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String Theory...yay or nay?

tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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10/1/2010 2:21:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
String Theory is very in vogue and has been for some time, much to the detriment of science. Science is not ONLY about hypothesizing, it's also about observing and predicting, both lacking in String Theory. I think that we need to take other approaches and forgo the "mental masturbation" that is String Theory! Or at least only do it so often as not to go blind, is all!

What say you: YEA OR NAY?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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10/1/2010 2:32:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/1/2010 2:21:20 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
String Theory is very in vogue and has been for some time, much to the detriment of science. Science is not ONLY about hypothesizing, it's also about observing and predicting, both lacking in String Theory. I think that we need to take other approaches and forgo the "mental masturbation" that is String Theory! Or at least only do it so often as not to go blind, is all!

What say you: YEA OR NAY?

The problem with string theory, as was summarised by, I beleive, Brian Green (or was it hawking), is that it the core maths behind it was discovered by an absolutes maths Genius, and as such it represents a glimpse of 22nd century maths but used in the 20th. Because of this, all of the other progress required in maths to actually make sense of it hasn't come about yet.

Saying that, though, this type of theoritical physics is not the type of thing one should just dump on opinion or not. It'll be up to hindsight to work out whether it was a good idea or a bad one.

For now though; there are a number of ways that string theory shows promise, and there are a number of things it post-dicts which are highly unlikely to come out by accident.

While it's been around for a number of decades now, I think that using this as a justification to give up on it is purely impatience.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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10/1/2010 2:41:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/1/2010 2:32:01 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
The problem with string theory, as was summarised by, I beleive, Brian Green (or was it hawking), is that it the core maths behind it was discovered by an absolutes maths Genius, and as such it represents a glimpse of 22nd century maths but used in the 20th. Because of this, all of the other progress required in maths to actually make sense of it hasn't come about yet.
Actually, the problem besides it being untestable is that it predicts nothing.

Saying that, though, this type of theoritical physics is not the type of thing one should just dump on opinion or not. It'll be up to hindsight to work out whether it was a good idea or a bad one.
It has all the makings of a bad one, I think. It behaves like a bad one. String theory is just completely different than other theories. In String, the simplest examples don't look like the real world; you have to make your constructs more and more complicated in order to evade contradiction by experiment. Then you are left with something so complicated that you can't even predict anything! That's exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to happen when you're pursuing a wrong idea.

For now though; there are a number of ways that string theory shows promise, and there are a number of things it post-dicts which are highly unlikely to come out by accident.
That's the problem: post-diction instead of prediction! It's just so tweaked.

While it's been around for a number of decades now, I think that using this as a justification to give up on it is purely impatience.
Well, I'm not saying to give up on it all together, but it certainly shouldn't be the driving force in physics.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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10/1/2010 2:49:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/1/2010 2:41:39 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 10/1/2010 2:32:01 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
The problem with string theory, as was summarised by, I beleive, Brian Green (or was it hawking), is that it the core maths behind it was discovered by an absolutes maths Genius, and as such it represents a glimpse of 22nd century maths but used in the 20th. Because of this, all of the other progress required in maths to actually make sense of it hasn't come about yet.
Actually, the problem besides it being untestable is that it predicts nothing.

Saying that, though, this type of theoritical physics is not the type of thing one should just dump on opinion or not. It'll be up to hindsight to work out whether it was a good idea or a bad one.
It has all the makings of a bad one, I think. It behaves like a bad one. String theory is just completely different than other theories. In String, the simplest examples don't look like the real world; you have to make your constructs more and more complicated in order to evade contradiction by experiment. Then you are left with something so complicated that you can't even predict anything! That's exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to happen when you're pursuing a wrong idea.

For now though; there are a number of ways that string theory shows promise, and there are a number of things it post-dicts which are highly unlikely to come out by accident.
That's the problem: post-diction instead of prediction! It's just so tweaked.

While it's been around for a number of decades now, I think that using this as a justification to give up on it is purely impatience.
Well, I'm not saying to give up on it all together, but it certainly shouldn't be the driving force in physics.

