Skip to comments.String Theory, at 20, Explains It All (Are There 10 Dimensions Of Space and Time?)
Posted on 12/10/2004 7:09:09 AM PST by shrinkermd
ASPEN, Colo. - They all laughed 20 years ago.
It was then that a physicist named John Schwarz jumped up on the stage during a cabaret at the physics center here and began babbling about having discovered a theory that could explain everything. By prearrangement men in white suits swooped in and carried away Dr. Schwarz, then a little-known researcher at the California Institute of Technology.
Only a few of the laughing audience members knew that Dr. Schwarz was not entirely joking. He and his collaborator, Dr. Michael Green, now at Cambridge University, had just finished a calculation that would change the way physics was done. They had shown that it was possible for the first time to write down a single equation that could explain all the laws of physics, all the forces of nature - the proverbial "theory of everything" that could be written on a T-shirt.
And so emerged into the limelight a strange new concept of nature, called string theory, so named because it depicts the basic constituents of the universe as tiny wriggling strings, not point particles.
"That was our first public announcement," Dr. Schwarz said recently.
By uniting all the forces, string theory had the potential of achieving the goal that Einstein sought without success for half his life and that has embodied the dreams of every physicist since then. If true, it could be used like a searchlight to illuminate some of the deepest mysteries physicists can imagine, like the origin of space and time in the Big Bang and the putative death of space and time at the infinitely dense centers of black holes.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The NYT WYTs get it right every now and then. Even a stopped clock is right in two or three dimensions of the space-time continuum......
Yes, but only twice a day.
So where can we buy the T-shirt?
Not to be a poop but the 10+ dimensional requirements for things to work remionds me of the Ptolomey model for the solar system. Full of complex gyrations to make up for knowledge of something we learned later.
In one theory, time does not flow like a river, but is static, like a clothesline. To go from one place to another on the timeline simply exit and re-enter at the desired time. Therefore, if your clock is "stopped" it will always be right......
Interesting... bump for later.
bump to read later
See also the Nova special based on the The Elegant Universe.
And for a look at the implications of this science for religion, see Beyond the Cosmos.
My closest colleague has tried to pin them down: string theorists assert with near clockwork regularity that string theory is 'perturbatively finite', but when you ask them where this is proven, most can't point to a source, and those who can point to a paper in which the methods only work up to two loops. . .or they give bogus arguments based on misunderstandings of a mathematical construct called Teichmuller space. And, to date string theory can only be done in a 'flat background' space-- but general relativity tells us gravity is equivalent to certain kinds of curvature on space. If it's not perturbatively finite, or can't be done in a realistic space-time, string theory isn't even a theory much less a theory of everything.
Of course, neither the popular science press nor the National Science Foundation seem to have noticed this, not even when Edward Witten, one of the leading lights of string theory over its 20 year life has given up on it to turn to work on loop quantum gravity--which according to the string-theorist quoted in the times (who has no basis in either physical or mathematical fact for his assertion) 'must be part of string theory'. It isn't.
Science is making it more and more clear that Men in Black was right...our universe really does exist in a gym locker in some sports facility belonging to those living in a higher dimension.
So that accounts for the funny smell...
I think everyone's washer and dryer are portals to another dimension, the Galaxy of One-footed sock wearers.
Yes, but this article would be quite different if either the GOP or the Dems adopted belief of string theory into their party planks.
Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet. lol.
Fantastic, but over my head. It's nice to know we may not be limited by relativity and C in exploring the universe in the near future.
whats the speed of dark?
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