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Is string theory just a new math?

  1. Apr 23, 2012 #1
    I have read in a couple different places that the math that comes out of string theory has helped a couple of different other branches of physics like quantum computing and condensed matter physics.

    Quote from: http://www.ams.org/news/math-in-the-media/11-2011-media

    "Maybe string theory is not a unique theory of reality, but something deeper--a set of mathematical principles that can be used to relate all physical theories. Maybe string theory is the new calculus."

    I am wondering what any of your thoughts about this are.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2012 #2


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    Cynical comment: String theory has been around for many years, but there has been (little or) no experimental evidence for or against. It sounds like someone is trying to justify all the effort that has gone into its development.
  4. Apr 23, 2012 #3
    String Theory's in its infancy. I wouldn't expect too much evidence to arise for or against it.
  5. Apr 24, 2012 #4


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    Nobody said of GR that it's in its infancy, and String Theory is with us from the 1980's (if not more).
  6. Apr 24, 2012 #5


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    Me too.

    For example, I once heard a talk about the possibility to transfer a problem with strong coupling (like QCD) to a similar problem with weak coupling (which can be calculated perturbatively) in a different spacetime geometry. I didn't get the details, but the speaker (or his working group) was able to handle the tricky QCD calculations with this approach.

    And I don't expect that this will change in the next decades :wink:.
  7. Apr 24, 2012 #6


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    Further cynical comment: Which will come to fruition first, string theory or nuclear fusion power (it's been 20 years away for the last 50 years or so)?
  8. Apr 24, 2012 #7
    One of the articles I read mentioned that the string theory equations for a black hole can be used for some part of quantum computing.
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