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'Theory of everything' tying researchers up in knots
SFGate.com ^ | March 14, 2005 | Keay Davidson

Posted on 03/15/2005 10:58:30 PM PST by snarks_when_bored

'Theory of everything' tying researchers up in knots
- Keay Davidson, Chronicle Science Writer
Monday, March 14, 2005

The most celebrated theory in modern physics faces increasing attacks from skeptics who fear it has lured a generation of researchers down an intellectual dead end.

In its original, simplified form, circa the mid-1980s, string theory held that reality consists of infinitesimally small, wiggling objects called strings, which vibrate in ways that yield the different subatomic particles that comprise the cosmos. An analogy is the vibrations on a violin string, which yield different musical notes.

Advocates claimed that string theory would smooth out the conflicts between Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics. The result, they said, would be a grand unifying "theory of everything," which could explain everything from the nature of matter to the Big Bang to the fate of the cosmos.

Over the years, string theory has simultaneously become more frustrating and fabulous...

[snip]

 

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: philosophy; physics; science; stringtheory; superstrings; theoryofeverything
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To: snarks_when_bored

We have a handful of these guys in our physics dept.

They're a little bit out there, even by our standards. :P


41 posted on 03/16/2005 12:08:55 PM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: PatrickHenry; finnigan2

Occam's Razor, baby.


42 posted on 03/16/2005 12:10:19 PM PST by stylin_geek (Liberalism: comparable to a chicken with its head cut off, but with more spastic motions)
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To: Jeremiah Jr

Strings ping.


43 posted on 03/16/2005 12:15:27 PM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: Jonah Hex

I sense that I am getting close to the answer.

I keep on coming up with 43. :P


44 posted on 03/16/2005 12:15:54 PM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: stylin_geek
Occam's Razor, baby.

Plastics.

45 posted on 03/16/2005 12:23:54 PM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Sorry, but the article at the link to "Sirag: Hyperspace Reality" get very high scores at this site

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html
46 posted on 03/16/2005 12:59:29 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: Physicist
There's one issue I'm not altogether clear about. Would the following not qualify as a "prediction" or "experiment" of string theory?

Finding the Ultimate Theory of Everything

Of course the nature of this CSL-1 anomaly remains unsettled, but if this and associated tests were to hold up as indicative of cosmic superstrings wouldn't that affirm that the string theory concept is on the right track?

47 posted on 03/16/2005 1:11:05 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: AdmSmith; betty boop
Thank you so much for the url! The Baez crackpot index is a knee slapper. But for your raising it wrt Sirag to mean much, you'd have to score his article using the index.
48 posted on 03/16/2005 1:24:41 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: AdmSmith
A little follow-up on your previous post, you might find it interesting (I did) that John Baez includes the ADE theory on his website. ADEX is the basis of the Sirag consciousness model.
49 posted on 03/16/2005 1:51:35 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
The mere fact that Sirag is mentioning something does not mean that it is right or wrong, it is the way he connect it to other things. The totality of what he writes is still crap. Sorry for that.
50 posted on 03/16/2005 2:16:47 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AntiGuv
Would the following not qualify as a "prediction" or "experiment" of string theory? It could be an "ordinary" gravitational lens http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/booklet/GravitationalLenses.html
51 posted on 03/16/2005 2:21:03 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith

http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/booklet/GravitationalLenses.html


52 posted on 03/16/2005 2:21:56 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: snarks_when_bored

stringping for later in another dimension


53 posted on 03/16/2005 3:14:06 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: AdmSmith; Alamo-Girl
I've been otherwise occupied today, so am just doing a little catch-up. As for Sirag, a pretty much random selection of a passage from his website yields this:

As readers of my (1993) appendix paper in Roots of Consciousness know, I have been partial to E7 as the basic descriptor of the hyperworld. In this theory, I identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness. The E7 Lie algebra (whose largest commutative subalgebra can be identified with the reflection space) corresponds to a mind at large (both conscious and subconscious). In turn, this E7 Lie algebra is a 133-dimensional subalgebra of an infinite dimensional algebra, which is a kind of supermind to the E7 mind-at-large.

Such mixtures of legitimate mathematical terminology with undisciplined talk of 'universal consciousness' and 'a kind of supermind' are a sure-fire clue that the author has lost his way. For example, what could it possibly mean to "identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness"? What sort of identity might that be?

Sorry, Alamo-Girl, but AdmSmith is correct: Sirag is full of it.

54 posted on 03/16/2005 4:11:45 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: timer
Ledbetter and Bezant actually saw what they called the Ultimate Physical Atom(UPA)in the 1920's using micro-psi(seeing with matter waves). If you are interested, the article is in a past issue of Infinite Energy Magazine. See . They verified the string construction of sub-quarks.

You'll have to get me a reference for that. (smile)

55 posted on 03/16/2005 4:17:19 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: nmh
Yes, yes, yes, they know it all better ... so there is a theory for that and a theory for this. Reality is they know squat.

Well, we know more than any earlier generations of humans have ever known, that's for sure. But we're far from done (barring some unforeseen catastrophic event, of course).

56 posted on 03/16/2005 4:20:17 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored

The ugly truth is that TRUTH doesn't evolve. Something is true, today, tomorrow and thousands of years from now IF it was truth to begin with.


57 posted on 03/16/2005 4:21:45 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: finnigan2
My own belief is that as you bore down to an essential underlying theory of everything, explanations should become simpler and the math more elegant, not more complex.

I'm not sure about that. It could be that as we drill down into smaller and smaller volumes, the mathematical complexity required to describe what we find does in fact increase. For example, the configuration space of a classical (i.e., 'large') system is usually finite-dimensional (although of high dimension if the system contains many particles), and the description of the behavior of the system requires (essentially) partial differential equations, the principles of which have been understood for over 200 years. On the other hand, the configuration space of a quantum (i.e., 'small') system is usually infinite-dimensional (an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space), and the description of the behavior of the system requires (at least) partial differential operators (a step up in abstraction from partial differential equations), the principles of which have been understood for only about 100 years.

Of course, maybe a new layer of simplicity will emerge beneath the complexity of current quantum descriptions. We just don't know yet.

58 posted on 03/16/2005 4:31:28 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: nmh
Yes, I agree with that, but I see us as always on the way towards truth, rather than ever being in possession of it. It's the Peircian fallibilistic approach to science.

Back in a while if you want to continue the discussion!

59 posted on 03/16/2005 4:32:59 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: nmh

Truth may not evolve but human statements about it do.


60 posted on 03/16/2005 4:34:23 PM PST by js1138
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