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Author Topic: Is there a theory for everything?  (Read 5932 times)

Offline nilmot

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Is there a theory for everything?
« on: 13/11/2003 12:24:29 »
I've watched a programme on Channel 4 "The Theory for Everything", they are talking about the possibility of finding a theory to explain both quantum mechanic and theory of gravity force together.

I realise that they've discover the sub-atomic particle, quarks...etc. quite a while ago (about 1960-1980 ish)and we(not me I'm speaking in general) are learning them now, it made me felt(general again) quite out of date and also think that what else they've also discovered in biology and chemistry.

Back to main point, it goes on about the existance of string energy, that inside sub-atomic particles there are quarks. I know that's truth because Angel told me but string energy is inside of the quarks; different type of string and the way they vibrate give different properties...etc. A bit hard to accept; also they've said for this theory to be possible they have to admit that there are more then 4 dimension.

Although I'm not a physic person, I'm just interested what are everyone's view about this?

Tom


 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #1 on: 13/11/2003 15:57:36 »
This string energy sounds very interesting.  I'd like to hear more about it.
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #2 on: 14/11/2003 03:46:57 »
There are several books on string theory.  I haven't studied any of them, but I've skimmed them and the thing that strikes me most is that it is a purely mathematical construct, just like quantum mechanics.

I like to side with Einstein when he said "God does not play dice with the universe".  I believe that what he was getting at was that quantum theory describes statistically what particles/waves are going to do, but it does not in any way explain what is going on.  

String theory (from what very little I understand) is the same way.  There is no physical description of what is being mathematically rendered.  And, there is no way to prove anything.  The size and characteristics of the strings are such that there is no particle accelerator even conceived that can generate enough energy to study them.

It makes me wonder if modern physics is more an exercise in mathematical dexterity than in real physical study.


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Offline nilmot

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #3 on: 14/11/2003 08:28:51 »
Yeah John is right,

The aim of the theory was to unify the way gravity force explain the space like a smooth elastic fabric like a trampoline. Sun is like someone stood on it and everything else revolve aroung the Sun. Quantum mechanics seems to disagree the theory when it's applied to a small scale. In the individual atoms, the pattern or surface is very rough and constantly shifting. The concept of space and time doesn't exist anymore. (I've only said what I seems to remember from the programme, a high chance of being wrong, please correct the wrong information if I do so).

They've (programme and the scientist) said they've discovered the theory from a old maths book, a maths equation seem to describe some form of shape and force. It turned out to be a string shape.

But they can't prove that it exist. To believe that it exist, they have to reconsider so many rule the we think are normal like the example I gave the dimension thingymagik. There are no way to prove it because they are simply too small, there is no way we can see it or measure it in any way.



Tom
 

Offline cuso4

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #4 on: 14/11/2003 12:52:57 »
quote:
Originally posted by nilmot


Back to main point, it goes on about the existance of string energy, that inside sub-atomic particles there are quarks. I know that's truth because Angel told me but string energy is inside of the quarks; different type of string and the way they vibrate give different properties...etc. A bit hard to accept; also they've said for this theory to be possible they have to admit that there are more then 4 dimension.

Tom


Actually, from what I understand and what my physics teacher told me, Strinf Theory is to abandon the particle thoery (that's a model saying that everything is made of quarks) all together and think of the tiny particles as strings of energy (so strings are not inside quarks). Like John said, the String Theory is very mathematical and theoritical.

If you look at String Theory from another point of view, energy IS mass! This is what Einstein had established. And who's to say that the current model don't work? Scientists just haven't yet been able to detect the exchange paricle for gravity, "Graviton", because it's so weak and tiny.

"God doe not play dice with the universe", since scientists said quantum mechanics can only predict the probability of events that can occur in the universe. Einstein obviously was not a believer in quantum mechanics.

Angel

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #5 on: 15/11/2003 08:53:00 »
Yeah, I read a book about quantum mechanics once, I kept finding myself shaking my head slowly as what I was reading, it all sounded so incredibly farfetched, and it didn't really say why it had to be like it said in the book. Well, I do think it mentioned something about the sheets with slits, and letting a photon go at a time and the thing still getting an interference pattern like it was a wave. Somehow that proved that the photon goes through both slits simultaneously ... it was kind of fishy. I don't like the idea of a seperate book of rules for tiny things and another book of rules for big things.

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Offline tweener

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #6 on: 17/11/2003 03:42:51 »
Tom,
You're right about the "In the individual atoms, the pattern or surface is very rough and constantly shifting." part of quantum mechanics.  The way this is reconciled to large scale objects is that the small scale roughness averages out.  

I believe that quantum mechanics is correct - it has been proven experimentally time and time again.  But what it does not do is describe what is happening or why.  It merely predicts a probability for what might happen.  I stil think that somehow all the actions are deterministic and are caused by some physical process.  Quantum mechanics does not take that into account.

Think about predicting traffic flow in a city.  You can predict with some certainty when the flow will be heavy and light and in what direction.  For individual autos, you can't predict much (as an outside observer), but there is still a deterministic reason for each car being where it is and when.


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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #7 on: 17/11/2003 16:04:53 »
But Quantum mechanics doesn't explain anything for big things. What kind of law stops at a certain size of particle? It cannot be. The experimental results must point to something else.

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Offline tweener

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #8 on: 18/11/2003 15:48:20 »
quote:
Originally posted by Quantumcat

But Quantum mechanics doesn't explain anything for big things. What kind of law stops at a certain size of particle? It cannot be. The experimental results must point to something else.

Am I dead? Am I alive? I'm both!




Actually, it does hold for large objects, but the calculations are very difficult.  Also, when you start working on large objects, the quantum effects average out and the "classical" laws emerge.  I had a phsysics class once where we derived Newton's first law (F=ma) from a quantum mechanical standpoint.  We also calculated the wave equation for the earth in it's orbit around the sun and the probability that it would undergo "quantum tunneling" to a different energy state.  I don't remember the probability, but I remember there was a decimal point and then you couldn't fit all the zeros on a page if you tried to write it without scientific notation. It was very interesting, but it still did not address any physical reality - just mathematics.  

One thing we didn't do was to derive Einstein's relativity from a quantum standpoint.  It would be interesting, but I'm afraid my skills are way too far gone now.


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Offline Ultima

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #9 on: 06/02/2004 12:23:28 »
For a good book about String Theory at a level that doesnít require any Maths take a look at The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. Itís all conceptual but at least you get a feel for what modern physics is all about, in addition there is lots of history...

wOw the world spins?
« Last Edit: 06/02/2004 12:23:59 by Ultima »
 

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Re: Is there a theory for everything?
« Reply #9 on: 06/02/2004 12:23:28 »

 

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