- #1

nomadreid

Gold Member

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## Summary:

- Although there is as of yet insufficient experimental backing for M-theory, aka string theory, is it at least as a mathematical system relatively consistent, and does it contradict any known experimental results?

## Main Question or Discussion Point

I do not pretend to understand M-theory or even any of the string theories which make it up, so the answers to these questions do not need to get too much into detail. The two (related) questions:

(a) Forget for a moment that this is supposed to be describing our known universe. Is there a universe that it could describe? In mathematical terms, does this theory have a model, that is, is one pretty confident that it is free of self-contradiction (that is, assuming the consistency of, say, Peano arithmetic, or ZFC+ there exists a measurable cardinal if you wish)?

(b) Coming back to our known universe, are there any experimental results which contradict a prediction of M-theory (if we ignore any positive answer to (a)).

The two questions together ask: although M-theory is not yet experimentally verified, and possibly is not even possible to be experimentally verified, is there anything else that would disqualify it, in its present state, from being a theory of quantum gravity?

(a) Forget for a moment that this is supposed to be describing our known universe. Is there a universe that it could describe? In mathematical terms, does this theory have a model, that is, is one pretty confident that it is free of self-contradiction (that is, assuming the consistency of, say, Peano arithmetic, or ZFC+ there exists a measurable cardinal if you wish)?

(b) Coming back to our known universe, are there any experimental results which contradict a prediction of M-theory (if we ignore any positive answer to (a)).

The two questions together ask: although M-theory is not yet experimentally verified, and possibly is not even possible to be experimentally verified, is there anything else that would disqualify it, in its present state, from being a theory of quantum gravity?