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## #1 2006-06-23 18:35:07

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,664

### String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

A new book out called "Not Even Wrong" (a quote from Pauli, referring to something so silly it can't even be called "wrong") says that String Theory is a waste of time, because it is so theoretical and has so many solutions it cannot be proven right or wrong.

Have a read of this synopsis: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articleArch … nwrong.php

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #2 2006-06-24 05:50:43

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

### Re: String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

String theory, which is pretty much built on an entirely mathematical framework, predicts the existence of gravitons.  We have never seen gravitons, nor do we have any other reason to believe they exist.  Not only does string theory tell us that they must exist, but even how we can find them.

Problem is, we don't have the engineering ability just yet to see if they are actually there.  A current project is supposed to be completed in 2007 to be able to detect them, I believe in France.

If gravitons exist and behave like we expect them to, I'd say that's a pretty good test validating string theory.

"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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## #3 2006-06-24 10:06:17

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

### Re: String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

They do exist. I've seen one at the traveling carnival that visits my local parkway. Well they used to, but they stopped visiting when some girl got stabbed during one of their visits, which really had nothing to do with the carnival itself.

(sigh) I miss those gravitions...

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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## #4 2006-06-24 12:09:57

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,664

### Re: String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

Yes, Ricky! Thanks for pointing that out.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #5 2006-07-12 19:23:47

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,664

### Re: String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

An update on this topic.

Apparently basic constants in physics are not as constant as we thought!

Read here, it is worthwhile: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13816702/

(I just wish the guy mentioned wasn't called Murphy)

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #6 2007-01-24 23:03:33

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,664

### Re: String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

The new Large Hadron Collider may be able to test string theory: http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/20 … -the-test/

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #7 2007-01-24 23:28:59

Toast
Real Member
Registered: 2006-10-08
Posts: 1,321

### Re: String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

Yeah, I remember seeing a great, informative (and glossy) documentary on string theory. It was called 'The Elegant Universe' by Brian Greene.

Here is a lot of interesting stuff on string theory, plus you can watch all the episodes:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/
(The documentary isn't really intended for the extremely mathematically inclined)

FermiLab is trying to find the graviton before CERN edges it out with its new particle collider which is supposed to be around 7x more powerful than the one at FermiLab.

They had better bloody find that graviton. If nobody finds it, where will we turn?

Last edited by Toast (2007-01-24 23:35:08)

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## #8 2007-01-25 00:36:28

mathsyperson
Moderator
Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

### Re: String Theory Just Wasted Effort?

This looks like an interesting topic, but the first link doesn't work anymore.
It's interesting that the fundmental constants aren't actually constant though.

I read that the kilogram is defined by a weight that's kept locked in a vault in France. So, anything that's as heavy as that defining weight is defined as being 1kg. But, because of microscopic surface corrosion, that defining weight is slowly getting lighter! Of course, that's probably not the official definition anymore. There's probably some fancy one involving a specific number of hydrogen atoms or something.

Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.

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