How can string theory be proved

In summary, physicists are still trying to figure out how string theory could possibly explain dark energy, dark matter, and black holes. There is some disagreement about whether or not string theory holds the key to future physics, but it seems to be gaining popularity among researchers.
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The fundamental building blocks of the universe is thought of super strings, if proved can solve the mysteries of the universe but if proved than how? And how can it solve the mysteries of dark energy &dark matter and black holes?
 
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Build a collider half the size of the universe, crank the energy up to roughly the Planck energy and see if one of the gazzillion different string theories explains your results.
 
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Vamsi9955 said:
if proved than how?
The same way that we test any other scientific theory... we figure out a way to make testable quantitative predictions from it, then compare with observation. Of course if this were easy someone would already have done it.
And how can it solve the mysteries of dark energy &dark matter and black holes?
We have to have the theory before we know what it will tell us.
 
  • #4
Nitpick: one doesn't prove theories.

We build models that try to explain nature. If string theory matches to a high degree our observation of nature then it is a good theory. But it will surely not be proven*.*I say 'surely' because some theories have been proven, such as 'the atomic structure of matter' and 'the germ theory of disease'. Safe to say they're no longer just (spectacularly successful) "models".
 
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Vamsi9955 said:
The fundamental building blocks of the universe is thought of super strings, if proved can solve the mysteries of the universe but if proved than how? And how can it solve the mysteries of dark energy &dark matter and black holes?

Well, solving at least one mystery would be a good start.
 
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@Vamsi9955, there are a number of science books on string theory that can readily answer some of the questions you are posing. I liked Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, which is very accessible though probably now out of date as it was published a while ago, but there are more recent ones, definitely.

As I'm aware string theory does not address dark matter and string theorist Cumrun Vafa of Harvard University and collaborators are even suggesting that string theory is incompatible with dark energy. Quantum Magazine has a good overview of that with links to the underlying papers. Vafa seems to feel that string theorists have been lazy in trying to map the 'how' of our universe because with so many possible outcomes, us being here shows that at least one supports the conditions for life and that's good enough for them.

Then are physicists who do not agree that string theory holds the key to future physics, such as Peter Woit who penned Not Even Wrong to explore the question you ask, "How can string theory be proved?"
 
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There’s a view among many physicists that string theory has sucked the air out of room. That there are so many young physicists attracted to its themes that there’s not enough young physicists going to other areas of physics and there’s a lack of funding for these non string theory fields of physics because of it.
 
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jedishrfu said:
There’s a view among many physicists that string theory has sucked the air out of room.

Fortunately, the impossibly large domain space of string theory, coupled with the lack of testability, seem to be putting the air back in the room, with theories such as LQG, modified GR, the 'super' extensions to the Standard Model etc. being openly debated. Indeed, the very question that this thread asks is driving alternative ideas, because what's the point of a theory you can't test, that's just philosophy, surely :frown:
 

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