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Author Topic: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?  (Read 6297 times)

Offline alexbalex

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How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« on: 13/12/2014 11:04:53 »
Hi guys,
What I know about String Theory is that it is very complicated mathematics that explains everything but unfortunately is impossible to be tested and verified. My question is: what are the odds all the pieces of such complicated mathematical puzzle to fall in places perfectly by chance? Is it possible to have more than one mathematical solution at this level? Thanks!


 

Offline yor_on

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #1 on: 13/12/2014 12:28:44 »
Seriously?

Although I think a lot of the presumptions are wrong, what I call 'archetypes', I don't think it is wrong at all. The world is a mysterious place. Ignoring QM for a moment, do you believe 'c' is a constant?

Why?
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #2 on: 13/12/2014 12:36:03 »
"My question is: what are the odds all the pieces of such complicated mathematical puzzle to fall in places perfectly by chance?"

Now that one is about presumptions too, is it not? If it would be able to be tested, and found valid. What are the chances of it still being wrong?
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #3 on: 13/12/2014 12:42:04 »
Simply expressed.

I don't like the idea of dimensions :)
That does not put string theory, or loops, in the wrong.
Because we find those 'dimensions' everywhere.
 

Offline alexbalex

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #4 on: 13/12/2014 13:20:50 »
I wouldn't express strong opinions as I haven't got the credibility. This is for theoretical physicists to do, although apparently they disagree with each other. I understand that the world is a strange place and we should go along with whatever is. However, if we aim to fundamentally explain our universe we expect to have one mathematical model. In the quest to discover the most plausible model we explore different routes until figure out which is the correct one. Whatever strange reality is out there, there must be some mathematics explaining it. My question was referring to the String Theory being created almost entirely exploring mathematical logics and no observations. It also claims to be a theory of everything. So I asked how likely is this to be just one of the many dead end brunches? I thought that at this level of complexity the number of possible combinations is very low and possibly one.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #5 on: 13/12/2014 14:43:03 »
You should read Lee Smolin's Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. I have just finished it and although it was written over a decade ago it does sum up the situation. Before making one's mind up it is advisable to read a number of books on the subject.
 

Offline alexbalex

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #6 on: 13/12/2014 15:43:58 »
Thanks jeffreyH, sure.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #7 on: 13/12/2014 17:59:53 »
Quote from: Alexbalex
  My question is: what are the odds all the pieces of such complicated mathematical puzzle to fall in places perfectly by chance? Is it possible to have more than one mathematical solution at this level? Thanks!


Mathematics is undoubtedly the best language we have so far discovered for making sense of our Universe.  However, I believe that we should not let that lead us to think that there is some pre-existing entity that used mathematics to design the Universe. 

As far as string theory is concerned, it is probably appropriate to think along the lines that if it is correct, it is not a matter of starting with a lot of mathematical concepts that have to come together; rather, it is a matter of mathematicians having found some concepts that jibe with the nature of the Universe.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #8 on: 13/12/2014 19:56:42 »
as for my first question I seriously think you chickened out :)
Don't worry on that one though, you're in good company there.

But, it's the one you need to address.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #9 on: 13/12/2014 20:21:24 »
Quote from: alexbalex
what are the odds all the pieces of such a complicated mathematical puzzle to fall in places perfectly by chance?
Theoretical Physicists have taken the opposite approach with String Theory.

There are a large number of parameters that can be customised in String Theory, to produce radically different predictions, so there is not just one String Theory.
I saw an estimate that by selecting different values for these parameters, you could generate 10500 different string theories. This is a huge number, far bigger than a Googol (the number, not the corporation)!

So the question:
  • Is Not: What is the chance that a single string theory can explain the universe by chance?
  • It Is: What is the chance that one of these 10500 String Theories happens to act something like the universe we see around us? 

The odds on the second question are a lot better than on the first question.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #10 on: 13/12/2014 21:09:11 »
To my mind it is likely that a combination of string theory and quantum loop gravity will be part of the answer. This in conjunction with the Bekenstein bound and the holographic principle seem to be promising. I am only beginning to understand the concepts behind any of these. At the moment my time is to be taken up with reading on group theory.
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #11 on: 14/12/2014 13:06:16 »
What I know about String Theory is that it is very complicated mathematics that explains everything but unfortunately is impossible to be tested and verified. My question is: what are the odds all the pieces of such complicated mathematical puzzle to fall in places perfectly by chance? Is it possible to have more than one mathematical solution at this level? Thanks!
It doesn't explain anything, alex. People make all sorts of claims about it, but if you ask them how string theory explains the mass of the electron, all you'll get is waffle. Ditto if you ask how the electron and the positron attract one another. Ditto if you ask for any other explanation. String theory doesn't explain anything, and it  doesn't predict anything. Because it isn't science. It's Emperor's New Clothes pseudoscience, have a read of this. And it's past its sell-by date, with a diminishing number of advocates. If you bump into some guy peddling it, ask him what the strings are made of. Again, all you'll get is waffle.   
« Last Edit: 14/12/2014 13:08:16 by JohnDuffield »
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #12 on: 14/12/2014 17:37:08 »
Interesting link, John.  I progressed from it to this:

http://itsnobody.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/why-atheists-should-stop-doing-science/

I just had to post it on SAGG, it should stir up some strong feelings there.
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #13 on: 15/12/2014 12:12:24 »
I see it Bill.

IMHO people just like believing in things for which there is no evidence, whether they're religious or not. In a way things like branes and time travel and the multiverse are the modern equivalent of heaven and hell and sweet baby Jesus. 
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #14 on: 15/12/2014 22:07:03 »
I found myself wondering if it was all a windup.  Even that would be less sad than if it were meant to be taken seriously.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #15 on: 02/01/2015 20:12:29 »
String theory is about logic, pure logic, building on logic. And it will make my head hurt. So will 'loops'. I'm not ready for that kind of mathematics, but I would dearly like a girlfriend that was :) and I'm sure we would argue a lot.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #16 on: 02/01/2015 20:36:16 »
The point might be that strings somewhere build on the idea of dimensions. Dimensions build on what you see. The mathematics from what you see to strings or loops, is why I dearly want that girlfriend, to go over it once again, and again. But I don't think it has to do with authority as such, knowledge yes, not authority, Imagination will set you free :)
 

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Re: How likely is the String Theory is wrong?
« Reply #16 on: 02/01/2015 20:36:16 »

 

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