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Question to the String theorists

  1. Dec 26, 2007 #1


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    Following up on his recent posting on CV I looked at Tom Banks papers on the archive, and came across hep-th 0412129 (and skimmed 0306074).

    Most of this argument is quite beyond me but I'd be curious as to what "practicing Stringtheorists" think of them.

    I generally like the parts of the arguments I understand about the role backgrounds should play in QG.

    I plan to read his work on Quantum deSitter eventually, so if anyone has any pointers on this I'd be grateful as well,

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2007 #2


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    Like you, f-h, I'd also be interested in hearing what anyone familiar with string thinking has to say about these two papers by Tom Banks. Banks was one of the early developers of "M theory" (and also incidentally Lubos Motl's PhD thesis advsior at Rutgers). I read parts of one of the two paper you mentioned, back in 2003, intrigued by Bank's apparent opposition to Leonard Susskind's "Anthropic Landscape" which came out around that time. I hope you get some stringy response to your question!

    A Critique of Pure String Theory: Heterodox Opinions of Diverse Dimensions
    T. Banks (SCIPP, U.C. Santa Cruz, Nhetc, Rutgers U.)
    82 pages
    (Submitted on 9 Jun 2003)

    "I present a point of view about what M Theory is and how it is related to the real world, which departs in certain crucial respects from conventional wisdom. I argue against the possibility of a background independent formulation of the theory, or of a Poincaré invariant, Supersymmetry violating vacuum state. A fundamental assumption is black hole dominance of high energy physics. Much of this paper is a compilation of things I have said elsewhere. I review a crude argument for the critical exponent connecting the gravitino mass and the cosmological constant, and propose a framework for finding a quantum theory of de Sitter space."

    Landskepticism: or Why Effective Potentials Don't Count String Models
    22 pages
    (Submitted on 13 Dec 2004)

    "This paper is a synthesis of talks I gave at the Cargese Workshop in June 2004 and the Munich Conference on Superstring Vacua in November 2004. I present arguments which show that the landscape of string theory is not a well established feature of the theory, as well as a brief discussion of the phenomenological prospects of the landscape and the use of the anthropic principle."
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
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