If one goes to a bookstore, one can find lots of books about String(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Theory. Unfortunately, many of these books are very difficult to

comprehend; not everyone has the background necessary to appreciate

these great works. To satisfy the curiosity of these people, I have

decided to write this thread. Maybe one day, some bright young lad will

read this thread and decide to become a string theorist:

A "string" is a whole lot of bits (ones and zeroes) strung together.

For instance, 010010001011110 is a string.

Computers work by manipulating strings of bits. For instance, this

thread was written on a computer, so it too is a string of bits.

According to string theory, the laws of the universe can be described

in terms of strings. So there has to be one string which explains how

our universe works. String theorists spend their days examining every

possible string to see if it describes our universe. First, the string

theorist types into his computer a string of bits, for example,

01110101010001010000100001011100111011110.

When translated into ASCII, this string reads "The universe is a dog."

If the translation describes the universe correctly, then the string

theorist has found the grand unified theory of the universe. In our

example, since the universe is not a dog, the string theorist would

have to try again typing in another string of bits.

It is frustrating being a string theorist. Finding the string which

gives a grand unified theory of the universe is hard work, but we are

convinced that such a string exists. The mathematics is sound. We just

don't know which string it is.

Next week, I plan to give a layman's explanation of astronomy,

explaining the fundamental law of astronomy: "Twinkle, Twinkle, little

star."

Ben Zona, PhD

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# String Theory: a layman's explanation [joke]

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