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Is String Theory a Theory Of Everything?

  1. Oct 29, 2004 #1
    Is String Theory a Theory Of Everything? Or just a theory to unify the four fundemental forces. But not a theory of everything. A theory of everything, I would say, would explain just about everything. String theory defines everything down to the strings, but doesnt explain strings other than 1 dimensional objects. I would think a theory of everything would explain what something IS made out of even if it is infenitesmally small.

    What do you guys think?

    * Note: Please don't bash or flame me for my possibly anti-string theory statement. Just want to know your opinions on this. Also, I am new to string theory so anything stupid sayed is most likely a result of acknowledged ignorance :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2004 #2
    if its right, then it has the potential to be a t.o.e. i think they still need to find out the problem with the beginning of the universe.
  4. Oct 31, 2004 #3
    without defining consciousness, the means by which we distinguish objects and concepts, a theory of EVERYTHING will always be incomplete

    one dimensional objects vibrating in 11 dimensions of which only 4 are detectable by observation does provide options for...

    ...a wellspring of consciousness

    but let's not go there...yet
  5. Oct 31, 2004 #4
    Can a THEORY ever be FINAL?

    Hmm... I have read much about the aforementioned, ill-defined phantasm of a theory (forgive me for the A. C. Clarke quote, couldn't help it, it fit so well)... This theory is, of course, very intriguing. I for one favor it, probably because of my dissatisfaction with the Standard Model, and because I am of a curious and optimistic nature, not because I believe that all of its aspects are indeed more than philosophy. But whether or not it will be able to predict and describe what it claims to be able to predict and describe once we are able to circumvent a perturbative approach, I don’t think that any theory will ever be the “final theory of everything” that so tormented Einstein in his final years, even as he was aeons ahead of the rest of us. There can simply be no end to discovery, no natural obstruction beyond which the universe cannot be probed, be it a physical or theoretical boundary - all it takes is the right mind to pry open the hinges placed upon us by the monotonous drilling of school teachers, preaching to us the Bohr model of the atom, calling it a “perfect little mechanism” and so on. It seems that every time we think that we have come up with The Theory, a new discovery or even a simple, pre-existing equation utilized in a different scenario, shatters our entire effort at turning the perfect chaos of physical law into a neatly arranged set of rules, compacted and understood by our brains. I think that this process is deeply rooted within the very genes of humanity – to always keep learning, but never come up with the ultimate truth, for this truth, I believe is beyond human nature to comprehend. Perhaps I am wrong about the latter. But I still hold a firm belief in my former statement – there can be no TOE! (In the sense of a complete, FINAL, and absolute theory - which actually contradicts itself haha) Anyone care to argue? = )
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2004
  6. Nov 1, 2004 #5
    Yes. The vibration of the strings don't only explain the four forces, but how matter and energy is made up of as well (think the violin part in the show). Basically if you know the "entire" sheet music, you can figure out everything.
  7. Nov 1, 2004 #6
    String Theory if proved correct will be a theory of everything.
  8. Nov 1, 2004 #7
    I would suggest reading the elegant universe or watching the dvd... it explains the true potential of string thoery...

    Also gave a lecture on string theory and its possiblity in becomming a toe... you can find the transcript at www.quantumninja.com/toe (soon to be www.utoe.org as soon as I learn how to configure my new url)

    you can watch the entire 3 hour show here from NOVA http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html
    there is also an link in a thread somewhere to where you can actually downlaod the files instead of stream them
  9. Nov 2, 2004 #8
    Oh, I have read the Elegant Universe. But that isn't the point... If there's one thing that the history of science has taught us, it's that every time we think that we have a complete picture, there's always one crummy discovery that proves all of our previous ideas wrong. In fact, I believe that Brian Greene included the latter in his book, did he not? The Universe always seems to find a way to misguide us and veil her true nature... Do you think she finds it amusing to lead us all the way down a wrong path until we hit our heads on the Truth? Do you think she also finds it amusing that we cannot see the Truth we hit our head on? Or am I the only one who reasons so?

    Oh and to answer you, I'm not saying that string theory isn't theoretically a complete theory... I'm just saying that somewhere along the way, we will probably find some evidence against it, right at the dawn of a fourth revolution. And as ironic as you may find it, I am for string theory. I find it to be the most complete, and above all, the most interesting "quantum gravitational" theory out there. It is also, in my view, the most aesthetically pleasing.

    But all this does not prevent me from recognizing a certain pattern. Don't you see it?
  10. Nov 4, 2004 #9
    If string theory is a complete TOE than how come there's no explanation for the existance of strings? Obviously string theory explains everything UP FROM strings but not strings themselves. Or mabye I'm wrong, that's just what I've picked up so far.

    I really have to read elegant universe, I even had the book but havent gotten the chance :tongue2:
  11. Nov 4, 2004 #10
    hi !
    can some body write down the testable predictions of string theories ..
  12. Nov 4, 2004 #11
    I think we are floating into 'air-on-G-String' here!

    For instance can String Theory explain my objections to String Theory?
  13. Nov 5, 2004 #12
    Well, if you read what was said earlier, I have already gotten into that subjects with someone else.

    As for the other question, there are so far pretty much no testable predictions of string theory. That's why it's so unpopular with "fundamentalists" physicists.

    P.S. Do you guys see my font really huge?! 'Cause I put it in size 2, but I just opened this page from someone else's computer, and it looks huge! Is it really?

    - Alisa :bugeye:
  14. Nov 5, 2004 #13


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    It's huge all right. A few other posters have it too.
  15. Nov 5, 2004 #14


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    I do not see it as huge, but this is, i suppose, because i am a fundamentalist and lack the New Age imagination.
    To me, RoyalBlue is acceptable only against a White background and then it excites my nostalgia for the Romanovs.

    Naturally, as a traditionalist, I admire the use of a Serif font such as the Courier. In this modern age the glories and elegance of the past are all diminished and even the serifs have been eroded from our letters.
  16. Nov 5, 2004 #15
    i thought there where predictions of string theory, like the graviton, that is a prediction (postdiction actually) of string theory. and supersymmetry came from string theory although it was also incorperated into the standard model as well, but it would be a huge discovery for string theory if supersymmetry is right.
  17. Nov 5, 2004 #16
    I'm so sorry! Because I guess with the setting on my computer (I HATE large letters and large settings and stuff) it looks small. My window is actually set on "Medium" at the moment, so maybe you guys set it to that as well. However, if it really does look that big (which sucks because I love that font), I shall cease to use it.

    I don't believe that the graviton was a direct prediction of string theory. It is also part of the Standard Model, no? Despite this, it would of course advance the theory as it is as you mentioned a post-diction.

    I really really hate large fonts. >.<

    - Alisa :bugeye:
  18. Nov 5, 2004 #17
    Alright, I just went and tried out all of the settings... Put your text size on medium! It's almost the same but my font looks normal. Until then, I'll stick with this one.

    - Alisa :tongue:
  19. Nov 5, 2004 #18
    it was a postdiction because we already knew (think we know) that there is a graviton. the thing is, in the standard model, there was nothing that said a graviton existed, it was just thought to exist because thats the only force that we havent found a messenger particle for. string theory predicts it as a closed string.

    if im getting this wrong, please tell me lol.
  20. Nov 5, 2004 #19


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    Here are some relevant PF posts by Peter Woit, who teaches at Columbia.






  21. Nov 6, 2004 #20
    hahah, well, that settles that, i take back what i said lol.
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