Can String Theory Finally Win a Nobel Prize?

In summary: I would agree with that sentiment.More fair to say that the word "singularity" doesn't appear in the citation because it is a term which is less...certain to be understood by the general public, and thus it might be more difficult to win over sceptics with this term.
  • #36
Demystifier said:
does it mean that now string theory can also get a Nobel prize?
Take it higher, this means that now the theory of ether (on the seven-dimensional sphere) can count on some kind of reward (please do not offer the Shnobel one).
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #37
martinbn said:
In principle it could be possible to prove that there is a unique (up to some equivalence) theory that has the current theories as limits.
This has been extensively considered in the wider theoretical and mathematical physics literature, as well as whether or not string theory - or any string theoretic variant such as M-theory - is indeed such a unique theory of which the current theories are limits; by the standard level of rigor of mathematical physics, the hard mathematical evidence for this is actually paperthin.

Around 2000, essentially two opposing consensuses were made among many active theoretical and mathematical physicists: there was a consensus among those who were 'pro-string theory as a physical theory' (consisting mostly of practicing theoreticians and mathematicians actively working on string theory themselves) and a consensus among those who were 'contra-string theory as a physical theory' (consisting mostly of practicing theoreticians and mathematicians not actively working on string theory).

I won't bore you with the pro-string consensus since I believe everyone here is quite familiar with it; this consensus seems to have evaporated in the last years, while a smaller minority of the diehard core believers have yet to change their tune. Interestingly enough, on the other side it seems to be that very little has changed in the past 20 years in the arguments of theoreticians and mathematicians who were contra-string, except that their viewpoint is becoming the more dominant of the two.

The contra-string consensus was and still is that string theory as a physical theory is probably in the best case scenario merely a mathematical reformulation of QFT and in the worst case scenario just a hotbed for discovering nice mathematics. Ironically, if the best case scenario of the contra-string position does turn out to be true, then it would imply that string theory is more a limit of a current theory, namely of QFT, instead of QFT being a limit of string theory.
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes weirdoguy, Demystifier and Keith_McClary
  • #38
Demystifier said:
There are two directions of the needed proof of AdS/CFT. One direction is that the boundary (CFT) can be reproduced from the bulk (AdS). The evidence for this direction is overwhelming. The other direction is that the bulk can be reproduced from the boundary. The evidence is rather slim.
I actually think in the case of AdS/CFT that the bulk being reproducible from the boundary may not be possible in general. This is because projections from the bulk to the boundary, although possibly homotopy equivalent in some very special cases, aren't generally homeomorphisms; mere homotopy equivalence does not a physical theory make. In any case, it would take a proof of singularity theorem type proportions to show otherwise.
 
  • Like
Likes Demystifier
  • #39
Demystifier said:
Given that Penrose now got the Nobel prize for a theory that is almost impossible to verify experimentally in a near future (that is, for theorems that predict singularities inside black holes), does it mean that now string theory can also get a Nobel prize? (If so, Witten and Schwarz would be most obvious candidates.)

I will just note that there exists string theorists among the comissioners of the swedish royal academy of sciences (physics section) that decides the nobel winners.

/Fredrik
 
  • Informative
Likes Demystifier
  • #40
Auto-Didact said:
I actually think in the case of AdS/CFT that the bulk being reproducible from the boundary may not be possible in general. This is because projections from the bulk to the boundary, although possibly homotopy equivalent in some very special cases, aren't generally homeomorphisms; mere homotopy equivalence does not a physical theory make. In any case, it would take a proof of singularity theorem type proportions to show otherwise.
You might be interested in my http://de.arxiv.org/abs/1507.00591
 
  • Like
Likes Auto-Didact
  • #41
Demystifier said:
You might be interested in my http://de.arxiv.org/abs/1507.00591
Wonderful paper, this certainly deserves its own thread. I like that by using completely different methods and arguments you arrive at a similar conclusion to my own which is almost completely mathematics based. In fact, by tying together three different branches of mathematics I can already see the outline of a proof; if only I had the time I would have loved to collaborate on this.
 
  • Like
Likes Demystifier

Similar threads

Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
Replies
2
Views
491
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
10
Views
995
  • Beyond the Standard Models
2
Replies
41
Views
8K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
48
Views
7K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
0
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Back
Top