawl since 1980, despite an immense amount of work. Luckily, there’s plenty of exciting progress in other branches of physics: for example, using the fundamental physics we already know to design surprising new forms of matter! Like all other sciences in the 21st century, physics must also embrace the challenges of the Anthropocene: the era in which humanity is a dominant influence on the Earth’s climate and biosphere.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2023/05/31/the-future-of-physics/