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The Theory of Everything (string theory)

  1. Feb 5, 2015 #1
    Hello, if you have ever heard of the TOE then you may be able to answer my question on this theory. The theory explains that there are tiny little strings in all atoms. Imagine the universe being an atom, the stings in this atom would be the size of a tree here on Earth. That is how small they are. These strings vibrate at a certain speed. If I am correct then the speed it vibrates at decides everything of that atom. So... if we could manipulate these strings would it be possible to literally change matter itself?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2015 #2
    Yes this is true, however it would take energy that is for all intents and purposes infinite to get on that scale.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2015 #3
    Exactly why we cant do it.

    Maybe like the energy of a black hole.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2015
  5. Feb 5, 2015 #4

    phinds

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    What "energy of a black hole" are you talking about?
     
  6. Feb 5, 2015 #5
    Black holes have immense energy
     
  7. Feb 5, 2015 #6

    bhobba

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    You can in principle - but if we will ever have access to the energy and mechanisms required is another matter.

    We currently cant do it and it will require great technological advancement to even attempt it - predicting technology is extremely difficult.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  8. Feb 5, 2015 #7

    phinds

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    Uh huh. What kind? How would you use it?
     
  9. Feb 5, 2015 #8
    Never mind that, they just have a lot of energy.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2015 #9

    Evo

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    Please post the peer-reviewed paper in an approved journal that meets our criteria, we don't accept "just because" here.
     
  11. Feb 5, 2015 #10

    bhobba

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    Via E=MC^2 there is enormous energy all about the place, not just black holes.

    Accessing it is another matter. Even Fusion power which accesses a bit of this energy has proven notoriously difficult to implement practically.

    Yes - in principle if string theory is true and we can manipulate those strings we would be able to do amazing things. But doing so is way way beyond our current, of even reasonably extrapolated future technology.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  12. Feb 5, 2015 #11

    phinds

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    Uh ... that's your idea of a scientific discussion? "Never mind that" ???

    As Evo has pointed out, that is not an acceptable answer on PF.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2015 #12
    Quite a number of physicists dislike string theory because it can't predict the constants of nature.. but isn't it we have something like Vacuum landscapes where all constants of nature occur and we just happen to live in a universe with the right constants? Is this the primary objection to string theory? But if nature is like this. Then why can't we can say string theory is a theory of all vacuum conditions and we just happens to live in the constants we have. Can anyone list or point out to a list of other objections why string theory is not being enjoyed much nowadays with many going to LQG (like many here)?
     
  14. Feb 6, 2015 #13

    bhobba

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    In so far as I can get the drift of your query (vacuum landscapes where all constants occur? - I think you are referring to the large number of possible ways the extra dimensions of string theory are curled up) yes that is one view promulgated by Susskind and others - but its not the only view.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  15. Feb 9, 2015 #14

    phinds

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    I think it is much more to the point to say that a number of physicists dislike string theory because it doesn't predict ANYTHING. It is not a testable theory and thus is not science, just math.

    It would be terrific if string theory (or m theory) does turn out to be right because is solves some problems and would be another great step in telling us how the universe works, but it has been "showing promise" for over 30 years and the wait is getting a bit old.
     
  16. Feb 9, 2015 #15
    Don't we have a Marcus version of Superstrings guys here who can give us summaries or updates of say the Six Themes for Superstrings in 2015 (developments to watch for)? All the papers or updates shared in this focum is about Loop Quantum Gravity. They don't unify anything except quantizing spacetime and GR doesn't even come out yet as low energy limit. Superstrings is still more interesting. What's latest with Witten?
     
  17. Feb 9, 2015 #16

    phinds

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    You got me on all that. I don't watch string theory developments at all since (1) so far it isn't going anywhere practical and (2) the math to really understand it is way over my head.
     
  18. Feb 11, 2015 #17

    Chronos

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  19. Feb 11, 2015 #18

    phinds

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    Right. Witten was extremely optimistic about it 25 years ago and he is still optimistic about it. If he lives another 25 years he will likely still be optimistic that some day it will be shown to represent reality.

    I hope he's right, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  20. Feb 12, 2015 #19

    wabbit

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    Well since "There are not any interesting competing suggestions", he better be right.
     
  21. Feb 12, 2015 #20

    phinds

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    Uh ... "better be right" why?
     
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