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New Study Suggests a Test for String Theory

  1. Sep 1, 2010 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2010 #2

    marcus

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    That "test" was already debunked 27 May.
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=2977
    The preprint came out in May. Here it is:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.4915
    Four-qubit entanglement from string theory

    The press release from Imperial College contains some hype. Over interpreting the paper (which was just published) as a test of string as fundamental physics. Often times a public relations department will puff something up around the time the paper is published in journal.

    So when the public relations release came out, and was picked up by, for example, PhysOrg (where you saw it) Woit blogged again about it:
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=3127

    Interestingly enough the PR department at Imperial College London then pulled in their horns! :biggrin: They actually changed the title of the press release to something a bit more reserved:


    The original title on the press release has been changed. It used to be “New study suggests researchers can now test the ‘theory of everything’”.

    The new title does not say "test". Now it’s “New study presents unexpected discovery that string theory may predict the behaviour of entangled quantum particles.”



    In other words, it is not a test of Superstring as a fundamental theory of matter or a "ToE". It is an application of some stringy mathematics to calculate stuff in quantum information theory--typically larger scale behavior. String has a repertory of math techniques that have already been used to study largescale stuff: superconductivity (a branch of condensed matter physics) and nuclear physics (not fundamental particle).

    In this case it seems the calculation had already been done by other means, but stringy math was applied, and also succeeded.

    Woit's comment:
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  4. Sep 2, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the clarification, in the article it does specify that 4-qubit entanglement patterns described by Superstring Theory/M-Theory can't qualify as a verification of Superstring Theory. It says that this is merely a use of Superstring Theory/M-Theory Gravitational Physics to 4-qubit entanglement, this is symmetric to AdS/CFT describing high-temperature superconductors which is constantly being published but not a verification of Superstring Theory/M-Theory. In order to make the title as concise without departing from the article itself I just used what was said in the title.

    Thanks, Kevin
     
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