While I agree with everything your saying; this wouldn't be an internet discussion board if I didn't vehemently argue (and shout a bit) at everything your saying, and thus I begin.

While the "no-testable predictions" is a valid point; I think that you are putting less stock in the post-dictions than you probably should.

The reason is that you get some surprising answers out of string theory not when you tweak it with any old values, but with things such as "the weight of an electron." You can't get that easily with maths, and that's why I'm saying the coindidences are really compelling.

Imagine if relativity, or quantumn wave function formulae fell back in time, but without the relevant accompanying maths. You could "tweak" it, for example with low energies or speeds and get key formulae, such as newtons laws of motion, etc, out of it; but wouldn't know why.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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10/1/2010 11:16:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Everyone agrees that to validated, string theory must make useful predictions that can be tested. Some tests have been conceived, but not carried out:

"One of the predictions of string theory is that at higher energy scales we should start to see evidence of a symmetry that gives every particle that transmits a force (a boson) a partner particle that makes up matter ( a fermion), and vice versa.
. This symmetry between forces and matter is called supersymmetry. The partner particles are called superpartners. ...
In current particle experiments we can't yet see any direct evidence for the existence of superpartners for known elementary particles (there is some indirect evidence, however). There is a good chance we could start to see superpartners in future particle experiments. If that happened, it could turn out to be evidence for string theory." http://superstringtheory.com...

The site suggests other possible tests.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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10/2/2010 2:02:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Not sure if anyone watches the big bang theory but:

Lenard: At least I didn't invent 26 dimensions just to make the math come up right.
Sheldon: I didn't invent them. They're there.
Lenard: In what universe!?
Sheldon: In all of them, that is the point.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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10/2/2010 2:25:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/1/2010 11:16:36 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Everyone agrees that to validated, string theory must make useful predictions that can be tested. Some tests have been conceived, but not carried out:

"One of the predictions of string theory is that at higher energy scales we should start to see evidence of a symmetry that gives every particle that transmits a force (a boson) a partner particle that makes up matter ( a fermion), and vice versa.
. This symmetry between forces and matter is called supersymmetry. The partner particles are called superpartners. ...
In current particle experiments we can't yet see any direct evidence for the existence of superpartners for known elementary particles (there is some indirect evidence, however). There is a good chance we could start to see superpartners in future particle experiments. If that happened, it could turn out to be evidence for string theory." http://superstringtheory.com...

The site suggests other possible tests.

All well and good, but we don't even know if our Standard Model is right either! Graviton or Higgs have never been observed, and Gluons only indirectly. From this point alone we could be barking up the wrong tree, never mind all the speculation and conjecture that String or Super String theories add to this! How many dimensions have been tweaked into the theories to make them work? 7? 11? 32?

I'm just saying, we shouldn't put as much stock in it as we do. Even QM is an incomplete theory. One think that I have always found interesting is entangled particles. These are EPR pairs: particles that are originated from the same source and have either a "like" or "complementary" measure of their entangled property. For example, a pair of photons that have a property that one spins or is polarized in one direction and the other always spins or is polarized at right angles to the first. They are such, that if we conduct an experiment on one to determine its orientation, the other's orientation becomes known at once regardless of the distance between the two. The premise: the act of measurement of one actually defines both of them; one might be thousands of miles away when you measure the first and the other instantly is converted, regardless of the distance between them, to the complement of the first. A spooky action-at-a-distance (as Einstein called it) that occurs faster than the speed of light? Is it so?

I would argue that this is more of a trick, like where (for argument's sake) a blind person takes 1 of 2 balls (a red and blue ball) and puts one ball in a Box A and the other ball in Box B. You don't know in advance which contains which. Does the discovery that one box has a blue ball actually change the other into a red ball or was it always that way? Some argue that since it's impossible to know what is in each box, the discovery of the blue ball was determined by the act of measuring (opening the box) and the other ball only became a red ball at that instant. Suppose one box is in New York and the other in Tokyo: is this action at a distance or were they that way at the start? I think the latter.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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10/4/2010 5:41:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 11:53:20 PM, Puck wrote:
Mainly nay and meh on a bunch of other stuff. :P

http://www.math.columbia.edu...

