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Author Topic: String Theory as it stands?  (Read 4408 times)

Offline Murchie85

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String Theory as it stands?
« on: 23/04/2010 21:52:57 »
How exactly does string theory intend to explain things if attaining practical data is by its own admission nearly impossible as it would involve exploiting phenomenal amounts of energy? Is there a way to prove it indirectly? Also what is the present state of the theory as it is constantly changing and evolving? Lastly is the theory taken seriously by the physics community as a whole or only of interest to the theoretical physicists?


 

Offline Atomic-S

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Offline Geezer

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #2 on: 24/04/2010 08:17:23 »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory

Well yes. But what do you think about it? I'm sure Murchie is aware of the Wiki page.
 

Offline Murchie85

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #3 on: 24/04/2010 11:05:31 »
Thank you Geezer, plus any good scientist will tell you that you don't want to be relying on information from wikipedia. I am definitely interested in opinions as well as facts.
 

Offline Geezer

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #4 on: 25/04/2010 18:43:36 »
There is a new book (I have not read it) by Marcelo Gleiser - A tear at the edge of creation: A radical new vision or life in an imperfect universe. (Free Press - 2010)

Gleiser is a physicist at Dartmouth College working on unified theories. He came to the conclusion that it's a misguided mission.

Don't know that I necessarily agree with him, but it might be worth looking at.
 

Offline grizelda

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #5 on: 27/04/2010 11:57:36 »
I think the idea is to postulate an entity which will become whatever is supposed to exist at any spot in space at any given time. Thus, a photon's travel through space would be a series of strings becoming that photon at each point in its path. The strings would then become, say gravitons, or quarks, or whatever was occupying those spaces at any given instant. I don't know where free will would come in here, but it seems indistinguishable from magic. Maybe that's how they came up with it, by reverse engineering magic. It makes it so much easier to describe the universe this way.
 

Offline Geezer

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #6 on: 30/04/2010 01:10:26 »
I don't think there is any magic here.

Perhaps it all boils down to our understanding of "space".

If we think that space is "nothing", we have to explain everything in terms of particles.

If we think that space is "something" (however bizarre that may seem) we can explain some things as (temporal) properties of space.
 

Offline grizelda

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #7 on: 30/04/2010 05:37:48 »
Maybe they think that if the strings have access to data from a dozen dimensions or so the strings will be able to 'know' what to be at any given place or time. To us it would be like watching a reality show in 3-D on a TV that isn't plugged in. I was wondering if idiot savants had that kind of access; to be able to 'know' how many toothpicks just fell on the floor. Its like the laws of nature just unfolding, so the answer is the same every time. Its only magic if you try to work out how free will fits in, though the strings would probably have access to that.
 

Offline Geezer

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #8 on: 30/04/2010 06:02:51 »
I'm less inclined to dismiss string theory, even though it does require us to accept the existence of many more dimensions than we can intuitively comprehend. There are many things that defy human intuition.

Whether we like it or not, space has properties. If space had no properties, the speed of light would not be constrained.

Just because we can't describe space in terms of models that seem to make sense to the human mind it does not mean that space is not something.
 

Offline Murchie85

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #9 on: 30/04/2010 09:04:06 »
I think one of the main attractions of string theory is it can explain some of the loose ends of current problems in principle. Such as help establish a unified theory of everything that would connect the standard model with gravity. The idea that things become a lot more simple when viewed from a higher dimension is quite interesting and with a lot of big names working on it eg Michio Kaku then that also helps cement the importance of the theory. It may well be a fools errand but at the moment it appears to be the most promising solution even although very hard in principle to prove.
 

Offline graham.d

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #10 on: 30/04/2010 09:04:39 »
I'm not sure string theory should stand

- it should dangle.
 

Offline Murchie85

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #11 on: 30/04/2010 09:49:54 »
Haha very good,at the moment its quite loose, and needs to be tightened...
 

Offline Geezer

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #12 on: 30/04/2010 21:31:59 »
I refuse to be drawn into suggesting that anyone should get knotted.
 

Offline Labrat

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #13 on: 30/04/2010 21:51:44 »
Has the conversation has tended toward entropy?
 

Offline grizelda

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #14 on: 01/05/2010 02:23:43 »
Laughing too much at string theory can cause dystrophy.
 

Offline Murchie85

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String Theory as it stands?
« Reply #15 on: 01/05/2010 16:38:57 »
I hope this is the right THREAD...
 

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String Theory as it stands?
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