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Thread: Shadows

  1. #1

    Shadows

    I am not very proficient in science but I'll anty-up on an article I read lately. I just learned that Einstein was upset about the theory of relativity not being able to explain the small things in the universe. I don't really know what they meant by this but Einstein is recorded as looking for 20 years to find a unity between small things and large ones.

    The string theory was developed in the 80's but lately many are saying this is a big dead end. I must admit that anything more than 4 dimensions seems too absurd.


    I don't see how Einstein's light theory can not account for the small things. Light is the force that all things can be measured with so what does size matter then?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Rock
    I am not very proficient in science but I'll anty-up on an article I read lately. I just learned that Einstein was upset about the theory of relativity not being able to explain the small things in the universe. I don't really know what they meant by this but Einstein is recorded as looking for 20 years to find a unity between small things and large ones.

    The string theory was developed in the 80's but lately many are saying this is a big dead end. I must admit that anything more than 4 dimensions seems too absurd.


    I don't see how Einstein's light theory can not account for the small things. Light is the force that all things can be measured with so what does size matter then?
    Rock,

    Thank you so much for posting! I don't know the answer to your question but several of the world's experts on string theory are faculty at Rutgers University. I will try to find get some answers for you.

    Wise.

  3. #3
    Wise,




    Thank you to. I was a little rushed last night when I posted so I will try to learn some about the "string theory" for myself as well. It is probably very complex. Even the theory of relativity has a joke associated with it. It goes something like this: They say there is only about 10 people in the whole world who can really say they comprehend fully the theory of relativity but I can't recall who the other 9 are. LOL

  4. #4
    From a short briefing at Wikipedia, I noted a few things that I hadn't known before. I find the reasoning for vibration of the two main types of strings being logical but not sure about their origin or future. I can see where vibration can be energetic and also massive as the two strings seemed to suggest. The decaying comment caught my eye because I don't think the universe is everlasting.

    The extra dimensions beyond time (4th) were a little vague because I feel that an attempt to bisect matter is not really a dimension. I would classify it as a 3rd dimension within another 3rd dimension more or less. It is interesting though to think that what is inside has a process of classification in an attempt to address what things are made of. Insert an inspirational science quote here:

  5. #5
    Rutgers University has five faculty members who specialize in string theory (Source): Professor Tom Banks, Professor Michael Douglas, Professor Daniel Friedan, Professor Petr Horava, Professor Claud Lovelace, Professor Joel Lovelace, and several other professors who apply string theories in their studies.

    My best understanding of string theory is as follows. Traditional physics treats subatomic particles as if they are have zero dimension. While this is a reasonable assumption to make when the particle size is small compared to the phenomena that you are trying to describe, i.e. the particle is a subatomic particle and you are trying to describe the behavior of large multiatomic systems. However, this assumption of zero dimentions does not work when you get down to subatomic systems.

    If one assumes that all objects have one or at least one dimension, this changes the mathematical description of the world and have profound implications for some unexplained phenomena both at the subatomic level and cosmological events. One way of thinking about string theory is that it suggests that all particles have at least one dimension and that is time. This allows the visualization of all particles as having a trajectory in time, as you would draw on a graph where the x-axis is time. Strings have many attributes or dimensions, much like a guitar string. On the most superficial level, strings have properties or behaviors, such as length, orientation, tension, vibration, resonance, spin, and open and closed, etc.

    The string theory that you are referring to is called "superstring theory" which is shorthand for "supersymmetrical string theory" in which all the strings assume assume the property of symmetry. Wikipedia probably has the best explanation of superstring theories on internet (Source). Depending on the assumptions, five superstring theories had been proposed but, in the 1990's, these were merged into a single underlying theory called M-theory.

    As it turns out, several aspects of string theories are readily expressed in Feynman diagrams which are means of notating behaviors of particles as they interact with each other (Source). There are several really amusing stories behind the origins of some of the names of diagrams that are used, including the "penguin diagram" which first predicted the mass of the b quark mass before it was discovered.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 10-21-2006 at 01:54 PM.

  6. #6
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    Here's a great OP-ED article this past Fri in NYT by Brian Greene:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/20/op...pagewanted=all
    (In case this is not a convenient link I just posted the page here:
    http://aks.rutgers.edu/articles/SCI/...t20greene.html

    Key message: we shouldn't be premature in dismissing String theory --simply because we do not yet know how to do the empirical tests.
    Plus, Greene make the excellent point of.. 'Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.'

    Hard copy of NYT has nice image of this quote re: uncertainty trailing off through the hole in the needle. It's too bad you can't see this clever (metaphoric) image on the web.

    Both of these messages generalize to Stem cell & all areas of research -- especially those plagued with ambiguities...

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