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Ah-Lecture in 5 days

  1. Jun 11, 2004 #1
    Lecture Opinons Would be Great

    I love the theory of everything very much, as was made clear by me annoying everyone with posts about my site, but I am also giving a lecture on it in England. I am 17 years old and was selected from my math and science center for an exchange program with a American Private equivalent (English "public") school named oundle. The name of my lecture I gave was the quest for the theory of everything. As I found out after I was accepted for the trip and lecture, the lecture is suppose to be 45 minutes to an hour long. I have been researching for this as much as I could during my school year and really picked it up since I got out (June 3). I was originally afraid I wouldn't be able to talk for 45 minutes, but now I am afraid that there is so much to talk about I don't know what to leave out. The talk will before a so called "Yale Science Society" which really frightened me for 2 weeks until I found out that they were not from Yale, but was simply the name of the schools science club. So it is aimed at somewhat knowledgeable I assume teenagers around 16-18 I estimate.

    Anyway I was wondering if anyone would like to suggest some things I should talk about for the lecture. Also if anyone knows of any animations that I could use (aka copyright laws- I have the elegant universe dvd but don't want to risk copy right infraction for my PowerPoint) Right now I was going to talk about the basic way we arrived to the current problem of Uniting QM and GR from the previous two conflicts. Maybe something like I wrote here. Then discuss the development of the idea of the smallest constituent of matter, with something like I wrote here However considering how they kind of are both pre history before the 3rd conflict I may try to intertwine the two (minus the part on strings in the second link). Then I was going to talk about some of the main theories that people are currently hoping could help lead to the theory of everything. With most of the emphasis on string theory, since it is what I know better, then talking a little while on Loop Quantum theory (something i need to research a bit more before i finally leave to feel real comfortable to discuss its details even at a somewhat basic level) Then Finally I was going to end with what it would mean if we would find the grail of physics, and what predicted time frames of this would be. So to summarize right now it would be

    -Intro
    -Preview up to 3rd Conflict
    -String Theory
    -Loop Quantum Theory
    -What TOE would mean
    -Predictions on When
    -Questions

    Again any advice on what should be included or not included or on just how to give a lecture that won't make people fall asleep would be great. I plan on doing a power point to accompany my speech.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2004
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  3. Jun 11, 2004 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    Could you put something in about background independence? This is very important to some people, since it makes spacetime part of the physics, and surely spacetime is part of "everything".
     
  4. Jun 11, 2004 #3
    I am looking for some good stuff on background independence- I don't really understand what exactly it is, so far the best definition I have found has been this

    ---- (c) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_independence)
    Background independence is a condition in theoretical physics, especially in quantum gravity, that requires the defining equations of a theory to be independent of the actual shape of the spacetime and the value of various fields within the spacetime. The different configurations (or backgrounds) should be obtained as different solutions of the underlying equations.

    Although physics of string theory can be showed to be background-independent - there exists one string theory only, and this theory has many solutions - the current formulations of this theory don't make this independence manifest because they usually require the physicists to start with a particular solution, i.e. a concrete background. A very different approach to quantum gravity called loop quantum gravity is, at least formally, manifestly background-independent. However physics of loop quantum gravity is not quite background-independent. For example, it requires us to choose a topology of the space that can't be changed. Also, loop quantum gravity seems to violate Lorentz invariance.

    The classical background-independent approach to string theory is string field theory. Although string field theory has been useful to understand tachyon condensation, most string theorists believe that it will never be useful to understand non-perturbative physics of string theory.

    ----
    What exactly does it mean to be independent of the actual shape of spacetime?
     
  5. Jun 12, 2004 #4
    How detailed should I explain String theory

    Should I mention the 5 main theories, and if so how much detail
     
  6. Jun 13, 2004 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    Have you timed your talk yet? Done a "dress rehearsal"? That should give you a good idea of how much detail to go into on individual string theory. It sounds like you have a pretty full agenda, as is!
    Also, are you going to allow time to open up the floor for questions?
     
  7. Jun 13, 2004 #6
    I was planning on allowing time for questions at the very end.
    -Intro
    -Preview up to 3rd Conflict
    -String Theory
    -Loop Quantum Theory
    -What TOE would mean
    -Predictions on When
    -Questions

    But I am still scared of this part the most. Tomorrow is actually typing out my speech day and practicing day while completeing other tasks like soccer. Also we bought a small lake house today so things are crazy and I am on my own. Also when you try to find someone to practice in front of, not to many of my friends/family like to hear about toe.

    Well its 3:19 and I probably should not have updated my toe site, but I did anyway, I figured it should help me sometime having all the resources in one spot. Thanks for your response and suggestions. I am always open for more, but now its sleep then research/read/soccer/prepare to move/pack/learn how to travel int by self/practice/write/prepare powerpoint/finish getting video sections time

    Speaking of video sections would it be wrong of me to show clips of The Elegant Universe DVD in my presentation-- just some of the animations if I cite it. I haven't goten a clear answer yet. Anyway time for breakdown sometimesoon g2g.
     
  8. Jun 13, 2004 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    Good luck, Tom. I'm sure you'll be a big hit. Did you contact PBS about displaying the NOVA video? I don't think it would be a problem since its not for any kind of commercial distribution. My teacher shows us NOVA video clips in physics class all the time and I don't think he has any special permission to do this. If you don't hear from them I would just go for it. I would just state where the video is from before it's played so there's no confusion that you might have created it.
     
  9. Jun 13, 2004 #8
    Alright thanks for the advice.... now let start the 3 days from hell :)
     
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