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Is string theory wrong?

  1. May 20, 2014 #1
    Hello,
    Is string theory or M theory wrong ? Isn't it the theory of everything ? Should we continue our research to reach the true theory of everything ? If so, why physicists still research on string theory ?!!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2014 #2

    phinds

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    String theory at this point is not right OR wrong, it is simply a hypothesis that has no experimental evidence but which would explain a lot of stuff very nicely if it DOES turn out to describe reality.

    Why would you want to abandon the search for a theory of everything? Do you not care about knowledge?
     
  4. May 20, 2014 #3
    I meant we should search for the theory of everything with different thinking and to leave string theory as there are 2 experiments falsify it
     
  5. May 20, 2014 #4

    George Jones

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    Which two experiments falsify string theory?
     
  6. May 20, 2014 #5

    phinds

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    As George requested, you MUST back up such a statement with citations otherwise it is just an unsubstantiated personal theory.
     
  7. May 21, 2014 #6
    Google this : ( string theory fails test )
     
  8. May 21, 2014 #7

    ZapperZ

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    Sorry, but this is insufficient.

    When you are trying to back up your argument, you must provide proper citation. Asking people to search for the source to support your point should not be done. Google search will turn up both valid and dubious sources. Which one did you use?

    Please provide clear, valid references as soon as possible, or this thread will be closed.

    Zz.
     
  9. May 21, 2014 #8
  10. May 21, 2014 #9

    PAllen

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    All of these are of the following nature:

    - Had they been found, they would have added support to (but not confirmed) string theory
    - Not finding them does not even remotely disprove string theory

    All of the sources you provide are of dubious reliability, or strongly biased.
     
  11. May 21, 2014 #10

    ZapperZ

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    Please re-read the PF Rules that you had agreed to. Pay attention to the type of sources that we consider as valid.

    Not knowing your background, I will assume that you are not familiar with how things are done in science. Valid sources require a DIRECT citation of either well-established standard text/references, or a publication in our accepted peer-reviewed journals. Personal websites and blogs (even by Woit) do not constitute as valid sources. If you used this, then you are using 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th hand news.

    This may be an "ordinary" forum, we are try to adhere to the higher standards on the quality of discussion. This means that references and sources must be of the same standard. This hopefully will prevent discussions at the level of tabloid journalism where dubious sources and any and all garbage are in. It also forces YOU to pay attention to where you are getting your information, and hopefully, educate you on how science is practiced.

    Zz.
     
  12. May 21, 2014 #11

    ChrisVer

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    As already pointed out, string or M theory are just theories - they haven't been disproved or confirmed, because they exist far away from our experimental reaches, and their phenomenological results haven't been found yet (however that's a very difficult way to "disprove" the theory, more oftenly, you are just going to disprove one model out of the theory or something like that).

    I'd quote Feynman for the "theory of everything" thing, because asking whether we should search or not for a "theory of everything" is more a philosophical question... we are just exploring nature, if there happens to be a "theory of everything" so be it, if there doesn't so be it- we are just seeking for our own answers.

    I don't think physicists at the moment do research on string theory (Glashow's viewpoint?). That's something mathematicians or string theorists do. Physicists are trying to find phenomenological results out of it.
     
  13. May 21, 2014 #12

    micromass

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    Here you go:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyynpf8x74I
     
  14. May 21, 2014 #13
    Would it really explain at least something?

    There is an old joke, that according to string theory our universe is exceptional: It is the only one which string theory is unable to explain.

    The main problem with string theory is that the focus of research capabilities on string theory leaves no place for any other, independent search for a theory of everything.
     
  15. May 21, 2014 #14

    Bill_K

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    I was going to post a joke about String Theory, but there were too many of them. :smile:

    Judging by your indirect references, the two results you're referring to are:

    1) The LHC failed to find evidence for Supersymmetry. This only means that the mass of any supersymmetric partners would be beyond the reach of the LHC, about 1 TeV. There were good reasons for hoping that Supersymmetry would show up at relatively low energies, but even though it did not, it's still a reasonable possibility at higher energy.

    2) The LHC failed to find micro black holes. This would have been evidence for large extra dimensions, a somewhat far out idea.

    String Theory does not really have anything to say about physics at LHC energies, so these two results neither confirm or invalidate it.
     
  16. May 21, 2014 #15

    phinds

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    Now that's just silly. No one area of study precludes any other area of study.
     
  17. May 21, 2014 #16

    ChrisVer

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    Although Supersymmetry is a very nice theory, it's even more elusive than string theory...
    Because we always expect to find it at some scales, yet it always avoids our detection hahaha.., At least you know that for strings the energies are unreachable and you only search for evidences of it, however for susy you know very much less (even the mass of Higgs is within the limits of MSSM+radiative corrections (<130GeV).
    Nevertheless, don't forget some historical facts. When people first proposed the top quark, they were expecting to find it at ~50-70GeV (sorry I don't remember the exact energy). Of course, it finally appeared at ~170-175 GeV.

    Of course there are searches outside string theory... However, during several eras in physics, there are some reasons why people like a theory more than others- because it seems more consistent/predictive. That was one of the reasons QCD dropped away string theory for some decades. But again it's a matter of personal view (some people like string theorists, some others don't consider them to be physicists- as I stated above Glashow belongs to the 2nd group).

    Also the person who will come and tell you that he has the theory that describes everything, either his theory is wrong or he won't be a physicist hahahaha (joke)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  18. May 21, 2014 #17

    DrClaude

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    Now that's just naive.

    I said that tongue in cheek, but Lee Smolin has argued (in his book The Trouble with Physics, among other places) that the stronghold of string theory has has stifled research in other theories of quantum gravity, through funding and tenure.
     
  19. May 23, 2014 #18

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    What are the limits on the mass of supersymmetric partners?

    I mean, in the future we might have a faster particle accelerator, and they may argue the same argument as you do now, that we need a faster accelrator.

    If they don't have some falsifiable limits on the bounds of the masses, then it's not even a theory.
    It may even postulate that the energies are infinite, in which case you can never really know if the theory is right or wrong.
     
  20. May 23, 2014 #19

    PAllen

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    String theory makes very definite predictions about physics at the Planck energy. That is still like zero compared to infinite energy. However, it might as well be infinite compared to current technology.
     
  21. May 23, 2014 #20

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    What is the interval of required energies?

    I understand that 1 Tev is in the lower end.
     
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