String Theory: Is Energy a Physical Entity?

In summary: Philosophers and scientists have been trying to figure out what "energy" actually is for centuries, and the more we learn, the less certain we are about what it actually is.
  • #1
jaydnul
558
15
I was watching a video on string theory and they claim that its all vibrating strands of energy. I thought energy was just a property of the system, not a physical entity. So do they mean something else by "energy"?
 
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  • #2
Are you familiar with Einstein? He was a clever guy... should read about him
 
  • #3
lundyjb said:
I was watching a video on string theory and they claim that its all vibrating strands of energy. I thought energy was just a property of the system, not a physical entity. So do they mean something else by "energy"?

An interesting question. Perhaps they call it that for lack of a better term?
 
  • #4
It's a great question... if the current view is that unmeasured standard quantum particles don't have particular attributes for position, velocity, momentum, energy, etc , how much greater the problem of characterizing the string as having a vibration (which classically entails all those attributes)?
The size of a string compared to a proton diameter is about the same magnitude as the size of a man to the distance from here to Andromeda galaxy... the uncertainty principle would seem to make any possible "vibration" attribute of a string impossible.
I'm sure the string theorists are using the math to work with different kinds of abstract attributes altogether, and "vibration" is more like the nickname for an abstract mathematical attribute - sort of like "spin" is the nickname for intrinsic angular momentum of something not thought to be actually spinning...
 
  • #5
lundyjb said:
I was watching a video on string theory and they claim that its all vibrating strands of energy.

Which video? Many people use sloppy language when trying to present things like string theory on a non-mathematical level to people who aren't physicists.
 
  • #6
It was a briane greene documentary for nova
 
  • #7
lundyjb said:
It was a briane greene documentary for nova

Ah, the Elegant Universe. As another poster said, it's probably "energy" for lack of a better word. In fact, I'm not sure if, assuming String Theory, there's a meaningful way to describe what they're made of.
 

1. What is String Theory?

String Theory is a theoretical framework in physics that attempts to explain the fundamental nature of our universe. It proposes that the basic building blocks of the universe are not particles, but tiny, vibrating strings of energy.

2. How does String Theory explain the nature of energy?

String Theory postulates that energy is a physical entity composed of tiny vibrating strings. These strings have specific frequencies of vibration, which determine the type of energy they represent. This theory suggests that all forms of energy in the universe, such as light, heat, and matter, are made up of these strings.

3. How does String Theory relate to Einstein's theory of relativity?

String Theory is an attempt to reconcile Einstein's theory of relativity with quantum mechanics. It proposes that the fundamental particles in the universe are not point-like but instead have a length and width, which allows for the unification of the two theories.

4. Is there any evidence to support String Theory?

Currently, there is no direct evidence to support String Theory. However, it has been used to make predictions about the behavior of particles that have been confirmed by experiments, such as the Higgs boson. Additionally, String Theory has the potential to explain unanswered questions in physics, such as the nature of gravity and the origins of the universe.

5. Why is String Theory often referred to as a "theory of everything"?

String Theory attempts to provide a unified explanation for all the fundamental forces of nature, including gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. It is often referred to as a "theory of everything" because it has the potential to explain all physical phenomena in the universe.

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