Kudos!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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10/4/2010 7:16:15 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/4/2010 5:52:50 AM, tkubok wrote:
I dont understand the string theory to the fullest, but i suppose its a yay.
Nah. Read above links. It's not that it's total garbage; of course not. The mathematics are supposedly incredible (way beyond my comprehension!) But as a physical theory, it falls very short:

"...Strominger gives a "report card" for string theory, where he assigns it 3 As, 2 Bs, 3 Ds and 2 Fs, for an average grade of about C. It gets an F for making no unambiguous testable predictions, a D for prospects of saying anything about LHC, an F for the CC (Strominger isn't sold on the anthropic landscape) and a D for cosmology. Some of the high grades are debatable, with an audience member pointing out to him that there was a tension between his A for "Not being ruled out as theory of nature" and F for no testable predictions. Strominger repeatedly claimed that most string theorists would agree with him on these grades (except maybe the F for the CC)."
http://www.math.columbia.edu...

And the anthropic principle...oh boy! http://en.wikipedia.org...
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
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10/4/2010 9:24:20 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/4/2010 7:16:15 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 10/4/2010 5:52:50 AM, tkubok wrote:
I dont understand the string theory to the fullest, but i suppose its a yay.
Nah. Read above links. It's not that it's total garbage; of course not. The mathematics are supposedly incredible (way beyond my comprehension!) But as a physical theory, it falls very short:

"...Strominger gives a "report card" for string theory, where he assigns it 3 As, 2 Bs, 3 Ds and 2 Fs, for an average grade of about C. It gets an F for making no unambiguous testable predictions, a D for prospects of saying anything about LHC, an F for the CC (Strominger isn't sold on the anthropic landscape) and a D for cosmology. Some of the high grades are debatable, with an audience member pointing out to him that there was a tension between his A for "Not being ruled out as theory of nature" and F for no testable predictions. Strominger repeatedly claimed that most string theorists would agree with him on these grades (except maybe the F for the CC)."
http://www.math.columbia.edu...

And the anthropic principle...oh boy! http://en.wikipedia.org...

Well, this is the same with most things in Quantum physics. I mean, the many interpretations alone provide an utterly ambiguous frameworks for the theory. Its just one of those things, i suppose, that is niether confirmed nor denied, yet, if it is true, helps explain some important questions.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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10/4/2010 12:35:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/4/2010 9:24:20 AM, tkubok wrote:
At 10/4/2010 7:16:15 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 10/4/2010 5:52:50 AM, tkubok wrote:
I dont understand the string theory to the fullest, but i suppose its a yay.
Nah. Read above links. It's not that it's total garbage; of course not. The mathematics are supposedly incredible (way beyond my comprehension!) But as a physical theory, it falls very short:

"...Strominger gives a "report card" for string theory, where he assigns it 3 As, 2 Bs, 3 Ds and 2 Fs, for an average grade of about C. It gets an F for making no unambiguous testable predictions, a D for prospects of saying anything about LHC, an F for the CC (Strominger isn't sold on the anthropic landscape) and a D for cosmology. Some of the high grades are debatable, with an audience member pointing out to him that there was a tension between his A for "Not being ruled out as theory of nature" and F for no testable predictions. Strominger repeatedly claimed that most string theorists would agree with him on these grades (except maybe the F for the CC)."
http://www.math.columbia.edu...

And the anthropic principle...oh boy! http://en.wikipedia.org...

Well, this is the same with most things in Quantum physics. I mean, the many interpretations alone provide an utterly ambiguous frameworks for the theory. Its just one of those things, i suppose, that is niether confirmed nor denied, yet, if it is true, helps explain some important questions.

I agree. The Many Worlds Interpretation of QM has the same criticisms as above...MWI is too fantastical for my tastes, anyways!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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10/4/2010 12:54:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
i'd give it a solid meh. i don't understand those that are strongly anti, as it doesn't contradict anything we know... but it certainly shows signs of a theory in crisis (how many ad hoc dimensions can you tack on before you're just making a giant fool of yourself?)

in any case, it would be nice to explore some new theories since this one seems only to be getting more convoluted rather than any closer to learning things about the universe.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...