Can string theory make predictions for particle physics?

In summary, Dr. Washington Taylor from MIT gave a talk on the subject of string theory and its potential for making predictions for particle physics. He stated that early estimates of the number of vacua were probably very deep underestimates and that the landscape of string theory is likely to continue to grow indefinitely. However, despite this, he still has hope that somewhere down the line correlations will be found between various parameters of the standard model.
  • #1
CarlB
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I attended a string theory lecture this afternoon at the Joint Particle Physics 2006 meeting in Hawaii. One of the string theory parallel lectures caught my eye:

Can string theory make predictions for particle physics?
Washington Taylor, MIT
The appearance in string theory of a wide range of solutions corresponding to low-energy field theories with different gauge groups and matter content poses a challenge to string theorists who wish to make predictions for particle physics. This talk presents a summary of the state of our knowledge regarding the space of string vacua, and describes recent work in which the gauge groups and generation numbers of a set of quasi-realistic intersecting brane models are systematically analyzed.
http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/indico/contributionDisplay.py?contribId=96&sessionId=168&confId=3

He made the point that early estimates that the number of vacua were about [tex]10^{600}[/tex] are probably very deep underestimates. He proposed a "Moore's Law" for the landscape, implying that the number of vacua were going to keep increasing indefinitely.

Despite this, Dr. Taylor expressed hope that there would eventually be a prediction come out of string theory. His idea was that there would pop up correlations between various parameters of the standard model. However, in his own explorations which counted how many vacua would have SU(3)xSU(2)xU(1) and 3 generations in a tiny corner of the landscape, he had found that there were no correlations. He was asked about this in the question and answer session and said that he still had hopes because he hadn't looked at all the other parameters of the standard model such as the masses of the particles. (Should have attended my lecture, I guess.)

The lecture was well attended with about 150 people, standing room only.

Carl
 
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  • #2
CarlB said:
He made the point that early estimates that the number of vacua were about [tex]10^{600}[/tex] are probably very deep underestimates.

ROTFLOL :smile: :smile:
 
  • #3
More color from the string theory talk:

After the talk, one of the questioners started out her query with "I noticed that you avoided using the "A" word ..."

Of course my mind leapt to the possibilities. Antimatter? Axion? Anomaly? Asymmetry? Atheism? Astronomy? Angular momentum? Algebra? Accuracy? Adultery? Ab initio? Aardvark?

Apparently the locals knew what was being talked about and the author, dared by the questioner, used the word "anthropic" in his response. I guess that that's a bit of a dirty word among the stringers.

Carl
 
  • #4
What Kea said! :rolleyes: :wink:
 
  • #5
CarlB said:
Despite this, Dr. Taylor expressed hope that there would eventually be a prediction come out of string theory.

Wow :smile: :biggrin:
 

Related to Can string theory make predictions for particle physics?

What is string theory?

String theory is a theoretical framework in physics that attempts to explain the fundamental nature of particles and their interactions by positing that the particles are not point-like, but rather tiny, vibrating strings.

How does string theory relate to particle physics?

String theory is a potential candidate for a theory of everything, meaning it aims to unify the four fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces) with the laws of quantum mechanics. As such, it has implications for particle physics as it seeks to explain the fundamental building blocks of matter.

Can string theory make predictions for particle physics?

Yes, string theory can make predictions for particle physics, but they are currently not testable or falsifiable due to the lack of experimental evidence. However, string theory has led to the development of new mathematical tools and techniques that have been useful in making predictions in other areas of physics.

What are some potential predictions of string theory for particle physics?

Some potential predictions of string theory for particle physics include the existence of additional dimensions, the existence of supersymmetric particles, and the unification of all fundamental forces. However, these predictions are currently not testable and remain theoretical.

Is there any experimental evidence supporting string theory's predictions for particle physics?

No, there is currently no experimental evidence supporting string theory's predictions for particle physics. This is because the energy scales required to test these predictions are far beyond our current technological capabilities. However, research and experimentation are ongoing, and future discoveries may provide evidence for or against string theory's predictions.

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